Our Daily Schedule {For Three Kids Under Three}


I recently share why we choose to have a feeding/sleeping schedule for our infants, and today I thought it would be fun to show you exactly what that look like in the midst of caring for two toddlers.  

This is a snap shot of our daily routine. For the most part this is how we roll day in and day out. However, it's not a rule book. The schedule is here to serve us. We don't serve the schedule. Like any good mom, I reserve the right to change my plan at a moments notice and take everyone out of ice cream just because I can. 

So here's the line up 

Jenifer Young Photography
Rooster- 2.5 years
Cupcake- 17 months 
Little Bear- 2 months

*I will refer to Rooster and Cupcake as the "toddlers" because their schedule is the basically the same. 

6:45 am - Good Morning! Little Bear gets up to nurse while my husband gets the toddlers ready for the day.

7:30 am - Breakfast for the toddlers and mom (if I'm lucky!)

7:45 am - Dad leaves for work and we all spend a few minutes crying just because we can. 

8:00 am - Little Bear goes down for a nap. The toddlers and I do housework. Rather I do housework and they "help" which is usually not helpful at all! Most of the time I give them something to play with in whatever room I need to work in. I like staying close to them when they play to referee and ensure they don't do things like climb up on the kitchen counter and play with knives (hypothetically speaking of course...).

Slave labor or fun activity? Get to mopping!
9:30 am- Room Time! Little Bear wakes to eat, so I put the toddlers on Room Time. This is our independent play time each day. The toddlers go to separate rooms and I shut them in using baby gates. This ensures that I can see them and hear them, but they can't get out. Some days they like it. Some days they cry a bit. And some days they just fall asleep! But most of the time they will play happily giving me a chance to feed Little Bear and read my Bible in peace. 
Waking from a nap. His pillowcase was in the wash, so I just
put down a dirty t-shirt instead. Yeah, I'm a good mom like that.
10-10:30 am - Clean up! After Room Time we (almost) always pick up the toys. This time varies a bit depending on how room time is going. We all work together to put away whatever toys the toddlers had out during the morning play time. Little Bear hangs out with us until about 10:30 am when he's ready for a nap. The toddlers both know how to help pick up toys, and Rooster usually knows where things belong. If we are working diligently this only takes a few minutes, but we're toddlers so we usually play a little a lot while we work (smile)

All I can say is watch your step. 
One thing we've done to help minimize the mess is store toys up out of the toddlers reach. I choose (with their help) what toys they play with at any given time. When we pick up, I put the toys back up out of reach. We do keep some toys down of course! Usually a fair number of books, a few puzzles, and a couple other "big" toys that don't have small pieces that can get scattered. 

11:00 am - Movie Time! I start a movie for the toddlers in the living room while I fix lunch and clean in the kitchen. Rooster is usually glued to the television during this time, but it only holds Cupcake's attention for .2 seconds. She would much rather hang on to my legs while I try to work! 

Mom, mom, mom, mom, I neeeeeeeed you. 

11:30- Noon - Lunch time! Often the kids will eat lunch around 11:30 but I usually try to push it closer to 12. Lunch is usually super simple because I can get it on the table fast, lunch meat, cheese squares, and raw fruits and veggies. 

12:30 pm - Nap Time! Little Bear wakes up to eat, so my husband puts the toddlers down for a nap. 

Rooster likes to take a lot of books and toys to bed with him.
And yes, that's a stuffed opossum. 

1:30 pm - Little Bear goes down for a nap and I have free time. You know, to fold laundry, clean bathrooms, pay bills, do dishes, and every now and then write a blog post. If I'm really tired I can also take a nap during this time. However, with three little ones in the house a nap is hit or miss. Someone is bound to wake me up as soon as I drift off to sleep.

Now THIS is free time...I wish. 
2:30-3:30 pm - This part of the afternoon varies quite a bit because we let the toddlers sleep as long as they can. Sometimes they are up at 2:30 and sometimes they'll sleep until 3:30 pm. However, Little Bear almost always eats at 3:00. I usually give the toddlers an afternoon snack while I nurse Little Bear. This is the hardest part of our day because often they wake up fussy from their naps, but I have my hands full with the baby. Some days we are just hanging on however we can!

We want peaches. NOW. 
4:00 pm - My husband usually comes home around 4 pm every day which is such a blessing! If the weather is nice, my husband takes the toddlers outside to play or they go on a walk. Sometimes Little Bear and I join them, but most often I put the baby down for yet another nap and start making supper or getting ready for whatever plans we have that evening. This is usually Little Bear's fussiest time of the day so often things take a little longer as I am working to soothe him so he can sleep. 

