Before I had a child, a friend one said that the hardest part of having kids is that the second you get used to something, they change. I had no idea until I had my little one how true that statement was. My little one is just over 2 and a half and is changing every single day. It’s hard to keep up, the second we fall into a schedule that works for us, she grows and changes more and we have to scramble to find a new normal. I, like most moms, have a dedicated Pinterest board with all sorts of parenting tools/advice that I think I should use or could one day help me. So when nap times got crazy (or went out the door all together) I found my self printing off other mom’s daily schedules. I tried to follow a few, only to leave me and my daughter to be frustrated with nap times that were too early or meal times that were too late. But like most little kids my daughter does the best when she has structure and knows what activity is next. What I found works best for us is to leave the time tables alone, and just focus on what needs to get done and not skipping over things to beat the clock.
Schedules are especially hard for me because I don’t like to keep on myself. So when this challenge came along I had to find a way to get us both on board. So I made this little bedtime printout. We have a set “get ready for” bedtime when we start the process. I hand her the sheet of paper and she is excited to every step of what is going to happen next. After she is done with her bath and runs in her room and immediately starts to play I can easily say “that’s not on the list, can you tell me whats next?” and she is excited to point out that its time for pajamas. I also find this is helpful for when my daughter asks her daddy (using her adorable big round eyes) if she can “please watch” some Curious George – I can keep them both on track by asking whats next on the list and reminding that George will be there tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll have to edit this Bedtime Routine soon (I think I am going to add a “clean up room” before the “take a bath”) but for now it makes bedtime a million times easier.
What are some of the best ways you keep yourself and your little one on a schedule?