Here’s a sample 18 month schedule. See more sample schedules below. Post contains affiliate links.
- Newborn Sample Routine
- Sample 6 Month Schedule
- 9 to 12 Month Sample Schedule
- 18 Month Sample Schedule
- 2 Year Old Sample Schedule
- Ultimate Newborn Sleep Schedule: Week by Week
My newborn and 4 children under 4 schedules were a huge hit (and you may want to read my summer schedule for kids) so here’s an 18 month old sample schedule. I have a dear friend who is far more laid back than myself, and she told me even she likes to look at schedules though she doesn’t really keep one! Ha.
But honestly, I see the appeal. It’s good to know how others fill their day and what their kids get up to. When you’re home all day with kids it can feel isolating and you begin to wonder if you’re the only one who spends 20 minutes making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or picking up hundreds of elastic bands because your daughter tried to rainbow loom even though she (nor you) know how to do that.
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Sample 18 month routine
So here’s the basic routine I’ve had all my kids on. As soon as they dropped their morning nap, around 18 months, they all followed a similar schedule to this until they were 2 years old and even higher. Some babies drop naps a lot earlier than 18 months and some will continue to have two naps. In my experience, I think that 18-month-olds can generally go with one nap, but still need a bit more sleep than their older siblings.
Get your toddler to follow their own routine without nagging by using these printable routine cards.
7:30 – 7:45 am – wake up + breakfast
8:30 – 9:30 am – free play, outside time
9:30 – 10:30 am – structured play, activity, more purposeful time
10:30 – 11:15-11:30 am – independent play time with age appropriate toys (why it’s important kids play on their own)
11:30 am – 12:15 pm – outside time, free play
12:15 pm – lunch
1:00 pm – nap
3:30 – 4:00 pm – wake up from nap and have a snack
4:00 – 5:30 pm – free play, screen time (for older siblings), outside time
5:30 – 6:00 pm – dinner
6:00 – 6:45 pm – bath, get on pajamas, wind down
6:45 – 7:00 pm – read books, pray, sing
7:00 pm – bed
I use this term loosely to mean that I engage with the kids on purpose. Sometimes we do our Fruit of the Spirit Preschool Curriculum and other times we color or play with play dough. It could be as simple as lining up pillows and running across them or a specific craft. I don’t take on any pressure or guilt about this, but try to engage them in things at their level they find enjoyable.
We live on acreage now so we decided to build a fairly large enclosed area where the kids could play without me worrying they were going to fall into the pond or pool or walk onto the road. Often outside time consists of all the kids playing outdoors together while I am inside working or doing something else.
Maybe we’ll play red rover, go water all the trees and plants in the garden, or feed the fish in the pond. I like for them to be outside as much as possible for as long as possible. We have a lot of toys like this that can take a beating and, when used up, thrown away. See tips for toddlers outside.
In my 4 under 4 schedule you’ll note we used to watch TV first thing in the morning when I was in late pregnancy and when I had a newborn. It wasn’t ideal, but it was what I needed to happen to cope and that’s fine. Now, with my youngest just turned 3 months, I’ve shifted TV time to after the nap. If you prefer educational games, check out ABCmouse for one month free. This is screen time + learning.
18-month-olds are fun but they’re also a lot of work. Here is a recap:
- Choose a routine that you can maintain every day. One that isn’t too strict nor too lose that the days feel chaotic.
- Teach your child to follow their own routine. I do this by using printable routine cards as shown here.
- Be consistent, but flexible. Things like sicknesses and appointments will happen so anticipate them.
I’ve created a free email series just for you! If you struggle with creating an easy flowing routine or rhythm in your home… this is it. I’ve gathered all my easiest routine hacks into one free series and, best of all, you can get a big sneak peak into our book that has over 25+ routines for babies ages 6 weeks to 5 years. This series will help you:
- find a routine and rhythm for your child
- learn how to juggle multiple routines (for 2 or 3+ kids)
- know what is and isn’t working so you can make one tweak that’ll change your day
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