How To Get Into A Scheduled Routine

It’s difficult to have a smooth daily schedule when you have babies and toddlers. They can be so unpredictable. That’s why it’s so important that you set up a routine for them. 

I’m going to offer you some tips on how to get into a scheduled routine for stay at home moms. Routines are so important to your little one. They need the strict schedule. They need the predictability of knowing what’s coming next. If they don’t, you’ll end up with lots of tears, maybe even some of your own.

Being a stay at home mom is tough. I work from home too and I find it hard to balance everything.  I have been trying so hard to get used to a scheduled routine with my babies. I have a 3-month-old infant, toddler, and preschooler. I found that most of my days ended it with thoughts about how I only got one thing done or the guilt of not teaching my kids anything that day. I needed to find time to do everything on my to-do list while still taking care of my home and family. Most of the time I would just stay in my pj’s all day! It was time for a change.

If we can make our lives a little simpler, 
it’s by creating routines with our little ones.  Click To Tweet

If we can make our lives a little simpler, it’s by creating routines with our little ones. We need it more than they do. Down below you’ll also see how to make a little chart for your little ones to help you get into the habit of your everyday routines!

Scheduled Routine Tips:

Wake up Earlier than the Kids

Have a morning routine for yourself. Take this time to relax and plan the day ahead. I always enjoy a cup of coffee and writing in my planner. It’s the only time the house is quiet and still. Wake up early and enjoy it. Some days I’ll even do some yoga to get some exercise in.

Start off with Setting a Timer

to remind you of when it’s time to do something or change activities. I had to do this because we would waste our whole mornings just lounging around (it was nice, but nothing was getting done) We wouldn’t get ready for “our day” until after lunchtime *gasp* I started setting up reminders on my phone so every time it was time to do something my phone would ring and we’d go on to the next activity. If you do this enough for a few days you’ll start to get the hang of it and won’t need the timers anymore. Habits must be consistent to become part of a routine. While they are difficult to implement at first, they get easier with time.

Make a list of your day with the time you want to spend on each task. I listed everything as a reminder on my phone and set it to repeat every day. 

Focus on 3 M.I.T’S

Focus on the 3 most important tasks that you absolutely have to accomplish for the day. This forces you to prioritize and should help you generate the most productive day possible. 

Write it Down

Writing things down or having a hard copy of your schedule makes it easier to remember. I’ve created printables, available for free when you sign up, so you can create your own schedule.

Be Flexible

Things are never going to go as planned. Keep adjusting your schedule until it fits. Especially when you have a newborn or infant. They often go through growth spurts and I find myself nursing her for hours! 

Plan your Days Fully

Account for every minute, or at least every 30 minutes. When planning with toddlers and babies you have to tell them exactly everything that is going to happen. My son always asks me every morning, “mommy what are we doing today?” And I always tell him, “first we’re going to brush our teeth and get dressed, then we’re going to do some laundry…” We have to keep our activities going so that one thing usually follows the other and keep it consistent daily. We always have our meal times around the same time every day too. The kids always know when it’s almost time to eat because it’s usually after a certain activity. When kids expect something and it doesn’t happen that’s when things can go downhill. So keep your days full and be consistent.

Plan out your meals

I waste so much time trying to decide what we’re going to eat. I’m pretty indecisive. The kids used to always ask and I’d be on my phone browsing Pinterest recipes. That’s why meal planning is so important. When it’s already decided what you’re eating for the day it makes your day go by faster and smoother. Right now I only plan my meals a day in advance. I’m still learning how to properly meal plan, it’s so hard for me to decide for a whole week!

Clean up

We always pick up in the morning and at night. Make it fun by singing the cleanup song! During the day we do laundry and one house chore. One house chore could be like cleaning the bathrooms, or sweeping and mopping all of the floors. As long as we get that done I’m happy and the house is clean enough.

Have quiet time/nap time

The toddlers and babies need this, but so does mommy. After a full day, it’s nice to just take a break and relax. So be sure to make time for quiet time. If your toddlers are like mine and they won’t nap try reading a book and snuggling. This is my favorite part of the day.

Batch Errands

Try to plan all of your errands on the same day every day. Lugging around kids all over town is no easy feat.

