This post is sponsored by Baby Dove, but all opinions are my own.
Let’s get real: Finding a routine for an 18-month-old is challenging, because they are so busy and have the shortest attention spans! This is my third time having a child this age, and I think it is one of the most tiring stages. But also one of my favorites. I love the snuggles, how they copy everything, and the tiny bit of baby that’s still left. My 3 and 5-year-olds make my job WAY easier because my toddler is constantly following them around. So mamas with just one baby, I’ve been where you are and I think you have it harder than me when it comes to entertaining your 18-month- old! Here is our basic routine for an 18-month-old to give you some ideas of how to spend the day.
Routine for an 18-month-old
Since their attention span is so dang short but their curiosity huge, find things to do that:
- Get out energy.
- Get outside if possible, because nature entertains them for you.
- Are activities just their speed, (besides pulling all 100 tissues out of a box…that just happened here not long ago).
- Get them around other kids, unless you are lucky enough to have your own.
- Involve eating, snacking, eating, snacking
- Teach them things (like books that teach animal sounds, colors…)
Morning routine with an 18-month-old and siblings
- 7:00 AM: Wake up with all 3 kids and eat breakfast. Mine recently decided to throw huge fits in his high chair so we ditched it and allow him to eat on the bench with the others. He eats whatever they do, usually cereal and milk…yes, very messy because he demands to use a spoon now.
- 7:15: Wander around and play. He usually wants to bring me things or sit on me while I drink my coffee on the couch.
- 7:30-9:00: If I’m reading a story to the my oldest, my 18-month-old is either trying to smack the book out of my hand to get my attention, or he takes the bait and plays with some toy I’ve set on the floor. Sometimes it’s blocks, toys, or just lunch containers that he grabs from our non-baby-proofed cabinets! At some point, he gets hungry. He makes it known by going to the fridge, opening my backpack, or just whining.
- 9:00-12:00: If we are going to go somewhere, this is when we go! Park, groceries, friend’s houses, etc. He is an easy, on-the-go traveler but I have to be prepared by packing snacks, drinks, diapers, wipes, and something for him to play with in the car seat. With three kids, he’s always got someone to watch, so driving is fairly easy.
- If we stay home, then we bounce back and forth between toys, mama’s lap, snacks, him following me around while I try and clean something, him bringing me shoes (asking to go outside), climbing on the couch, throwing things behind the couch, nursing (yes, I’m the one attached), and making the rounds to each room and cabinet to see what might be in there. 😉
Afternoon routine with an 18-month-old and siblings
- 12:00-1:00: This is when we are hopefully home, starting our nap time routine. This involves getting lunch, changing his diaper, having older kids go to the potty, and I try not to put him down for naps before the others, as we just switched two months ago to one nap a day.
- 1:00-3:30: Naps. At this age, he is a dependable, solid napper and needs around 2.5-3 hours a day. He can now nap even if the older two are a little bit noisy in his room…(which is why I LOVE this age for naps). I do things during this time that are so hard to do with him awake. Like bringing laundry downstairs, unloading the dishwasher, computer stuff, or drinking something hot without having to play keep away.
- 3:30-4:00: Everyone is up, sometimes much earlier than this. Snack first thing, then I usually turn on a show. My older kids both watch while my 18-month-old sometimes does. Mostly, he stays in the room and plays or climbs on me if I’m sitting down too. It would be funny to count how many times he crawls on and off the couch during a show…
- 4:30-5:00: I’m trying to start dinner and he’s usually right at my knees, wanting to be carried when I can’t. He’s the neediest at this time, so it’s helpful to have a few things to distract him. Right now that’s usually lunch containers and lids, things that can stack, like containers I keep in a bottom drawer in the kitchen, or a bunch of blocks that he can stuff into an empty container. Just when I think I’ve nailed it, my 5 minutes of quiet has disappeared and he’s back at my knees asking to be held. That’s usually when my hubby gets home and can help hold him.
Evening routine with an 18-month-old and siblings
- 5:00-5:30: Somewhere around here we eat dinner. This is not a peaceful time of the day to me. I’ve usually just spent 30 minutes trying to cook while juggling a busy toddler. Then my husband and I are helping cut up dinner, making our kids eat bites of things, and trying to monitor when the food throwing begins, which signals that he is done eating, all while my food gets cold.
- 5:30-7:30: Often times we go on a family walk, which makes for the smoothest nights! Especially if we put on pajamas first, then bedtime is easy when we get home. This is the time when my toddler gets really energetic and wants to wrestle, throw things, play with dad, type on the keyboard if we dare open up YouTube, and chase his siblings around the circle in our house. This is also when we do bath time, if needed!
Bath time with an 18-month-old
Thank you Baby Dove for sponsoring this post and providing these products.
Our backyard has a huge dirt pit. It’s full of brick colored dirt and digging spots with dump trucks and shovels. Some days they manage not to get too dirty but other days a bath is unavoidable!
When we do bath time, I use gentle products that are good for their skin like Baby Dove. Their cleansers and lotions are super gentle for delicate baby skin! I can honestly say that we have used Dove products for years before this post was written! Now, we are using Baby Dove. All the products have a mild formula with a light fragrance made just for baby’s delicate skin.
Did you know?
- Babies skin can lose moisture up to five times faster than an adult during a bath? This makes them more vulnerable to dryness.
- All Baby Dove products are dermatologist and pediatrician tested, as well as hypoallergenic. And, they have no dyes, parabens, or phthalates.
- Baby Dove cleansers and lotions have nutrients that are identical to those found in skin, helping replenish the moisture in baby’s skin.
Baby Dove Rich Moisture Tip to Toe Wash
I loved using this! It helps retain baby’s natural skin moisture, has a tear-free formula, and has a rich and creamy feel that’s easy to lather. It has a subtle fragrance, same as all the Baby Dove products below. I like that this can be used to wash baby’s hair and body, and the pump makes it very easy to use with one hand. It is ophthalmologist, dermatologist and pediatrician tested.
Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Bar
If you prefer a soap bar, this one is milder and more moisturizing that ordinary baby soap bars. It’s also ophthalmologist, dermatologist and pediatrician tested. While I like soap bars for me personally, I find that the older kids want to play with it too much in the tub which makes the bath water really soapy and wastes a lot. So for them, I prefer the Baby Dove Rich Moisture Tip to Toe Wash.
Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Lotion
This lotion feels silky soft and absorbs super quickly! It gently moisturizes baby’s skin all day (for 24 hours), and soothes dry skin from the first use. It does have a delicate fragrance, so take note if you cannot handle any scent.
Sample bedtime routine for an 18-month-old
While baths are great for calming down a toddler, we do not do that every night. Our typical bedtime routine is very simple. It usually involves:
- A snack at the table with no shirt on.
- Putting on pajamas (after a snack, otherwise my 18-month-old would get his dirty).
- We read a book on the couch, and he wants to be on a lap.
- Brush everyone’s teeth, which for an 18 month is a quick 5-10 second brush with either water or learning toothpaste.
- Last, I nurse him before bed while we sing a song to all three and kiss them goodnight!
Do you tend to stick to a similar routine with an 18-month-old? Or do you find it really hard to do that? I will admit that with my first baby, it was much easier to stick to one routine every day. My whole day revolved around just that kid.
But with three, I don’t feel I have the luxury of being as put together or on an exact schedule. Interruptions just happen more. We get caught out longer than expected, or an older kid will wake up the baby, but what that’s taught me is that babies are way more flexible than I thought! Leave me a comment below with your favorite thing to do with your toddler right now!
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Baby Dove.