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.
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.
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!
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!
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?