Looking for getting into a routine with your toddler?
Want more inspiration for your own routines?
Or you’re just being nosy and like to take a peek on what other mommies do on a daily basis? haha
You’re in the right place, I’ll be sharing with you what mornings look like for a stay-at-home-mommy.
Why do toddlers love routines?
Kids love routines! Why?! Because that’s how they feel secure and relaxed. I think you already knew that the concept of time is inexistent for young children, such as babies and toddlers.
Therefore by having a routine with the kids, especially babies and toddlers, they start learning about time and how it passes. This is how they know what comes next.
I am a sucker for routines, especially since I became a mom. As my son grew I immediately knew that I need a system in our life. A system that works and keeps everyone happy. In other words, is good for my sanity.
Routines don’t need to be boring, you can make them fun for both you and your kids.
You can have themed structured routines that your kids will look forward to:
- TV weekends – where your toddler (child) will be allowed to watch TV on weekends only. I started implementing this with my 21-month-old and he loves it when I tell him “Weekend started today, so you’re allowed to watch TV”. Not sure if I am too strict about it, but he’s too young to watch TV all the time.
- Pizza Wednesdays – this may seem more for older kids, but great for little kids as well. We make homemade pizza so we know for sure that’s safe for our toddler as well.
What are the benefits of having a routine for your family?
- happy kids, happy parents – needless to say, that we, as parents are happier when our kids are happy.
- low-stress levels – if everyone knows what’s next, you won’t have time to be stressed that you won’t get things done.
- better sleep – you’ll notice that your toddler will sleep better once you’ve implemented a routine. Less fuss and bedtime fights.
- better mealtimes – a routine can help you maintain regular mealtimes and it will ensure that your child has proper nutrition every day.
- a good example for other mommies – sounds cheesy, but true! Having a routine will set you as an example within your mommy friends. Some of them may need your help and they’ll come to you since you’re the expert.
- effective time usage – when having a routine, it’s less likely to “waste time”. Especially if you are a working mom or a working-from-home-mom and every minute is important for you.
- easier when you leave your child with someone else – having a routine written down you can ask your nanny to follow it. You will have a peace of mind when you’ll know that your toddler will be fed, entertained and put down to sleep even if you’re not home. Even more, your child will cooperate with the nanny, because he already knows that is what’s coming next.
- better health – I guess this encompasses all of the benefits listed above. Better sleep, stress-free days, proper nutrition and walks outside are the most important factors for a healthy lifestyle.
Looking for more information about the benefits of having a morning routine for your toddler? Click here to learn more
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What are the benefits of having a routine for your toddler?
Routines are a great way to establish boundaries and guidelines in your child’s life. That’s how they’ll learn about good habits, daily chores and repetitive activities.
Here are a few of the good benefits for toddlers:
- learn more about time and how to effectively manage time
- get used to daily chores and activities
- help create good habits
How can you get your toddler into a routine?
Ok, so you know that routines are what kids need and crave, but how to get your child into a routine?
Before you start anything, please, bear in mind that nothing happens overnight. All the changes you implement in your child’s schedule will take at least a week or two for him to get used to it.
It’s all about trial and error. Get inspiration from other mommies and start implementing a few things. See what works and what not. Keep the ones that work for you and your family and ditch the ones that are a pain in the a$$.
So how to implement a routine for your toddler?
My top tips to establish a great routine in 7 easy steps
Step 1. Look at what happens currently
You may not have an established routine for your toddler, but he might unwillingly already have one.
You can easily find this out by observing your child. Take a few days (even a week for more accuracy) and look for patterns. Things that happen every day around the same time.
Take a note of the activity and time. It will be useful when difinitivating your routine.
Step 2. Write down a rough outline
Once you’re done with observing. It’s time to consult your notes and write down a rough outline of your research.
For sure once you have everything on paper you’ll see the patterns.
Step 3. Decide what to keep and what to exclude
In this step decide what would you like to keep or to exclude. Think of the activities or actions you like or dislike.
Keep in mind that you are creating this routine that will become part of your life. So it has to merge into your lives.
Step 4. Think about what’s missing
Now, you should think of the things you wish to add. It can be anything, even though you didn’t have it so far.
It’s always good to integrate new stuff.
Step 5. Put down the time
It’s now time to associate tasks to time. Decide wake up time, meal times, play time, nap times, bedtime and so on.
Step 6. Trial & Error your routine
You’re now ready to start implementing your creation. This is the time when you will see what’s working and what not.
Be prepared! Things might not work well from the very beginning. But in order to implement a successful routine, you have to be consistent and to keep going no matter what.
Step 7. Definitivize your routine & stick to it
Make a plan and stick to it! That’s how I managed to start and keep a routine for my toddler. Once I saw what’s working and the time, I stuck to it!
I won’t let anything affect our routine and my son knows that. Therefore he’s relaxed and cooperating with me.
Of course that sometimes, life happens and we can’t follow his routine. We both suffer because he likes order and having a routine.
Our stress-free Toddler Morning Routine
Mommy & Toddler
Here’s what our morning routine looks like on a daily basis. Times might be a little different every now and then. But I like to stick to them as much as I can.
7 am – Mommy
- wake up
- go bathroom
- change clothes
- make bed
8 am – Toddler
- wake up
- lay in bed for a little while
- morning cuddles
- climb onto the window sill to look outside (he loves doing that all the time)
- let him run a little if I am not done with the above
- change clothes and nappy (we’re soon introducing potty)
- go downstairs together
8.30 – 9 am – let’s eat!
- we have a kitchen tower for our son, so he will always move it around the kitchen. In the mornings he will immediately go to the fruit basket and select a couple of them to eat.
- I’ll then put him in his chair with the fruits he selected – we are still using the bouncing seat (which I absolutely adore) from Chicco Polly Progress 5 – click here for my review
- while he has his fruits, I’ll prepare breakfast for all of us
- eat breakfast
- normally I finish eating earlier than my son, so while he finishes, I’ll unload the dishwasher and put the clean dishes away. Sometimes little A will help me too. He adores helping me out in the kitchen.
- put dirty dishes into the dishwasher. I like loading it as I go, but I have to confess that sometimes I leave them to pile up in the sink 🙁
- clean the table and my son’s chair
- clean the floor (he still throws food on the floor)
9 am – it’s coffee time!
- make coffee. If daddy is at home with us, making coffee is the first thing he does after going downstairs. 🙂
- little A always helps us make coffee. He pushes buttons, tells us what’s next and even pours milk into my coffee. Once done, he’ll shout after me to offer me the cup. In other words, he’s making me a coffee with daddy.
- now it’s playtime for toddler and coffee time for mommy. Great way to enjoy my coffee and catch up with emails or social media.
10 am – get out!
- go back upstairs and wash face and teeth.
- get dressed for outside
- water the garden & indoor plants
- our day starts. From here onwards our days don’t always look the same. For instance, on Tuesdays, we go to a baby group at the local Library. On other days we meet with one of my mommy friends and go on a 2-hour walk or to the park. And on other days we go shopping.
- we’re not always going outside the house – especially if it’s a rainy day or a very windy day (we get that in the UK a lot)
- if we’re having a busy day, we go in the garden for a little bit and that’s it.
A final note
There you have it, our morning toddler routine. I hope you found it helpful.
Don’t forget to share with us in the comments about how the morning routine for your toddler looks like in your household.
PS: If you’ve liked it and you’d like to replicate it, I created a chart that you can easily print it out and stick it to your fridge.