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Lucy’s Schedule at 21 Months

In my early days of new motherhood, I remember devouring posts of newborn schedules, and they helped me tremendously. If seeing others’ schedules helped me, my hope is that seeing ours will help you. (Plus, I honestly really love this stuff. Who’s with me?)

Mom and daughter, snuggling | Lucy's toddler schedule at 22 months old | via Yellow Brick Home
sectional | artwork | sweatshirt | velvet pillows | sconce | plush octopus

First, I realize I’m doing the thing that I promised myself I would never do, and that’s stating my daughter’s age in months. Oh, how that drove me crazy when I was youngster (ha)! Yet here I am, and now I get it. Each month is a milestone to be celebrated, with vast changes between the days and weeks. (But I draw the line at 2 years, promise!)

Toddler Schedules

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get to today’s topic: toddler schedules! I’m always a bit surprised when I get requests like these, but quite frequently, I receive questions about Lucy’s schedule. Questions like:

When does she eat? When does she nap? And how (as a work from home couple), do you DIY around her schedule?

As you ask, many of you let me know that you, too, have a child right around Lucy’s age – and although that may sound like a fleeting statement, I have to tell you, that warms my heart! It feels like we’re on the same team, like we’re in this parenting thing together. Like we’ve been friends for years, and we’re catching up over coffee while our kids snack alongside us.

I was reminded once again about your messages while chatting with a friend and neighbor who has a little girl 6 months younger than Lucy. She told me she likes knowing ‘what’s next’ by seeing Lucy grow before her eyes, and I told her I feel the same way about our OTHER neighbors, who have children 1 year older than Goose. We quickly learned that Lucy LOVES a schedule, and we’ve committed ourselves to keeping her content and happy by sticking to it – no matter what. If that sounds inconvenient, it’s quite the opposite; we know when to plan for our own work and projects, and we know when to pack it all away. ‘Scheduled Lucy’ is silly and giggly, whereas ‘No Schedule Lucy’ is cranky and on edge (Loosey Goosey?).

Lucy on the swing at the park | Lucy's toddler schedule at 22 months old | via Yellow Brick Home

Lucy’s Day | Monday – Thursday

Lucy is part of a nanny share most days during the week, and we like having that flex Friday for finishing up projects at Tree House. Here’s how the majority of her week shakes out:

  • 7 AM | Wake up!
  • 7:30 – 8 AM | Potty, get dressed, breakfast
  • 8 AM – 4 PM | Nanny share for Lucy, work for us
  • 4 PM | Snack
  • 5 – 6 PM | Make and have dinner together (Lucy helps from her tower!)
  • 6 – 6:30 | Wind down time, quiet voices, take a bath (every other day)
  • 6:30 – 7 | Read books
  • 7 PM | Bedtime

Lucy’s Day | Friday – Sunday

Regardless of where we are (Chicago or Tree House), this is how Lucy spends her day with us:

  • 7 AM | Wake up!
  • 7:30 – 8 AM | Potty, get dressed, breakfast
  • 8 – 11 AM | Play time, morning errands or a long family walk*
  • 11 AM – 12 PM | Make and have lunch together
  • 12 – 3 PM | Nap for Lucy, work for us
  • 3-ish | Snack
  • 3 – 5 PM | Go to the park or afternoon errands, general playtime*
  • 5 – 6 PM | Make and have dinner together (Lucy helps from her tower!)
  • 6 – 6:30 | Wind down time, quiet voices, take a bath (every other day)
  • 6:30 – 7 | Read books
  • 7 PM | Bedtime

*During the busier seasons of life, these are the times when Scott and I will switch off with Lucy while the other finishes up work, emails and projects.

Dad reading toddler a book with two dogs by their side | Lucy's toddler schedule at 22 months old | via Yellow Brick Home
grey rug | sconce | chrome fan

Okay, raise your hand if you want to talk Toddler Schedules! I’m all ears over here.

PS: This is our work day, in a nutshell.

