The Morning Routine That Fosters Bonding and Balance For The Entire Family

8 Comments 16 October 2011

written by Eric Walker (BBH Dad)

It’s usually around 6:30 a.m. that Lucan wakes. Ella too.

Katie delivers Lucan over to my bed, which is separated from her bed by the co-sleeper. Or sometimes I just reach into the co-sleeper and scoop up my little man.

This is Ella’s special moment to have ‘mum-mums.’

Since night weening, she’s only given access to nursing right before bed, and first thing in the morning. This period of time in the morning between Katie and Ella is special.

Similarly, this has become a special time for me and Lucan.

My boy is wide-awake once he lands into my bed.

I peel back the curtains a few inches so a little bit of light can shine through. It isn’t much, but he lifts his head toward the light and smiles.

I peel off his night wear and wet diaper. He’s all bare. Then I cover him with a baby blanket and firmly run my hands the length of his entire body as if he has just fallen into a lake and needs the friction to prevent hypothermia.

He loves this.

He grunts and smiles. He stretches out his legs, and throws open his arms over his head. This is Dad and Lucan time.

It’s cool knowing that across the “co-sleeper divide,” Mom and Ella have their own special time too.¬†Occasionally, I hear Ella giggle as I say something funny like Lucan-Bucan-Ducan. Or sometimes Lucan will toot, and I’ll say stinky. This always gets a laugh.
These first 15-20 minutes of our day have become a ritual, an important beginning of our day that we all cherish.

Upon reflection, here is why we feel it means so much to our family dynamic:

  1. This allows Katie (Mom) and Ella (older child) to have one on one time. We’ve found this to be much-needed. It’s a part of the transition process for everyone as a result of bringing a new child into the family.

  3. This gives me (Dad) bonding time with the new child (Lucan). I’ve already noticed how much of a positive impact it has had on our relationship. Once the day gets started, I’m often deep into work. I might not reappear (despite working from home) until mid to late afternoon, and disappear again until dinner hours. This consistent bonding time is crucial for our relationship.

  5. It also takes the pressure off of Mom (Katie), and helps preserve the closeness she has with Ella (older child). Ella still needs her Mom time. And Mom’s need all the support they can get ;-)

  7. Finally, our hunch is that this small daily ritual has contributed to the great relationship that is budding between Ella (older child) and Lucan (younger child). They’re off to a great start.
    Ella has begun initiating play, showing affection and asking for Lucan to be a participant during random family moments and outings. The rational is that since Ella is still receiving one on one time, we’re proactively defusing any resentment that may arise on her part as a result of sharing attention with her new sibling.


Your Thoughts?
If you have more than one child, what are your thoughts about this? What “rituals” have you formed that foster bonding and balance in your family?

Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. melody says:

    i love this so much.
    you love your children so deeply, and they know it.
    these moments you share with them in the mornings are priceless gifts they will have stored in their memory banks for the rest of their lives, and can pass them onto their children one day.
    you and katie are doing this parenting thing right.
    keep it up!

  2. Erica Lea says:

    This is SO amazing! I think it’s wonderful how you succeed so beautifully in these routines that often disrupt many families and the relationships between all members. I myself have found ways to integrate certain behaviors/ activities, etc into OUR family’s lives that have been inspired by BBH posts!! You two have found such a harmonious way of living and all I can say is keep up this wonderful outlook on life, it’s completely inspiring!! <3 Love and Light!!!

  3. Kate D says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Eric.
    I have emailed this to my husband to read. We are expecting our second child in May (our daughter will be 2 and we co-sleep) and I am concerned about how this change will affect her as we are still nursing too (That Mummy guilt building already)
    Thanks again.

  4. Kristen says:

    This is so wonderful!
    I second what Melody said!

    And this couldn’t have come at a better time, we’re just a few short weeks from bringing baby #2 into the world and I’m getting a little nervous about what will happen with one on one time with each child. This is such a beautiful morning ritual and we already have our daughter into our bed every morning for snuggles and a cartoon or two so it won’t be hard to incorporate babe into the picture. <3

  5. Mary says:

    I wish you could bottle this. So many special moments, like these, you will remember forever and always. Fondly, Mary

  6. I love your morning routine! As my hubby has to leave early in the morning to go to work, its only me and my two boys in the morning. But I do make sure the younger one has time to nurse and my older is respecting this mom-baby moment patiently. Once my younger one is done nursing he is the happiest boy ever and starts off to adventure so my older gets his mom-son time where we cuddle or play with his toys.. Its a ritual we cannot start the day without. And I love it, and so do the kids. On the weekends its totally daddy time, to catch up on what they miss during the week. It always helps us to start the day with love, cuddles, giggles, and playtime. I will always remember those mornings, and I sincerely hope we can have them this way for a long time to come <3

    Also, for my older son, he gets a special mom-son time at bedtime. I make up a bedtime story that he gets to pick the topic, we sing, we cuddle and we do some silly things that only he and I do together. He loves it and so do I :)

    As you already pointed out, keeping the balance within a family is very important! Thank you for your post!


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