toddler activities

How to Create A Routine For Toddlers (That Works For Everyone!)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Being a mama can be a lot sometimes. One reason for feeling like an overwhelmed mom is not having a stay at home mom schedule. Kids and babies need consistency and knowing what you’re doing makes your day go by smoother. Not having a routine makes it hard to plan around your child if you do not know what time your child will need a nap that day.

reading as part of a stay at home mom schedule

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Having a toddler routine is not only good for the parents it is also beneficial to your kids. Benefits include: your child being more receptive and cooperative due to the fact that they know what is coming next and there is no surprise factor, understanding time and learning time management, create stability and consistency, and encourage independence and family bonding. Let’s face it being a mom can be stressful enough at times so let me help you get you and your kid(s) on a schedule that works for the family!

Creating a Schedule for Toddler and Baby

creating a schedule for keeping a toddler routine

The first step to making a routine that works for you is observing your child or children and tracking their habits. A lot of moms fail at trying to have a schedule because they do not take into consideration the habits of their kids. The reason why there is no one size fits all schedule is because all kids are different and require diff amounts of sleep at different times of the day.

For three days just go about your days as you were doing and write down everything. I suggest you write it all down in a notebook or download an app that you can input the information. The main things you should write down are:

  • when your child wakes up for the day
  • what time your child eats
  • when they eat and how much
  • when they fall asleep or you put them down for a nap
  • how long they slept
  • what time you put them down for bed at night
  • when they wake up in the night to eat

Schedules and routines make daily life easier for the whole family

Now that you have tracked your child’s habits its time evaluate them. As you look at the 3 days worth of data you should see a pattern. Even though you think you are not close to having a schedule you are!

It’s just going to take a little bit of work and consistency.

Questions you should ask yourself while evaluating the data:

  • Did my child wake up around the same time?
  • Did they eat around the same time and around the same amount?
  • Did they nap around the same time?
  • Did they have around the same amount of wet diapers?
  • Did they sleep for about the same amount of time for naps and overnight?
  • Did they go to bed around the same time?
  • In the middle of the night did they wake around the same time?

Toddler schedule made easy

After you have evaluated the habits it is time to write out a rough draft schedule. Look at when your child woke up for those three days; did they wake up within an hour or so of all the times? Write down an hour block wake up time on your rough draft. For example, if they woke at 7:15, 7:30 and 7:45 then you will write down the wake time as being between 7am and 8am.

toddler schedule

 Next, you are going to look at what you did next for those days which would typically be feeding them or them eating. You are going to keep doing that through the whole day until your rough draft is complete. Here is an example of what my schedule looks like as a rough draft:

SAMPLE STAY-AT-HOME MOM SCHEDULE FOR A TODDLER AND BABY

7:00 am to 8:00 am-  Wake up and drink some milk

8:00 am 10:00 am-    Breakfast time and playtime

10:00 am 12:00 pm-    Playtime! Park/Outdoor time

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm – Eat lunch and naptime

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm – Wake up, drink some milk and play!

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Snack  and tv/playing while mom cooks dinner

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm – Dinnertime

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Bathtime

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Drink milk, bedtime routine, Bedtime.

toddler routine example

Now that we have a rough draft it is time to work on the consistency part. Every day you need to be consistent on wake, eating, nap, and going to bed time for everyone. Make sure you are doing all these things within the bock they are scheduled. Once you feel like you have the hang of it and things are going smoothly try to narrow it down further. Make a new rough draft with thirty-minute blocks and stick within that. Your goal is to do this until you have it narrowed down to an exact start time for all eating times, nap times, ect.

After you have been on this strict schedule ask yourself, “Does this schedule look like it will  work for the whole family,  long term?” If the answer is yes then you did it and you can start your happy dance! If the answer is no then you are almost there! Don’t give up; you only have a little more work to do. If you would like to move something then that is ok. 

This schedule was formed around your child’s habits and it is ok to tweak it to make it work better for you and your lifestyle.

If you want to move a nap time then you would move it back by 15 minutes until your child adjusts then another 15 minutes and repeat until the nap time is at your desired time. Use this method to move anything on the schedule back or forward.

Use this method to make your own stay-at-home schedule for toddlers

I hope this helped you and your kid(s) create a perfect schedule for your lives and lifestyle. It can be adapted to every child’s stage and age and parent’s attachment style. Having a schedule makes me feel more in control of our day and our lives in general. Without a schedule planning our activities and outings would be a headache. When scheduling a play date with another mom I want to make sure we are picking a time where my three toddlers (yes you read that right, three!) are going to have a lot of energy and great time! I wouldn’t be able to do this without my schedule. Having a fairly predictable daily routine for toddlers puts me and my kid’s minds at ease.

Keeping up with the Patricks Candice

This Guest Post was written by the lovely Candice Patrick. A paralegal by trade, she’s currently a stay at home mom who has started blog KeepingUpWithThePatricks.com

She lives with her husband William and has 3 beautiful kids. Her daughter, Lily, was 8 months old when she got pregnant with her twin boys, Will and Alex. Yes, you read that right! She started with 3 kids under 16 months. She is passionate about helping other moms, especially new moms, navigate through motherhood.

Her blog was started with a mission to share her experience of becoming a mother in hopes that her story can help other moms. Her mom blog consists of crafts, activities, advice, support, hacks, and product reviews. Keeping her three toddlers learning through play is important to her and she is sure that it is to you as well. Come check out her page and let her share some fun learning activities that you and your kids will love!

creating a stay at home schedule

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2 thoughts on “How to Create A Routine For Toddlers (That Works For Everyone!)”

  1. Great article! You give a lot of really useful tips and definitely make all the craziness seem a little less stressful.

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