Being a mom of a toddler, life is never dull. And because there are so many unplanned events that occur in a day-cheerios exploding all over the floor, a cell phone tossed in the toilet, the kitchen being saran wrapped-I make sure to plan my toddler’s daily schedule consistently.
Sticking to a schedule is key to keeping my sanity throughout the day. I feel comfortable knowing what to expect and it gives me more patience to cope with the unexpected. More importantly, I really believe my toddler feels the same way. She generally knows what to expect each day and that puts her at ease. A consistent and predictable routine makes feedings, playtime, and sleep times more predictable and more accepted. Of course there’s flexibility for outings or special events like a birthday party, get-together with friends, or dinner at grandma’s, but in general I think we’re both grateful for days that follow a similar routine.
Here is what a typical day looks like in our house:
Toddler Schedule at 12 Months
7:30: Wake Up/Change Diaper
8:30: Playtime or a Morning Activity
10:00: Read Books then Morning Nap
11:30: Wake Up from Nap, Change Diaper, Get Dressed
12:30: Playtime/Go Outside/Afternoon Outing-run errands, play date…
2:30: Read Books then Afternoon Nap
4:00: Wake Up from Nap/Change Diaper
4:15: Small snack/Playtime
6:30: Quiet Play, Bath time, PJs, Brush Teeth
7:30: Read Books, Bedtime
Aside from integrating breast/bottle feedings and fluctuations in sleep lengths, this routine has generally stayed the same since my daughter was about 4 months old.
What routine works for your toddler? Do you follow a schedule or do you design your day as you go?