Bitty has been on a routine of some kind her whole life. her 18 month routine has just evolved naturally as her needs change. With the exception of us learning her sleep needs as a baby she has been a very good kid as far as going with the flow and I don’t know if that has anything to do with our routines but it makes it nice when I have to change things up a bit!
LIFE PRIOR TO OUR 18 MONTH ROUTINE
I love schedules; I’ve personally never not been on one. (at least for as long as I can remember) My day to day life before Bitty was a fairly routine life. I always worked at the same time. I always ran errands on the same day. The only time things were different were if I planned for them to be! Naturally, I put Bitty on one as soon as she was able to stick to one, but hey did you know that kids thrive on a schedule? They LOVE the predictability of it, of knowing what comes next and feeling like they have even the littlest bit of say in how the day goes.
Her routine has looked very similar to this, her whole life just with more naps when she was younger and some commute times when we were still working. I have been tweaking our routine little by little as we have become truly stay at home full time and I think we have found what works for us most days for right now. Things are bound to change and shift, as she gets older!
REAL LIFE TAKES PRIORITY
OUR LIFE @ 18 MONTHS
7:15 – wake up
Wakeups have been leaning much closer the 7 o clock time as well as she has been really good about just chilling in her crib in the morning for a bit so we haven’t really had much TV time first thing in the morning anymore!
7:30 – breakfast
Breakfast consists of cereal/oatmeal/waffle/toast & often yogurt and always some fruit. After breakfast we try and get the kitchen cleaned up and empty the dishwasher if it’s clean. This is one of her favorite things to help with and I’m not complaining at all! lol
8:00 – Sensory play
I pull out the sensory bin a couple of times a week when I want to try and get some yoga in. If we don’t get the bin out then it’s just free play time.
8:30 – Get ready
Notice that I don’t get her dressed until after we eat and after sensory play. This is completely on purpose. A – it keeps her daytime clothes cleaner for that much longer and B – everyone likes cozy lounge clothes more than real clothes. (Why do you think yoga pants caught on!?)
9:00 – Chores & Free Play
I try and do chores while Sidney is around so that she understands that things don’t magically get clean. I also try and get her involved where I can. She loves to wipe with a wet rag or dusting. She will also help move clothes between the washer and dryer as well!
If we have a lot of errands to do in a day we will leave the house at round 9 but more often it’s around 9:45
9:30 – AM snack
We grab a quick snack, I’m learning that while she would love to snack all day she is the kind of kid that if I want her to eat at meal times I really have to limit snacks. So this is usually a fruit bar or some goldfish or maybe a muffin.
10:00 – Out of the house
I try and get us out of the house at least once a day. Mondays we do the grocery shopping, Tuesdays is Storytime at the library, Wednesday is our errand/appointments day, Thursday we go to the tot gym or discovery museum, and Friday we do whatever really. Could be more errands, might be playdates or visits to playgrounds. Maybe even just chores if we really fell behind! Lol
11:30 – Art
I try and be back home around 11:30 to fit in an art activity or some sensory play. We don’t do this
12:00 – Lunch
Lunch is usually one of Bitty’s best meals of the day. She just generally likes the simple foods that we eat for lunch. Chicken nuggets and grilled cheese are her favorites. We might also do leftovers to get something out of the fridge.
12:30 – Outside
After lunch if we have time/its nice enough out I take her out back to play and burn that last bit of energy before nap.
1:00 – Naptime
Naptime is no problem for us! About a quarter to one we change her diaper, grab one of her
1:30 – Computer time
3:30 – PM Snack & TV
4:00 – Outside & Tot School
I turn the TV off at 4 and it stays that way until after dinner.
We fill the time with outside play/Totschool activities. I will go more into detail about these in another post but basically it’s things that focus on fine motor or learning style activities, as well as one on one focused play. I spend most of the day encouraging independent play as much as possible but here is where I will sit and actively work on a puzzle with her or dad will help her build play dough pizzas or whatever.
We are also prepping dinner during this time
5:30 – Dinner
We moved dinner up to 5:30 recently to see if it made any difference in her witching hour fuss/how
6:00 – Family Time
After dinner we all watch some TV together. This is usually what eve Zak & I want to watch and she is just free playing along side us. Occasionally it will be a movie that she might watch some as well.
7:00 – Office
Later in the evening we go into the office. I get some computer work done while Bitty watches music videos on dad’s computer (he has three screens and can thus spare one for baby shark) while he plays some computer games. I often consider this my personal free time. Dad is on the clock for a bit and I am free to do something that I haven’t had time to do all day.
On bath days this is when bath time would be.
7:30 – Bedtime routine
She has a quick snack, usually based on how much she had for dinner. Then we get jammies and she brushes her teeth. (We let her do it first and then It’s our turn to actually do it. She usually is happy to cooperate!) She grabs a lovie from her basket, a pacifier and we wub-a-nub and we read some Harry Potter (gotta start em’ young 😉 ) and then its lights out! Dad has been the master of bedtime for most of her life. It was his guaranteed snuggle time after not seeing her all day and I was more than happy to let him handle it!
What does your 18 month routine look like for your toddler? I would love to see how different or even similar they might be!