Need a sample daily schedule for toddlers? Here’s a sample daily routine for stay at home moms who have a baby, toddler, and preschooler at home.
Right now, I have a 9 year old, 8 year old, 6, year old, 5 year old, and 3 year old.
At one point, not long ago, I had a 6 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old, and a newborn.
That’s crazy talk.
They keep us grounded. They prevent us from all running around like chickens with our heads cut off.
Or, at least, they keep us all running around in the same direction.
Sample Daily Schedule for Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers
It’s simply impossible for me to get through our day without losing my mind if I don’t have a basic schedule.
Have you ever had diapers explode on you?
They have exploded on me. I’m talking crystals, people.
If I don’t have things flowing properly, I forget to do basic things.
I run around like a chicken with my head cut off and my kids are aimless. Aimless and wild. But not wild in a good way.
Note: keep reading below as I discuss each of these elements and how to juggle it all!
- 7:30 a.m. – wake up, breakfast, get dressed (feed baby)
- 8:30 a.m. – chores, general home routines to get ready for day
- 9:30 a.m. – free play
- 10:00 a.m. – independent play
- 10:30 a.m. – feed baby
- 11:00 a.m. – structured playtime (something educational, craft, coloring, activity, etc.)
- 12:00 p.m. – lunch
- 1:00 p.m. – nap for toddler and preschooler (feed baby)
- 3:30 p.m. – up from nap, afternoon snack (feed baby)
- 4:00 p.m. – free play
- 5:00 p.m. – dinner (quick catnap for baby)
- 6:00 p.m. – evening routine, wind down routines (feed baby)
- 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. – bedtime for toddler and preschooler
- 8:00 – 8:15 p.m. – feed baby, baby bedtime routine, baby to bed
7:30-7:45 // Wake-up
I’m a big fan of sleeping as late as possible and having my kids join me in this.
We get up around this time (everyone but the newborn) and head to the kitchen counter for breakfast.
I get the older kids breakfast ready and then go grab the newborn to feed him his first feed of the day.
This clock may help your early risers.
8:00-8:15 // Feed newborn
I chose this time to begin the newborn’s day because I can’t feed him and make grits for 3 kids. Just ain’t happening.
I turn on cartoons for the older kids while I feed the newborn.
Now, I don’t think watching TV first thing in the morning is good (actually it irks me every day to do this), however, I find it very difficult to feed the baby with 3 other kids who aren’t focused on something else.
I’ve decided our screen time will be in the morning for this season so I can feed the newborn in peace and they eat and watch some cartoons or videos in peace.
It isn’t ideal, but it works for now. Otherwise they are jumping on me and the chair and trying to kiss, cuddle, and hug the baby and it’s too distracting.
9:30 // Free play
After I’ve put the baby down for a nap, turned the TV off, and we’ve cleaned up the kitchen it’s time for random free play.
I must admit this is a challenging time of day for me because the kids have energy, but can’t run free outside yet.
If you have an enclosed yard, free play is great outside. Here’s how to encourage outside time with toddlers.
You can even put the kids in certain rooms or areas that are closed off so you don’t have to worry about them getting into things they shouldn’t.
10:00 // Independent playtime
I put each of my kids in their own rooms (my 18 month old in his crib) to play on their own.
Independent play has tons of benefits, and one of the best in my eyes is the fact that they don’t have to share those toys.
All day they either have to share or fight for toys, but I rotate the toys that they play with in their rooms so it’s new and fresh often.
10:30 // Feed newborn
While the older kids are still in independent play I feed the baby again.
I do this on purpose because I like to nurse when there aren’t lots of other kids running around getting into things or trying to sit on me.
I think it’s calmer and helps prevent over-stimulation which often happens when there are 3 kids trying to kiss him and hug him at the same time.
Be careful – however – not to get too addicted to this habit while nursing.
11:00 // Structured playtime
By time I am beginning to put the baby down for a nap and the kids are out of independent play.
This is when we’re doing our homeschool preschool curriculum, crafts, or an activity, or we all go outside to play ball or run around.
I find the kids need some structure after they’ve been left to their own devices for most of the morning.
I used to stress about activities or organized playtime, but I take the terms loosely and have found lots of things on Pinterest that are basically very minimal prep and high returns on kid excitement and learning!
12:00 // Lunch
We all come back to the counter and eat. Eating before nap means they sleep sounder and longer, or at minimum they don’t wake early from their naps due to hunger.
If in doubt, serve more food.
1:00 // Nap + Feed newborn
I put the older 3 kids down for a nap in their own rooms. I use white noise for every child so no one wakes anyone else up.
It works perfectly!
