One of the best things I ever did was to start establishing routines with my child. It’s something that’s often talked about, but do you know what the benefits of toddler routines actually are?
As parents, it’s easy to sometimes just go with the flow and do things because everyone else is doing it. If everyone else is doing it, it must be the right thing to do, right?
Not necessarily. Not every popular trend will be right for your family, and sometimes a particular decision needs to be tweaked to work for you, your child, and your family.
Regardless of whether something is popular or not, I think it’s really important as parents to know why we’re doing what we’re doing.
The same goes for routines. While I wholeheartedly believe they are beneficial for everyone, including your toddler, it’s also important to know the benefits of having a routine with your toddler.
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Six Benefits Of Toddler Routines
If you don’t know the benefits of toddler routines, you will be far less likely to stick with it. Which, of course, will nullify any potential benefits you could reap from it.
Here are six benefits of toddler routines, to help you stay informed and know why you have (or want to have) certain routines with your child.
1. Routines help your toddler know what to expect
Simply put, toddler routines help your child know what to expect.
The consistency of routines help your child to know and understand what he should expect during different parts of his day—during nap times, bed times, snack times, play times, meal times, and more.
But why is this important?
2. Routines provide sense of safety and security
Knowing what to expect during different parts of the day help your child to feel safe and secure.
When you think about it, you probably feel the same way. You are probably less likely to feel safe and secure when you don’t know what to expect from a situation.
On the other hand, when you are going about your normal day to day tasks, you feel more relaxed and confident. This is because you know what to expect, because it’s the normal for you.
The same goes for toddlers. When they know what to expect, they feel more relaxed, safe, and secure.
3. Routines give your toddler confidence
This goes right along with safety and security. When your toddler is settled into their routine, they will feel more confident knowing what their day will look like.
When toddlers doesn’t have to worry about what’s coming next, or how the situation will be handled, they can have confidence in you and their normal day.
And when they are confident in the normal flow of the day, it gives them the freedom to try new things, grow, learn, and explore.
4. Routines provide room for independence
One of the great benefits of toddler routines is allowing room for your toddler to grow in his independence.
By knowing what to expect next, your toddler is able to learn the order of events and begin to participate without having to be told.
For example, part of my toddler’s routine includes having a diaper change immediately after waking up in the morning, or from a nap. Before I’ve even gotten him out of his crib, he knows to expect the diaper change, and is ready to help pull out the changing mat for me.
Another example is my toddler’s snack time routine. During this time, I allow him to eat his snack at a small table in the living room, with his blue chair to sit in. Now, while I am preparing his snack, he automatically goes and gets the chair out without having to be told.
5. Routines regulate toddler’s internal clocks
It’s not much of a secret that toddlers can’t tell time. And sometimes, things like growth spurts or sickness can get their internal clocks out of wack.
But, a regular, healthy routine will help your toddler to regulate his internal clock. One way this is obvious is with bedtime routines.
Bedtime routines can help your toddler to know when it is time to sleep, and help prepare his body for bed. Having a solid bedtime routine can also help your toddler to sleep better, longer, and with fewer middle of the night wake ups.
6. Routines help toddlers sleep better
Again, regular routines can benefit toddlers by preparing them for naps and bedtime. In addition to providing them with sleep queues, routines that provide periods of active play can also help your toddler to sleep better.
When your toddler is able to get out and be active, he uses up more energy and naturally will sleep better.
Plus, healthy routines will help lower your toddler’s anxiety, helping them relax and be ready to sleep when the time comes.
Have you seen the benefits of routines with your toddler?
What about you? Comment below and share the benefits you have seen with your own toddler, or ask any questions you may have!