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  • Kiera10.23.19 - 7:50 AM

    My kids are 18 and 14 and the oldest always needed/thrived with a schedule and the youngest hated a schedule, (I think he felt like it was us controlling him).  It took us some time to figure out how to keep to our daughter’s schedule and give our son the flexibility to make him feel heard.  But just knowing what your child(red) need and what gives them peace is a fun parenting puzzle to figure out.Each stage with children has it’s own challenges but I have always enjoyed finding the joy in each stage; terrible twos=emerging communication & independence, emotional fours=tender moments to teach long-lasting life skills, and teenagers are just SO MUCH fun, I love my teens and their friends.  The deep conversations, the humor, the freedom, the added help…Enjoy the journey!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.19 - 8:04 AM

      Aw, I love this so very much! It’s a crazy mix of emotions – wishing for that newborn stage again, but daydreaming about 10, 12, 16… it’s been the best adventure in every way.ReplyCancel

    • Kim B.10.23.19 - 12:51 PM

      That is a really beautiful message.  I’m not a mom, and never will be, but I really love what you said here and your generosity in sharing it with the new moms who are reading. (and it makes me think about my nieces and my brother and sister-in-law, who are heading into this age.  Saw the photos Sunday from my now 14-year-old niece’s first homecoming dance — in LA, of all places, and i’m hick from Oklahoma !! — and of course it made me realize how much she is growing up.) ReplyCancel

  • Lucy10.23.19 - 8:11 AM

    Love this! As a new mom, I too really enjoy reading parenting content. Really helps with perspective and insight on what to expect. Can you share how you guys introduce Lucy to solids? I’m struggling with introducing solids to my 8 month old. She just isn’t that interested. Thanks!  ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.19 - 8:48 AM

      We made our own food for her when we were starting out, and if she wasn’t interested, we kept trying. For example, she didn’t like avocado at first, but now she can’t get enough of it! On Sundays, I would make a big batch of mushy foods and freeze them in these containers:

      We still use those containers all the time for little snacks now that she’s older! Can’t recommend them enough. I would make more of what she did like (sweet potatoes, peas and carrots!) and less of what she didn’t. Also, EGGS. She devoured 2 eggs every morning for months – she was insatiable. Have you tried eggs?!ReplyCancel

    • Amanda10.23.19 - 9:11 AM

      Yes to eggs! Our daughter (19 months) ate 2 eggs every morning for about 6 months. We had great luck with “baby led weaning” – essentially a softer (and maybe less spiced) version of whatever the parents are having that night. Soft steamed carrots, brown rice, mushy brocoli, smooshed blueberries. It was messy but worth it!ReplyCancel

      • Kim10.23.19 - 9:53 AM

        We’ve heard great things about that as well! And yes to brown rice – we always had a big tupperware of that in fridge, ready to toss into whatever else she was eating!ReplyCancel

    • Kira10.23.19 - 4:04 PM

      If it makes you feel better, my son wasn’t really interested in solids at 8 months, either! We just kept offering him a variety of foods, and now, at 16 months, he eats almost anything. Feeding Littles was a great resource for us (check them out on Instagram!) because they taught me that it can take up to 40 exposures to something before your little one might like it (!); so, don’t put *too* much pressure on yourself and just take it one day at a time. :) (And in the meantime, organic baby food pouches & homemade smoothies were always a hit, and a big help for our own peace of mind that he was getting key nutrients!) ReplyCancel

  • Asya Lou10.23.19 - 8:13 AM

    How did you get her to sleep 3 hours? And is it consistent? Ours does 50-90min at daycare and is starting to do the same at home! She’s so cranky after daycare ????ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.19 - 8:43 AM

      We can count on a solid 2 hours, but usually it’s closer to 3 hours. That said, Lucy LOVES her sleep (like me!!) and she actually asks to take her nap! Maybe that part is luck, but we do work hard at sticking to her schedule. If she starts fussing around 2 hours, we don’t go in right away – she’ll talk to herself for a little bit, and then we’ll go in after 15 or 20 minutes.ReplyCancel

    • Michelle10.23.19 - 8:56 PM

      My younger daughter was the same way – always waking up after one sleep cycle. This trick did wonders! From ….
      “Usually the nap duration is military-precision predictable: you know exactly when your child is going to wake up. Which is helpful, because you’re going to set a timer for ~5-10 minutes prior to the time your child will be waking up. Wake them just slightly by jostling them while they’re still in the crib (not enough so that they’re standing there waiting for you to pick them up but enough so that you see a bit of eye fluttering). Often this will disrupt their sleep/wake pattern just enough so that they navigate back into deep sleep, thus extending the duration of the nap. Continue this pattern for 5-7 days, after which your child should have RE-habituated to the new longer nap sleep pattern and voila no more short naps for you.People are often resistant to this strategy because they fear simply waking their child up resulting in even shorter naps. But it’s often extremely effective and, worst-case, if you do inadvertently wake them up fully, you’ve only shaved a few minutes off an already short nap so really, it’s not a big deal.”ReplyCancel

