WEEKDAY ROUTINE WITH BABY: 9 MONTHS+
I am often asked what our daily routine looks like with Buddy so I thought it would be a good time to share since we have been pretty solidly following this routine since Buddy was 9 months old. And yes, it took us until about 9 months to get Buddy’s naps (the key ingredient to our routine) to a regular & predictable schedule. I also want to add that I am sharing this routine not to say it’s the “right” way to spend your days or the only way that works but to share what naturally has worked for us. This routine also (mostly) provided me the opportunity to work from home as well. I want to mention that this routine is not fool proof- there are days when naps are shorter (or non-existent) or Buddy wakes up earlier in the morning & timing is off or he is not in the mood to play, or when we have a doctor’s appointment, etc., etc. But we do try to stick to this as much as possible (with some wiggle room) because we have found, for our family, that the predictability of what will happen next is helpful for our sanity & overall productivity in a day.
Note: This routine is specific to the weekday (Monday-Friday). Though we try to follow it on the weekends as well, Saturdays & Sundays often look a bit different.
7:30pm-6:30/7:00am: BUDDY SLEEPS
Around 8-9 months we began being more intentionally about supporting Buddy’s ability to sleep through the night. You can read more about that here. Since then he is sleeping a good 10-12 hours straight each night depending on the night, so he’ll usually get up around 6:30am or 7:00am.
Buddy will snack on Cheerios or Chex cereal while we prepare his breakfast, which is usually oatmeal or Greek yogurt, packed with flax meal, chia seeds, peanut butter (& in his oatmeal- coconut oil) or pancakes made with egg, mashed banana, flax meal & peanut butter. We add in pumpkin puree or berries when they are available. Sometimes Buddy will also have some berries or fruit as well.
7:30am-9:30am: MORNING PLAY
Buddy & I will usually play in his room during this time & read books. Since I have been pregnant it’s easier for me to keep him in his room, which we just close-off from the rest of the house with a simple baby gate. We will listen to music, play with his basketball hoop, play with his cars, do puzzles, etc. I really let Buddy guide the way. During this time I *try* to be fully present with him, using my phone only to capture videos or photos of him (because, yeah, that’s just what happens haha). Sometimes I get caught up in emails or social medial but this is a time I am constantly trying to protect as uninterrupted time with him.
9:30am-10:30/11:00am: MORNING NAP
This time was actually set by Buddy, & he’s pretty solid on the 9:30am nap (unless he was up super early in which case he will want to nap a bit sooner). Buddy nurses before his naps & back at 8/9 months old I noticed that he would start trying to nurse around 9:30am every day for several days consecutively. Since then we’ve tried to be consistent with his morning nap happening at 9:30am. To get ready for nap we sometimes read a book, then he nurses, I draw the blinds, turn on his white noise machine & lay him down in his bed. For the past few weeks he’s also been clinging to a blanket & teddy bear so now those join him in his crib. His naptime will go anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half usually. This is the timeframe when I eat my breakfast & do my first block of work for the day.
After Buddy’s morning nap he will have a snack, usually a banana or some type of fruit & water (aside from his two nursing sessions a day Buddy only drinks water, he’s never really tried anything else so that seems to work for us).
11:00am-2:00/2:30pm: AFTERNOON PLAY
This is the next window of Buddy’s day before his afternoon nap. We try to get out of the house once a day & this window is perfect for doing that. If I have any errands to run this is when we do them. We will plan play dates or trips to the library or bookstore just to get out for a moment. Admittedly this has been a bit harder during the winter months (I really don’t enjoy the process of bundling up if I can avoid it).
When we get home, or if we don’t leave, this is when we will play in Buddy’s room again, same things as his morning playtime. We just ordered a double gate for our living room so that we can extend his play space into the living area next, now that he has learned what he can/can’t touch (ie our 1960s record player that he used to love to beat on) so this will give him some more room to explore and play. Sometimes we will go outside during this time if it is nice out, which we only started doing since Buddy could walk. I still try to be fully present with him but sometimes I use this time to edit photos, respond to emails, & keep up with work tasks. Between 1:30-2:30pm Buddy will eat a small lunch- he doesn’t need much since he eats a big breakfast & snack in the morning.
2:30pm-3:30/4:00pm: AFTERNOON NAP
This time is a little more loose than his morning nap, sometimes he will even go down for his nap at 1:00pm, sometimes he goes down at 3:30pm, it just depends on how he seems to be feeling & if he’s been super active or not. For example if we have just been running errands he’s usually pretty restless & won’t be ready to nap until later. If I haven’t had lunch yet this is when I eat it, & this is also when I do more work.
*As of now (at almost 14 months old) we see no signs of Buddy transitioning to one nap per day. The two nap schedule very much supports his needs so we are sticking to that until we notice something different about his behaviors or needs.
5:00pm/5:30pm: DADA COMES HOME
Depending on his day Pat will usually come home from work between 5-5:30pm. At this point he will play with Buddy so I can work for a moment before we begin Buddy’s evening routine or we will all play together. In the warmer months we will go on a walk.
6:00pm-7:00pm: BUDDY’S DINNER
We don’t eat our meal with Buddy currently because we like to eat a little later in the evening but this is when Buddy will eat his dinner & one or both of us will sit with him at the table while he does. The time varies as to when dinner is ready for him & how long he takes but we try to begin the process around 6:00pm so he doesn’t end up getting over-tired. Immediately following dinner we begin his bedtime routine. I used to nurse him before dinner but that stopped around 12 months as it was the least productive nursing session of the day, he weaned himself naturally.
7:00pm-7:30pm: BEDTIME ROUTINE
After dinner Buddy takes a bath, which we started doing nightly around 4/5 months to initiate the bedtime process. Following his bath we dress him in his pajamas & read a few books to him. Then, with his pillow & bear, we kiss him goodnight & lay him down for bed.
And that’s it! It is not always perfect but these times are essentially what happens when & what we do when. We also try to operate with flexibility for each day & what it brings. This routine came naturally around 9 months when I started tuning into Buddy’s cues & following his lead & I predict it is not only going to change when baby number two comes along in a few weeks but also as Buddy grows.
I would imagine routines vary greatly based on individual babies’ needs & families’ needs. My hope is that sharing this gives you a sense of how things work for us but again this is not intended, in any way, to say what is “right” or how you “should” do something, just as helpful insight into our day.
If you have any questions drop them down below or send me a message on Instagram!