If you ask any Mom, most of them will tell you that having a routine for your baby or toddler is a key factor for success. Not only does the predictability make them a happier baby, but it helps you figure out which chunks of time you will have available to do other things (like shower).
The mornings are usually a breeze for us since she wakes up at 7:30 and goes back to sleep from 9:30am-11am. The afternoons, however, are a bit more difficult to navigate since I have about 4 hours before she naps again. Trying to keep her happy and occupied can be a challenge, but I think I’ve finally gotten it figured out. Here is what a typical afternoon looks like for us.
11:00 am: When Elia wakes up from her naps, she’s hangry. Which means lunch is prepped and ready waiting for her. I literally take her out of the crib and plop her right in the high chair to eat. Once she has some food in her belly, she’s happy and ready to play.
12:pm: It’s time for music class! Most days, I take Elia to Bubbles Academy for a music class and she absolutely loves it. It keeps her occupied and has really helped her develop a lot of amazing skills. They teach baby sign language, encourage crawling/walking and more!
1:pm: Music Class is over and Elia has worked up an appetite for sure. Her favorite snack (and my go-to) is Harvest Snaps. You can find these baked, crisps in the produce aisle! They come in a ton of varieties and my daughter can’t get enough of them. Her favorite is the Mango Chili Lime Black Bean Crisps. I love them because you can pronounce all the ingredients and I know that my daughter is getting something nutritious. If your kids are in school, it’s the perfect snack for them too. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I love them and get to share with her, haha.
1:30pm: On to the next activity! Usually Elia and I will head to a museum or the zoo after music class. I love the Lincoln Park Zoo because it’s completely free and she happens to love animals. We walk around, point to each one and teach her the sounds they make. So far she knows: monkey, cow, horse, dog, lion, penguin and bear. Baby genius!
3:00pm: It’s time to head home for an afternoon nap (for both of us). Elia typically goes down around 3 and wakes up again at 5:30, just in time for dinner, bath, story time and bed!
Do you have a routine that works well for you?! I’d love to hear! Share it in the comments below.