Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook

Find out more

Daily routine for small kids

(14 Posts)
user1467393664 Fri 09-Sep-16 12:46:11

During an argument with someone close to me I was told that my DC are in too much of a routine and I should relax it as people are 'scared' by it. It's really making me question how i parent during the day.

I have a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old. Our day generally starts at 5am when the toddler gets up. He has breakfast and potters around with his toys or watches CBeebies when it starts. The baby gets up anytime between 5-7am. For the rest of the day she needs to sleep ever 2 hrs after waking and will nap in the car/sling/buggy. We go out in the morning to the park/soft play/swimming etc and are generally home for 12/12:30 depending on toddlers mood. He then goes for a nap anywhere between 45-90 mins. After that i make dinner, we may or may not go out in the afternoon, have tea around 5/6, bath at 7, bed by 7.30/8.

The expectations were that bedtime should be whenever so relatives can call in the evening.

Both the baby and toddler need to sleep around 7:30/8 and I feel I'm just responding to their needs and not keeping them up to be overtired plus it gives me and OH some downtime in the evenings.

Am I mad to think this is a typical day with small children?

It's really playing on my mind sad

Heirhelp Fri 09-Sep-16 12:51:05

Most of the children I know that age go to bed about 6. If they need sleep they need sleep. As long as it works for you and them keep going with it.

Afreshstartplease Fri 09-Sep-16 12:57:55

Sounds normal to me

My youngest is currently 3 years old and I've just gone on maternity leave

We get up around 730 but can be as early as 6am depending on 3 year old

Wake older DC at 730. Get me and all three dresses fed and out of the house for 830-840

Take older two to school then back home. Potter around house while 3 year old plays, watches TV etc

She doesn't sleep anymore in the day, we have lunch around 12/1230

More playing, TV, jobs around house in the afternoon then older DC arrive home about 330/345

All play for a bit while rotating who is doing reading etc. Tea about 5pm. Baths and showers from 6pm and all three (aged 3-8year) are in bed between 7-730

I've not come across anyone in my 8 years of parenting who has expected to turn up and see my DC whenever they please! And we have always had a 7/730 bedtime!

Scotinoz Fri 09-Sep-16 13:09:52

Routine is key in my opinion. I have two toddlers and have a fairly set routine - up, breakfast, dressed and out by 9, morning activity (library on Monday, playgroup on Tuesday...same thing each week), lunch at noon, nap/play in their rooms, afternoon activity, dinner at half 5, bath and bed by half 7.

I honestly think they thrive on routine and it'd drive me nuts to wing it each day

Liskee Fri 09-Sep-16 13:12:53

Sounds normal to me. Your routine is pretty much the same as my 21 month olds. I have a two month old who just slots in around it, but no doubt as he becomes more settled it will start to look more like yours and we will be slightly more housebound for naps, at least in the morning.

Some children need routine more than others and certainly my eldest seems to be one of them. It remains to be seen whether the younger follows suit if so we'll do what they need, not what other people expect us to do.

Blueberry234 Fri 09-Sep-16 13:17:16

I have a 2 yr old and 5 yr old. Our day is like this
0630-7 up eldest dresses himself then down for milk
730-8 breakfast
845 leave for school
9 home
Usually play/go out/do jobs etc home for 12
12 lunch
1300 bed for 2 year old
1500 wake him up
1515 walk to school
1545 home then it can be any activity for eldest football/swimming/riding
1700 food
1800 bath
1830 milk and stories
1900 lights out

This is an average day times do obviously change but not by much

user1467393664 Fri 09-Sep-16 13:31:19

Thanks guys. I just needed validation that our routine which I feel is just day to day living is ok.

Since becoming a parent I've always felt that have some structure to the day was a good thing. Let's us all know here we stand.

I'm sad some people see our day as a bad thing envy

chloechloe Fri 09-Sep-16 19:32:19

It sounds like you have a great routine and I think most kids thrive on a bit of structure. I think you have less battles with toddlers especially when they know what to expect. I have a 17mo and our day is pretty much the same when I'm not working.

