f t 9 !

A Little Routine for Life-long Health

By Too Small to Fail

A Little Routine for Life-long Health

All humans are supposed to be creatures of habit, but children really thrive on habit and routine—even when it appears otherwise! Children deeply benefit from routines that establish healthy habits like regular sleep, nutritious meals eaten around the dinner table, and an organized home. This is because daily and family routines help children develop the cognitive, emotional and social skills they will need to succeed in school and beyond.

Researchers encourage establishing routines with children from infancy for various reasons. Routines help children learn that they can trust and depend on adults—a valuable asset for emotional stability in relationships and an important way to establish parent-child bonds. Meaningful routines—like the ones we practice as rituals during Thanksgiving and other holidays—help children feel like they belong to a community, and improve their social skills. Some research even suggests that children living in families with regular routines suffer from fewer illnesses, like respiratory infections.

Parents and caregivers can help children establish healthy routines that have direct and life-long benefits. For example, parents can read books with their babies and young children at bedtime to help them sleep better. Parents can also establish regular times of conversation, like around the dinner table, to improve bonding and stimulate language. Finally, parents and caregivers can use holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving to instill a sense of tradition and history in the family.

Resources for Sharing:

  • This article from the AAP explains how various routines throughout a child’s day can improve moods and benefit development.
  • This article from Raising Children Network offers tips for how parents can incorporate routines and ritual into family life.
  • A reminder that quality time can happen in short intervals—even for busy families!

VIDEO: This beautiful video from BabyWorld shows how a bedtime routine will help your infant get the sleep his body—and brain—need. >>

Posted In: Newsletter