We’re On A Schedule!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the nanny will be taking a 4 day leave starting this Monday. Staying true to what I mentioned before that I am a list nazi, here is my sample schedule for my 11 month old Baby Bear. I wanted to try out a schedule with her as I am having problems with getting her to sleep early. I won’t be strict about following this down to the last-minute but at least this will help me to stay on track, not be rattled, focused and I am assured that I won’t run out of activities to do with her. My mom would probably be raising an eyebrow at having a schedule… for a baby!!! Whatever works or whatever way helps us be better moms, right? 😉

Here’s how our day looks like:

8:00 to 8:30 am – Baby Bear lounges around in bed, wakes up Papa Bear and Mama Bear; change diaper

8:30 to 9:00 am – Breakfast – Oatmeal or Rice Cereal mixed with pureed fruit

9:00 to 9:30 am – Fun in the Park!

9:30 to 10:00 am – Free play; Baby Bear plays on the floor or inside the crib while the bath is being prepared

10:00 to 10:30 am – Bath time! 🙂

11:00 to 11:30 am – 7 oz. milk

11:30 to 12:00 pm – Short morning nap… or long depends on how tired she was playing in the park 🙂

12:00 to 12:30 pm – Lunch – congee or rice with small chunks of whatever viands we are having and a piece of fruit

12:30 to 1:00 pm Baby Bear plays on the bouncer while watching Barney in the living room

1:00 to 2:00 pm – Play time! (Gymboree Music Class every Thursday)

2:00 to 2:30 pm – 7 oz. milk

2:30 to 4:00 pm – Afternoon nap!

4:00 to 4:30 pm – Afternoon snack – soft bread or cookies with yogurt or Dutch Mill yogurt drink

4:30 to 5:00 pm – Fun in the Park!

5:00 to 5:30 pm – 7 oz. milk

5:30 to 7:00 pm – Floor play in her room – we bring out the age-appropriate educational toys that are supposed to aid her in whatever milestone she is gearing for that week. Tiger Mom Alert! 🙂

7:00 to 7:30 pm – Dinner

7:30 to 8:00 pm – TV in Papa Bear and Mama Bears’ room. Watch her favorite Kai Lan show and her ABC videos.

8:00 to 8:30 pm – Bedtime routine starts with a warm bath and brushing of tooth/s 🙂

8:30 to 9:30 pm – Change diaper, put on jammies, read Goodnight Moonand flip through her 2 favorite Touch books. Go around the condo saying goodnight to all her toys and other family members.

9:30 to 10:00 pm – 7 oz. Milk if she is still asking for it or put Baby Bear on the mattress beside her crib and massage her while she tries to fall asleep on her own.

She will sleep through the morning but we usually give her another bottle (5 oz. milk) at 5am after changing her diaper. She sleeps while she’s eating… ahh… the life! 🙂

This is her schedule thereabouts. Obviously, this doesn’t go down to a T as we believe in operating on a flexi schedule. The sample schedule here just serves as friendly reminder to us and to the nanny. It also limits the baby’s’ TV time for instance to just 1 hour a day. I am already being a bad momma as it is letting her watch TV so I try to limit it and encourage more play and book reading. 🙂 Unlike the French parents, we try to adapt to our baby’s’ needs not because we spoil them but it is because she is not yet a year old and we like a little room for surprise activities. There are also some activities that we really urge her to do more of, like for instance, taking long naps in the afternoon, or we will not stop play time if she is learning something or on the verge of discovering something new. We also tend to prolong the time she spends on her reading nook to read even if it’s just mindless flipping of pages. Yes, we want to raise a bookworm! 🙂

Wish us luck next week! 🙂 Can’t wait to spend all this time with Baby Bear having fun and learning. How about you, how does your day with your baby look like? 🙂

Baby Bears’ Reading List

Even before our Baby Bear was born, I already started buying her books. I wanted to foster in her the love of reading. I left the shopping of clothes and cutesie stuff to her maternal grandma (gua-ma), while I took care of her books and educational toys. I bought different types of books… as in, a lot! That’s why I was super worried when we started reading to her at 3 months and she showed no interest whatsoever in any type of book! She would just rapidly close or throw the books to the floor. We tried every type of book — cloth book, Lamaze books, board books, books with sounds, with puppets, every type of baby book that I could conceivably get my hands on! Fast forward to now at 10 months, I am happy that my Baby Bear loves reading books. We now read to her the classics like The Runaway Bunny, On the Day You Were Born, and Goodnight Moon, among others.

Like I said, it didn’t start out this way. Here are some things I learned along the way that helped me:

  1. Try to discover what type of book interests her. For babies below 4 months, the most practical book to start with is a cloth book since it is light and soft for baby to touch and feel.
  2. Go for picture books that have the simplest execution. The best books are the ones with just the picture and the word. Flash cards are a good example of this type of reading tool.
  3. Invest in board books as your baby will just crumple and tear the paper pages. Believe it or not, my baby even uses the board books as a spring board to getting to another place and even tries to stand on it! Yikes!
  4. Point to the words when you read to your baby to help him associate that there is a word for everything. Take it a step further by pointing out objects as you go about your day to further associate that there is a name for everything.
  5. Size of the print is important – the larger the print, the better. Don’t make reading too hard for them.
  6. Pick a good time to read. Make sure baby isn’t sleepy or hungry.
  7. Have a special reading nook.  Read where there is no distraction. Separate the toys from the books.
  8. Read with passion – as enthusiastically as possible… with feelings! 🙂
  9. Consistency is key! If your baby is like mine and she doesn’t show interest at once, do as my husband did. Plop her down every night on your lap with a bedtime story until it becomes a ritual to her and she begins to like it. Warning: expect a lot of squirming!
  10. Last but not the least, kids love to imitate so show them also that you love and ENJOY books. Give her a book to read while you are reading your own book. Kids learn best if we model the behavior.

Make it a part of the daily ritual to read books. I am thankful to Papa Bear who persevered in this endeavor. He lovingly picks up the books that Baby Bear throws to the floor and goes back to reading from whence he left off. Her favorites are the Baby Touch book series that I got her from The Book Depository. She can already point out to where some of the objects in the book are like star, owl, pink bird, and can even pinpoint details such as the tiger’s tummy, wheels of the car, and others. I am one proud momma!

Here is the list of books that we read to her in rotation. Hope you can also share with me how you read at home and what your favorites are too! 🙂

flash cards - we started out with the black and white version for infants then moved on to coloured 🙂
she relates to the simple action and object books as those shown are so much a part of her own daily life
puppet books for interaction
books that "sing" and "talk"; the ni hao kai lan series' also teaches mandarin - talk about 2-in-1!!! 🙂
Baby Touch Books - 'nuf said! 😀
other books in her book shelf and more!!! 😀