It’s been an entire year since I’ve shared an example of our daughter’s daily schedule! For the most part, our daily schedule with a 2 year old hasn’t changed that much since her 12 month old baby schedule. By the time she turned one, she had successfully dropped to one nap, was taking a bottle just at morning and night, and was eating 3 meals a day. Don’t worry. We’ve since dropped the physical bottle! But she still has a cup of milk with breakfast and dinner, and she thankfully is still going strong with one nap a day.
So while at first glance it may look like not much has changed, our daily routine with a toddler feels so much more structured than it did a year ago. At 12 months old, Gemma was just starting to walk, classes and activities outside of the home were super hit or miss depending on the day, and meal time was tough.
Now just shy of 2 years old, and we are living with (and loving) our full blown toddler. Walking, running, jumping, hopping. Talking full sentences. And talking non stop. Learning faster than I can even believe. Playing independently. Actually following instructions. Even helping around the house, if you can believe it.
And boy, does she love her activities.
Our daughter still goes to daycare (we refer to it as “school”) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This allows me to catch my breath, keep the house in order, and work part-time on my business. While some days I drop her off late, or pick her up early, for the most part she’s there 9ish-5ish.
This set up means I classify myself as a mostly stay at home mom. So when it comes to sharing our daily schedule with a 2 year old, I’m going to be referring to our Monday, Wednesday, Friday (and weekend) routine.
Our 2 year old’s daily schedule
- 7:00AM – Wake up. Most mornings we hear her awake and chatting, singing, or playing in her crib a bit before 7. Some days this is at 6:30, other days she’s still sound asleep at 7:15. But if she wakes early, we usually wait until at least 7AM to go in and get her up for the day. This consistency seriously helps reinforce “night time” and “wake time”, and it’s something we’ve stuck to pretty strictly since we first started sleep training. We typically bring Gemma into our bed for a few minutes before heading downstairs. She’ll have her milk in our bed and read a book or two while we enjoy our coffee.
- 7:30AM – Breakfast. We head downstairs as a family and eat breakfast! This is a long and slow process for us. My husband works from home so slips out to his office as soon as he’s done eating, but Gemma and I hang out, eat, and pick up at our own pace.
- 8:30AM – Get ready. On non-daycare days we always have morning activity out of the house, so as soon as breakfast is done it’s time to get ready. This is a quick hand wash, brush teeth, put on outfit routine. I do a quick pick up of her bedroom, put toys and pillows and clothes in the right place, and pack up our bags for the morning.
- 9:00AM – Out of the house! Then it’s time to get in the car and head out for the morning. On Mondays Gemma goes to a toddler gymnastics class. Wednesday morning she has music class. And on Friday mornings we usually go to the library, our town’s open gym at the public rec center, or a play date with friends.
- 11:00AM – Lunch. There’s a little wiggle room for lunch start time. It can be as early as 11AM (especially on days when we skip a morning snack), or closer to 12PM if our morning activity runs long.
- 12:00PM – Nap. We’re still going strong with one nap a day, fortunately! Unfortunately, the length of nap varies a lot. Gemma will sleep anywhere from 1.5-3+ hours which makes planning our afternoons tough! But she goes down pretty consistently between 12-12:30PM. The variation here is based on our morning activity and lunch time.
- 2:30PM – Wake up. Girlfriend likes to wake up slow. We are usually a bit grumpy after nap time, so we’ll sit in her bedroom and read books, snuggle, and look at what’s going on outside her windows for a while. I finally coax her downstairs, usually by offering a snack.
- 3:00PM – Together time. Although I get a lot of my errands done on daycare days, the afternoon block is when we’ll do errands together if need be. Depending on how long my to do list is, sometimes I’ll pack a snack for the car and get going right after nap. Other times, we’ll sit together at home for a snack before heading out. Or, if my to dos are done for the day, then this entire block before dinner is play time. We’ll rotate between things like free play in her toy room, outside walks (her favorite is watching the school buses!), heading to a playground, arts and crafts, or sitting down for a TV show.
- 5:00PM – Dinner. We’re always back at the house by 5. One of the biggest blessings of having my husband work from home is our family dinner routine. Of course some nights he’s out or I’m out. But 90% of the time the 3 of us are able to sit down between 5-6PM and eat dinner together. Gemma eats what we’re eating, although sometimes it’s a deconstructed or spice-less version. She likes flavors, but isn’t super into spicy foods, and she’ll tell us! “Too spicy!” I love having a play room right off of the kitchen, because this allows Gemma to get up when she’s ready and play independently while we finish. Eventually we’ll move towards the idea of kids sitting put until dinner is done, but she’s 2. I don’t think it’s fair to expect a 2 year old to sit put at a dinner table forever. She’ll usually tell us when she’s ready to wash her hands and play. My husband and I can finish up our meals or clean up the kitchen before moving into her bedtime routine.
- 7:00PM – Bed. Our bedtime routine used to be super fast. Like… 5 minutes fast. But our 2 year old is really, really into books, and we’re trying hard not to damper this excitement, or rush this important time of day! So our bedtime routine is brushing teeth, then lots of books, before a quick change into pajamas and bed. Most nights bedtime is still 7PM on the dot. But as we head into our first summer with a toddler, we may start pushing bedtime back a bit to 7:30 or even 8PM. Not always, but we want to savor our summer season, and that may mean special outings, dinners out, more evening walks, or who knows what. But for now, bedtime is 7PM and our 2 year old is lights out!
And there you have it. Our daily schedule with a 2 year old at home! Since this post focused mostly on our 2 year old’s daily routine, I think it might be fun to share another post soon that highlights the typical day from my perspective as a stay at home mom. I’ll be able to highlight how I’ve finally created a productive morning routine for myself and when I squeeze in things like housework, bills, and errands.
So stay tuned for that! In the meantime, ask away if you have questions about our 2 year old’s daily schedule. Or… share your daily schedule with a 2 year old if it looks different than ours!