We had one child before we had the twins and we were so not routine oriented people when it came to our son. He had a routine at daycare, but when the weekends came, we just went with the flow. Then, ten and a half months later all of a sudden we had three kids under one, two of whom were not even on the full term baby growth scale (yes they were five weeks early and yes they were pretty good sizes at four and a half pounds each, but they were little and early and they needed to fatten up) . Then they got sick, my son at two and a half weeks and my daughter at three and a half weeks and were both in the NICU for a total of three (my son) and two weeks (my daughter). Between being sick, being little, being early, and having three kids under one, we decided that we needed a routine to help us get through every day life. Routines helped me ensure that everyone was being fed and changed on time, and that the littel ones were getting enough sleep, since everyone said that is where they get the energy to grow. As they got older and stronger, we kind of slacked on the routines, but still had them. Unfortunately, we didn't relly have a routine with my older son still. My twins have been great sleepers, so maybe having the routine was a really good idea. Maybe we should have been a little more routine oriented with my older son and he would have been a better sleeper. Looking back tough, his first couple of years of life were probably pretty tough on him. I was on bed rest from the time he was almost eight months old til the twins were born three months later. Then I was in the hospital for five days, then the twins were in the hospital, all before he turned one. Now at almost 3 we have a little routine for him, that is special just for him. He now goes to bed so much better. He sleeps so much better. 'm not sure I could have done the CIO when he was much younger, but maybe if I had had a routine in place like the twins did, he would have been a better sleeper all around. Hind sight is definitely 20/20 and life was really crazy that first year, and still is, but I definitely now see teh benefit to having a decent routine in place yet being flexible enough that you don't frive yourself crazy. Would I recommend a new mother to have a routine? The answer is a definite yes. Would I tell her it was ok to break the routine once in awhile, yes. Is being a parent always a learning experience? Definitely! Routines work and now I need to have more routines in place for other areas in our lives than just bedtime.