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Filtering by Tag: daily rhythm

Our Daily Rhythm with a Toddler and a Baby


Last winter, I posted D’s daily routine in this blog post. Obviously our lives have changed quite a bit, and we have some new routines, while others remained the same. Montessori influences all aspects of our day: from self-serve breakfast to independent playtime to walks in the forest together. I try to set up a “rhythm” without any rigid schedules or agendas. Though D goes to school a few mornings a week, we don’t go to other formal classes (except swim class on the weekend). I like to leave space and time for the kids to just play, for D to not feel rushed, and for time with family and friends. No day looks exactly the same, and weekends are more spontaneous, but as I write this blog post, there are clear patterns to our “typical” day.

Our Daily Rhythm with a Toddler and a Baby - Montessori in Real Life

Throughout our daily rhythm, you’ll see a lot of free play time. In Montessori, we often call this a work cycle. For D, this means a variety of things. Sometimes it’s independently working at her shelf with her materials. Other times it’s playing pretend with her dolls and stuffed animals. Free play time also includes art, sensory, and practical life. Not all of her time is spent playing independently; sometimes we’re at her shelf together doing lessons or she just wants me to sit with her. She and I also like to play games like hide & seek and do yoga together. And of course, she always loves to bring her little brother toys and “play” with him! We try to incorporate all types of play into the day, which honestly just happens naturally. During her work cycle, she gets to take the lead and choose what interests her. You can read more about how we encourage independent play in this blog post.

Our Daily Rhythm with a Toddler and a Baby - Montessori in Real Life

A note about Baby S: Now that he is four months old, he’s fallen into a fairly consistent rhythm. Rather than exact times, I use wake windows (he’s usually awake for 90-120 minutes before he’s ready for sleep again), so take these times with a grain of salt. Some days he takes three naps; other days, four. He also typically nurses both before and after sleeps, which works out to about every 1.5 to 2 hours (As he’s had some reflux, he nurses at just one side at a time; otherwise, I’d probably lengthen that to 2-3 hours.) He has been putting himself to sleep since he found his thumb and fingers around 3 months. Over the next few months, his wake windows will lengthen, his sleep will consolidate more, and he will hopefully start sleeping through the night, but this is our rhythm for now. You can read more about how and where he sleeps in this blog post!

Our Daily Rhythm with a Toddler and a Babe - Montessori in Real Life

D’s Schedule (27 Months)

7:00 to 7:30am - Rise and Shine - My husband typically gets D up and helps her get ready for the day before he leaves for work.

7:30 to 8:30am - Breakfast - I let D serve her own breakfast (e.g. oatmeal with toppings or avocado toast) and we read or play a little together. Then she goes potty and gets on her coat and shoes before we leave the house.

8:30 to 11:30am - School/Out and About - We are usually out of the house. A few days a week D has school (where she is given a 2-hr work cycle), and other days we go to the park, run errands, or have a playdate with friends.

11:30 to 1pm - Lunch - Back at home, we eat lunch together. Then she has a little independent play time while I get S down, or she “helps” me. We often read quite a few books together before her naptime, while she sits on the potty.

1 to 2:30pm - Rest - D goes down for a nap or has quiet time in her room if she doesn’t sleep. She plays with her dolls, books, animals, and a few quiet toys.

2:30 to 5pm - Work Cycle - This is typically a time when she works freely with her materials at her shelf, both with and without me. We also try to get out for a short toddler-led walk.

5 to 6pm - Dinner - She helps prep dinner in her kitchen helper. Then she eats her dinner at the family table (I sit with her and eat a little pre-dinner snack too.)

6 to 7pm - Wind Down - We read books or play together until bedtime begins. She also helps me clean up her toys around the house. We start bedtime around 6pm if she hasn’t napped.

7pm - Goodnight - If she’s napped, it’s bedtime with her Daddy when he gets home. Bedtime consists of using the toilet, bath, brushing teeth (we do it first, then give her a turn), changing, books, songs, and a kiss goodnight.

S’ Schedule (4 Months)

6:30 to 7am - Rise and Shine - S wakes up and nurses.

7 to 8:30am - Free Movement - We get ready for the day, he has movement and play time on his play mat, and we head out of the house most days.

8:30 to 10am - Nap 1 - He takes a nap in the carrier since we are usually out.

10 to 12pm - Together Time - We cuddle and have some playtime together or he’s alert and looking around if we’re outside. He usually also has some story/song time with me and his sister before his second nap..

12 to 2pm - Nap 2 - He takes a nap at home on his floor bed in his nursery.

2 to 4pm - Free Movement - S has movement time on his play mat. We also spend some time playing with his toys together, and his sister likes to sing to him or bring him toys as well.

4 - 5pm - Nap 3 - He takes his last nap of the day, usually on his floor bed.

5 to 7pm - Together Time - At this time, S often accompanies me and his sister through dinner prep and her dinner. He plays on his mat, but if he’s fussy, I wear him in the carrier for a bit. The three of us also read quite a few books together.

7pm - Goodnight - We start his bedtime routine and he goes to sleep in his bassinet in our room. His bedtime routine consists of: bath, change, nursing, books, sleep sack, songs, and a kiss goodnight.

9:30 to 10pm - Dreamfeed - I nurse him while he’s mostly asleep (to get a longer stretch when I’m sleeping) and he goes right back to sleep in his bassinet.

He typically nurses once around 3 or 4am, and then goes back to sleep in his bassinet until morning.


