When I had my first baby, it was hard for me to figure out what her daily schedule was supposed to look like. I decided to write up the schedule that we are currently following with N so other moms can get an idea of what timing we use for things. Keep in mind that every baby is different and has different needs. This schedule works for us. For other schedules I have shared, see 6 to 9 Months, 9 to 12 Months, and 18 Months to 3 Years. For a laugh, see Daily Schedule for SAHMs.
7:00am Wake up — N usually wakes up for the day between 6:30 and 7:15am. If she is still sleeping at 7:30am, I wake her up. I know, I know, never wake a sleeping child. I don’t like that advice. I wake her up so she’ll be ready for her afternoon nap at the right time. I need to know what to expect from her the whole day, especially since I also have an older toddler at home.
7:15am Breakfast/Bottle [Weaning]*** — We sit at the table with N and all eat breakfast together. Now that she is completely weaned from her bottle, we give her milk in a sippy cup or open glass with her breakfast. For more on bottle weaning, see the bottom of this post.
8:00-9:45am Playtime — This is usually when I’m getting ready in the morning, so I have a little space set up in my bedroom for N to play while I’m getting ready. It doesn’t take two hours, so we also play downstairs when I’m done. N usually plays independently at this time or with L.
9:45am Snack — Small snack at the table with an open glass of water (just a tiny bit at a time so she doesn’t make too much of a mess, then refill it).
10:00-11:45am Outside Play — If the weather is good, we try to get outside every day, or we use this time to run errands!
11:45am Lunch — At this point, your child does not need purees anymore. N eats the same food we eat.
12:15pm Bottle [Weaning]*** — We give N a sippy cup with milk in it to drink before naptime. For more on bottle weaning, see the bottom of this post.
12:30pm Nap — N usually naps until at least 2:45, sometimes all the way until 3:30! This is when I work on my blog or clean. Haha. But really, I hardly ever clean.
4:00-5:30pm Outside Play — This is when we usually go outside to play. Sometimes we use this time to take a walk around the neighborhood. If the weather is bad, this is when we do messy projects — because Daddy is on the way home to help clean up!
5:30pm Dinner — N eats what we eat. I am not a short order cook.
6:00pm Bath & Playtime — We don’t give N a bath everyday unless she’s REALLY dirty.
7:00pm Bottle [Weaning]*** — We give N a sippy cup of milk to drink before bedtime. For more on bottle weaning, see the bottom of this post.
7:30pm Bedtime Routine — We all go up together, read a book, and N climbs into bed with her lovey. We turn on her sound machine and leave the room, and she puts herself to sleep.
***Weaning from a bottle: [Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This is how we have weaned from a bottle with both children, and it worked for us.] Our pediatricians have always told us to switch over to whole milk at 12 months. To prepare, we began by adding some whole milk to bottles when N was about 11.5 months old. By the time she was 12 months old, N was on milk only in her bottles. We began putting less milk in her bottles, and giving her a sippy cup with the rest of the milk once she finished a bottle. This took a couple of weeks, until she was completely switched over to drinking from her sippy cup instead of a bottle. We knew she was ready for this step because she had stopped falling asleep while drinking from her bottle, and would frequently push it away or get restless before she had finished it all. I think it is easier to wean the younger your child is — I have heard some real horror stories from parents who had a hard time weaning closer to the 18 month mark! N was completely weaned from bottles about a week after her first birthday. We currently give her a sippy cup with milk about half an hour before naptime and again before bedtime. Sometimes she drinks all of it, sometimes she only drinks a little bit. We will continue doing that until she shows us she is ready to stop — this will be apparent when she simply stops drinking it when it is offered (probably by 18 months).
This is not a discussion on the merits of breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding. That is a decision you can make for yourself and your family. Because I realize many people read this blog for advice on how to do things and may think this is about the ONLY way to do things, I will share that we started out feeding N breastmilk from a bottle before switching over to formula for my own health reasons. Breast is not best. Bottle is not best. FED IS BEST. You do what works for you.
11 thoughts on “Daily Schedule for Toddlers — 12 to 18 Months”
when did you starting introducing the sippy cup? At 12 months?
I actually started with an open glass, which I would give her with water from about 6 months old. I only poured a tiny bit in while she was still learning, but now she can have half a glass at a time without spilling. I started her on a sippy cup around 9 months old, but really just to use when we were out and about and she needed a drink. I wanted her to be fully able to use the sippy cup before we started weaning from the bottle, because I didn’t want to introduce too many new things at once.
We did the same only used a sippy cup when out or in the car but when we were home we used kids cups and then very little in it at a time.
I love the statement ‘fed is best’. Often enough, we fall prey to the mindset that the choices we make are the best. They are best ONLY for us and not necessarily for anyone else. T breastfed till 18months- I addition to eating full meals . but too many people kept insisting me to stop past her first birthday! As long as baby and mommy are healthy and happy, it really does not matter if how a child is fed- bottle, breast, sippy. So, I find it so heartening to see someone state it like it is without judging other people’s choices! So sweet and refreshingly uncommon!
I still nurse my youngest at 14 months old. (We’re aiming for at least three years.) So many people give me dirty looks (and snide comments) for continuing to publicly nurse him after a year old. It’s disheartening to face that in the community. It’s what works for us – for him as a source of nutrition and comfort and for me as a source of feel-good hormones. It’s always nice when someone recognizes there are different ways of doing things, and we can all learn from each other when we’re open to them.
This is textbook. And a 730 bedtime! I’m envious!
My 13 months old son always wakes up after two hours of sleep ie around 9pm if I put him in bed by 7pm .I pick him up from daycare/creche around 5 PM .As soon as we reach home ,I give him a bath ,feed him and off to bed . By 9 PM , he will wake up and wont sleep till 11 PM or so. It was easier before I re-join work. Now I have to juggle b/w household works,the baby , my office work,cook dinner before husband gets home. I am just consoling myself that “This shall pass”. I wonder if I could manage once he reaches his school-going age. Making him do his homework will be another added responsibility. God ,please give me strength.
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