Should my toddler be on a schedule?

Real Mom Problem

“I am in desperate need of a good schedule to build some structure within my home.”

by dizzymommy09 dizzymommy09

Quick Tips

  • 1. Schedule the stuff that matters most: nap times, meal times, and bedtime routines are good places to start
  • 2. Go with what works for you and your toddler
  • 3. Be flexible
  • 4. If you're making changes, try one thing at a time

Real Mom Solutions

Many toddlers thrive on schedules, and structuring your days can make life easier for mom, too. See what scheduling strategies have worked best for the moms of CafeMom and then determine what's right for you and your little one.

Let Your Child's Mood Guide Your Day


    I tried schedules before but I just don't like it. It's too hard for me to enjoy my time with my kids if I am focused on what happens at each exact time!

  • annaica

    Some structure is good, but too much may end up causing a child to have more problems. Creating their own schedule is probably healthier so they can tune into their own needs.

  • bandgeek521

    I've tried doing schedules before, and it just doesn't work for us. So I go with the flow. We do get up about the same time every day, and meals are about the same time, but other than that I pace myself off of what kind of mood my son is in or his interest for the day.

  • marissa615

    I have never had my three-and-a-half-year-old on a schedule. Life is unpredictable and some things you just can't plan for. I find that there is less stress for me to go with the flow and my daughter as well. She never whines or cries or complains. It seems to work for us.

  • MsScarlysMama

    Having things change every now and then is good I think. I mean, how else are they going to figure out how to deal with change? So, every now and then I welcome a bit of change to our day to day lives. But the important stuff is on a schedule.

Kids Thrive on Schedules

  • crystal626rose

    I love my schedules. Things seem way less chaotic when we have them planned out.

  • sky375

    Structure in all aspects of my daughter's life is what has helped her become the polite, intelligent little girl she is. She is already reading. She can write her name. She is very artistic, and loves crafts. We have always used a schedule for learning time play time rest time and mommy/daddy time. It's not strict as in we don't stop in the middle of a game because times up but each day she knows what to expect. I think this also gives her comfort and security.

  • Yomamamel

    We follow a schedule for the most part, and my daughter thrives on that. I try to limit the things that pop up outside of our schedule, because when we go with the flow on things too often she tends to throw tantrums; usually because she misses sleep or meals get pushed back.

  • LuckyMommy0711

    I put him on a pretty tight schedule because he was having behavior problems. The doctor tried to diagnose him with ADHD. I put him on this schedule, no more behavior problems, no more hyper-activity. This schedule has saved my life.

  • irishmama1007

    We have a schedule, my boys thrive on it and when we have a day that is not on schedule it shows in their behavior.