Okay, you don't have to go through everything to learn a lesson. It's not necessary to take the harder way always, I chose an easy one here. If I say my parenting began before I had a baby, then it won't be wrong. I am this, analyzing, judging and ruminating over facts kind of person. So, before conceiving I observed all the kids around me, asked their mothers about their day to day activities and much more. I have seen that, those babies who had no regular bedtimes became the preschoolers who gave their parents tough times in the morning when schools began, those toddlers who did not have proper eating habits became the teenagers who bent towards junk food more often, those who were never taught proper communicating etiquette became adults who were annoying in the public scenes. I came to a conclusion that if I have a baby, I will have to turn upside down to retain my sanity in future. No matter what it takes, who says what (giving that the Indian family routines are bizarre), I will have to stick to proper routines.
I mean, everyone is born with a concept of time even if they can or cannot read a clock. Look at my first babe, Limo loves sleeping and sleeps late in the evening on the sofa but exactly by quarter to eight, he wakes up, stretches out and by dot eight he is right in front of me, nose to nose, just an inch away, starring into my eyes and saying "it's dinner time mommy, get your lazy butt to kitchen and warm up my meal". So, if a dog can sense time then a human baby is expected much more of - routine.
No one loves routine, neither a baby nor a toddler and never a teenager. But at every stage in life, routine plays a different role. When a baby goes through same routine for meals and bedtime each day, he knows what to expect and what is expected of him. He might fuss in the beginning but a few days down the line, he is habituated. When he turns to a toddler, a few things that would excite him are to be added to keep him aligned to the plan but the routine remains constant. Even if he hates it, he himself reminds you if you skip a step between. And what happens when they turn teenagers? The routine by then is memorized by their body and it is easy to trick the mind but not the body.
You can endlessly argue over why you are not able to set a routine with your child but the winner will always be a - routine. A good routine or a bad routine, set by purpose or unintentionally, it will have a domino effect on the coming years of the child and you'll see that. Observe