  • KC10.23.19 - 8:25 AM

    Love seeing this. I also have a Jan 2018 babe and our schedules are so similar. You’re doing a great job! ReplyCancel

  • Emily10.23.19 - 8:41 AM

    Thanks for sharing!  My kids are elementary-school-aged now, but I always find this stuff interesting.  And oh, how I miss the days when my kids napped.  ReplyCancel

    • Scott10.23.19 - 9:40 AM

      The nap is crucial! We love that it gives us a few hours each afternoon to handle work and chores so we can be present while she’s awake.ReplyCancel

  • AH10.23.19 - 9:17 AM

    What about milk and snacks?  Are you doing either?  We also have a Jan 18 baby and struggling with if/how those are ruining meals. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.19 - 9:51 AM

      HOW did I forget to put snacks on the schedule?! Just updated the post. :)

      Lucy gets 1 snack a day around 3 or 4 pm (depending on the day), and we typically give her water with snacks. If she’s getting grumpy while we’re cooking dinner, I may give her some nibbles that would go on her dinner plate. She thinks it’s a snack, but it’s mostly just what she would have had for dinner anyway! We give her milk with meals.ReplyCancel

  • SG10.23.19 - 9:45 AM

    OMG, that last picture of story time with the pups! The very cutest thing!! ReplyCancel

    • Megan10.23.19 - 10:35 AM

      OMG THAT LAST PICTURE IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cassie10.23.19 - 10:15 AM

    I love love reading these kinds of posts! We have a 17 month old (almost 18—gah, I also hate counting in months but the differences are REAL) who also ADORES her sleep and I think it’s the sweetest thing ever. She’ll ask for her naps and bedtime—also just like me! ;) The current predicament we’re in now though is that her daycare provider is still doing two shorter naps (~1.5 hours) and we’re really trying to transition to that one longer nap on her days with us. Maybe it’s premature, but we were finding that afternoon nap to just be so hit or miss after a solid 2 hours in the morning, so I’d rather shift it later and have it be 2-3 hours. Sometimes we can make it to 11, but she’s often rubbing her eyes and asking for it around 10-10:30.Any tips on how/when you transitioned your sleep-loving girl to just one nap?ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.19 - 12:13 PM

      Hi, Cassie! We found that she shifted to the 1 mid-day nap pretty naturally, probably around 16/17 months. She does her nanny share with one other kid who is 3 months older than her, and he transitioned to one nap about a month before she did. Our nanny told us that Lucy started to feel left out because she was napping while he was awake, and she wanted to skip her morning naps to keep playing… and so the transition began! With the nanny, she did 1 nap no problem. With us, she stuck with 2 naps for about a month (we’re probably more boring than the nanny, haha) before she went down to 1! I think we started gradually though… maybe it started around 11 AM – 1 PM and then we kept inching it closer to 12. It just takes a little bit of time. I think you’re still on the earlier side of things, and we’ve heard from others who have kids that still love their 2 naps. I think she’ll let you know when she’s ready, but it’s worth having a talk with your care provider so that you’re on the same page. Good luck!!ReplyCancel

  • Katy Fattaleh10.23.19 - 10:23 AM

    Pout Pout Fish is a favorite in our house too!ReplyCancel

    • AmandaKB10.23.19 - 6:52 PM

      I love that book!  My friend has it for her son, and I just read it for the first time recently.  I quickly purchased a few as Christmas gifts.ReplyCancel

      • Kim10.23.19 - 9:42 PM

        The YouTube video where the guy sings it is one of Lucy’s faves!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy10.23.19 - 11:21 AM

    Already potty trained!? My daughter is a similar age and we are still in diaper mode. Any advice here would be most welcome!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.19 - 12:08 PM

      We’re in training mode, but she is most definitely NOT potty trained! She just loves sitting on the toilet while we read her book. Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn’t. She still wears diapers, but we started training because she talked about ‘potty’ all the time!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica10.23.19 - 6:39 PM

    My daughter is almost 17 months and is still holding strong with two naps at home but her daycare only has them nap once for 2 hours. I’m always curious about others schedules to see if there’s something else’s we can try. We have a loose schedule depending on her waking time. I do wish we had a consistent AM wake up time because before 6AM is cruel on a Saturday. ReplyCancel

  • Nicole10.23.19 - 6:56 PM

    Sorry if you’ve already answered this, but what are your plans for the time change?? I’m so nervous! 

