I had a huge undertaking this past summer when I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom. I had to make up a schedule for my toddler and newborn baby, and somehow entertain them (not to mention keep them fed, clean and rested). It’s taken us a little while to settle into a routine, but now it’s awesome! And I promise you, kids need a routine. Check out what we do during the week to stay healthy, clean, rested… and sane.

Our Daily Schedule - Balancing Two Littles - RealSimpleMama

I’m hoping this quick look into our day will help moms build a kid-friendly schedule. My kids are currently 2.75 years and 5 months old. If you see an affiliate link, it’s because we’ve already bought these toys and love ’em!

  • 7:30am – Toddler wakes up and climbs into bed with Baby and I
    • I get dressed and ready, Toddler picks clothes, I change diapers
  • 8:05am – Good morning song alarm: to the kitchen!
    • This is when I do morning chores – clean up kitchen, start laundry, etc.
    • Toddler helps with animals and morning chores, I make breakfast, Baby plays
    • First cup of decaf is made, after sitting in microwave for approximately 17 minutes
  • 8:30am – Breakfast is served!
    • I eat standing up so I can keep doing chores, checking Twitter, etc. while wearing Baby
    • Toddler eats his meal at his table (only meal of the day he does this)
  • 9:00am – Clean up kitchen, Toddler gets iPad time, I finish chores and wear Baby
  • 9:30am – Quiet time – Toddler plays in playroom, Baby sleeps while I wear her, I work
    • This is one of two blocks of time where I make appointments, write, pay bills, and do other “sit down” work
    • At this part of the day, Toddler knows he needs to keep noise level down so Baby can have her morning nap. He also knows that we will do an activity for him once she wakes up!
    • Second cup of decaf is consumed at this time (after it’s warmed up… again…)
  • 10:05am – Diaper check (both kids), Toddler time, Baby nurses and plays
    • Now the focus is on Toddler so we play (see my sample list below)
    • Baby will be hungry once she’s been changed, so I feed her sitting on the floor in playroom
    • Then Baby will be right next to me on her mat, and we work on tummy time, sitting, etc.
    • If Toddler didn’t have a huge breakfast, he gets a light snack: fruit or dairy
  • 10:45am – Morning activity
    • This is when I’ll wash and chop food for dinner (and usually throw it in the Crock Pot)
    • Toddler loves to help so he has a folding stool he can bring out
    • Baby is worn (if it’s safe to do so) or placed in Pack N Play where I can see her
    • After we finish meal prep, we do one of many activities off the list
  • 11:45am – Lunch song alarm + prep
    • My song is our reminder to start making lunch if we haven’t already
    • Lunch is leftovers or something simple, and Toddler and I usually eat (practically) the same thing
    • We also finish morning chores (moving laundry over, letting dogs outside, hang diapers, etc).
  • 12:00pm – Lunch together
    • Toddler and I wash hands, sit at the table, say our prayer, and eat together
    • NO TECHNOLOGY OR TV ALLOWED
    • Baby nurses in my lap, then sits and watches Toddler (and laughs at everything)
    • We sometimes do our letter flashcards or a simple, non-messy activity at the table – making letters out of marshmallows is an example of a dessert activity we do
  • 12:25pm – To our room, naptime!
    • No stops — we need to go directly to our bedroom or Toddler can get difficult
    • I open blinds slightly, but we do not turn on lights
    • Whispering only once we get to our room – I need to keep the kids calm and ready to rest
    • Toddler has his chores – he picks a book, gets the blankets and pillows ready
    • Diaper checks for both kids, brush teeth, shut off lights, get in bed
    • I nurse Baby in bed (side lying) while reading the book to Toddler
    • Both kids asleep by 12:45pm/1:00pm, Baby nurses throughout
    • I write/work in bed on phone or iPad
  • 3:00pm – Kids wake on their own, get ready
    • Diaper checks again
  • 3:10pm – Snack and afternoon errands/activities
    • Snack – smoothie, peanut butter rice cakes, etc.
    • This is the time to do bigger, messier activities and/or go outside
    • Maaaybe I get to take a shower – Baby in her Pack N Play outside tub, Toddler talks and sings to     her
    • Baby is worn, sits in my lap, or does tummy time on the floor
  • 5:00pm – Clean up playroom, diaper check, start dinner prep
    • This is usually the only time of day I’ll potentially let Toddler watch TV, if it’s not safe for him to help me in the kitchen
    • Similarly, I wear baby if possible – if not, she is in the pack and play where I can see her from the kitchen
  • 5:30pm – Baby nurses to sleep on the couch, I sit with Toddler
    • This is my “mindless” time, where I do not let myself feel guilty about playing a game on my phone or just zoning out. Baby is in my lap and toddler is right next to me
    • My husband usually comes home around this time
  • 6:00pm – Baby wakes up, we get ready to eat dinner
    • Toddler helps set table, we clean up and I serve dinner
    • Baby is either with Daddy or myself
    • Again, no technology or TV allowed – unless it is a special movie night
  • 6:30pm – Clean up from dinner, start getting ready for the next day
    • Usually I hand Baby off to Daddy so that I can do some chores
    • He watches TV with the kids, plays videogames, or sits in the playroom
    • Sometimes we get to all be together like if it is movie night; other nights, he and I take turns watching the kids so the other can shower or work, and get ready for bed
  • 8:15pm – Good night song alarm: Daddy and Toddler go to bed
    • Toddler and I recite our good night prayer to each other
    • I am already ready for bed, and nurse baby to sleep on the couch after changing her
    • Daddy does bedtime: diaper change, pajamas, brush teeth, read
    • Our toddler has only ever slept 10 hours at night, hence the rather late bedtime
  • 9:00PM – Grownup time in the living room
    • Baby sleeps in my lap for a while, sometimes Daddy takes her or I wear her
    • This is that second block of time where I work and write
    • We have a video monitor to check on Toddler but he’s only 30ft away and door is open

Sample Activities That We Do

  • Color or practice writing letters
  • Paint
  • Letter or sight word flash cards
  • Beading with string at the table
  • Play-Doh
  • Hot Wheels
  • Smart Max
  • Lego/Duplo
  • Trucks or dinosaurs
  • Puzzles
  • Yoga/workout on YouTube
  • Balloon play
  • Music box (lesson using KinderMusic or my instruments)
  • Read a book
  • Dance party!
  • Outside: walk, sandbox, bubbles, look for bugs, birdwatch, picnic, etc.

Sample Errands That We Do

  • Grocery store
  • Park
  • Target
  • Pet store
  • Michael’s/craft store
  • Library (has children’s section)
  • Grandma’s house
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Playplace in the mall

 

I do not set an alarm in the morning — my husband gets up at 5am and comes to kiss me goodbye at 6:15 (I’m awake). My kids will sleep until 7:30 or so if I just lay in bed, so I do some good quality blogging… and some unproductive Facebook stalking. I have seen the argument of moms who get up before their kids to have a little quiet time in the morning – truthfully this will not work for our family, my baby will wake up if I am not laying next to her.

I do have alarms on my phone for a “good morning song,” “time to eat lunch” and “time to get ready for bed”- you can set your alarm tone to a song from your music.

We have a very small, open layout in our home (and no stairs); also, our master bath is a part of the master bedroom (i.e. I can walk directly to the sink from my bed). This makes things like naptime much simpler!

This routine must be upheld on the weekends too, for my kids to be at their best. I did a whole article for my friend Marie at Create Balanced Life about the importance of having a consistent routine for your kiddos – you can check it out here!