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  1. #1
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    Default How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    I'm not sure this is the most appropriate forum, but here it goes. My DD is about 15 months old. I want to have a more structured day for her. Everything I've been reading seems to suggest that having a schedule (a flexible one) is good for a child so s/he knows what to expect on a daily basis and will feel more secure. However, the only timetable we kind of have is for mealtimes. Other than that, we don't have much of schedule at all. Am I being a bad mommy?

    Could people please share their "schedules" for a typical day or week? Thanks.

  2. #2
    kristenk is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    I'm just starting to get a routine established for DD. We've had a bedtime routine for ages, of course, but the rest of our day has always been unscheduled and maybe a little bit boring. A couple of recent developments have made a routine more desirable to me. First, she's down to one nap and that normally happens around 1pm. Second, she's walking now and loves to see other kids. So, what I try to do is something like this:

    7:30 DD wakes up and then nurses shortly after that

    8 or 8:30 breakfast

    after breakfast - play in the living room for a little bit, change into daytime clothes, then ideally go to the park or playgroup or some other activity where she sees other kids (she'll have a snack around 10 or 10:30)

    12:00 lunch then play for a few minutes after lunch

    1:00 nap (which will last 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours)

    we'll go outside after her nap. I sometimes take her for a walk in the stroller and let her have her snack while we're strolling. (The strolling is pretty much for my benefit, but she puts up with it for a little while.) Then we'll come home and play in the front yard and visit with our neighbors.

    5:15 - 5:30 dinner starts

    she generally has about 15-30 minutes after dinner to play with Daddy inside or outside

    6:15 - 6:30 bath starts the bedtime routine and she's in bed by 7pm

    I've been trying to take her to the park in the mornings when I can b/c it's not as crowded or hot. She loves the slide and really likes just walking around and picking stuff up. I think the higher activity periods also help her sleep better. HTH!

  3. #3
    dules Guest

    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    Wow just one nap? How do you keep her up and not cranky until 1? My DD (17 months) is just starting to occasionally take one nap...usually she gets up at 7, nap at 10, nap at 3, bed at 8...

    She can be a little bear if we miss the morning nap.

    Best,
    Mary

  4. #4
    kristenk is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    I was really surprised when she went down to one nap, because it used to be that she could only go for a few hours before she'd need a nap. I guess she's been down to one nap for about a month now. She started resisting her afternoon nap. She was so cranky in the afternoon, but I couldn't get her to take a nap. When I finally figured out that the afternoon nap just wasn't going to happen, I started pushing the morning nap back as much as she (and I) could bear. It probably took just a couple of weeks to get her morning nap switched over to an afternoon nap.

    Amazingly enough, she's not cranky in the morning or the afternoon now. If she seems really tired (like today), I'll see if she wants to take a nap in the morning, but I think that's only happened once. I guess it helps that her bedtime is pretty early, too.

    As far as keeping her awake and not cranky, we go outside! Also, I'm looking into different play or music classes and a lot of them are availabe around 10am which would be a great time for us. Playgroups are good, too. She's good as long as there are other kids around or she gets to walk outside! :)

  5. #5
    tigalig Guest

    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    I was very strict with a schedule for ds (our first) several years ago and I think it worked out great, but I cannot do the same thing with two! As a result, our 15 mo. old dd has a different schedule, depending on whether her brother goes to pre-school that morning. So here's a version of our schedule:

    preschool days
    8:00 a.m. - wake up, quickly get dressed, and eat breakfast
    8:50 a.m. - leave to preschool to drop off ds and run errands/go to appointments, etc. and have snack on the road
    11:45 - pick up ds and eat lunch (home or out, depending on plans)
    1:30 begin reading and preparing them both for naps that last about two hours
    3:30 - 4:00 wake up from nap, eat snack, and go outside our yard and play or make something fun inside
    5:00 begin bath time for both (separate or apart, depending on their moods)
    6:00 eat dinner, play, clean up for the day
    7:00 bottle, story time, and bedtime

    The only routine that is exactly the same on any day is after 5 p.m. when we do bath and dinner time. I wish I could be more structured for her (she is really cranky on non-preschool days when she naps earlier and will not take a second small nap in the afternoon), but it all works out for now.

    You are NOT being a bad mommy by not having a schedule. So much of it depends on what kind of day you are both having. I do think nap times are important and I can attest to that by saying that ds had a great disposition ALL the time, but he was always well rested. I cannot say the same thing of our dd and I attribute alot of it to her lack of a consistent nap schedule. Schedules are more like ideals around here now and if we get to do everything, then it's great, but if not, then I try to do at least something fun each and every day (just my way of treating myself).

  6. #6
    Sarah1 Guest

    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    I think that consistent and predictable naptime(s), mealtimes, and bedtime are key. Everything else falls into place when those things are established, IMO.

  7. #7
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    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    Thank you ladies. I'm trying to get DD to sleep earlier too. Right now she sleeps around 9 p.m. and takes one nap anytime between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. for about an hour. I'm thinking of signing up for Gymboree or something. I'm not really sure of the offerings here. So, I'm going to have to do some research. But if anyone has any other suggestions please tell.


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    Same here. We have consistent mealtimes, naptimes, and bedtimes. What we do the rest of the times varies day to day.
    Mommy to 2 DS's (2003 and 2007)

  9. #9
    vdrake71 Guest

    Default RE: How to start a more structured schedule for a 15 month old?

    Here is our schedule for our 15 month old:
    6:00am wake up
    7:00 breakfast
    8:00/8:30 - 10:30 nap
    11:30-12:00 lunch
    12:30/1:00 - 3:00 nap
    5:30-6:00 dinner
    6:15 bath
    6:30-7:00 bed


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