    And wow, what a great sleeper!!!! 7-7 AND a 2-3 hour nap?! I am jealous (with a 19 monther who naps 1.5 and sleeps ~11 at night!) I know all kids are different but boy I wonder if we should pull bedtime a bit earlier to see if it would help her evening grumpiness. Thanks so much for sharing!! ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.23.19 - 9:41 PM

      We give ourselves a grace period for the time changes. She’s been pretty easy to adjust about 3-5 days. ????ReplyCancel

  • Hillary10.23.19 - 7:02 PM

    Our 16 year old was on a schedule almost identical to Lucy’s. Now she craves (and protects) her 8-10 hours of sleep a night — so unlike most American teens! Our 14 year old was also on a relatively strict schedule, though slightly more flexible (second babies have to be adaptable, I guess). She also still adores and protects her sleep time. I really think baby schedules that protect sleep are great training for life. So thankful that we were able to make it work for our kids!ReplyCancel

  • Ling10.24.19 - 1:21 AM

    I was totally recently wondering if you’d share Lucy’s routine: my babies are 18mo & I love seeing your posts about Lucy so that I might have a preview of what you look out for/forward to :D thank you for sharing!! It’s all so helpful! ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.24.19 - 7:55 AM

      Happy to help! If there’s ever a topic you’re interested in, let us know!ReplyCancel

  • A. Williams10.24.19 - 10:22 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this and other parenting Lucy articles! It’s so helpful for me to reference with a 19-month old little lady how other working parents schedule their days. ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The Gold Hive10.25.19 - 12:25 PM

    Definitely saving this post! But what about all the baby schedules, too?? This person that doesn’t have children loves reading all about small human schedules.ReplyCancel

  • Krissi10.25.19 - 2:23 PM

    did you sleep train Lucy!?  We are struggling with sleep.  Thanks for posting!  Super helpful!  ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.25.19 - 3:23 PM

      We did! It was tough for the first 3 nights, and on night 4… SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. We started when she was almost 5 months old, but first we talked with her doctor to make sure she was ready (she was soooo ready). She’s been sleeping through the night ever since! We prioritize sleep in this family, and luckily, our girl loves sleep, too. I know that sometimes sleep training can be a little controversial, but for us, it felt like a magic trick. We joke that we still don’t understand how it happened – but we were pretty strict with it. We followed this chart, and by the third night, she would stop fussing after about 10 minutes, and… it just worked for us. Let me know if you want to talk about it any further, I’m happy to be an ear for you!ReplyCancel

  • Kat10.25.19 - 2:33 PM

    Hey guys! Thanks for Lucy’s schedule… so nice to see what’s to come! Owen is almost 16 months now & is doing two naps of 35 – 90 minutes each (depending on if he’s home with me or at Nana & Papa’s). Hoping he’ll transition to one nice long nap eventually so that I can really get some stuff done. 
    How did you wean the Goose off of bottles? We’re struggling with him not drinking enough milk in the day whenever we try. ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.25.19 - 3:19 PM

      Hey, Kat! We started using these sippy cups with a straw that Lucy LOVED so much. She begged for them. She had no interest in bottles anymore once she tried it. But I know that each kiddo will want different kinds, and all sippys are not created equal! Keep playing around until you find one that he can’t get enough of. Hopefully Owen and Lucy can meet one day!ReplyCancel

      • Kat10.26.19 - 4:43 PM

        Oh, I really hope so too! ReplyCancel

  • Sara10.31.19 - 12:41 PM

    Our daughter is on the same schedule for sleep and naptimes at 17 months.. what’s even crazier, her nickname is also Goose. Love seeing these posts :)ReplyCancel

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