It’s been a while since I last posted anything about our routine, which surprises me really, considering how much I rely on routine to keep me as sane as you can be when you’re raising little ones. Florence turning one, my battles with morning sickness and a house move have all contributed to the way we now get on day to day. Amazingly Florence has been completely unphased by our house move and total overhaul of our daily routine and that’s really helped us get it all sorted. This version of our daily routine is for a day spent at home, and often if we are heading out we tend to go out first thing to be back for around 3pm.
Generally we start our day at around 6am. Sean has already left for work and we have snuggles in bed for a little while before coming downstairs where Florence has her bottle in front of the Twirlywoos on CBeebies. My mum is normally up and about getting ready for work so we have a little chat with her and then read some books or do some quiet play until around 8am.
We have breakfast together, normally Florence has a combination of cereal / toast and fruit while I just have a grown up portion of whatever she has. We tend to eat in the living room at breakfast time so that Florence can watch Octonauts while I catch up on the news and any emails that have come in.
After breakfast we get dressed and then I do some house bits like put a load of washing on and unload / load the dishwasher and just generally tidy up. Florence likes to follow me around and ‘help’. She has a real fascination with the washing machine so likes to help put the clothes in and claps once it’s all in and the door is shut. She is an expert sweeper so often follows me around with her little broom.
We then get some toys out and play for an hour or so. I try to make sure there’s an element of learning in our morning play, whether that be exploring animal sounds with the HappyLand farm, shape sorting, counting with some building or stacking toys, or playing hide and seek games. This is mostly led by Florence though, so while I like to keep it educational I like to watch her choose the activity and discover new ways to do things.
By 10.30/11am she is generally ready for a nap and while before hand I used to just let her play until she came and cuddled up we now head upstairs at this time and lay on our bed. She takes around 20/30 minutes to properly go off and then I transfer her to her cot for the remainder of her nap. What I do with this time can vary massively at the moment. Sometimes I have an early lunch and then head out and hang the washing out from earlier or get some other housework bigs done. As I mentioned earlier I’ve been really struggling with nausea and just sheer tiredness throughout this pregnancy so sometimes I take advantage of the quiet and try and nap for half an hour too, or just sit and watch something on Amazon Prime for a while. I hope now though, as the sickness eases I will be able to use this time to get some work done like I used to and become a bit more regular with my blogging.
On a good day, florence will sleep for around two hours and so as soon as she wakes we come down and have some lunch at the dining table. If I’ve already eaten, I just have a snack, but again normally we have the same thing just in different size portions. I am going to share some toddler lunch ideas in another post, but some of our favourites include hot dog pasta, a picnic lunch, cheese and biscuits or beans on toast. I always add a piece of fruit to her meals too.
After lunch I’ve started to introduce a ‘sit down’ activity that she can normally do while still at the table. Things like colouring in, playing with stickers and exploring play dough all work well and give me a chance to put our lunch bits away while still keeping an eye on her and chatting while I go. This has gone down so well with Florence and is such a nice way to introduce her to more quiet creative play. I’ve started to collect things like stickers and colouring pages from kids magazines and our favourites at the moment are Peppa Pig & the CBeebies magazine.
Once she’s had enough, I either let her just play freely or put together an activity for her to do. As it’s been so hot recently, we’ve been heading out to the garden and playing with her water table. She gets soaked but it means she stays cool and there’s so many different ways to play that it’s been quite fun to set up too. Often our afternoon play is accompanied by music as Florence loves to sing and dance along. If it’s a day when we might like to go out for some fresh air, sometimes we go to the park behind my Mum’s house (where we are living at the moment) and have a play with a ball or go on the swings and slide. Other days we’ll pop to the shops or just go for a little walk around the village.
Sean gets home at around 4.30pm and so between then and dinner time (5.30pm ish) he takes over parenting duties while I cook tea, clear up the afternoon bus and get things ready for the bath and bed routine. Florence is normally a bit grizzly and tired at this time so they will watch Hey Dugee or just do something quietly together… after the standard throwing child in the air, tickle monster visit and all the other fun stuff Dad’s get to do that is.
We have dinner together as a family with my sister and sometimes mum joining us if they’re home in time. Again, Florence has the same as us followed by a yogurt or fruit pouch. Eating together and eating the same thing is something that I believe has really helped make Florence such a good eater. There is very little she won’t eat or at least try.
This next bit is another change to our routine – we used to bath her straight after dinner as she would get in such a mess, but we decided to change that up a bit as it meant that there was such a big gap between bath and bedtime that sometimes she wouldn’t go to bed until 11pm. This worked for a while but now with a new baby on the way, we need to get our evenings a little more scheduled. So, now after tea she has an half and hour to an hour of play – often this coincides with a pop to the park with the dogs to run off some steam before getting in the bath and then going to bed.
Our bedtimes are hardly text book, we go upstairs to our room, lay on our bed and give her her bedtime bottle and then basically just lay with her until she drifts off. This can take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour but it works for us. Once she’s asleep I transfer her to her cot in her bedroom and she generally (not always!) sleeps through until the next morning.
And then in the evenings I either get on with some work, have a bath or spend some time with the family before going to bed myself.
What does a day in your life with a toddler look like?