Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Schedule for a Young Toddler

My DS (dear son) is 21 months old. He has always been very laid back and easy going. He had a routine for his days, but not a schedule. About two weeks ago, I started noticing some definite changes in his behavior. More tantrums. More screaming. More irritability. He just wasn't his easy going self anymore.

I did quite a bit of reading and this is the general consensus: toddlers need a routine and a schedule to feel secure. The daily timing of meals, naps, and bedtime on that schedule should not vary more than 15 minutes in either direction.

The schedule looks like this:
6:30-6:45am Wake Up, Milk, Cuddle with Mom, Change Diaper, Get Dressed
7:30am Breakfast
Free Play
Walk in Stroller
Play outside or play with mom inside
11:30am Lunch
Free Play
Quiet Activity
Read Books
12:30pm-2:30pm Nap
Free Play
Daily Activity
Run Errands with Mom
5:00pm or 5:30pm Mom prepares dinner, DS watches short video
6:00pm Dinner
6:30pm Play outside
7:30pm Bath, Pajamas, Books, Milk
8:00pm Bed
After about a week and a half, DS is back to his easy going self. And, as long as we stick to his schedule most of the time the times when he gets off schedule (Sundays, special outings) are not nearly as hard to overcome as they were before.
Note: I rotate toys so his free play activities vary every day or every other day. I have a basket in the living room that I change out when I rotate toys.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Great idea!! My daughter is 20 months and I try to keep things the same most everyday for her sanity and mine. Thanks for the tip!