I regularly get questions from readers about how to create a good sample daily toddler schedule. While not every toddler is the same, I do think it’s very helpful to see what other moms are doing in their homes. Five stay-at-home moms were asked to share their schedules.
So I use the word “real” intentionally because these are not schedules from a book about what someone thinks you should do, theses are actual real schedules that moms are currently using.
It’s a great way to gauge your own toddler’s schedule and find inspiration to try new things. All of these schedules are simply meant to be an approximate guide for other moms. You could structure the day for your toddler completely different, and have it work equally as well! So if you don’t think this will work well for your toddler or your family, that’s okay too!
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And please remember, that all of these schedules are approximate times. All the moms sharing a sample schedule, also agreed that they “flex” their schedules each day to meet the needs of their toddlers and their families.
Sample daily toddler schedule for 19 month old girl
- 8:30 am Wake up, eat breakfast.
- 9:00 am Playtime
- 11:00 am Lunch (25+ Easy, Healthy Lunches for 2 Year Olds)
- 11:30 am Reading time
- 12:00 pm Nap
- 3:00 pm Wake up, snack.
- 3:30 pm Play until dinner
- 6:00 pm Dinner
- 7:00 pm Bedtime routine
- 7:30 pm Bedtime
Sample daily toddler schedule for 21 month old boy
- 7:00 am Wake up, eat breakfast
- 8:30 am Independent play in toddler room
- 9:30 am Snack, playtime with mom or play groups
- 11:30 am Lunch
- 12:30 pm Nap
- 3:00 pm Wake up, snack
- 3:30 pm Park time or play outside
- 5:30 pm Dinner
- 7:00 pm Bedtime routine
- 7:30 pm Bedtime
Sample daily toddler schedule for 30 month old boy
- 7:30 am Wake up. Read and play.
- 8:15 am Breakfast
- 12:00 pm Lunch
- 1:30 pm Nap
- 3:00 pm Nap ends
- 3:15 pm Snack
- 5:45 pm Dinner
- 7:15 pm Get ready for bed
- 7:30 pm Reading with mom or dad
- 8:00 pm Bed
Sample daily toddler schedule for 38 month old girl
- 7:45 am Wake up, breakfast, get ready
- 8:30 am Activity lesson
- 9:15 am Park time
- 10:00 am Playtime at home
- 12:00 pm Lunch
- 1:30 pm Nap time
- 4:30 pm Wake up, snack
- 6:00 pm Dinner
- 7:30 pm Bath
- 8:00 pm Bedtime routine, books, prayers
- 8:30 pm Bedtime
Sample daily toddler schedule for 18 month old boy AND 32 month old boy
- 7:30 am Wake up, diaper change, breakfast
- 8:30 am Craft or preschool activities, more structured play
- 9:30 am Independent playtime
- 10:30 am Snack, free play inside and as much outside time as we can manage
- 12:00 pm Eat lunch
- 1:00 pm Nap
- 3:30 pm Up from nap, small snack, some screen time and then free play
- 5:15 pm Dinner time
- 6:00 pm Bath time
- 6:30pm Wind down to bed including reading books, brushing teeth, snuggles and hugs
- 7:15 pm Bedtime
Bonus: Sample toddler schedule for working moms taking their child to daycare.
- 6:00 am Wake up / Wash Hands / Breakfast / Vitamin
- 6:30pm Brush Teeth / Dress
- 7:00am Drop off to Daycare
- 7:00am-9:00am Play
- 9:00am Wash Hands / Snack & Milk (6 oz.)
- 9:15am-10:30am Play
- 10:30am-11:00am Wash Hands / Lunch
- 11:00am-2:00pm Nap**
- 2:00pm-3:30pm Play
- 3:30pm Wash Hands / Snack / Milk (6 oz.)
- 3:45pm-5:00pm Play
- 6:00pm Pick up from Day Care
- 6:00pm-6:30pm Wash Hands / Dinner / Milk (6 oz.)
- 6:30pm-7:00pm Brush Teeth / Bath / Lotions
- 7:00pm-7:30pm Story & Bedtime
**3 hour nap: From a care providers perspective, this includes the routine of getting ready for nap AND the time it takes to fall asleep. Toddlers typically sleep anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours in the mid-day. If you’re struggling with your child fighting bedtime or waking up too early, consider shortening nap time to 1.5 hours, which is usually about 2 complete sleep cycles.
How much sleep do toddlers really need?
