The toddler years are a time of remarkable growth and development as language, social and motor skills all develop at amazing rates. All these changes can be overwhelming ~ your toddler’s world may seem difficult, bewildering and even frightening. Experts agree that toddlers thrive on having structure to their day. Routines help them to feel safe.
A predictable routine also helps toddlers feel in control. Toddlers measure their day by the order of events in it. Creating a stable routine ~ even if it is just a rough one ~ helps toddlers to make sense of their world and have a feeling of control over it.
It is important to remember that doing things at the same time every day is not as important as doing things in the same order. Some common routines you might try are:
- Morning Routine –Start right from the moment your toddler wakes. This can be as simple as getting her dressed and fed. You could also include reading a story, playing and some cuddle time with mom and dad.
- Meals & Snacks – Toddler’s bodies soon get used to eating at certain times, and her mood will also improve if she eats at regular times. Don’t forget to schedule times for snacks also. If you let her snack too much during the day she won’t want to eat at meal time!
- Nap time – Toddlers need at least a 2 hour nap every afternoon. Make sure she has a regular nap time. Lack of sleep is sure to make her cranky and irritable.
- Night time Routine: Toddlers need up to 12 hours of sleep each night. Your toddler will be able to prepare herself for bed if she knows it happens every night after a bath and a story. She may also fall asleep faster and establish better overall sleeping habits.