One can wake early, wake crying while teething, etc. and the others aren’t disturbed.
When the older kids are down I feed the baby and try to get some rest. I’ll watch a TV show on Netflix, work a little, and take a quick disco nap before the kids wake up.
3:30 // Feed newborn + get up from nap
I feed the baby again now to beat the dinner time preparation rush.
I know some are uber talented, but I’m not yet able to hold a baby and nurse while cooking.
The thought makes me want to order pizza. The kids can get up and do something together or go get a snack while I’m feeding the baby and putting him down.
If I have a short educational video I will often play it at this time, otherwise the kids occupy themselves while I get dinner ready.
5:00 // Dinner
We usually eat around 5. We started eating this early because my husband worked nights a few nights a week and this allowed us to all eat dinner together.
We are slowly moving it back a bit, but the early time allows us to eat with leisure then begin the nighttime routine without a rush, and still get the kids to bed at an early hour.
After dinner we often read this book at the table together.
6:00 // Evening routine + Feed newborn
The children get baths most evenings unless the day has been hectic and there’s not time.
Unless they are filthy I won’t move back bedtime just to give them a bath.
Mainly because bath time is fun for them and will amp them up so moving back bedtime + amped up kids means they take longer to go to sleep and they fight the bedtime routine more.
In this time we do baths, get on jammies, read books, and clean our rooms.
In this time I also feed the baby and give him a quick catnap before bed.
These printable routine cards are great visual reminders that will help you and your family keep the routine.
7:00 – 7:30 // Bedtime
My 18 month old needs to be in bed by 7 on the dot. Any later and he cries and fusses quite a bit.
Even if we put him in at 7 he’ll talk to himself and sing for a while, but then go happily to sleep. 7:15 and he’ll try to bring the house down.
My older two are more flexible and after reading some books, having “schnuggles” in bed, telling stories, and praying they are all in bed by 7:30 on most nights.
8:00 – 8:15 // Feed newborn
Once all the kids are in bed, I get my little baby and I hug and kiss him and tell him how perfect he is… and then I get him ready for bed.
Things To Keep In Mind When Making A Daily Schedule For Your Kids
Here are some general things to consider when making the daily schedule for your kids.
Daily chores for kids
The main idea here is this: get your kids doing some chores whenever you can.
All throughout the day I have them put their plates/bowls by the sink, help me sweep by using the dustpan, clean up their toys, put dirty clothes in the laundry, etc.
During certain times we have set periods where we all pitch in to do chores. Others, they simply are expected to do the chore they’ve been assigned.
Whatever works, works.
Work from home considerations in your daily schedule
For many years, I worked either while they were having screen time, during independent play, their nap time, and after they were in bed.
Then it became too difficult to work interrupted, so I hired a mother’s helper for a few hours a week. She came for 4 hours, 3 times a week and I worked quickly and purposefully during that time.
Daily outside time for kids
I love outside time for the kids and research shows that dirt in the fingers and play in the fresh air does wonders in more ways than you can count.
Whether it’s just an hour or two a day or much more, use these outdoor tips to get the kids outside playing and enjoying life.
Errands with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
I try my best to do errands alone or without ALL the kids, but when I have to do errands with babies and toddlers and so on, these are my best tips.
Need sample routines for babies 6 weeks to 5 years?
By now, you know how to handle the newborn days, but what after? The good news is this: you’ve set your baby up for a foundation of success.
Now all you need to do is continue to find routines that work for you and your baby as they grow up and begin getting bigger and bigger. Sob. After having had 5 babies with 5 different personalities, I know a thing or two about finding a good schedule.
This is why I’ve created a book of sample routines and schedules for babies ages 6 weeks up to 5 years.
The book includes information on how long to let baby stay awake, how much play time is good for each age, what to do with baby when baby is awake but not quite mobile, and even how to manage toddler and baby joint routines.
Chapters covered in Rhythms, Routines & Schedules include:
Section One: Sample Schedules
- 6 Weeks to 3 Months Old
- 3-6 Months Old
- 7-9 Months Old
- 9-12 Months Old
- 12-18 Months Old
- 2-3 Years Old
- 4-5 Years Old
Section Two: Tips and Tricks
- Tips for Managing the Day With Multiple Children
- Daily Rhythms for an Only Child Ages 1-4 Years Old
- Daily Rhythms for Multiple Small Children Ages 0-5
- Sample Bedtime, Mealtime, and Playtime Routines
- Tips for Keeping Kids Busy Throughout the Day
For more sample routines, mom tested and approved schedules for babies ages 6 weeks and up, check out Rhythms, Routines & Schedules right now.
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
Click here to sign up for my free email series or simply click on the image below.
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