When it comes to toddlers and routines, we are looking at a match made in heaven. Routines for toddlers are game-changers.
Toddlers don’t yet have the skills to be able to tell time. But when we give them routines, what they do have is a way to anticipate what comes next.
Routines Help Build their Confidence and Sense of Safety
You always hear the saying “Confidence is key”. When it comes to toddlers, this saying rings true.
There’s nothing that can throw a toddler off more than when something unpredictable happens. Our little one’s love to feel like they are in control of their surroundings and what affects them. When they don’t feel that way it makes room for stress, uncertainty and anxiety.
Routines create environments where kids can feel safe and confident. Toddlers thrive in these environments and display fewer tantrums and more positive behaviours as a result. A routine can give them a sense that life is predictable. This is key for the moments when something unpredictable does happen. The structure routines offer will equip them to better handle these situations. This is because they know that they will eventually return to a routine and the fear or uncertainty they feel won’t last forever.
Routines can Encourage Improved Body Behaviour
A child who follows a consistent routine is more likely to not only behave better but also sleep and eat better. This is not to say that you will never come across challenges with a routine in place, but even those challenges can be a bit easier to handle.
You’ll notice that they may snack less and have more room to eat their actual meals. And getting them to wind down and get ready for bed may also get easier. This is a result of their body clock adjusting to the routine.
At the end of the day they will perform better when they are prepared. If they know what comes next, you can expect them to just do what is needed most of the time without trying to persuade them.
Routines teach Important Life Skills
At times we may notice that we ourselves have bad eating and sleeping habits. Some of us are also prone to procrastination and lack motivation when trying to get things done. Usually, this has something to do with the absence of a routine in childhood.
But we can change that for our kids!
Routines teach our children important life skills like endurance, independence, cleanliness, organization and self motivation. These things are essential for success in adulthood.
Creating the Perfect Routine for your Toddler
The perfect routine for your toddler must be simple and predictable and it should work for not only your toddler, but for you as well.
I find it easier to have a simple outline that I can fill in everyday with different activities.
Here is an example:
- 7:00 – Wake up, brush teeth, help make breakfast
- 8:30 – Eat Breakfast, Tidy Up
- 9:00 – Free Independant Play
- 10:30 – Snack Time
- 11:00 – Craft, Activity, Reading
- 12:00 – Lunch Time
- 12:30 – Nap Time
- 2:00 – Outside Play/ walk
- 4:00 – Dinner Time
- 5:00 – Playtime/Screen Time and Cleanup
- 7:00 – Bathtime, brush teeth, put on PJ’s
- 8:00 – Bedtime story and Sleep
Related Article: the Best Educational Videos for Toddlers
How do I Implement a Routine
The best way to get your toddler used to a routine like this is to simply just begin. There may be some resistance at the beginning if your toddler is used to doing whatever whenever, but eventually, they will learn what to expect.
If you do end up experiencing some resistance, you can try these 5 ways you to motivate your child without rewards.
Make it fun for them!
The satisfaction that comes with crossing things off a list isn’t exclusive to us moms. It can be exciting for your toddler as well. Try this free downloadable routine checklist for your toddler and watch them get excited about getting things done.
I encourage you to try routines out and see for yourself how great they can be great for your child!