For our family, school breaks always represents a flurry of out-of-town visits. While maintaining a semblance of a routine out-of-town is tough, hosting visiting relatives definitely comes with its own unique challenges.
If you’re worried that your newly perfected routine is going to disintegrate the moment your great Aunt Ruth walks through the door, don’t be! With a little bit of preparation and adjustment, it’s totally possible to maintain your Babywise schedule with visiting relatives thrown into the mix.
4 Easy Tips for Maintaining Your Babywise Schedule With Visiting Relatives
Explain Your Schedule and Why It’s Needed
Explaining your Babywise routine to family members can be difficult. Critics of baby schedules are often very vocal in their disagreement. I’ve found that explaining the benefits of the schedule, rather than the actual logistics, fosters the best results. If you tell your visiting relatives that your baby is used to taking a nap at a certain part of the day and you’d like to stick to that, they’ll usually understand. Especially if you explain that baby gets fussy without it.
Having said that, don’t be afraid to adjust your schedule for the sake of family activities. If your baby’s temperament allows, skipping a nap here and there can be totally acceptable and can usually be made up later.
Time Your Naps Wisely
When you can, schedule activities beforehand. When you look at the day with a bird’s-eye view, you can usually see where baby’s naps naturally fit in. If you can, avoid traveling after your baby just wakes from a nap. Instead, try to plan your day so naptime is either in the car, during downtime, or in a “portable napping station”. This strategy will save your baby’s most energetic times for family fun time!
Maintain Your Regular Desired Wake Time and Bedtime
If there was one technique I could attribute to maintaining my Babywise schedule with visiting relatives, it would be consistently maintaining my daughter’s desired wake time and bedtime. It is so easy to this slide when family activities or loving relatives demand flexibility.
However, it is so critical to stick within a half-hour window of your regular pattern. Bedtimes and DWT are the foundation for your baby’s schedule. If you can keep that part of her routine, a skipped nap here and there can be easily remedied.
Sometimes you can keep your schedule to the letter and still have nap and sleep troubles while hosting visitors. Depending on your baby’s age and temperament, overstimulation could be the culprit.
When grandma is in town, baby will most likely be the main attraction. It’s easy for anyone (even adults) to become overwhelmed by the constant laughter, cuddling, and new faces. You can prepare beforehand by establishing a “safe place” for your baby to unwind. The type of safe place really depends on your baby.
I would nestle my daughter's in the corner of the room, away from prying eyes. As she got older, she’d play independently in her playard. Whatever you choose, make sure your baby has adjusted to this retreat before family arrives. Otherwise, it could be just another alarming disruption.
At first, balancing your Babywise schedule with visiting relatives can be a little daunting. The secret is a mixture of planning and flexibility. Prepare when you can, but don’t sweat it if the routine needs to flex a little!