Modern Parenting

My 18 Month Old’s Daily Routine

My 18 Month Old's Daily Routine

Back in June of last year (how weird is that to say?) I hit publish on a post that I wasn’t sure people would really care about. You know, why would other people want to read about my daily routine with my 1 year old? Well, turns out a LOT of people do. In the short 6 months since I started Because I Said So Baby, My 1 Year Old’s Daily Routine post has been viewed almost 2,500 times.

Most parents know that the key to success with little ones is simple: be consistent, brush off the little stuff, and always have cheese. While routines are important at any age, they are especially important for toddlers as this is how they learn the “daily programs” of life: when to walk the dogs, do the dishes, put on shoes, etc. Whether you are a stay-at-home-or-working-parent, it’s important that your toddler knows what to expect from their daily life.

If you’re thinking you can’t stick to a routine because life is hectic and unpredictable (which it is), think again. A routine is meant to be flexible. We’re not talking about a strict schedule, we are on toddler time here after all, people.

Of course your daily routine will depend on what programs are available to you and your individual child’s needs, but here is a sample of what Harper and I do on the regular. I listed times just to give a general idea, but, like I said, it’s all about flexibility.

My 18 Month Old’s Daily Routine

5:30-6:30 AM – Harper wakes up (WHY??)

6:30-7:30AM – I make breakfast while she plays in the kitchen

My 18 Month Old's Daily Routine

7:30-8:00AM – Clean up breakfast, load/run dishwasher, get dressed

8:00-9:00AM – Take dogs on morning walk, play outside afterwards

9:00AM – Pick up around the house, get diaper bag packed for the day, morning snack

9:30AM-12:00PM – This is generally our golden time to get out and do something (before lunch and naptime). Typically we will go to storytime, sometimes baby gym. On other days I’ll use this time to grocery shop or run errands.


12:00PM-1:00PM – Let dogs out back/play outside and have lunch

1:00PM-3:00PM – Harper will take her nap somewhere in this time frame, typically for about an hour and a half (I know, big improvement from her 1 year old schedule). This is when I will work on the blog, put away laundry, clean the floors, etc. You know, mom stuff. Lately I’ve been throwing on Fuller House for background noise (TEAM MATT). 

3:00-4:00PM – Afternoon snack, read books, play inside

4:00-6:00PM – Dad gets home, prep dinner, family dinnertime!


6:00PM-7:00PM – Take dogs on bedtime walk, play outside afterwards

7:00PM – 8:00PM – Bathtime, Storytime, Bedtime Routine (this doesn’t typically take an hour, it really just depends on how long we play outside or if she wants to play in the tub for longer – she is usually in bed by 7:30/7:45).

After Harper goes to bed, Eric and I retire to the couch. We are currently watching Season 3 of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime (highly recommend!). We are both also trying to finish up books; he’s reading The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten and I’m reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (strangely addictive). The dogs are also immensely tired by this point, because as you can tell, they’ve had a rough day.

img_20141213_202126My 18 Month Old's Daily Routine
What’s your daily routine like with your little one? Share below! I always like new ideas.

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Routines are SO essential for toddlers! Click to find out what your toddler's daily routine should look like. This is a must-read for stay-at-home-moms!


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  • Melissa
    January 5, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Your routine is very similar to ours here. My little one is 17 months. She also wakes between 5:30 and 6:30!

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:07 PM

      So glad it’s not just us – any day she wakes after 6 feels like a miracle.

  • Belle
    January 5, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Schedule is such a great help especially with young kids. This is a great post!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:07 PM

      Thanks, Belle!

  • Kate
    January 5, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Sounds like a good day! My son is 13 months, still doing two naps a day (knock on wood), I think things will change big time when he drops down to one!

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:06 PM

      It definitely changes a lot. Harper took two naps up until about 15 months. When she went down to 1 nap is when she started napping longer.

  • theforeverteacher
    January 5, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    I am soooo with you!! I LOVE routines! It is good for the kids and for me. I know exactly what time I can get things done, and they know what time they need to take a nap which cuts down on them fighting it.

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:06 PM

      So true! I noticed that once her naptime became consistent on a daily basis, she started to understand when it was time to take a nap, which made it so much easier on everyone!

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms
    January 5, 2017 at 10:40 PM

    My 18 month old JUST started taking good scheduled naps! I love a good routine!

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:05 PM

      Same here! Up until now she had kind of been all over the place. 18 months has been a game-changer.

  • miriinthevillage
    January 5, 2017 at 10:50 PM

    Good to hear your schedule!

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:04 PM

      Thanks, Miri!

  • Megan @ The Many Little Joys
    January 5, 2017 at 11:10 PM

    My kids are 2 & 4, and that is still pretty close to our schedule. I love that after about 18 months their schedules don’t change as much as they do the first year and a half. I feel like I can really settle into the routine rather than having it change as soon as I think I have it figured out. 🙂

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:04 PM

      It’s so true – that first year is rough. Every time you think you’ve got it figured out, they change up their schedule! I like how her schedule is more predictable now. Also, good to hear that down the road I can expect her routine to be similar!

  • Emily Bogner
    January 6, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    Routines are wonderful! I love it when we have a good, consistent routine at home!

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:01 PM

      Me too, it always makes the day go much smoother!

  • Catia Hernandez Holm
    January 6, 2017 at 4:13 PM

    Routines were key for us! They also took us some time to learn. For new mamas – sample routines are SOOOOOO helpful. I will share with new mamas!!!

    • Marla
      January 9, 2017 at 12:01 PM

      Thanks so much, Catia!