Transitioning to a Toddler Schedule

Aiden is 16 months now so his schedule is very different from what it was during the first year.  He is officially down to one two-hour nap per day so I thought I would share the progression of going from three naps per day to one and share his toddler schedule. Here is a day in the life of Aiden!

Aiden wakes up between 7:00-7:30 am. We are a bit more relaxed than we were in the first year and we don’t wake him up if he sleeps a little later. Now that he is only taking one nap, I don’t think the strict wake-up time is as important plus he wakes up on his own within the 7-7:30 am window 98% of the time. If you read our last post on his schedule his old wake time was 5:30 am. Dan and I are fortunate to have different work schedules now, so we no longer have to wake him up so early for me to take him to home care in the morning.

We eat breakfast after he wakes up. He usually eats eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, a frozen waffle, or toast and fruit. This kid loves fruit — bananas, blueberries, strawberries, oranges you name it, he wants it. We actually have to hide everything off the counter because he will spot something, point to it and whine. He also gets a sippy cup of whole milk. We started whole milk at one year. At first, we did half formula, half whole milk just because he has had stomach issues in the past, but by 14-months he was on whole milk exclusively. Our pediatrician recommended that he get 15 oz per day of milk. We offer him three cups per day so we give him about 6-7 oz in the morning because he rarely drinks the whole thing at breakfast. We put it in the refrigerator to save for lunch. After breakfast, he plays with his toys, or if it’s nice we go outside for a walk, until nap time.

The most interesting change with the toddler schedule has been his nap time. Between 10-months and 13-months, Aiden would take two naps. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. They would swap in length. Sometimes the morning nap would be longer (like 2 hours) and the afternoon nap would be shorter (like 10-30 minutes) and sometimes it would be the opposite. This was a little hard because we really like having consistency with Aiden and his unpredictable nap times threw this off. However, we just tried to remain patient and eventually,  we got to the point where he dropped his second nap. Once the second nap was dropped his first nap which used to be about two hours after wake time gradually shifted to where it is now, four hours after wake time.

Since his nap time is in the morning, he usually doesn’t get a morning snack.  When he wakes up from his nap between 12 and 1 pm he eats lunch, or, if it’s a home care day, he goes to home care. His lunch is usually leftovers from dinner the night before or a toasted peanut butter sandwich plus 5 oz of whole milk.

If he is home, in the afternoon we have 4-5 hours of wake time so we try to get out of the house. When it is cold Dan or I will take him to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Center, or one of the indoor play spaces near us. We have a couple of free ones at the local malls or there are play spaces that you can pay to visit which are a bit more interesting and fun. If it’s nice out we will visit the zoo, local farm, or some other nearby outdoor destination. Sometimes he gets an afternoon snack if he seems hungry. It might be a yogurt, some fruit, or Puffs.  We always have a cup of water available so he drinks water throughout the day. If the weather is nice I will take him out for a run before dinner.

Dinner time is between 5:30-6 pm.  Recently I have noticed it has more often been closer to 6 pm. He eats whatever we are eating for dinner plus 6-7 oz of milk. He usually finishes his dinner time milk cup.

After dinner, it’s off to take a bath, read a story, and then he is in bed by 7 pm.

To recap here is Aiden’s toddler schedule in a pinnable timeline format:

Aiden is 16 months now so his schedule is very different from what it was during the first year. Here is his new toddler schedule.

Does your toddler schedule look like this? What changes did you experience with the transition from baby to toddler?

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Aiden is 16 months now so his schedule is very different from what it was during the first year. Here is his new toddler schedule.


About Melissa

Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to an energetic toddler, a wife to my amazing husband Dan, and I work full-time as a meeting planner. I started this blog because, after having my little guy, I quickly learned that exhaustion and baby brain causes you to forget some of the amazing (sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful) details related to the first several months of raising a baby. Considering we may have more kids in the future, I want to document everything we do, so we remember what worked the first time around, and hopefully help other first time mamas along the way!
  • I had a great schedule down, with my first, but then with my second, there was no schedule since we were out and about more. But schedules definitely help!

  • I transitioned my 8 month old to two naps when he was 7 months. He kept fighting the third nap so around 6.5 months we worked on getting him onto a 2-3-4 schedule. I’m curious when he’ll transition to one nap a day…hopefully we have several more months!

  • Raina Reddecliff

    Thanks for sharing! This looks really similar to our 17 month old’s schedule. She’s struggling between 1-2 naps, and our daycare days sometimes throw that off a bit!

  • Our schedule helps us so much.. even if it’s a loose schedule it really helps us keep some order!

  • I love a good schedule! We just finished up with naps (after 8 glorious years!)–I miss those toddler years. 🙂

  • Love this! Our kiddos are on almost the exact same schedule! Great blog post!

    Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

    Lisa Doyle

  • Jacki Quinones

    We love the zipadee zip! our schedule was a little different for both kids. We would drop the afternoon nap and move the morning slowly to after lunch.

  • Justine Y

    Sounds like he’s getting about 12 hours, which is perfect! My kids go to bed around 7:30/8:00 and wake up around 7:00 (or earlier, ugh).

  • Sounds exactly like our 2 year olds schedule. The only difference is she naps after lunch.

  • Janette Shearer

    Yup this sounds exactly like my 2 years nap schedule but again in the afternoon! I struggle to get her down in time to have her wake up decently before I need to go get my oldest from school!

  • Maggie Murphy

    My girls are 3 and almost 2 and I am pretty sure their sleep schedule shifts every 2 months. They are good sleepers, their schedule just changes (luckily together)! I am a stay at home mom so I have room for their schedule, thankfully!

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