Do you have a daily routine?
How do you get him to bed at that time every night? What time does he wake? You get a break in the day when he naps? How? I wish mine did that! Do this questions sound familiar? I hear them fairly often…and no I am not the one asking them.
And, in short, the reason I have this success is that we have a solid routine for our son.
So what does this look like for us. I’ll tell you. It’s nothing earth shatteringly exciting, but it been working well for years and it’s something we will be implementing again with our new baby in the near future.
The routine has to fit in with you and your family
Every family is different, ever child is different. It would be crazy for me to say this is our routine, just copy it and you’ll have the same success! That would not be good advice. The best schedule you can create is one that works for you family. So I’ll happily talk you through what our day to day looks like but it is important that any routine you make, fits around your lives and your children’s need.
I know for some families routines, do not work for them and their lifestyle. That is fine. For, me, however I found that Evan thrived more with a set routine. It made him a happier little boy. Whilst, also allowing us to focus on ensuring he ate his set meals without snacking constantly and he was getting enough sleep for his on going development and growth.
This is us
So before I explain our routine let’s recap on me and my family (please check out my ‘this is me‘ page for more info). I’m Kim, mum to Evan who is nearly 3, I am pregnant with our second child due within the next few months. I work part time and when Evan is not with me, he is with my mum. She is great at working with me to keep this routine in place, and it a key contributor to why we have so much success.
An average weekday
6.30am – Myself or Dennis wakes, we snooze the alarm and snag those extra 10 minutes before getting up and making coffees, letting the dog out, before climbing back into bed and starting the day gently.
7.00am – Evan wakes. He joins Mummy and Daddy in their bed and enjoys a little TV time in bed whilst the grown ups have their coffee.
7.30am – We get dressed and move downstairs. Daddy goes to work.
8.00am – breakfast and TV/play time – okay so we have probably watched a little too much TV by this time already but it gives me a chance to get a meal to the table, whilst allowing Evan to choose between watching Peppa Pig or playing with toys, or sometimes even helping in the kitchen – sometimes a mixture of all three. Either way, he’s happy. Majority of time the TV just ends up creating background noise as Evan loves to help and supervise his breakfast being prepared to an adequate standard – or suggest alternative breakfast options.
8.30am – clean up. It is really important to me that he sees and understands why we tidy away so as he grows and gains more independence it is is a habit he will continue to use.
9.00am – Chores for me and Evan – We tend to find that on almost every free day together we have some jobs that need to get done….bet you can all relate to that! This could be shopping, cleaning, meal prep, washing, anything really. Again we do it together. And, if Evan isn’t in the mood that’s fine – he can play and flit back into ‘helping’ as and when he chooses. So although we may have a couple of hours set out for chore – we don’t tend to commit the whole time. We put some music on, dance about, do some jobs, joint play for a bit, have a few cuddles, clean some more and so on. But, no matter what the house looks better for this, than it did before.
11.00am – 1:1 time – this one will possibly get adapted and moved around the new baby when she arrives but it is so important to me that we carve out to play together – especially now we’re pregnant and it’s a priority to make sure he knows how loved he is and the baby will not push him out. It could be anything from imagination play, jigsaws, snakes and ladders, playdoh, cars, going to the park or a walk. But it is important that I commit to giving his time – check out our top activities for ideas on what you too can do.
12.00/12.30pm – lunch
1.00 – 2.30pm Nap time. Need I say more. This offers me a chance to rest and unwind and Evan a chance to recharge his batteries. Having this time is important for me as it allows me to focus on my personal well being and I use this time to write my blogs, do some relaxation, focus on gratifcation or exercise. As Evan gets older and we drop the naps – I am keen to move this to ‘quiet’ time for each of us. I don’t use nap time to for housework – I believe to teach, children need to see and it is important that I’m teaching my child to grow into a young man who can shop, cook, clean and all those other essential life lessons.
2.30 – 5.15pm – the chaos before dinner. This time is usually very unstructured as it depend on the mood my little one wakes up in.
6:00 -6.30pm – Daddy is home by this point so usually he is on parenting duty for that time period between after dinner and the bedtime wind down.
6:30 -7.00pm – Here we all the daily activities that signal the day is coming to an end – so we do shower/bath time, brush teeth, PJs on, and then a bedtime stories and kisses. By 7.30 Evan is usually fast asleep and the evening is ours.
So how to make a routine that works for you
You need to know what you want to accomplish from the routine. For us it was about getting a good nights sleep for Evan and to do that we found daily naps helped…the better he slept during the day the better at night. So through trial and error we found times that worked for us and by sticking with these daily I can confidently say we have a child who sleeps well consistently! Everything else then just fell in place around it.
Then once you have a plan of action it is key to stick with it. You cannot expect a routine to work unless you work within the parameters you’ve set. To help you with this I have designed a downloadable chart that you can use to keep consistency in place for you child.
So hopefully this has given you some insight into our every day and helped you figure out how to get the same results. Let me know how you get on, and good luck.