No matter the approximate sleep schedule for your toddler, most children ages 2-3 need about 12 – 14 hours of sleep per day. Some less, some more, but for the most part, this is pretty consistent with all the schedules shared for this post. Some toddlers may sleep more during the night and have a shorter nap, while others may sleep less at night and take a longer nap.
Find 20+ printable daily schedules for baby, toddler and kids ages 0 – 5 in our eBook and printable pack Routines, Rhythms and Schedules.
If you’re looking for all things routine, check out our Ultimate Daily Routine Bundle with checklists, visual routine cards, chore cards, baby routine cards and the routines book.
All-in-all 12 – 14 hours per day for a toddler is a great goal to reach for!
When is the ideal nap time for a toddler?
One of the things that I’ve always found in all my sleep “research” is that having a toddler wake up approximately 4 hours before bedtime seems to be the sweet spot. I’ve also found that having a toddler take a nap approximately 1 hour after lunch seems to be another sweet spot. So if you can find a nice balance along those time ranges, it can help with a successful nap time.
What is the ideal wake up time and bedtime for a toddler?
Again, one of the things that you typically find sleep experts to recommend is a wake up time between 6-8 am and a bedtime between 6-8 pm. All of your choices may fall around what works best for your family. For example, if your toddler needs to wake up early (6 am) to get to daycare on time, you may find more success with an earlier bedtime (6:30 pm). If your family needs more evening time together, or one parent gets home from work late, you may appreciate a later (8 pm) bedtime if your toddler is able to sleep a bit later in the morning (7:30 or 8 am).
How to incorporate independent playtime into your toddler’s schedule.
I am often asked how we helped our toddler to learn to play alone for an hour each day. If you are a busy stay-at-home mom, this can be a very helpful way to get more things done during the day, while at the same time, teaching your child independence. While my son plays alone, I get as much done as possible, and the remainder of the day, I am able to fully engage him.
Here is how you can get started with a baby (yes, you can start in small blocks of time!)
How to incorporate routines into your toddler’s schedule.
Routines are a great way to minimize nagging, reminding, and yelling at toddlers throughout the day! You can use routines by simply following the same series or steps before a meal, activity, or sleep time. Toddlers (and kids of any age really) learn what is expected of them, and routines also help toddlers feel a sense of control over the day to day stuff.
You would think routines would make them feel less control. Not true. For toddlers the sense of control comes in the form of mastery (knowing how to do a routine well) and knowing what to expect (understanding they do the same thing each day).
Here are a few ways to incorporate routines…
- Pre-meal routine (wash hands, sit at the table, pray, etc)
- Pre-bedtime routine (bath, pajamas, quiet time/reading time, snack, pray, bed)
- Pre-independent play routine (get toys in the room read, set timer, hugs and kisses, etc)
Routines are usually meant to be simple and don’t need to take much time. You can even use these printable routine cards to get your toddler to follow a routine without help!
Print this free printable!
This post comes with a free printable to give you an easy step-by-step guide to raise independent kids. Plus, remember what independent skills are age-appropriate for your kids!
Here’s a sneak peek…
Download Your Free Printable
- Download the checklist. You’ll get the printable, plus join my weekly parenting newsletter!
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Place it on your refrigerator. Use it as a quick reference to keep parenting simple!
Want more on toddlers?
- Dear Moms of Toddlers
- 2 Year Old Not Listening? Try This Remarkable Tip
- Frustrated with Discipling a 2 Year Old? Easy Strategies That Work
- Why a Stay-at-Home Mom Schedule Matters
- The Key to Creating a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom Schedule
Resources for toddler sleep:
- How to Handle Bedtime Tantrums
- How to Put a Toddler to Sleep Fast
- 3 Tricks for When Your Toddler Keeps Getting Out of Bed
- 7 Strategies for Toddler Tantrums at Bedtime
- 2 Year Old Sleep Regression Explained! Why It Happens and How to Fix It
- 2 Year Old Sleep Schedule That Helps Everyone Get More Sleep
- An Easy Morning & Bedtime Routine Chart That Keeps Kids On Task
- How to Respond When Your Child is Afraid to Sleep Alone
I've created a free email series just for you! If you are struggling with finding a routine, rhythm or schedule, this email series will help you find one that will work for YOUR family. Yes, really. I've seen my sample routines work time and time again for parents. I know it can work for you too.
This free email series will help you:
- Free sample routines for your child
- Best morning routine tips and tricks your kids will actually follow
- All-time favorite parenting hacks for getting more cooperation at bedtime
- Step-by-step guide for using a printable daily schedule with kids