My Two Year Old’s Daily Routine
September 25, 2018
We love a good routine. Big Drew and I are OCD parents. We are all about routines. It just so happens that our two year old toddler also loves his routines. He enjoys knowing what’s happening in the moment, what he should be expecting, and what is going to be happening next. So today, I’m going to be sharing with you Little Drew’s daily routine.
I know reading about our routine will maybe help some parents who do not have a routine in place yet or have a difficult time following one. Big Drew and I understand the importance of establishing a good, solid routine. Some parents have built-in wiggle room and for us, that is simply not the case. We’ve seen how cranky our son gets if the routine goes out of whack, and we just can’t have a cranky toddler. Our routine as is works amazingly well for us and it is because we follow the routine to the absolute T. If we kept being flexible then it wouldn’t be a routine anymore, amiright?
So like I said, Little Drew is two years old, but when he turned one, we established his daily routine. This is because it took exactly a year for him to sleep through the night and in his own bed (we were co-sleeping his first year). There have been two changes to the routine as of recently, but I will get to those changes. Aside from that, this routine has been in place for over a year, and it has kept us all sane. I cannot stress enough how important and helpful a set schedule is for a developing child.
Drew’s Daily Routine:
9:00 AM— I will officially have us up at this time. Little Drew will already be up at eight a.m., but he knows I prefer the lights on in our home at nine a.m. and not before. This is going to change once I return to work, but since I’ve been on maternity leave, we wake up later. It used to be seven a.m. but that was not going to be the case while on ‘vacation’ :).
9:15 AM-9:40 AM— I make breakfast while Drew patiently sits at the table in the kitchen. We do not eat breakfast together. I feed him his meal. My meals are different from his, and I don’t want him saying no to his food and wanting mine. After he has ate, I immediately wash the dishes. We don’t ever have a messy sink in our home (thanks routine). We like showing Drew we clean up after our mess, and we have taught him to put his dirty dishes in the sink, but we reinforce this at dinner and not breakfast or lunch time (those meals tend to have liquid that he might spill while trying to put his plate in the sink).
9:45 AM-10:00 AM— Once I’ve ate (and simultaneously nursed my little one because she does wake up around this time) and then washed the dishes, I grab Drew and change his diaper. I also take his pajamas off and change him into his ‘going out clothes.’ We never leave him in his diaper running around the house nor do we like our son in pajamas all day. I comb his hair and have him brush his teeth (this he thoroughly enjoys).
10:00 AM-11:30 AM— I let Drew play in his room with his toys. During this time, if I have errands to run, then I will try my very best to make sure it is done during this time frame. If it is a nice day, I’ll take him and his sister out for a stroll to the park. If it is an ugly, rainy day then we stay inside.
11:30 AM-11:45 AM— I prepare lunch for Drew to eat in the kitchen. If I am doing something and am not in the kitchen cooking, he will run up to me and shout, “I eat! I eat!” His body is like clockwork, and then I feel bad because his tummy is probably starting to growl.
11:45 AM-12:00 PM— Little Drew sits at the kitchen table and eats his meal. He usually finishes right before noon so I can clean up and prepare his baba (bottle of milk).
12:00 PM-1:30 PM— He is in the crib, drinking his baba while he gets two (and only two) episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. By 1:30, if his second episode is not over, the tv gets turned off and we tell him, “Go night-night Drew,” and he hands us his bottle before we leave the room.
The first change is that we used to feed him lunch at 10:30 AM, and then he was put in bed at eleven a.m. when he turned one. This was because he woke up every day at seven a.m. Now that he is two and I’m home on maternity leave waking up at nine, eating lunch at 11:45 makes more sense if he eats breakfast at 9:15 a.m. It was an easy adjustment. He did not give us issues.
1:30 PM-3:30 PM— While he sleeps, I enjoy my time. I have been able to get my daughter to sleep during Drew’s nap, but she does wake up before he does. Drew will make noises to let us know he has woken up, and then we open the door to the room to take him out of the crib. However, he does sleep the full duration, which is FANTASTIC when you want to kick back and savor your wine!
3:30 PM-3:45 PM— Drew gets a small snack. It can be as small as a banana or teddy graham crackers, but most recently, we have introduced cookies/crackers to him. He loves having two chocolate chip cookies (in a future blog, I’ll talk more in-depth of the foods we allow him to eat).
3:50 PM-5:45 PM— His siblings come home from school five minutes to four, so he immediately greets them at the door. They have homework they have to get to so while they do that, Drew will play with his toys. Once he sees his older brother and sister have finished, he’ll join them in the room and play.
5:45 PM-6:00 PM— We call Drew to the kitchen so we can prepare him for dinner. His food is usually ready a couple minutes before six, but we leave it to cool down before feeding him.
6:00 PM-6:20 PM— I feed him the food in his plate that he can’t eat on his own (vegetables, rice, etc.). Then the finger foods portion, he eats on his own. Once he finishes, he says ‘all done’ and we tell him to put the plate in the sink and he goes on to play again.
6:30 PM-7:00 PM— His final play time before his bath-time.
7:00 PM-7:20 PM— I give him a shower. He either showers with me (and I use this time to shower if I didn’t shower during his nap time) or he showers alone, but I’m always right there. He used to hate showers, but now he really loves them. When I have to comb his hair, he gets upset, but he knows it has to get done.
7:20 PM-7:30 PM— I take him out the shower and put him in his pajamas (he wears the same pajamas for two nights and then they go in the hamper) and prepare his baba. Once he hears the microwave, he runs to everyone in the house and says, ‘goodnight!’ He waves good-bye and gives his hugs and kisses. He gets put into the crib and once again, he gets two episodes of Mickey Mouse.
The second change is that last week, we decided he needed to be showering at 7:00 and be put down in his crib at 7:30 instead of 8:00 PM. The older kids have lights out at 8:30 so it made sense Drew sleep at the same time instead of him being up while the older kids were sleeping.
7:30 PM-8:30 PM— He watches his two episodes of Mickey Mouse in his crib, and once he finishes his bottle, we take it from him. At 8:30, tv is turned off, and we tell him to sleep.
Our toddler’s schedule is determined by us and not him. This might be controversial to other parents, but again, this is our routine, and it is working great. Our son sleeps through the night, and he does not wake up once. We are so fortunate because I cannot imagine co-sleeping with a two year old and also dealing with him waking up randomly during the night. If Drew, for whatever reason, is still asleep at 3:30, we wake him up. We do not let him sleep any longer for his nap because we have and guess what? He will stay awake in his crib after 8:30 because we let him sleep longer than his body is used to. He has adapted to the schedule we made for him so we don’t break it.
There are some minor exceptions. For example, if I have to run errands, and I know we will not be home at 11:45 AM for lunch, then I pack his lunch beforehand, and wherever I am at that time, my son will get fed. If we are not going to be home for his nap, then he knows to fall asleep in his car seat and once we get home, if it is still within his nap time, I put him in his crib. If we go on vacation, his breakfast might not be at the exact same time just because the entire family is busy cooking a lot of food, but we will still make sure his lunch, nap, shower, and bedtime are at the same time. If we can limit the amount of changes we have to make to the schedule when we are not in our home, we will do so. Big Drew and I are great parents when it comes to prioritizing our kids’ schedule because we know if we don’t, then we’ll have a cranky kid at the dinner table not wanting to eat or a wide awake toddler in the crib wanting more tv time.