For babies, I think routines are great. For a special needs child, it’s a must. Wendy has to have medicine at certain times of day. Wendy has to be fed certain times of day. And Wendy almost always naps and goes to bed at a certain time every day. Sticking to a strict schedule is what works for us. It keeps my stress level down and helps me manage doing many things at one time. I even schedule Wendy’s doctor appointments around her schedule. I also grocery shop and run errands around her schedule. Mine and Wendy’s life revolves around a schedule.
This weekend, after being back in Georgia for 3 months, we finally made the short trip to Atlanta to visit Zed’s grandparents (Wendy’s great grands), Liz and Randall. I’m so glad they finally got to see Wendy again (they had only seen her once before when we made the trip from Kentucky when Wendy was a few months old). However, staying overnight with Wendy in a place that is not our home is not easy. It never has been. She likes her routine and she likes her schedule, and I like sleep. So if she doesn’t get her normal routine, I don’t get sleep.
Many babies get anxious and overstimulated while traveling and visiting relatives. With Wendy, it’s terrible. Last night we had dinner around 7:30-8:00 and Wendy is usually in bed by then. I could tell Wendy was over tired and needed to sleep, but I could not get that child to go to sleep for the life of me. It didn’t help that we were trying to get her to sleep in her travel pack ’n’ play. She hates that thing. Which is odd because when we lived in KY, she slept in a regular size pack ’n’ play, in the bassinet part in our bedroom. When I tried to get her to take her normal 30 minute to an hour nap at 3:30-4:00 she just screamed. It was frustrating and exhausting. After finally getting her to sleep last night, she woke up at 11:00. I tried cuddling with her and letting her sleep with me (which normally I would NEVER do, but I was desperate!) but she would not sleep. We ended up on the living room floor with pillows surrounding her sleeping in short intervals of 15-30 minutes.