Daily 12-18 Month Schedule for a Happy Toddler

It’s hard to accept at first- that you officially have a toddler now! I call this the in between year though- they are more half baby, half toddler. Enjoy the little bit of baby you have left! Because at 2 they are ALL toddler, lol. By now, the excitement from the first birthday is winding down and you are starting to see what kind of person your baby is becoming.  Your 12-18 month schedule is just as important as ever!What do you do all day with your one year old? This 12-18 month schedule goes over activities, toys and even a free sample schedule you can download!

It may be hard for you to believe that I feel this way, since I wrote an entire series of schedules, ha! BUT a toddler entering two on a consistent schedule will be better able to handle those big emotions that come up.  Of course, it’s not a magic bullet- but it helps.

Related Post: Daily Toddler Schedules– Includes a Toddler and Baby Schedule & a Schedule for 2 Toddlers

Maybe you feel like you haven’t had a consistent schedule during the first year, it could have been crazy to adjust to life with a baby and a busy schedule. Trust me- we’ve all been there.  It’s not too late!  This is also a crucial  milestone, where they may start fighting eating and sleeping, so predictability will help combat some of those struggles. Now that the baby food era is over, you may be wondering what to feed your one year old.  It helps to have an arsenal of easy finger foods meals.  Feeding themselves is an important milestone, and it frees you up a little bit so that’s a win-win.

My second son Ellis is currently 15 months and my oldest son Miles is 3.  Ellis is a complete “danger seeker, adventure is life” kind of guy.  He leaves my side immediately when we go somewhere.  Miles always stuck by me, and sometimes still does in new places. You’ll start to notice those trends the most at this age, they may start to develop separation anxiety and show bigger emotions when things change.  Even though Ellis is fine in new places, I haven’t gone to the bathroom alone since before his first birthday. For some reason, he doesn’t think I’ll come back when I go.  What can you do? We adjust to these phases, because they are still trying to figure out the world and how things work.  That’s big scary work for them!

In this post, you’ll find developmental milestones of a 12-18 month toddler schedule, as well as toys and activities that are perfect for this age.  Following, there is a sample schedule that will give you a “typical” structure that you can follow or modify to fit your life and personality (Free to download at the end!).

Key Elements of a 12-18 Month Toddler Schedule

  • 13-15 total hours of sleep. Goes from 2 to 1 nap between 15-18 months. Drop the morning nap and keep the afternoon nap. I have bedtime at 7, but the ideal window is 6-8pm.  Decide what works for your family and how to your toddler gets the hours they need.
  • Switch to whole milk- recommended to not do 2% or skim etc until after 2 years old.
  • 3 meals and 2 snacks- eat what you eat, but you can pre prep food that is nutrient rich for ease of use or have simple finger food meals on hand.
  • Movement milestones- walking, kicking a ball, pulling toys behind while walking, climbs up and down furniture, starts to climb up and down steps (supervised, still not steady).
  • Builds towers, throws balls, fits items into shapes and holes, scribbling and painting, begins make believe play.
  • Language- Says 5-10 words by 15 months and 15 words by 18 months, follows simple instructions, repeats words overhead in conversations.
  • Start more routines- Getting in the house- we take off shoes, hang up coat, and wash hands. You are more active in carrying them out at this age, but slowly they will take over and it creates more predictability.

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Toys for 12-18 Month Old Toddlers

What do you do all day with your one year old? This 12-18 month schedule goes over activities, toys and even a free sample schedule you can download!This singing and dancing robot doll was so fun for both my boys! Now I buy it for a lot of my friends and their baby’s first birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you do all day with your one year old? This 12-18 month schedule goes over activities, toys and even a free sample schedule you can download!Make believe toys- doctor set, cars, dolls, dress up clothes, pretend kitchen, and pretend cleaning set (My son loves this broom! I’m hoping it turns into a passionate desire to help me around the house.  A mom can dream!)

 

 

 

 

 

Activities for 12-18 Month Toddlers

  • Talk to your toddler- describe everything around them and what you are doing.  They are soaking everything up- even if they aren’t very verbal yet.
  • Read everyday if possible, or as often as you can
  • Early painting classes or craft projects at home
  • Pretend play
  • Music classes- play with instruments
  • Play dates for socialization
  • Park or open play spaces to run around and learn large motor skills

What do you do all day with your one year old? This 12-18 month schedule goes over activities, toys and even a free sample schedule you can download!

