As adults, we’re often told that having a daily routine can improve our productivity and wellbeing. But what about our children? Would they benefit from a daily routine? And if so, how do we go about creating one?
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t panic! Here’s all you need to know about creating a daily routine for toddlers:
Why is routine so important?
Creating a daily routine for toddlers isn’t easy. It requires patience, consistency and a lot of trial and error. Yet, despite its many challenges, a well-established daily routine can be incredibly beneficial to your child’s development and wellbeing.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of creating a daily routine for toddlers:
Stability – during their early development, children experience a lot of change. Having a daily routine can help ground them and prevent them from becoming anxious or overwhelmed.
Independence – once children become familiar with their daily routine, they can start performing some of their tasks independently (i.e. dressing themselves), allowing their confidence to grow as they develop a sense of autonomy.
Habit formation – creating a daily routine for toddlers provides them with the opportunity to hone important skills like washing their hands and brushing their teeth.
How to create a routine for your toddler
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating a daily routine for toddlers. After all, every child has different needs, and we all have various responsibilities.
So, instead of outlining a rigid (and wholly unrealistic) routine for you to follow, we want to explore how to develop the best routine for you and your toddler.
Here are 3 fundamental elements to creating a successful daily routine:
1. Get organised
Despite our varying circumstances, we can all benefit from some good old fashioned organisation. (After all, the easier it is to follow a routine, the more likely you are to maintain it.) So here are some organisational tips to help you master your daily routine:
Organise yourself first – You can’t hope to create a consistent routine for your child if you can’t maintain one yourself. So, before you set unrealistic expectations for yourself, take a good look at your own schedule. Remember, the perfect routine for your toddler is one that suits your lifestyle.
Plan ahead – If you ever hope to maintain a daily routine, you need to start planning ahead. Simple tasks like laying out your child’s clothes and preparing lunches the night before can save you so much valuable time.
Create a routine chart – Creating a checklist can help ensure you (and any other caregivers) remain consistent with your toddler’s daily habits and rituals. You can even get your child involved and make them their own chart filled with small tasks they can complete themselves.
2. Work with your nursery practitioners
Creating a routine is essential for babies and young children as they can’t always communicate their needs.
Therefore, if you have a young child in daycare, please do not hesitate to share your routine with the nursery staff. Working together will ensure your child maintains some consistency whilst adapting to spending time away from home.
Alternatively, if your child is adapting well to their nursery schedule, don’t be afraid to alter your home routine to match. As we said previously, it’s all about finding out what works best for you and your child!
3. Accept that things won’t always go to plan
Whilst we strongly recommend creating a daily routine for toddlers, we want to acknowledge that not all days go to plan. And that’s okay! If every day looked exactly the same, life would lose its excitement.
So don’t worry if your routine goes out the window once in a while. As long as your child is healthy and happy, that’s all that matters!
Each day is a fresh start
So there you have it, our top tips and advice for creating a daily routine for toddlers.
Just remember, no routine is perfect. Every day presents new obstacles and challenges. But with the right support and organisational skills, you can create a consistent routine to comfort your child and support their development.