Steal my best tips for your 1 year old’s daily routine! A predictable routine is essential for toddlers and this schedule is perfect for a 1 year old.
Who doesn’t love a good routine? Routines just work for me on so many levels.
It just so happens that kids also love routines.
Babies and toddlers like to know what’s happening, when to expect it, and what’s happening next – and so do I, total win. That’s why today I’m sharing with you My 1 Year Old’s Daily Routine.
This post has been updated for 2021
For stay-at-home moms, the importance of establishing a good, solid routine with some built-in wiggle room is absolutely necessary in order to keep yourself from going crazy.
Taking care of a little creature 24/7 can and will make you feel super exhausted, so without a good routine, you might just feel like an aimless mess in yoga pants. Hey – with a good routine you might feel like that anyways, but that’s just #momlife 🙂
As my baby has grown toward “toddler status“ her routine has naturally changed.
Now, we like to keep busy, and I am an avid proponent of getting out of the house every day. To help keep myself organized, I recently bought The Happy Planner at Michaels (with a 40% off coupon) which really speaks to my inner-obsessive crazy self.
Do yourself a favor and get one of these planners ASAP. Every stay-at-home mom needs a good planner.
Anyways, back to the routine! Now, your routine will largely depend on:
- what time your baby or toddler gets up in the morning
- how many naps they take
- what kind of programs are available to you in your area
This post is simply to give you an idea of how I would spend a typical day with my 1 year old. The times provided are approximate, since, as any mom knows, kids can be unpredictable.
What is a good routine for a 1 year old?
I get this question often on Instagram.
A good routine is one that works for you! If your baby is happy (and you feel good about it), then you know it’s working! However, on the flip-side, if your 1 year old is constantly cranky and you feel rushed and out-of-sorts, then you know it’s time to make a change somewhere in your routine.
What should I do with my 1 year old every day?
The answer to this largely depends on a few factors such as: the weather, what programs are available to you, and other children/their schedules. That being said, here are a few typical things you can include as part of your 12 month old’s daily schedule:
- Outdoor play/water play
- Hands-on (building blocks or puzzles)
- Independent play (in crib or pack-n-play)
- Library, baby gym, or playdate
Tips & Ideas for Your 1 Year Old’s Daily Routine
Note: The times given here are approximate, and are just for reference. Everyone’s “time schedule” will be different. Rather than watching the clock for transitions, think of this routine more like a road map rather than a strict schedule.
5:45AM-6:45AM (I warned you) – She will get up somewhere in this time frame. If I’m super lucky she’ll sleep until 7 or 7:30. I always like to keep her in her crib until a “normal” time AKA 7. If she cries for me, I go in and gently try to get her back down to sleep.
7:00AM-8:00AM – I make breakfast while she plays in the kitchen (which we have blocked off with baby gates). We eat breakfast together while the puppies watch longingly from the other side of the gate. If you’re wondering what to feed your 1 year old, here are some easy breakfast ideas coming at ya here, here, and here.
8:15AM-8:45AM – I push her in the stroller while I walk the dogs. It’s more or a less a circus and people walking by will stop to say endearing comments such as “Looks like you’ve got your hands full!” Sometimes I will attempt to power walk or “jog” for exercise. Sometimes.
9:00AM – Throw laundry in the machine, take food out of the freezer for dinner, other random things, etc.
9:15AM-9:45AM – Morning nap. This time is most certainly an approximation. Some days she naps easily, other days, not so much. She will however, almost always sleep for 30 minutes on the dot.
How many naps should a 1 year old take?
Most 1 year olds are on a two nap schedule, with a morning nap and an afternoon nap. I would advise keeping the morning nap until at least 15-18 months old as this is when toddlers typically start fighting the morning nap and they no longer need it.
10:30AM-11:30AM – Pack Snacks & Head to Storytime at the library (On days where there is no storytime we will head to the park, go wander around TJ Maxx, grocery shop, run errands, play at home, etc.)
12:00PM – Dog’s afternoon walk
2:00PM-3:00PM – Afternoon nap time-frame. Again, 30 minutes precisely.
3:00PM-4:30PM – Afternoon playtime. We play outside, read books, build blocks, or walk over to the playground.
4:30PM-5:15PM – Dad gets home and plays with toddler, while mom makes dinner in peace.
5:30PM-6:00PM – Family dinnertime! No TV and No devices.
If dinnertime is a constant battle with your toddler, this is my favorite resource for solving picky eater problems.
Dinner Resources for Busy Moms
6:15PM – Take puppies on bedtime walk
6:30PM – Bathtime/Storytime/Bedtime routine
7:00PM – With any luck our girl is asleep and my husband and I become couch-burritos and catch up on Netflix.
What time should 1 year old’s go to bed?
Our toddler’s schedule is more or less determined by her. If she is tired, I let her sleep. If she wants to play, we play. I don’t try to make her adapt to what I want to do. I adapt to what she wants to do.
Now, I understand that this is a luxury of having one child, but this is simply my style of parenting and what works for us. Many people will ask me why I don’t put her to bed later. I put her to bed early because that’s when she’s tired. End of story.
A good rule of thumb is to have your toddler in bed 4 hours after they wake up from their afternoon nap. So for example, if they wake up from their nap at 3 PM, they should be in bed by 7 PM.
More Toddler Routine Ideas
- How to Manage a Baby & Toddler as a Stay-at-Home Mom
- Bedtime Routine with a Baby & Toddler
- My 18 Month Old’s Daily Routine
- My 2 Year Old’s Daily Routine
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