Get out of the house

Get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Go to the park, take a walk around the neighborhood, get some lunch, ride your bikes. I love baby carrying. I have the Boba 3G baby carrier and it’s so comfortable! I’ve had it since my 5-year-old was a baby! Being cooped up in the house all day is no fun. Getting out will allow you to get some fresh air and have the kids expend some energy.

Put your phone Down

It is so easy to spend hours on your phone and barely pays attention to the kids.  Be present and enjoy the time you have with your little ones. Before you know it they’ll be moving out and starting their own family.

Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine.

My kids sleep in our bed with us, but we still always make sure to have a bedtime routine for them. Hopefully, soon they can start sleeping in their own beds. We always start the night first by doing only quiet activities like puzzles or coloring so that they can calm down. Then we give them a warm bath, read some bedtime stories with them or sing a lullaby and get into bed. You have to do this every night consistently so they can get into the habit. Soon enough just doing these activities will make them sleepy.

Here is a sample of what our schedule looks like:

7:00 am — Wake up, check messages, alone time

7:40 – wake kids up (let the baby sleep), go potty, wash faces & brush teeth

8:00 – Get dressed and ready for the day

8:30 – Get coffee, eat breakfast, baby usually wakes up to nurse

9:00 – Clean up the house, start laundry, empty dishwasher

9:15 – Tot school, learning activities, nurse

10:00 – Snack time 

10:30 – Reading or play time with me, nurse

12:00 pm – Lunch

1:00  – Quiet Time/Nap Time, nurse

2:00 – Run errands

3:00 – Outside fun or gross motor movement time inside

4:00 – Make the kids pick up around the house, while I nurse

4:30 – Play quietly while mommy cooks dinner

5:00 – Daddy comes home

5:30 – Dinner

6:00 – Pick up

6:15 – Relax on the couch, nurse

7:45 — Bedtime routine begins with quiet activities

8:15 — Bath time

8:30 —Read in bed, snuggle, nurse the baby etc.

9:00 — Bedtime

Routines and schedules make the day go more smoothly and helps you to get more things done.

Plan out what you need to accomplish daily and work on those tasks into a manageable schedule. You can download my printable daily scheduled routine printables + tip sheet below, by signing up to my email list, to help you get started on creating your ideal scheduled routine with your kids.

Kids’ Morning/Night Routine Chart

Kid's Magnet Routine Chart

I also made this awesome morning and night routine chart for my son. Having him do this was like a triple reminder to get us into the habit of our new schedule!

My boys love this! At first, they were playing with it, but I told him that they can only put it up once he did those chores.

The boys looked at each picture and knew what they had to do. They quickly ran to the sink and started brushing their teeth!

They then came back all excitedly and I said: “now you can put it up!” Pierce did it and I showed them the star that said well done! They were so happy and continued to do that for every task just so he can put them all up!

I got this idea from several Pinterest posts.  Here’s a great tutorial on it:

I made my own printable using clip art from the following sites:

▪  How Stuff Works

▪ Kid to Kid

▪ Hello Bee

Kids chore chart printable

To download this click here: Kids Routine Chart Printable

How to Make The Kids Routine Chart:

1. To make this chart just cut out each image.

2. Get two sheets of cardstock paper (one for the morning, and one for the night) and fold the paper in half.

3. Then glue or tape the little pictures to the middle paper over the fold (see below)

4. I used magnet sheets to attach to the bottom row and cut another row for the top so they can attach to each other when folded up.

5. Afterward, I just cut the bottom half of the cardstock paper and magnet sheet into slits for each image.

6. Now when the kids finish a chore/routine they can simply fold it up and say DONE! & you’ll know

Final thoughts:

You will never have time unless you make it

When you have a routine set out like this and make it a daily habit it starts to become second nature to you

Of course, every day won’t always go as planned, but like everything else, practice it enough and you will get used to it.

Get your kids involved

Enjoy the present and enjoy being able to spend every minute with your kids

**Be sure to sign up below to get your FREE printable daily schedules and routines + a quick checklist with the best tips to get started on a scheduled routine as a stay at home mom!**

What are some tips that you can share about creating a scheduled routine? I’d love to hear them! I’m still learning how to manage my time and get into a consistent routine. I find the days that I actually stick to this routine are the days when we are all a bit happier.

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