A Stay At Home Mom Schedule With Infant and Toddler
I’m officially a mom of two, aged 2 and under! Hooray. It’s actually been a much smoother adjustment than I anticipated. There’s a confidence in caring for a newborn this time around and so far my daughter is absolutely loving having a little brother.
Today I’m here to share my toddler and newborn schedule because I love having a flexible, baseline routine to structure our days. I find it really helps my toddler know what to expect throughout the day, and it helps me get my responsibilities taken care of as well.
How I Created Our Toddler and Newborn Schedule
To be honest, at this age our routine is almost entirely dictated by my toddler’s schedule. Newborns are fairly sleepy and follow a general eat, poop, sleep, repeat type routine. Their naps range from 20 minutes to 2.5 hours so it’s hard to develop something concrete.
I continue to structure our day around my toddler’s afternoon nap and the baby’s first nap of the day. I try to be home to get this nap in his crib every day to practice independent sleep. It certainly doesn’t always happen. I don’t have a specific timed schedule since the baby is rather unpredictable in his sleep patterns and has us following wake windows, but I will share an example with you below.
What I Mean by Following Baby Wake Windows
For the newborn stage I’m a fan of following general wake windows instead of trying to implement a structured nap schedule. This post by Taking Cara Babies lists the average wake windows for babies ages 0-24 months. For newborns 0-4 weeks you are looking at 35 to 60 minutes and for 4-12 weeks approximately 60-90 minutes. These wake windows include their feeding time, so most fresh newborns aren’t doing much other than eating and sleeping.
A Note on Babywearing
Babywearing is HUGE for me. I don’t wear the baby all day or anything, because he needs plenty of time to stretch his body and wiggle around, but it does allow me to get a lot done or be out with my toddler while he is contact napping at least once a day.
My favorite wrap by FAR is the Baby K’tan. It’s a pre-wrapped fabric wrap so you aren’t wasting time tying it every time you want to wear the baby. You can have him snug as bug in one minute. It’s perfect.
An Example Day
As I mentioned before I structure the day around 2 things: baby’s first nap and toddler afternoon nap.
Our day is split up into 6 rough chunks:
- Morning routine & 15 minute clean
- Outdoor time &/or errands
- Lunch & rest
- Activity (indoor or outdoor, mommy meet up / playdate, etc)
- Dinner prep & misc chores
- Bedtime routine
I do my best to get my toddler dressed and fed before the baby wakes up. We play inside at home through baby’s first nap of the day (which I try to get in his crib). After nap, baby gets dressed and we get ready to go out, either to the park or to run errands. We come home for lunch & the toddler’s afternoon nap. After that we either play at home or head back outside until it’s time to make dinner. We have a family dinner together every night, followed by play time with daddy, and then our relaxing bath & bedtime routine. This schedule helps me break up the day and allows for plenty of flexibility.
If you are interested in a complete example, I’ll break it down here, but it’s important to know that no two days are alike since PJ’s naps vary in length.
7:30am – Stella (toddler, aged 2.5) wakes up for the day. She plays quietly while I have coffee and journal or read.
8am – PJ (baby) wakes & nurses
9am – baby goes down for nap 1 in his crib (ideally, definitely doesn’t always happen), I spend quality time playing with my toddler & have breakfast together
10am – baby wakes up and we get him dressed
10:30am – baby nurses
11:00am – baby sleeps in the stroller or wrap while toddler and we go to the park or run errands
12:30 – baby wakes up, toddler lunch time
1:30 – baby nurses & goes down for nap, toddler nap
3 – baby wakes up
3:30 toddler wakes up & has a snack
4 – baby nurses & naps
4:45 baby wakes up
5:45 baby naps again
6:30 baby wakes up, nurses & family dinner
7:30 baby nurses again and contact sleeps/naps until dream feed
7:45 toddler bedtime routine
10:30 baby feeds and goes in crib for the night
It’s a lot of baby nursing and napping. It’s a season that goes all too fast. I’m soaking up every contact nap this time around and not stressing about it because just babies don’t keep.
A note on his sleep… For whatever reason both of my babies as newborns refused to sleep in the crib before 10-11pm. They were cranky and only wanted to be held in the evening hours. After that 10pm feed they would happily spend the rest of the night in their crib (waking to feed as needed). This went on with both of them until they were about 6 weeks old and I was able to pull the crib bedtime back to 9 and eventually 8. I just soaked up the snuggles and my husband and I binged a lot of tv shows during this time 😉
Learning To Go With The Flow…
Learning to go with the flow was a difficult lesson for me, as an Enneagram 6w5 and avid planner, but one that has served me so well in motherhood. It’s okay if one day is traditionally productive and the next is spent snuggling your babes and eating cereal for dinner. Both days are actually productive – rest is a necessity too!
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