Tuesday 12 May 2020

PARENTHOOD: Our Lockdown Daily Routine with Two Children and a Baby

PARENTHOOD: Our Lockdown Daily Routine with Two Children and a Baby
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We're now well over a month into this lockdown/quarantine life and it certainly is a rollercoaster, isn't it? Everyday is a mix of emotions, but since finding a routine that works for us we are having more happy moments than challenging. I have always loved a good routine; I'd go as far to say they it is my parenting security blanket, which is why I found it hard when the lockdown was announced our daily routine suddenly became irrelevant to the new way of life. Over seven weeks later and with quite a few adaptations we have finally found a routine that keeps everyone as happy as possible, the older two children know what to expect throughout the day and home learning is dotted throughout to help keep the focus. At the moment we have a five year old, two (almost three) year old and a six month old baby at home, so our routine is all about coordinating their individual needs. My husband is working from home at the moment, but we wave goodbye at 9am and don't really see him again until at the earliest 5.30pm (a good hour and a half earlier than pre-lockdown life, so that is a big bonus), so for the vast majority of the time I'm solo parenting our three children and implementing this routine.

5.30-6am - Isabella and Poppy will wake up and play in their room. I'm usually awake feeding Rory, so can hear them playing away.
6.30am - The sun comes up on their Gro Clock, so they come through to us to ask for the iPad. We'll pop something on Netflix and they'll go back into their room to snuggle and watch for a while.

7.15am - Rory wakes up for the day, so I'll get up, change his nappy and set the girl's clothes out for them to get themselves dressed. Since lockdown Poppy has got really good at getting herself dressed because she's been watching Isabella do it each day. We'll then usually all get into our bed for a snuggle, chat and even a cup of tea if I'm lucky!
8am - We'll all get up, get dressed and ready for the day. This is much later than when we had the school run, so that's a treat.
8.30am - Breakfast time. The girl's will have cereal to start and then a 'pudding', which is usually apple and peanut butter, pear, plum or banana. Rory has started weaning now, so he'll have breakfast too and that's been Weetabix, porridge or a homemade fruit puree. We'll also make a flask of tea for my husband to take upstairs to work with him, which has made such a difference because every time I made a cup of tea during the day I felt like I needed to make him one too, but now he's set up for the day and I can focus on the children.
9am - We wave their Daddy off to work upstairs and we'll go through to the living room for home learning time to begin. We usually get around half an hour of learning done before Rory needs to be put down for a nap. Isabella is pretty keen to learn and Poppy is often eager to get involved too, so we'll start with the work the school has set and then go onto the topic I have planned for the week. About five weeks ago I started to plan topics for each week, which are led by Isabella and Poppy's interests. We've done the Human Body, Easter, Spring, Cinderella and Fairies so far, which have provided a focus for fun activities throughout the week. I'll plan a tuff tray activity, baking activity and then print of learning activities linked to the topic from Twinkl (making the most of their free subscription at the moment!).
9.40am - I'll take Rory up for a nap, which is perfect timing for Isabella to have a break from learning and a bit of free play. Before lockdown Rory was napping on me, but after two week of struggling to get him to sleep on me with the noise of the girls around him I decided it was best for him to start napping in the cot. It broke my heart and is still something I feel sad about, but it means he gets the sleep he needs and I'm able to help the girl's with their learning so I know it is for the best.
10am - Rory will be asleep in his cot, so I grab the chance to have breakfast and prepare the girl's snacks for later. We'll then get back to learning, which is usually our topic focused activities.
10.45am - Time to tidy up, finish learning for the morning and get ready for snack time.
11am - Snack time while watching Maddie Moate's Let's Go Live programme on YouTube. It is live at 11am every week day and educational, so the perfect watch for snack time. If Rory hasn't already woken up he will usually wake up around now and we'll enjoy those post-nap cuddles/have a feed while the girl's are eating. 

