I recently updated my Toddler schedule to accommodate a toddler and a preschooler because I went back to school and I wanted to ensure my children’s schedules remained consistent while up to 3 different caregivers took over my daily mama duties.
The Freedom of a Daily Routine
I get some grief from other parents about how ‘scheduled’ my kids are but it really does work best for my family. I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me – their consistent naps and bedtimes allow me to work from home part-time and even get out of the house for band practice (half the time, they don’t even know I’ve left the building). It also makes the babysitter’s job a snap if my husband and I go out together because generally both kids are asleep the entire time the babysitter is here. Smoooooth.
The Limitations of a Daily Routine
The downside is that we really make a big effort to be home by the kids’ bedtimes. When I was little, I remember sleeping where ever my parents happened to be (under restaurant tables, in guest rooms, etc) and then waking up in my bed the next morning. In contrast, our social outings as a family end pretty early in the evening which can conflict with the schedules of our family and friends.
Schedule for Toddlers and Preschool Age Children
This is part 1 of the schedule (yes it’s big), click here to see part two.
Disclaimer: the exact times on this schedule probably only work for my family, but might be helpful as a guideline when you are setting your family daily schedule. The meal times and sleep times were set by my kids – I kept trying until I found times that worked for them (if it was up to me, believe me, they would be waking up at 7:30am instead of 6:00am). Things can get off track and then it’s just a matter of adapting to their new needs or gradually readjusting the times back – whatever is appropriate. For example, I started writing this post in early January and my kids were typically waking up at 5:30am (yuck). Now, over 3 months later, my kids are waking up at 6:00am and the younger one is going to bed at 7pm and then older one is in bed by 8pm.
Check out my Weekly Planner for Childcare if you need a schedule to stick on the fridge with spots for meals, activities, snacks, caregiver name(s), etc. I put a fresh one on these on the fridge every week – it also helps me plan meals in advance before I do the big weekend grocery shop. For tips about sharing schedules, or anything else, with a caregiver – please read my Tell Show Do Review Method article (based on my experiences as a corporate trainer in a previous life).