Waiting for Daddy. 
6:00 pm - Dinner Time! We usually eat around 6 pm or maybe a little sooner. I try to feed Little Bear before dinner, so he can be at the table with us. Dinner at our house is rarely a calm experience. The kids eat whatever I happen to fix for dinner which means it's usually a mess and there is often crying involved. On really rough nights I just remind myself that one day I'll just wish I still had little kids throwing food all over my floor...right? 

What we do after dinner usually depends on what day of the week it is. My husband works two nights a week, and we have church on Wednesdays. If we are home, this is just playtime with whichever parent is less busy. Sometimes we watch a movie. Sometimes we take baths. Sometimes we have iPad time. It all depends on the day and what kind of mood everybody is in. Little Bear usually takes a catnap in here somewhere.

7:30- 8 pm- Bed Time! We don't have much of a bedtime routine. We brush teeth, change diapers, and get in bed. Cupcake usually goes down around 7:30 pm and Rooster around 8 pm. 

Just a little before bed silliness. 

8:00 pm- Little Bear eats one last time, and is usually asleep around 9 pm. The best part is that once he is down he is asleep for the night! 

In the beginning Little Bear would wake twice at night to eat (12 am and 4 am) but as we got a consistent schedule he slowly started sleeping through those middle of the night feedings. He was sleeping through the night by 7 weeks which was earlier than even I had hoped! And we did it all through just having a consistent daily routine. 

Little Bear is basically on a 2.5-3 hour schedule. He eats at 6:45 am, 9:30am, 12:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:45 pm, 8:00 pm. Most of the time he's awake for about an hour when he eats, and then he's ready for a nap and sleeps until his next feeding. 

But of course, (I'll say it again just in case you are a stressed out by the book kind of mom who needs me to gently remind you that you can't live and die by a schedule or you will drive yourself crazy) the schedule is meant to serve us! Growth spurts, bad days, teething, and unexpected outings can easily get us "off schedule" and that's okay! Flexibility is bending to accommodate the moment, but springing right back into place when you can.

(And just as a side note, you have to have a routine in place before you can truly be flexible. Flexibility without an underlying structure is just chaos.)

So there you have it. That's our day in a really large nutshell. A really large, messy, exhausting nutshell. Some days it feels kind of crazy, but honestly, it's a lot of fun! I'm so blessed!

Have questions? I'd love to elaborate on the how and why of what we do. Ask away! 


  1. I love seeing how other people live! You're amazing Katherine! Seeing those pics of THREE young kids makes me feel breathless!

  2. You had 3 under 3 at the same time I did! It's kind of rare and I can't believe you got time to blog about it :) I love the "reality" pictures you included. I always tell people "and this is just one part of my day." Mine are all 13 months apart but I didn't give birth to them. You can read more about my adventures with 3 toddlers on my blog: inourpond.blogspot.com. I have lots of homeschool printables (free) and lots of crafts to make for kids. Stop by if you have some time.

  3. this helps alot i have 2.5 YEAR OLD 19 MONTH OLD AND A 4 MONTH OLD and have been trying to do some sort of schedule with them thank you for sharing this with us!!

    1. Your welcome! Your family sounds like mine :) You can do this, momma!

  4. I just happened upon this post and when I saw the picture of your three I had this huge realization that in about 2 months, that will be exactly like us! My son will be 2.5, daughter 15 months, and youngest will be born at the end of June. I realize this is a year ago, but loved reading it! Your schedule is basically what we already do with the toddlers so it is nice to see where baby might possibly fit in with the idea of adding some independent room time in the morning. I am excited to start doing some "school" with my son and was already hoping to use that time for my daughter to work on some independent playing so I'm glad to see that it works (ok maybe not perfectly every day) to have them play independently for some time!

    1. Katie,
      You sound exactly like me! 2.5 year old boy, 14 month old girl and due on June 3 with the 3rd! I'm curious just how close our kiddos are?!? B-days for mine are 10/2013, 2/2015, and 6/2016. When are yours? I was also, so happy to find this post and realized it CAN work! I've been very anxious.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Omg..I also will have 3 kids by the end of this month. Hopefully sooner, I just wish my hubby was able to help more like hers but he had a long commute to and from work 6 am to 7pm. Our kids have almost the same birthdays; 9/2013, 2/2013 and 6/2016 and to top it off I work as a teacher (need the medical insurance more than ever). Life is crazy...some days I look in the mirror and dont recognize myself he he

  5. I have a 3 month old and we are on a 7,11,3,7,11 schedule ... I feel like waking her up at 11pm is crazy but if I eliminate that feeding she doesn't get enough... love how you all even little bear goes to sleep early. Any suggestions?



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