So, you’ve been trying to create a toddler routine chart for a while now.
You see all the creative chore charts and reward charts on Pinterest and it seems so easy.
But for some reason, a consistent daily rhythm keeps eluding you. Every time you get close to getting your toddler on a steady schedule, something happens, and you end up back where you started.
Not this time.
Because this time we’re going to go over 7 tips and tricks that the parenting experts know. Give these tips a try and see if they don’t work for you also…
Tip 1: Never try and do it all at once. Change takes time and both you and your toddler will be adjusting to the new schedule. When starting out, focus on creating a routine checklist for the two major parts of the day, the morning and evening. Once you’ve found a flow, gradually add in an afternoon/after pre-school routine.
Tip 2: Avoid inconsistent wake-up and sleep times. Sticking to the same wake-up and bedtime schedule can go miles in helping the day flow smoother. Not only does it help you stick to your kid’s daily schedule, it also ensures your toddler is sleepy enough for nap time in the afternoon and lets them know when it’s time for things to start winding down in the evening.
Bonus Tip: Sticking to the schedule on the weekends helps to maintain your toddler’s daily rhythm so you’re not starting from scratch again on Monday.
Tip 3: Be sure to include meals as part of your toddler routine checklist. Regular mealtimes help your toddler to thrive and can also make enjoying meals together as a family, an important daily ritual.
Tip 4: Start from where you are. Ever notice that your toddler prefers to do certain activities like drawing or story time at certain parts of the day? Incorporating what they naturally do into the responsibility chart can help the schedule to feel more familiar and make it easier to maintain.
Tip 5: Go over the schedule together. Be sure to sit down and review the schedule with your toddler so they understand what to expect and can ask questions. Routine charts with pictures and checkboxes are a great tool as they help your toddler to picture each activity as you explain it and proudly mark off each activity or chore once finished.
Tip 6: Try using general phrases. Using general phrases allows for more variety in your toddler’s routine. For example, instead of adding “play with toys” use the phrase “play time.” Play time can cover running around outside, sensory play, play dates etc. The phrase “quiet time” can mean coloring, enjoying quiet book activities, etc.
Tip 7: Allow flexibility. Let’s face it, life happens and even the best laid plans can get off track. Unexpected travel, a cold or even waking up on the wrong side of the bed can interrupt your daily schedule. When this happens, allow yourself the flexibility of following the routine as much as you can. When things return to normal, so will your routine.
Creating a toddler schedule that works can be a lot easier to develop when using the above seven tips. So, let me leave you with one last tip…
If you’re new to this and it feels overwhelming or you simply want to save time with a pre-made template, consider using an editable chart to create a morning checklist and bedtime routine for your toddler.
Here’s to beginning new habits, today.