I have always been strict about M1's schedule. From the moment she showed me she had a routine I followed that with a vengeance. I read somewhere that children thrive more if they have a schedule and thrive she did. She slept long hours during the night and slept at the exact amount of time she needed in the afternoons. We went out according to her schedule and kept those trips to the mall to an hour or less. She has never fallen asleep in her stroller, she has only slept at another person's bed once in her life and has fallen asleep in the car only once. They say if your child falls asleep in the car its a sign that they aren't getting enough rest. Now that she's a toddler she tries to escape milk time or sleep time but only for a few minutes. She's on a schedule so much so that when I said to her "Milk time!" she said "11:45 na!" She doesn't know what time it is during the day but she knows that she drinks milk at 11:45am and the sleep time is at 7pm.
The greatest drawback of my being super strict with her schedule is that she cries when she's past her nap time. We cannot extend our mall walking hours because she wants to go home already. We have never finished a birthday party because of her and we cannot bring her out during lunches or dinners because those are her sleep times. Now that she's older we dream of making her more adjustable. 2 years later I realized that I have spoiled her in this way, I regret it a little but not so much. She wouldn't be as tall as she is now (people think she's 3yo) if she didn't sleep as much as she did. She wouldn't always be so healthy and chubby if we kept bringing her out even if she's super tired already. I find it hard to not grant her wish to go home when she wants to, how do you deprive your child from feeling safe and comfortable because you still want to go shopping. If it were the other way around and she was at home and was crying because she wanted to go out, I would just ignore her. But hearing her wail "Makine GO HOME Naaaaaaa" breaks my heart to pieces. That is why this June I plan to take her to school for 1 month and then the yaya will take over. Because I am sure I won't be able to take it and I just might apply to work in her school just to be with her. So, if i don't see her crying I won't be tempted to "save" her from her misery.
This Holy week we plan to take her to the beach, 30minute car rides feel like 1 day to her or at least she acts like it. We will be leaving during her nap time so hopefully she will just fall asleep on the 2hr ride there. Good luck to us and I really hope the kids have fun!