I have ongoing battles with my MIL who can't understand why I want DD in bed between 7 and 7:30 every night. She's always at me to take her out for dinner with the family or let her stay up later so she can play with her. Fact is DD is so used to the routine now that she heads to the stairs at bedtime and goes to sleep in her cot within 10min without any drama. If she's up later she gets cranky and clumsy, falling over her own feet and liable to hurt herself and not much fun to be with. I kind of think it's a bit cruel to overdo it

chloechloe Fri 09-Sep-16 19:33:36

...posted too soon! Imagine how we would feel being kept up when we're completely overtired!

MaisieDotes Fri 09-Sep-16 19:38:44

People are "scared" by it? What a weird thing to say.

My two youngest are 25mo and 7mo and hell yeah I have a routine. The toddler in particular really needs it and it was key to him feeling secure when the baby came along (n.b. I'm only talking about my DC! Other parenting styles work for others!)

If someone told me they were scared by my routine (pretty standard 7am- 7pm) I'd tell them to cop on to themselves.

user1467393664 Fri 09-Sep-16 20:12:15

It's my DM that's scared hmm it was during a heated argument on something else and it was just thrown in there. Along with sighting an occasion I said not to wake DD as she was asleep. Erm never wake a sleeping baby?!!!

It was said the routine doesn't allow her get anytime with them.

neversleepagain Fri 09-Sep-16 21:14:16

My twins were in a super strict routine from just weeks old, they still are at almost 4. Meals and naps were always scheduled and i never wavered. They are little creatures of habit now.

If anyone didnt like it, tough shit.

Heirhelp Sat 10-Sep-16 21:51:34

Sounds a bit like my MIL in that she thinks the grand children are toys not actual people with needs of their own.

BotBotticelli Mon 12-Sep-16 08:38:26

Tell your mum to do one! (Maybe under your breath!).

Your day sounds perfectly normal and I think routine with a toddler is ideal. Especially when you have 2 little ones: you need to know when the breaks are coming! (For example the toddlers post lunch nap - I didn't really leave the house after lunch for a good 18 months when ds1 was little - he was such a fucking handful when he was awake but he really reliably had 90 mins sleep after lunch every day so come hell or high water we were back at home and he was in his cot for that. And I just flopped on the sofa and ate biscuits.)

With regards to seeing the kids in the evening that's just impractical I think. When ds1 was going through a phase of waking up just after 5am I would be bathing him at 6pm, stories at 6.30pm and he was asleep by 6.40pm. I remember thinking fuck this you're gonna be up at 5 anyway so at the very least I want my evenings back!

Perhaps you could suggest to your mum that she could set an alarm and come round to "see" him at 0510am 3 days a week before she goes to work so you can have a lie in? There's plenty of hours in the day between 5-9am for her to get her grandparenting fix???!!! Maybe if you say that she might cop on a bit to what kind of life you're currently living and why her needs to see her grandkids are not top of your list!

Also: hang in there it won't always be like this. As they get older they change and become more flexible with their routine - you can stretch them out a bit and miss naps/keep them up a bit in the evening on certain days without it entailing enormous meltdowns.

Ds1 is nearly 4 now and he hasn't napped for a year. He now sleeps from 1930-0630 every night (he has always been an early riser, it used to be 5 when he was a toddler who napped) and stayed up till 2130 for my mums birthday party recently with nofuss.

But ds2 is 14mo and has just stopped mapping in the morning and is in a really nice reliable routine of having a 2 hour nap after lunch. So guess what?? We are at home every day for that! And ds1 has it as "film or tv time" so I snuggle up on the sofa with him and eat biscuits/drink tea whilst he watches a Disney movie or some CBeebies. Winning!

And we go out to an activity every morning and every afternoon too. They just fight over toys and do my head in in the house which drives me nutty.

You really are in the middle of The Worst Part - things will get easier as your oldest one heads towards 3 or 4 and your baby starts taking longer naps in the cot. Hang in there, you can do this!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now