11.30am - We'll go out for our daily walk around our local area. Isabella will usually want to scoot, Poppy will walk and I'll wear Rory.
12.15pm - Back from our walk and it's time for lunch. Before lockdown both girl's would have had their main meal at lunch time, so I decided to keep it the same during this surreal time. I'll always have their dinner prepared, so there isn't a long time to wait after the walk. While the girl's are eating lunch I'll feed Rory his lunch and he'll have some finger food too. 
1pm - Once the children has finished lunch it's nap time for Rory and Poppy. While I go and put them to sleep Isabella will do a phonics lesson on the Letters and Sounds for Home and School YouTube Channel. These lessons are really good for Reception/Year 1 children, as they are able to sit and complete the lesson independently. 
1.30pm - When Poppy and Rory are asleep I'll make my lunch and then do Isabella's Phonics Workbook with her. It is filled with quick little activities for different sounds, so it doesn't take up much time and keeps her phonics understanding ticking over. We'll then play games together (Dobble and Happy Families are Isabella's current favourites), do puzzles, read a book, colouring, Teach a Monster to Read on the iPad or a drawing tutorial on YouTube by Rob Biddulph. 
2.30pm - If Rory has had a long nap in the morning then he'll usually only have 20-30 minutes in the afternoon, but if it was a shorter nap in the morning then he may have around 1-1.5 hours now. 
3pm - Poppy wakes up or I'll wake her up and we'll do creative time. This is sometimes an activity school has set or could be Play-Doh, a Lego challenge, Kinetic Sand, a craft activity based around our weekly topic or baking.
4pm - TV time for Isabella and Poppy, while I'll feed Rory, make the children's dinner, get any jobs done that need doing or prepare our dinner. 
5pm - Dinner time for the children. They have a sandwich type dinner, as their main meal would have been at lunch time. 
5.30pm - Bath time and my husband may join us if he's finished work. All three children don't fit in our bath anymore, so I'll usually bath Rory first while the girl's play in their room or give their baby a bath using the BABY born Bath Tub. They love 'copying' me with their BABY born and the Bath Tub's interactive features make it lots of fun too. It has an automatic shower function, unique light/sound effect and Berta the rubber duck keeps baby company. Isabella and Poppy get so excited when the base of the bath tub lights up in all the colours of the rainbow and a tune/bathing sound are playing. You can also take out the showerhead to make washing the whole baby doll easier, helping them feel like proper little grown ups. 

6pm - Book and bed time for Isabella and Poppy.

7pm - My husband may go out for his walk of the day while I get jobs done or we'll have dinner together. Rory usually wants to nap now too, so it can be a bit of a juggling act and we're still trying to get the timing of this part of the day right. 
7.30pm - Rory has a bit of play time while we're watching the latest series we're into on the tv. 
8.30pm - We'll take Rory upstairs to start his bedtime routine. My husband will brush Rory's teeth, change his nappy, get him into his sleeping bag and read him a story while I'm getting myself ready for bed. I'll then take over and feed Rory before putting him down in the cot to sleep.
9pm - It's my bedtime while Rory has one of his slightly longer stretches of sleep for the night. My husband used to have Rory sleeping on him during this time, but since lockdown we now put Rory down in the cot. The noise of the television and the lights seemed to aggravate him and he was getting over tired, hence deciding to start putting him down in his cot. Nowadays my husband will stay up watching tv/getting jobs done, so that he can put Rory back to sleep if he wakes up earlier than midnight. 
12am - I take over the night duties with Rory and he goes from the cot into the co-sleeper next to me. I'll feed him and put him in the co-sleeper where I hope he'll sleep for the rest of the night, but in reality he goes from needing feeding every hour to at the best doing one two hour stretch until we're back to the start of our daily routine again at 5.30am.

This is our usual daily routine during the working week and it has been working really well for a while now. If you like a routine like me then you'll know how much of a relief it is when you find one that works for everyone. Well I say everyone, but as you can probably see there isn't any time for me at the moment. It is pretty relentless at times and I am exhausted, but I think that's life for now and as long as we're staying safe then I'm happy. 

What does your usual lockdown day look like?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. It sounds like you have got a bit of a routine going on, which is definitely a help within lockdown.

  2. Glad to see I'm not the only one who doesn't get breakfast until 10am! haha. When do you fit in your housework? That's what I am struggling with :(

    1. It is tricky and not all the jobs get done each day, that's for sure! I just try to do little bits here and there - it's the only way really :)

  3. It sounds like a great routine and works well, it is so helpful to have routines that work when you have a young family

  4. It was interesting to read your daily routine. I haven't been getting breakfast until late either, haha!

  5. During the week we are kept busy with school work and online classes, the weekend are for relaxing!

  6. What a fantastic routine you have set there for your kids. I can't believe how long your days are though. Ours I have to admit starts a lot later but then again our kids are bigger, so they stay up later too. Yummy meals as well for the kids there.

  7. Sounds like you have a good routine which suits you. Mine are a bit older and I am working twilights so our school day starts a bit later at 10am


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