Young children’s daily needs change frequently. L doesn’t need the same things at the same time as N, which sometimes makes it difficult to figure out how to get through the day with both of them all by myself! I’ve found that this schedule for L meshes pretty well with N’s schedule. We don’t always keep strictly to it, but for the most part we stay within 15 minutes to half an hour of the times posted below.
7:00am Wake up — L used to be a GREAT sleeper. I used to have to wake her up at 8am. I don’t know what happened. About a month ago she had a really bad cold, and ever since then she’s been waking up SUPER early. We’ve tried putting her to bed later, but she begs to go to bed at 7:30pm! So, I don’t know. However, we have a rule that she has to stay in her room until 7am. We got this clock from a friend to show L when she’s allowed to come get us in the morning — it turns green at whatever time you set for when you want your kid to know she can get out of bed! This is a great concrete way of showing your young child time. L is still learning how to use it, but she’s getting better every day.
After we wake up, L brushes her teeth and gets dressed before we go downstairs for breakfast. I have found that it is easier to get her in real clothes BEFORE we go downstairs in the morning, because after we’re down there she usually doesn’t want to go back up. I have two choices of outfits hung up for L, and she gets to choose which one to wear that day.
7:30am Breakfast — I used to get all fancy with different breakfasts for L, but then she started begging for cereal all the time. So that’s what we have! Multigrain cheerios. L will eat at least two bowls.
8:00-10:00am Playtime — L can choose work during this time. Sometimes we watch Daniel Tiger while N’s napping.
10:00am Snack — This is a very loose time, as it depends on what we’re doing. Sometimes I have food prep works on the shelf for L, so I don’t offer a snack during the morning since she can just get her own food. Sometimes L tells me she’s “very very hungry” around 9:30, so she eats then. Sometimes we go to the grocery store at 10:30 and get a free cookie, so that will be her morning snack that day.
10:30am-12:00pm Outside Play — Toddlers NEED outside time! L begs to go outside every day. Even on days when I wouldn’t usually want to go out because it’s a little wet or chilly. It’s good for N, too, so we get bundled up if needed and head out to the backyard most days. If we have to run errands, this is when we do it.
12:00pm Lunch — L stands on her helper tower to help me make lunch. She loves to slice cucumber and spread peanut butter on bread. We eat together at the table.
12:30-2:30pm Nap — L usually naps until at least 3 or 3:30pm. I wake her up if she is still sleeping at 3:30. This is when I get my own stuff done!
2:30-3:30pm Playtime — If she wakes up early, L usually works in the office with me while I finish working.
3:30pm Snack — I don’t usually offer L an afternoon snack because I’ve found that she eats more dinner if she hasn’t had a snack. However, I do give her a snack if she asks for one.
4:00-5:30pm Outside Play — L loves playing outside, and her neighbor friends are usually out in the afternoon. We usually play in the backyard while we wait for Daddy to get home from work.
5:30pm Dinner — Sometimes L comes in early to help me cook dinner — I don’t force her to, it’s just when she wants to. We eat all together as a family. L has been eating the same food as us since before she was one. I don’t make a special meal for her.
6:00pm Bath or Walk — We take a bath only every other day (unless L is extremely dirty for some reason). When the weather is nice, we like to take a family walk around the block with our dog. We put on pajamas when we are finished.
6:30-7:30pm Playtime — L can choose work during this time. If we didn’t watch Daniel Tiger that morning, sometimes we watch it at this time. I try to stick to just one show a day. Occasionally we have a movie night with hot chocolate!
7:30pm Bedtime — By 7:30, L is begging to go to bed. We go upstairs, brush teeth, use the bathroom, and read a bedtime story. Then L gets into bed with her lovey, we sing a bedtime song, and leave. She puts herself to sleep. Sometimes after coming out of her room a few times, sometimes not.
For more sample schedules, click on these links for 6 to 9 Months, 9 to 12 Months, 12 to 18 Months, or To Know You’re Not Alone. 🙂
10 thoughts on “Daily Schedule for Toddlers — 18 Months to 3 Years”
I used to enjoy sleeping sooo much. Once my little ones came along, my schedule rotates around them. It’s all beautiful though….they grow so fast. Enjoy these days
This is our exact schedule! Lovely to read about your schedule, I am not looking forward to dropping lunch time naps but have a feeling it might be soon!
Love this! Come April I will be a stay-at-home mom, will definitely be printing this schedule to help my daughter transition from daycare to home! Thanks for sharing!
Awesome! You could also ask her teachers what the schedule is like at daycare so you can merge the two to make it easier on your daughter.
So, when you say bedtime 7:30pm thats when you start your bedtime routine? And she’s in bed by like 8pm? My toddler (2.5) is a napper- I get her back from montessori at 12:30 and shes napping by 1 for 2/2.5 hours. But then takes pretty long to fall asleep after I tuck her in at 8pm. Like 30 minutes or so. I’d be okay with this but she seems kind of restless in the wee morning hours and tired in the daytime. Confused mom.
Yes, that’s when we’d start our bedtime routine. It probably took her about 20 minutes to fall asleep after we left.
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