My 18-Month Toddler Routine

Hello and welcome! Thought it was about time I whipped up another routine post (I wrote this one at 12-months) because I am still incredibly nosy and still love reading/hearing about other people’s baby and toddler routines.

Our routine with Atti has been a little up in the air recently. We started transitioning from two naps a day down to one nap a day around the 16-month mark. We found he struggled more with obvious signs of tiredness in the mornings rather than in the late afternoon, so would offer him his one nap a day quite early – from around 10am.

We would basically try and do one nap a day when we were at home (or he was at nursery) and try and keep him awake/distracted from his tiredness by playing with him, having snacks etc, but then on other days we’d let him cat nap in the car if we were out and about so that he would end up having one short nap and one proper cot nap.

While he was getting used to one nap a day we would try and let him sleep as long as he wanted, but often this would exceed two and a half hours or even three hours. So although it was one rather than two, the amount of day sleep he was getting was fairly similar.

Not long after this transition stage he started waking up at 5am which lasted a good month/month and a half and we were wildly confused. He was having less frequent sleep in the day, so surely he should still want a solid 11 hours or more at night?!

We tried a slightly later bedtime but the 5am wake-ups just kept on coming.

But since then we’ve started capping his day naps at around two-hours, sometimes slightly longer if he’s had a bad night’s sleep or a particularly full-on morning. It’s taken a few weeks to notice the difference, but he seems to be sleeping to around 6am/6.30am again, so maybe we’ve cracked it? No fucking idea tbh. I’m just winging it and hoping to get through most days without too much exhaustion flowing through my veins.

Anyway, I’ll stop wittering on, and give you the deets of our current routine.


WAKE-UP – Anywhere between 6am and 7am.

BOTTLE – 3/4oz of cow’s milk as soon as he wakes up. I know the NHS discourage the use of bottles over the age of 12-months, but admittedly we’re still using them, more for the comfort aspect than anything. He’s becoming less and less interested in milk so I suspect we will wean him off these over the next month or so. He does have milk in a beaker at nursery, so yes, this is probs something we should implement at home.

BREAKFAST – 7.30am. I let Atti choose his cereal in the morning (he does this at nursery so thought I would follow it too). His current faves are Rice Krispies and Weetabix. Some days he takes himself into the kitchen and takes me back to where we keep the cereal and bread and will say ‘more’, so I’ll give him a slice of toast too.

FUN – 9am. Admittedly we do usually have the TV on in the mornings – we watch Milkshake on Channel 5 whilst everyone has their tea/coffee/milk/breakfast and tries to wake up and get ready for the day ahead. We try and get out and about before nap time – this can be meeting up with NCT friends for a play date, heading out to the supermarket, going for a coffee, or heading to the park.

SNACK – 10am. I usually try and ply him with fruit following breakfast. Current faves are blueberries and satsumas. If I’ve forgotten to bring anything out with me then the kid LOVES to share (or not really share that much) a Nakd bar with me.

NAP – 11am-1pm. Fresh nappy, in his sleep bag with his monkey, white noise on, black out blind down. He takes himself off to sleep within a few minutes, and usually I wake him from this.

LUNCH – 1pm. Straight into his highchair for water and lunch (his current faves are pasta, or egg and pea fried rice).

PLAY – 1.30pm onwards. On lazy days we watch Disney films and play with blocks and cars. On less lazy days we might meet friends or run errands. Sometimes we play with the water table in the garden. Sometimes I try (and fail) to set up super fun activities, like painting and then yes I am the only one doing any painting.

SNACK – 3pm. Atti is usually pretty good at telling me when he’s hungry and will take himself to the kitchen. He have a pretty stocked up supply of bits and bobs from the Organix range and the Kiddylicious range.

DINNER – 5.30/6pm. We try and all eat together and try and all have the same(ish) meal. Often doesn’t go to plan as Atti is being particularly fussy with food at the moment, so plain pasta/cereal are always our fall backs. We don’t tend to offer a dessert.

BATH – 6.30pm. We do a bath every other night unless he is particularly grubby/sticky/covered in his dinner.

BED – 7pm. We read a couple of books, play with his cuddly toys, offer another 3/4oz of cow’s milk (which he rarely finishes but is more of a top-up) and then put him in bed, wish him goodnight and leave him to self-settle. Sometimes he takes up to half an hour to go to sleep and needs re-settling. But this is a fairly recent thing! He sleeps through unless he’s unwell and that’s it!


Is your routine similar?

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