Many people ask me about our “routine” or “schedule” and, if you are a mom, you know that schedules constantly change. It’s kind of like a schedule in a classroom. When I was a teacher, we definitely had a schedule and routine that we followed each day, but due to… well life… things were always changing! And that’s a good thing. Still, I’m a visual learner and I like to have a schedule in my mind, so I like to think we have sort of plan every day!
When you have two babies under two years old, you change your schedule based on their needs (because they are both extremely needy 😉 ) but routines are built into us, regardless of age! I thought I’d give a sneak peek into our schedule, plus give you some examples of routines we have. Keeping a rough schedule in my head gives me purpose, makes me feel important, keeps me on track throughout the day, and helps me feel organized! And if you’re a mom, you need to be organized! Now that we’re almost at the 7 month mark with two under two, I can actually say we have a great schedule and routine down.
HERE’S OUR FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE FOR MY TWO UNDER TWO!
6:00 am – Ella and I get up. She’s usually not hungry since she ate a few hours ago, so I change her and we play for a bit, until James wakes around 6:30 (on average).
*The babies play a bit and watch a little morning PBS :). James has some fruit. I get myself together! Make James’ water cup, feed the dogs, and get my coffee.
7:30 am – James eats breakfast. Sometimes Ella will eat oatmeal or fruit, depending on when she last ate.
8:00 am – Ella has a bottle. James plays independently.
8:30/9 am – Ella goes upstairs for a nap in her crib. I have been leaving James in the safest spot possible during this time, in his high chair or booster seat with a safe activity, books, or a video on my phone. He is a little dare-devil lately so I don’t trust him alone anywhere else!
*While Ella is asleep, James and I do a lot of things that we might not be able to do all together (unload the dishwasher or clean *he loves to help!*, read books, and our favorite – arts and crafts. Sometimes we run out to get the mail or play in the backyard if Daddy is watching Ella’s monitor).
10:00 am – Ella wakes up and we all play together. *If we are leaving for the library, playtime, the gym or another outing we usually leave around 9 / 9:30 and Ella might nap before or in the car, give or take a little bit and get home by noon.*
11 am – Ella has a bottle.
12:00 pm – James eats lunch. Ella sometimes eats solids at this time.
12:30 pm – NAPTIME for both! Mama gets some free time!
2:30 pm – By this time both kids are usually up and we usually relax a little, watch some tv and have a snack. Ella has a bottle.
3:30 – 5:00 pm – This is our free-time and it varies day to day. If it’s nice, we absolutely are outside during this time. We might run an errand, play upstairs in the kids’ rooms, or take a drive if someone didn’t get a good nap! Sometimes this time flies by and other days I want to pull my hair out by 5!
5:00 pm – Dinner time
6:00 pm – Bathtime for both *I need a separate post just on two under two baths, trust me!*
7:00 pm – Bed time for both. I usually put Ella to sleep and Chris takes James.
Ella will wake up a few times throughout the night; sometimes I can comfort her back to sleep but most of the time she wants to eat a few ounces.
Some Notes on Routines
One of James’ routines is having a small cup of juice in the morning with his multivitamin. Every morning he expects it and asks for it!
I always change diapers before and after naps.
During nap time I try to get some writing done, mealplan, and/or try to accomplish at least one household chore that I can’t do with the kids.
I like to write down the “events” we have for the week in my planner! You can find a great planner at the end of this post.
I rotate toys and books weekly and sometimes daily so that there aren’t a ton of toys out at once but there is always something to play with during independent play times.
When both babies are tired or hungry, or just plain clingy, it can be quite a juggling act! We have lots of options as far as where to put the baby, like a bouncer that she loves and her co-sleeper. She doesn’t quite sit on her own yet but does use a Boppy pillow with a few pillows around her. She definitely does not enjoy being worn in the carrier lately. She actually loves being on her belly and I’m thinking she might start moving soon! For these reasons, and since we have two big pups, I like having a house where rooms can be separated by gates. It saves my sanity and I know everyone is safe.
During playtimes or one on one times we might do educational activities, but I don’t focus on anything specific like flashcards etc. The best way for a toddler to learn is through interactive play, and James has many opportunities for this! We practice letters, numbers, colors, and work on motor skills in most of our every day activities, and easily read at least 10 books every day. Toddlers are sponges, so use that to your advantage, and don’t forget to talk to your kids all the time!!
When the weather is nice, we will be outside all the time, and some of the “schedule” goes out the window!
Keep in mind that I have early bedtimes, which means early wake time in the morning. This fits with our schedule because my husband works from home so he is home most nights at 5pm to start the evening routine. We also like some time to ourselves after the babies go to sleep. I’ve always fallen asleep early and woken up early as well! You will have to adjust based on what works for your family!
Most of this schedule is based on James. The longterm goal would be for both of them to be on the same nap schedule with one long nap, and obviously Ella’s will change as time goes on! Once you do something long enough, it becomes second nature and you get into a good routine. Two under Two is the same way!