Toddlers get the best stuff: Routine

As the poet said, "You and me baby, ain't nothin' but mammals," and mammals, especially higher level mammals such as ourselves, love routine. The body craves the predictability of regular sleep/wake cycles, regular food, and regular work time. The body's eager willing to adapt to routine– any routine– is why personal trainers recommend varying the intensity and focus of exercise to keep building strength, muscle mass and endurance.

I'm not saying anyone should adhere to a strict daily schedule to the point that it causes stress. Good routines should be flexible and serve the person who made them, not the other way around. You are doing this for you. Creating and adhering to a basic routine will reduce the number of decisions you have to make everyday, thus reserving brain power for creative work.

A good routine will take  into account time for sleep, work, school, relationships, eating and anything else you do regularly. Generally speaking, sleep should be the rock around which you build your day. Once you've got your sleep down, then you can break up the other 11-13 hours a day however works best for your lifestyle. Remember to allot time for everything you need, and be flexible. Each day should resemble other days, with room to accommodate changing seasons and lifestyle.

I'll give you my work week routine as an example. As you will see, much of my time is focused on my  toddler friend, BittyJack.

6:30: Wake up

6:30-7 Diaper change/ try to coax the baby to sleep longer

7-8 Breakfast and get ready for school/work

8-9:30 Chores, commute and settle into work

9:30-12:30 Clients

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-4:30 Clients

4:30-5:30 Disentangle self from work, commute

5:30-6 Dinner, unpack from day

6-7 play time

7-7:45 Bathe, brush and get ready for bed

7:45-8 Story time

8:15-9:45 My reset time- Exercise, clean, whatever needs to be done

9:45-10:30 Bed time routine and sleep.


As a bonus, here's my weekend routine, if you're interested.

6:30-8 breakfast, get ready for the day

8-11 Morning activity

11- lunch

12-2 Nap for BittyJack, reset time for me

Whenever Jack wakes up- 5:30 Afternoon activity

5:30-10:30 Same as weekday.


I find that chunking my time like this helps keep BittyJack on schedule with sleep, meals and school. His being able to predict when things are supposed to happen keeps him happy, calm and (mostly) well-behaved.  Treating myself like a very tall toddler does the same for me. Hopefully, it will help you, too!





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