Let’s just say that my transition to motherhood wasn’t the smoothest. And like most first time mums, there has been a lot of trial and error. So, to finally have a daily routine that’s working well, feels like a huge accomplishment. Prior to establishing this routine, my stress level was out the roof, my business was suffering and I was feeling defeated and burnt out.
My husband, Jason and I are both self-employed and work from home parents. Balancing our businesses, parenting and marital responsibilities had become overwhelming. I came up with this schedule not only to provide Zuri with the structure and routine that toddlers need but also as a way for Jason and I to better function in our numerous roles.
Here is what our days looks like:
7:30AM- Zuri wakes up at 7:30am sharp. If she wakes up a little earlier, she usually entertains herself until my husband or I get her. We then give her milk, get her dressed for the day and prepare breakfast. She’s no longer getting breast milk so we supplement with Ripple milk.
8:00AM We usually place Zuri in her high chair while we prepare breakfast. That’s pretty challenging since she has very little patience when it comes to her food. We use music or our favorite YouTube channel Akili to entertain her while we make breakfast.
8:30AM – 9:30AM After breakfast, she plays for an hour.
9:30AM – 11:00AM At 9:15am, we start winding her down for her first nap of the day. Prior to this schedule, Zuri only napped when my husband, or I rocked her to sleep. However, as soon as we put her in her crib, she would wake up and scream bloody murder. It became very difficult getting her to nap, so we napped trained her using a variation of the Ferber Method. It took two days for her to adjust to her nap schedule. While she naps, I usually shower and have my morning tea.
11:00AM As soon as she wakes up from her nap, we give her milk and she plays until it’s time to prepare her lunch.
12:00PM At 11:30ish we prepare lunch. Her meals typically consist of a protein, grain, veggie and fruit. She eats fish but we have no immediate plans to introduce meat to her diet. Nutrition and dieting are hard enough as an adult. We are trying our best to set up her for success by creating healthy eating habits.
12:30PM – 1:30PM After lunch, she plays for a bit until her second nap of the day. We love using these picture cards during playtime.
1:30PM – 3:00PM For both her morning and afternoon nap, we use this sound machine to soothe and relax her. We also use it to help her sleep at night.
3:00PM Upon waking up from her nap, we give her a snack. Snacks usually consist of a piece of fruit, or organic snacks like these.
3:00PM- 5:00PM- During these two hours, we continue with playtime/exploration time. Playtime also includes walks, reading books and lots of sensory activities.
5:00PM Around 4:30pm we start preparing dinner for her. Dinner is typically the same makeup as lunch but we try and give her as much variety as possible so that she’s not bored. We also do baby led weaning. These three items, here, here and here are a must for our mealtime. At the moment she’s a good eater but like most toddlers, she’s unpredictable. One day she loves broccoli and then next day, she feeds it all to our dog, Leila.
6:00PM Before bedtime, we bathe her and start winding her down. We use a faucet cover to protect Zuri during bath time.
7:00PM- We used the Ferber method when she was three months old as per our Pediatrician’s recommendation. She’s been sleeping for twelve hours straight since then.
Although this schedule has been working extremely well for us, we are not rigid. We follow Zuri’s lead. If she’s not showing signs of sleepiness, we push her nap time back a little. If she’s showing signs of hunger earlier than her schedule mealtime, we feed her earlier. If I’ve learned anything in the past year is that babies are finicky and unpredictable. The more flexible and adaptable you are to change, the less stressful parenting is.
Also, Jason and I share the responsibilities of taking care of Zuri. We rotate schedules daily so that we both get opportunities to rest and get work done. This system has literally revolutionized our lives. During her two naps, I typically work on event proposals and respond to emails. On days when I’m exhausted or stressed, I use her nap time to catch up on sleep.
Three days a week, my saint of a mother, comes over and watches Zuri. On those days, Jason and I dedicate to our businesses and running errands. I know that as she grows, this schedule will change, but for now, I am enjoying every minute of it.
Do you have a daily routine for your little one? Don’t forget to pin below for later!