With Squeaks we really did let her lead the way. Early on she was 'described' as a fussy baby by our Health Visitor, it was something we agreed with, she needed so much stimulation, and it was the only way to exhaust her to sleep.
When I went back to work after 6 months I wanted all the time in the world with her, so we didn't mind that she went to bed late and woke late, I was getting some much valued time with her.
When we found out we were pregnant with twins our life and prerogative changed. We knew with our exhaustion and the needs of our newborns that things would need to change.
We began to bring forward bedtime and get some clear routines and activities into our day so Squeaks understood what she could expect and grow used to.
When the boys arrived we quickly became addicts to routine. It was the only way to get through a day. I became an even worse planner than I was, getting everyone's clothes ready the night before. Loading the car the night before for days out- as I could never figure out whether to leave the children in the house or strapped in their car seats in the car if I did it in the morning.
And this was the note that I prepared for Mr J on his first day of going solo after I returned to work when the boys were 6 months old:
With a whole range of Dora themed assets to encourage and reward children on their developmental journey www.nickjr.co.uk/step there was also a live web chat today, focusing on whether a child should have a routine. Jacqueline Harding, a leading child development expert, and parent of two, blogger Jess McGlynn from Catch a Single Thought.
As I was at work, I missed the live broadcast but as I was at work I'm looking forward to catching up with it later on in the week.
Now at 4 Squeaks seems even more reliant on knowing what's going on and having a base of stability. However, given the summer holidays are on the horizon I wonder how we balance spontaneity with stability.