What do you do all day with your one year old? This 12-18 month schedule goes over activities, toys and even a free sample schedule you can download!Some of our favorites classes that we have explored with Pearachute are music classes that include dance and various musical instruments.  Early painting, beginning soccer, broadway and me plays and open play rooms.

*If you are in Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington DC or San Francisco, you can try your first 4 credit month of Pearachute for free!   🙂  Just click on the link or go to: https://www.pearachutekids.com/referred?coupon_code=REF-31UMAY

Sample Schedule

7- 7:30am | Wake Up- Sippy cup of milk

7:30-8am | Play: Story time, sensory bins, building blocks or nesting toys, singing songs, or listening to music while playing instruments (xylophone, drums)

8-8:45am | Breakfast

8:45am | Start nap soothing routine- Example: Dark room, snuggling, sucking on pacifier or fingers or nursing, rocking in chair or glider, soft singing then white noise machine.

9am | Morning Nap (This nap fades out between 15-18 months)

10:30am | Wake Up- Sippy Cup of Milk

10:30- 11am | Snack

11- 12:15pm | Play time: Large motor development- park or open play, push and pull toys, riding cars. Social development- play dates or reoccurring music or art classes.

12:15pm-12:45pm | Lunch with Water

12:45pm | Start nap soothing routine- same one every time.

1pm | Afternoon Nap

3pm | Wake up and Snack

3:30-6pm | Play: Start easy paint or craft projects. Go outside at least once a day for fresh air.

6:00pm | Dinner and water or milk (milk can be part of soothing routine)

6:30pm | Start bedtime routine. Include same soothing routine for naps but add extra to signify night sleep: like a bath, calming music, lotion massage, pajamas and read stories.

7:00pm | Put down drowsy, but not completely asleep to help baby develop self-soothing practices.

What do you do all day with your one year old? This 12-18 month schedule goes over activities, toys and even a free sample schedule you can download!Download your own printable copy below! Check out the 18-24 month schedule for lots of new milestones!

Download Your Free 12-18 Month Toddler Schedule

12 to 18 months schedule

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7 thoughts on “Daily 12-18 Month Schedule for a Happy Toddler

  1. Lori Ellen Lookabill says:

    Hi ladies!

    I am a Nana of 3 beautiful grandchildren: 14 years old, 13 years old and a 1 year old. My daughter Michelle is in the U.S. Army and is set to go on a European rotation next month for 9 months. I am going to be supporting my daughter while she is gone by helping my son in law care for these 3 very active and very different individuals. It has been 32 years since I have had a toddler in the house and I am at a loss sometimes on how to keep my youngest grandbaby occupied. I am always open to suggestions and this old dog can definitely learn some new tricks. Routine is important for my 3 grandkids on a daily basis and even more so when their Momma is half a world away serving her country. This chart is a wonderful start and I will be referring to it frequently! Appreciate all of you!

    Lori Ellen

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      So glad you found the chart helpful Lori! So amazing that you are helping out and watching your grandkids. I hope to be able to do the same one day. Routine is everything at this age, so I think it’s a perfect place to start. 🙂

  2. This in depth post is so helpful. My 14 month old seems to be making the transition to one nap a day. Morning nap is hit or miss Even though she still seems sleepy. She also has the dancing robot toy and loves it!

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      When they transition nap schedules is hard! My oldest transitioned out of napping all together at 4 and 1/2 and he had those days where he was still tired, but eventually got used to the new schedule. Dancing robot is still one of my favorite toys for this age. 🙂

  3. This was a godsend thanks for being so descriptive. We just hit 13 months and I was confused on what to do since she’s more active. I’ll be trying this schedule asap

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thanks for reading! So glad you find it helpful. 🙂

  4. I appreciated this blog article very much! Amazing nap lengths! I’ve read that by this age of 13mos they are to be on 3-4hr wake windows as the day progresses. I miss the smaller WW and it’s nice to see other older babies having Nap 1 ab 2hrs after wake up and Nap 2 about 2.5-3. maybe I’ll try that again to see if I can extend my naps and minimize night wakings!

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