As for my routine, I try to wake up before the kids, around 6am so I can get myself ready first, and make breakfast before D comes downstairs. I am often able to catch up on emails and messages in the early morning too. Most of my work/blogging/material making/shelf rotation happens during nap or in the later evening though. Since D likes to help me with some of the house chores, and enjoys her independent play, I’m able to get things like dishes and laundry done while she’s awake. As my husband doesn’t usually get home in time for dinner with D, we typically enjoy our own relaxing dinner (I meal prep with D in afternoon) after we put the kids to bed. It’s a nice time for us to catch up on the day. On weekends we eat as a family. A couple evenings a week, I go to a workout class, which is hard to make myself do but I’m always glad I went!

Our Daily Rhythm with a Toddler and a Baby

Well, that’s the rhythm of my typical day with two babes! And don’t worry, we have our hard days with no rhythm whatsoever too. Sometimes I just have to let it all go, and try for a better day tomorrow. :) What do your daily rhythms look like?


Our Toddler's Daily Routine, Montessori Style


I often get asked about our daily routine, or rhythm. As a new parent, when D was nursing around the clock, I found it difficult to fall into a routine. But now, with an 18-month-old, I find we are all happier when we have consistency throughout our day, and know what’s (generally) coming next. Though we never stick to the exact same schedule each day, we definitely follow similar patterns.

Here is a sneak peek into our typical weekday:

Daily Montessori Routine at 18 Months - Montessori in Real Life

7:00 - 7:30am - This is around when D wakes up. I typically get up earlier and try to sneak in a shower and make some coffee before the day begins. Upon waking, she grabs a book from beside her bed and “reads” on her own until I greet her. We read a book together in her bed, change out of her diaper, brush teeth, and head downstairs.

7:30 - 9:30am - D is always hungry right away, so we either eat what I’ve already prepped or she helps me make something simple, like cereal or oatmeal. We eat breakfast together at the kitchen table. She loves to drink her milk out of a cup with handles that looks like my coffee. “Cheers!” ;)

Our Daily Routine - Montessori in Real Life

After breakfast, I have her use the potty, and I do dishes/tidy/get our bag packed while she plays for a bit. By the time we are ready to go, she usually already needs a snack/breakfast #2! Assuming we have time, she sets her place at her small table and eats it there.

9:30 - 11:30am - Almost every morning we leave the house for some kind of outing, usually lasting an hour or two. A few mornings a week she has a class. Right now she’s part of a Montessori parent-child class, dance class, and swim class (with dad) once a week. The other mornings we typically go on a walk, to the park/library/grocery store, or have a playdate. Some days we venture out to the kids museum or aquarium!

With her friend Marley ( Montessori in Motion )

With her friend Marley (Montessori in Motion)

When we get back home (or before, depending on activity), she has at least an hour of free time to play/work. I let her take the lead here, choosing her own activities. We do a mix of playing together (she often wants to read books) and playing on her own, but I encourage independent play, even if that means she’s packing and  unpacking tupperware. :) Sometimes I can get some of my own work done during this time.

Note: When she is awake, she wears underwear. Though she still has some accidents, they are becoming less common.. We are also working on her putting on and taking off her own shoes before and after outings!

Our Daily Routine - Montessori in Real Life

11:30am - 12:00pm - This is typically when we eat lunch together. . I’ve noticed she doesn’t eat as much at lunch as other meals, so I find it easier to give her small healthy meals throughout the day. She’s usually just ready for nap by this time.

12:00 - 3:00pm - Before nap time, she sits on the potty, and then we go to her room and read a book and sing a couple of songs together. I put her down with a couple of books and she happily puts herself to sleep. She usually sleeps about 2 to 2.5 hours, but every day is a little different!

I get most of my work done when she naps. That’s when I blog, respond to emails, switch out materials on her shelf, and craft. It’s also when I can do a little meal prep and cleaning. I’ll admit now that I’m pregnant I occasionally nap too. ;)

Our Daily Routine - Montessori in Real Life

3:00 - 5:00pm - Once she wakes up, it’s snack time (often her making avocado toast) and then it’s another hour or more of free time for D. She’s especially focused on her work if I’ve switched out a few things on her shelves during nap. Often this is when she wants to do some sensory or art play too. If the weather is decent, she likes to lead a little walk around the neighborhood, stopping at every puddle along the way. I’m also starting to find ways for her to help me prep dinner.

5:30 - 6:00pm - This is typically D’s dinnertime. I sit with her at the kitchen table and eat something small too. If my husband is home in time, he joins us. D is quite a slow eater, so we usually sit together for a good amount of time. It’s such a good opportunity to spend quality family time together, without distractions.

6:30 - 7:00pm - We start our bedtime routine around 6:30 or 7:00, depending on her nap. This usually starts with potty and then a bath. Then we brush her teeth, change into PJs, read a few books, sing a song, and kiss goodnight. She is usually pretty wiped and asleep by 7:30pm.

Our Daily Routine - Montessori in Real Life

7:00 - 10:00pm -  My husband and I usually eat our real dinner together after D goes to sleep. As she gets older and stays up a little later we’ll probably change this and all eat together. But for now, it’s nice to eat one meal in peace and catch up on our day sans toddler. Then it’s time to relax, often with an episode of the Great British Baking Show before bed. ;)

Some days are quite different, but that is our typical weekday routine. What does your routine look like?

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