Example Weekday Routine for a 10-Month-Old Baby in Daycare

It has taken me about ten months to feel confident that we even have a routine, even though I think in truth we have had a rhythm to our collective day for a long time. I use the word “routine” here deliberately. It’s not possible to have a true minute-by-minute schedule with any baby. However, you can have a routine that lays out the rough order in which you do things throughout your day.

I’ve added approximate times to this list mostly to give a general sense of how long things take relative to each other. By no means do I look at the clock all day and try to stick to this, aside from bedtime, which we do actively try to make close to 7pm.

I’ll also call out one more word, which is “example”! This is my first child and I’m very much playing it by ear and learning as I go along like everyone else. This is what happens to be working for us at the moment.

Example Weekday Routine for a 10-Month-Old Baby in Daycare

~6:00am “Good morning!” Out of the crib and diaper change. These days, our daughter wakes up as early as about 5:40am and as late as about 6:20am. She tends to just sit or stand quietly in her crib until we notice she’s awake on the video monitor. Often there’s a lovely big poo-poo in her diaper for us to handle.

6:10am Bottle

6:25am Eat breakfast together

6:45-7:45am Playtime in the nursery

7:45am School clothes on, diaper change, and sunscreen if needed.

8am Out the door to daycare

. . . Fun with her little friends, bottles, snacks, lunch, and hopefully at least one nice, long quality nap! . . .

5pm Pick up from daycare

5:15pm Diaper change and hand wipes to minimize daycare germs coming in

5:30pm Eat dinner together

6-6:30pm Playtime in the nursery

6:30pm Bath

6:35pm Diaper on

6:40pm Bottle

6:55pm PJs on

7pm One short story in the nursery chair, followed immediately by putting her in the crib for bed. Lights out and sound machine on.

“Goodnight! See you in the morning!”

Thanks to Little Z’s Sleep Consulting, our daughter sleeps straight through the night. No wake-ups or feedings at all. It’s really amazing.

I feel that it’s important to mention how many other household chores and personal hygiene routines are also happening within the same timeframe above. As nice as it would be, baby’s arrival in the world does not mean that laundry suddenly stops needing to be done, trash no longer needs to be taken out, and mom and dad no longer have to shower before they leave the house. In fact, of course, after a baby you suddenly find that you have way MORE to do and much less time to accomplish it in.

I tend to wake up when the baby wakes up and I’m asleep by 9:30pm. My husband and I both work full-time. That doesn’t leave much time to do things that need doing. It so often feels like it’s only possible to finish even a small amount of chores because we both have flexible schedules. At least one of us is working from home on any given day. That sort of freedom is so valuable.

My husband and I both place value on sharing the load when it comes to the very real labor of child-rearing, as well, which may be most important of all. At this point, we tend to have a fairly similar understanding of what needs to get done and a task’s relative priority. In other words, I’m thankful for my husband!

Two more things I’m thankful for: in-unit laundry and a dishwasher. Believe me, I spent plenty of years of my life living in apartments without those things, but now it’s hard to imagine how I would function without them as a mom.

With all of those bits about our lifestyle out of the way, here’s a tiny list of things that I have found helpful in our own household routines. There are plenty of no-brainers here, I think!

  • Pre-loading the washing machine every night with dirty clothes, then starting it first thing in the morning. This way, the wash cycle is done before we leave the house. I can transfer all of the wet clothes to the dryer and not have to fret about things becoming moldy or whatever. Extra bonus: our washing machine is front loading and our daughter loves watching the clothes splash around, so it’s a nice distraction in the morning.

  • Running the dishwasher every night ensures things are ready to go each morning (this is particularly crucial for us because we send multiple bottles to daycare every weekday).

  • Using a formula pitcher. It makes preparing bottles go so much faster. We do about four bottles’ worth at a time in this manual Dr. Brown’s pitcher and it works great. We have also tried the Baby Brezza electric mixer, but cleaning the lid is tricky, as that’s where the batteries are.

  • Playtime for our daughter = an opportunity for one of us to take a shower and get dressed. Whoever is doing the daycare drop-off gets first dibs on getting ready in the morning while the other parent watches the baby. Right now, she doesn’t much mind that in the mornings we each dip in and out of spending time with her while she’s playing in her room. She’s too wrapped up with throwing herself all over this cool soft play ramp we got on Prime Day.