Daily Routines

Posts Tagged ‘Daily Routines’

The Importance of Toddler Routines


Routines are very important for toddlers. Routines give structure to their day and help to reduce temper tantrums and crankiness that result from irregular sleeping and eating schedules.

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Daily routines are great for moms too, whether you stay at home or you work outside of the home.

The effectiveness of a daily routine isn’t so much what time you do something, but that you do something at the same time every day. Setting a time that works for your family allows flexibility for individual family schedules and needs.

Getting enough sleep is very important for young children. Many toddlers need up to 12 hours of sleep at night and at least a 2 hour nap every afternoon. The times that your toddlers sleep will be partly dependent on your family’s schedule. Our boys are in bed by 7 p.m. every night, but that time wouldn’t work as well for parents who don’t get home until later in the evening. Just make sure your children have a regular bed time and a regular nap time. Their bodies adjust to these times and they anticipate those times to sleep every day, even if they don’t act like they want to go to sleep. Lack of sleep makes them very cranky and irritable.

A regular eating schedule is also very important for toddlers. You know what I mean if you’ve ever been away from home at lunch time! Children’s bodies also become accustomed to eating at certain times, even if we as parents don’t always have our own eating schedules. Your toddler’s mood will also improve if he or she eats at regular times. Don’t forget to schedule times for snacks also. If you let them snack too much during the day they won’t want to eat at meal time.

Whatever else you want to schedule into your toddler’s day is up to you. I take my boys for a walk every morning, and they really look forward to this time every day. It is good exercise for me and they enjoy the fresh air.

Nighttime routines are also important for children of any age. Toddlers transition to bedtime much more easily when they know what to expect every night. A common bedtime routine is a bath and reading a story before bed. It is also a good time to occasionally sit down and watch one of your toddler’s favorite videos with them.

I have found that having a basic schedule for the entire day makes my day go by more smoothly and I don’t have to think much about what I’m doing to do during the day. That’s really nice when you’re chasing more than one toddler around the house. Regardless of how much time you spend at home with your children during the day, anyone can benefit from scheduling family activities. It also helps you to not forget to get anything done!

Here is my toddlers’ daily schedule:

7:00 a.m. – wake up
7:30 a.m. – get up, get dressed, have breakfast
8:30 a.m. – go for a walk
9:00 a.m. – play
10:00 a.m. – morning snack
12:00 p.m. – lunch
1:00 p.m. – afternoon nap
3:30 p.m. – afternoon snack
5:00 p.m. – dinner
6:30 p.m. – bath, stories
7:00 p.m. – bed

I do most of my housework or grocery shopping in the evenings after the boys are in bed. During play times is when we occasionally go to the park or have grandma or grandpa come over to visit. There is just enough flexibility, while the boys also know what to expect every day.

If you don’t already have your toddlers into a daily routine, start slow. Regular eating times are the easiest for them to adjust to, new sleeping times may be harder. If you are changing your child’s sleeping schedule vary their sleeping time by 10 minutes a day until they are sleeping at the desired time. Make sure your child is getting up at the same time every morning. This will help them adjust to set nap and bed times.

Good luck! Setting a daily routine for you and your toddler just might save your sanity!

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of five. For resources for the Christian family, including parenting, toddler and preschool activities, homeschooling, family traditions, and more, visit http://www.Christian-Parent.com

A Bedtime Routine for Preschool-Aged Children


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Having a bedtime routine is one good way to ensure your preschool-aged child gets a good night’s sleep.

Children respond very well to routines in their daily schedules, and bedtime is no exception. Having a bedtime routine gives your child an opportunity to wind down from the day’s activities and not be as likely to fight your efforts to get them to go to bed.

Getting children this age to bed can sometimes feel like an overwhelming chore. Supernanny makes it look so easy. I don’t claim to have all the answers. All children are different and respond to different routines. My goal is to share with you our family’s bedtime routine that has worked well with our twin four-year-old boys.

Some parents start a bedtime routine by having their children take a bath. My boys don’t take a bath every day, but bath time is a good way to signal to your kids that it’s almost time for bed. I usually start bath time about an hour before it’s time to head off to their bedroom to get ready for bed.

I send my boys to their bedroom an hour before I want them to go to sleep. They get their pajamas on, brush their teeth, and then we read a couple of stories together. They each get to pick at least one story. Sometimes I read to them and sometimes their dad reads to them. Often we read to them at the same time.

A fun way to mix things up a bit is to listen to books on tape. There are a number of great books on tape for preschool-aged children. A number of them are published by Scholastic.

After stories, our boys often still aren’t ready to go to sleep. We usually then turn off the lights and let them play with their Leapster video games for about 15 minutes or so. This helps them burn out their last little bit of energy before they’re ready to go to sleep. They usually tell us they’re ready to go to sleep before we take their games away from them.

One of our boys falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. Our other son has a really hard time falling asleep. We let him take a few small toys to bed and he plays with them and talks to himself until he is finally ready to fall asleep.

Our boys like us to lie with them until they fall asleep. This is something you have to be careful of…if your children become dependent upon you sleeping with them, this can be the start of a habit that is very hard to break. Many young children start waking up in the middle of the night and wanting you to sleep with them. You definitely don’t want to encourage this. We just finished going through a stage where our boys would wake up in the middle of the night and want us to sleep with them. They’ve finally started sleeping in their own beds all night again. We do lie with them until they fall asleep, and then they do stay in their beds all night (for the most part!). I really enjoy lying next to them while they fall asleep. It is a special time for us to spend together and often a time for silly songs and stories.

Bedtime routines do take a commitment on your part to get your kids ready for bed each night. You will have to get in the habit of reading them stories and sit talking to them as they get ready to go to sleep. While it is indeed time consuming, it can become one of the best parts of the day. The more your child enjoys this time, the easier time he or she will have going to sleep each night.

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For resources for the Christian family, including parenting, toddler and preschool activities, homeschooling, family traditions, and more, visit http://www.Christian-Parent.com