My baby is officially nine months old and over the last 3 months, we have established a good routine with her. I struggled to find a routine that was right for a reflux and milk allergy baby, so I had to develop one that worked for us. My baby needs smaller more regular feeds to prevent her tummy from getting too full. She is also having a combination of breast milk and hypoallergenic formula, so I can add a thickener to prevent vomiting. Her routine also had to work around her older sibling who needs to go to school.
Now my baby is 9 months I can look back and see how our routine has really developed over the last few months. She thrives on her routine and when we stick to it she is a much happier and easier baby. That doesn’t mean we didn’t go out and do other things. I just learned how to adapt what I wanted to do to fit in with her schedule. Also, I found a lot of people are willing to work around you when you have a baby and will try and fit in with your routine.
Check out this practical guide for dealing with sleep, weaning, leaving the house and helping your baby to improve their symptoms.
My Routine for a Reflux & Milk Allergy Baby
6:30 am Wake Up and Feed Time
She usually wakes up ready for a breastfeed and a cuddle. You could easily substitute this for a bottle feed. My first child had stopped breastfeeding by 6 months, so one of us would make him up a bottle of formula and bring it back to bed. I love having a cuddle with them in the morning. I’m making the most of it before they’re too old and just want to be off playing!
7:00 am Playtime
After her feed, I will change her nappy. Then I will give her the medicine for her reflux and then she will happily play for a while. This has changed a lot over the last three months. At six months I would put her on her play gym and she would play batting the toys and trying to roll. This then progressed on to being able to sit up. Then she would sit in her ball pit and pick up different toys to chew. By 9 months she has just mastered crawling and so she now crawls around the bedroom picking up anything she can find! While she is busy amusing herself I will get myself ready and sort my son out ready for school.
I do have days when she won’t amuse herself! I have had her sitting on my knee while I am trying to get ready. Sometimes a few Cheerios will keep her busy while I throw some clothes on!
8:00 am Get Baby Dressed
By this time she is usually fed up of amusing herself and ready for a change of scenery. I take her in her room to get dressed and ready for the day.
8:25 am Go for a Walk – School Run
We walk my son to school every day. This gives the baby some fresh air and she loves seeing all the different people. With my first child, we didn’t need to go out this early! But we would get out every day after breakfast.
9:00 am Breakfast Time
When we get home she will have breakfast. This gives her time for her morning feed to go down before she has anything else. She will usually have a small bowl of porridge made with oat milk, baby muesli or toast fingers with peanut butter. She will also have 5oz of hypoallergenic formula with an added thickener – this prevents her from vomiting her feed and breakfast.
9:30 am Nap Time
If we are staying in she will have her nap in the bedroom. When I need or want to go out she is really happy to have a nap in her car seat. She isn’t as good at sleeping in her pushchair now she is older because she loves to look around and take everything in.
Between 10:00 and 10:30 she will wake up. If we are at home we will spend time playing together. I change her toys around so we have different things to do each day to hold her interest. At the weekends her big brother is at home and she will spend time playing with him or we will go out as a family. When she was 6 months she was still in her first car seat and we could just take it out of the ISOFIX and put it in the trolley or carry her into wherever we were going. However, she is tall for her age and needed to move into her next car seat at 8 months. So now I have to wake her up if she is still sleeping (or sit in the car and go on my phone!).
If we are at home I will make a milk-free meal for us both. If we are out I will make sure I take enough milk-free food and hypoallergenic formula for her. When we eat out I am really aware of what she can eat and will ask to see the allergy list. If your baby is allergy-free you can either take food out with you or buy food for you both to eat. After her meal, she will have 5oz of her formula with a milk thickener. This helps to keep her food and milk down.
I will always try to be at home for naptime because she sleeps for longer. Also, I can get some chores done or some time to myself. She has always had a short breastfeed before her nap as a comfort.
2:30 pm Playtime
She wakes up between 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm depending on how much sleep she has had in the morning. Then she has another short playtime with me before her brother comes home from school. I try to do something physical with her like sitting, crawling, rolling, standing up while she is in a good mood from her nap.
3:00 pm Go for a Walk or do the School Run
Time for the school run, so it is another short walk for her.
3:30 pm Playtime
Time to play with her brother. Also, some time to amuse herself while I do reading and homework with her brother. As I have spent quality time with her in the day I think it is important to spend some quality time doing things with my son.
4:30 pm Optional Nap
At 6 months she was still having a third nap around 4:30 pm. She had dropped this nap by 9 months old. She will still sometimes have a nap around this time if she has been awake in the night teething or not feeling well.
5:00pm Family Meal Time
This is the only time in the day we are all at home to sit together as a family and eat. I love this time as we can share what our day has been like and have time to listen to my son talking about school. Obviously, he can never remember what he’s done at school that day, but I do get to hear what he has had for lunch and his opinion on it! The baby will have a small version of my dairy-free meal. She will also have a bottle of her hypoallergenic formula and the thickener to help her keep it all down.
6:00 pm Bathtime
We will have a bath and get ready for bed. She will have her medicine for reflux.
6:30 pm Bedtime
We will read a story and she will have a breastfeed before she goes to sleep.
3:00 am Optional Night Feed
We were still having a breastfeed around this time because she only has small amounts of milk in a feed. However, as she started to eat more food she started to sleep for longer periods of time and not wake until morning.
Plan a Routine for a Reflux or Milk Allergy Baby
Both of my children have needed different routines because of their own individual needs and wants. My son was not a reflux/milk allergy baby, so his routine was completely different. He had large amounts of milk in one go and slept through the night at an earlier age. Try to plan your baby’s routine around what suits yours and their needs best. If you want to try out a new routine, my set of new baby printables has a sheet for planning one.