Routine is something every parent seems to discuss and try to implement. I personally believe routine is key to a happy, sane parent and child – although I am only human and not every day is as simple and to ‘plan’ as I dreamt it would be. B is 19 months now, so I find a routine is much easier to execute that it was a year ago. Please note I am not going to include nappy changes or when she has a drink, as she independently chooses when she would like a drink and it is always available/at reach for her. Also, I am not going to include every single detail or exact time (as you know nothing is every bang on every day), just a rough over look on what usually happens.
So let’s get started, here’s a day in the life of B (typically):
- 8:15am – Wake up, and spend fifteen minutes upstairs, usually read a book in bed with Mum and Dad.
- 8:45am – Breakfast, along with a drink of juice, whilst watching Cbeebies (yes I am a parent that let’s my child watch TV in moderation). She has all meals at her own small table.
- 9:15am – Get dressed, have a wash and do teeth (this includes getting Mum too and usually we have some play upstairs during this, so it does take a little while)
- 10am – Usually an activity such as painting, mark making, block building etc (I do try and give 100% of attention here and stay off social media etc during this period). She will have a small snack around this time too.
- 10:45am – If we go out, we usually go out around this time to be back in time for her nap. If it’s a miserable day and we have no plans B will have some independent play time, tottering around playing with whatever she pleases. If she is feeling especially in a good mood, she will help me do small house work such as the laundry/wash the pots.
- 11:30am – Within this next half an hour, lunch is usually prepared and served, and she is usually engrossed in this until around 12:15pm, again she will eat her lunch whilst watching an episode of something (I do give her the opportunity to choose what it is she would like to watch).
- 1pm – Around this time, B will then go down for a nap. She does sleep in a toddler bed (with one side down) and she does get herself to sleep. She does usually have milk too,though I am looking to cut out the bottle though (wish me luck).
- 3pm – B is usually awake by 3. She will then probably play upstairs in her bedroom, exploring the jigsaws and shape sorters, or be sat reading in her tent or playing picnic with her teddies or go outside in the garden if it is dry enough and the weather permits us too.
- 3:30pm – B will have a snack and usually she will select what she would like.
- 3:45pm to 5.30pm – Within this time period B will play, dance to music, go on walks etc. Then at 5:30pm she will help clear away her toys ready for her tea.
- 6pm – B has her tea and a pudding (we give it her at this time as we find any earlier and B will wake up for a milk in the night, bearing in mind she hasn’t had a night feed since 9 months old as she sleeps straight through. So we find she gets hungry in the night if she has her tea before 6pm).
- 6:30pm – We start our bedtime routine now, we shut the living room blinds so B knows it is time to start settling down and then let her finish watching In The Night Garden. After that we go upstairs for a bath, to brush our teeth and get pjs on.
- 7:45pm – B is usually back downstairs, reading stories with Mum/Dad. From this point on we don’t really let B get all her toys out, espeically not loud or noisy ones and usually try to keep the house quiet. She can watch an episode of Bing Bunny or Teletubbies if she wants too. We just prefer not to put any music on or anything that’s hugely stimulating so she can wind down. If she doesn’t seem tired at all, we will pop on a Disney Movie but still keep the house quiet and relaxed with cuddles. Typically B has bedtime stories downstairs first.
- 8pm to 8:45pm – B will have her milk in her bed whilst we read her a bedtime story and then go to sleep. She says goodnight and turns her night lights on every night she goes to bed as we found this really helped her settle and understand it is bedtime. That’s her asleep until around 8am onward the next morning.
There you have it. As I said, there isn’t every single detail of what we do every single second of the day but that being said I do try and keep days different and mixed up. I do try to get her outside at least once a day – whether that’s outside in the garden playing out or on a trip out the house on an errand with me. As I touched on, I do let her watch TV as I believe that Cbeebies can be a wonderful thing – it can help children develop their language and learn new things such as shapes and colours. I have Mister Makers Shapes to thank for B knowing what a triangle is but that is a different story.
Does your child have a routine or do you just roll with the punches? Do you believe routine is important in a child’s life?