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  • Writer's pictureTori Beans

18-Month-Old Daily Schedule

Little girl walking on  path

My baby has turned 20 months old. I truly can’t believe how fast the time has been flying by. I thought it would be helpful to write out her daily schedule. She has been following the same schedule for a few months now, so I am calling this a “18-month-old schedule”. I don’t foresee it changing too much in the near future, with the exception of trying to push nap time back a little bit because she is going to camp in June, and they nap a little later (12pm). A lot of 1 year olds are still taking two naps, but at about one, my daughter had transitioned to one longer stretch. Occasionally, she would still take a very short nap in the stroller around 430ish if we took a walk.

Lily has (3) 5oz milk bottles a day. We do 5oz milk and fill the bottle to the top with water to help hydrate her as well. She gets a bottle: when she first wakes up, right before nap, and right before bedtime. She also eats 3 meals a day, and snacks. I change her diaper about every 3 hours during the day, or whenever it becomes apparent, she needs a new one (read: POOOOOP). She eats breakfast about an hour after waking up, eats lunch after her nap, and dinner around 5:30-6pm.

At one a lot of people transition from a bottle to a sippy cup. We honestly just like holding our baby and giving her the bottle before bed, also we had our kids so close together (14 months apart) and it was difficult to change her routine so much so we decided to keep the bottle as part of the routine. I'm not really concerned because she drinks well from many different types of cups with straws, and also from open cups.

Okay, now here it is my 20-month-olds daily schedule.

Detailed Schedule:

7:00am Lily wakes up.

I feed her an 8oz bottle of milk. It’s 5oz whole milk and filled to the top with water. We heat her bottles (not the top part) in the microwave for 1 minute and shake well (with top on lol) before giving it to her. I leave the lights off and just scoop her out of bed and feed her in her room. Then I change her diaper and outfit for the day.

9:00am Breakfast

Lily eats a real breakfast just like adults do. She has a variety of things from scrambled eggs to blueberry muffins, pancakes, waffles, fruit, yogurt, you name it she eats it. Occasionally I’ll even feed her some chicken and avocado, or other protein-based meals. We really just give her whatever is on had in the house at the time.

11:00am Nap Time

little girl sleeping in bed

Her nap is typically 4 hours after she has woken up, although it really varies. I try to pay attention to her sleep cues. If she is wide awake and running around playing, we can push the nap back even as late as 12:30-1pm. Sometimes if she is showing sleep cues like rubbing her eyes or laying down with her stuffed animals, I will put her down a little earlier like 10:30am. At nap time I feed her a bottle just like I did when she woke up. I feed her in her bedroom in the love seat with the lights off and sound machine already on, so she starts to get sleepy, and a lot of times goes right to bed after.

Sometimes she will mess around in the bed for 15-20 minutes quietly, and eventually put herself to sleep. She usually sleeps anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours; it all depends how tired she is. I find in our house she usually takes a longer nap than at other places.

1:30pm Lily wakes up from nap. I change her diaper, and clothes if necessary. I don’t wake her up, so this time varies.

1:45pm Lunch Time

I feed her lunch with a sippy cup of water. She eats a variety of things for lunch like chicken, avocado, rice, steak, tomato, etc. We always try to have a protein and a fruit or vegetable on the plate and usually also offer a carb as well.

3:30pm Lily diaper change, and snack.

She eats a lot of different snacks but here are some examples: Cheese stick, Pretzels, goldfish, etc. & I always leave her water cup out after lunch so she can have a sip whenever she is thirsty so usually by this time I will dump and refill the cup.

5:30pm Dinner Time

We try to eat dinner as a family and give her the same foods we are eating. Sometimes if we are eating something spicy, we will give her something different. We always make sure to have cut up grilled chicken, avocado, and sautéed broccoli in the house because she really loves those, so she eats them for a lot of meals. For example, the other night I made burritos. We didn’t feed her a full-on burrito, but I gave her a deconstructed one. I offered avocado, ground beef with corn and peppers, and some shredded cheddar cheese. She loved it!

6:30pm Diaper change (overnight diaper) and into pajamas.

I try to clean her up from dinner and let her play for a little, then get her changed for bed and let her play a little longer to get the rest of her energy out.

7:00pm Bedtime.

I make her a bottle just like in the morning and before nap. I turn the lights down in her room make sure her heater and noise machine are on and bring her to bed. I feed her the bottle in my arms, and she sometimes falls asleep in my arms. I place her in her bed, hand her her lovie and say goodnight. She doesn’t always go straight to sleep; it can take 15-20 minutes for her to settle and actually fall asleep.

She typically sleeps 11-12 hours a night. I’ve found that the later I put her to bed, the earlier she wakes up. This is the opposite of what I would think would happen but for whatever reason, it is true.

This schedule is just the basics of meals and sleeping, in between and during each of the awake items she is constantly playing. She loves to climb, jump, run, go on the swings. My daughter is very active and never sits still a lot of her meals are on the go or standing in her kitchen helper stool. (Check out my post "Toddler Must Have: Kitchen Helper Stool" for more info, because if you don't have one you need one, they are amazing!

Little girl eating dinner

We also bathe our child hahahah but we definitely don't do it every day, so I left it out of the schedule. We try to keep it to about 2 baths a week because Lily has really sensitive skin and had bad eczema, so it is better to wash less often. However, in the summer when we are using sunscreen it will likely be most every day.

So, that's it, my 18-month-old daily schedule (which more broadly covers from about1-2 years old from my experience). Is there anything I missed? If your babe is not quite at this age range yet, check out my post "6-month-old daily routine"!

Please note, this schedule is a general rule of thumb and a *perfect* day. It is never exactly like this, and every day is different, but it is generally approximate to what my child has been doing the couple of past months. Please don't let my schedule/routine freak you out or make you feel any type of way, you are doing great, and every child is different! This is only meant to offer a bit of guidance if you weren't sure how to structure your child's day. Sending love and light to all the parents out there just doing their best---you are crushing it!

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