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Schedule Update: Nine month old twins (with a three year old too!)

The girls are nine months old!  They are older babies now (which feels like a strange thing to write).  They are past the newborn and early babyhood stages of just trying to figure out nursing and napping.  But they aren’t yet starting in on toddler hood.  So while they still need a lot of sleep, they don’t just sleep all the time.  Nursing is pretty routine now, but solids mean figuring out new eating patterns.  Add to that Ben is three, meaning he still has a lot of toddler needs, but it rushing forward to his preschool years full force.  That presents some challenges to get everyone’s needs met.  Fortunately I think we have found a pretty good routine that works for us.

Here is how our days usually run.
7:00am- Ben gets up.  We get a few minutes of one on one time and he gets started on breakfast.
7:15am- Ali and Sammy get up.  Play for a few minutes while I finish up time with Ben.
7:30am- Ali and Sammy nurse
7:45am- Everyone play while I make the girls’ breakfast, my breakfast, and make sure Ben has had enough of his food.
8:00am- Girls have solids breakfast with me.  Ben either sits with us or plays.
8:30am- Done with breakfast, kids play while I clean up.  If it is girls’ bath day they get baths.  This is often when we facetime with Meo.
9:00am- Ali and Sammy to first nap.  Ben gets bath if it is his bath day, otherwise he goes to independent playtime.  He does one hour in playtime, then gets to play in the living room.  I get myself ready for the day and get chores done.  We also do our reading time during this time.
11:00am- Ali and Sammy wake up and nurse.
11:30am-1:45pm- This is our busy time most days.  I try to get us out of the house most days, either to the library, the store, the bank, a park.  Really anything to get out.  We move lunch to fit the days outing best.  Sometimes we all eat right after the girls nurse, sometimes it is more like 12:30.  Ali and Sammy have solid lunch with Ben and me every day though.  If we are not out we do playtime at home.  Ben does crafts, reads, plays, or watches a show if I have work to do.  Girls play and read with us.  If we aren’t going out for the day, this is my biggest time to play with the kids.
1:45pm- Ali and Sammy nurse.  Ben gets to watch a show.  (This is usually his first show time of the day.  A few days a month I have my work to do and he gets an earlier show.)
2:00pm- Ali and Sammy to second nap.
2:15pm- Ben to nap.
4:30pm- Everyone up!  4:30 is the goal, but if everyone has actually napped well and wake up I get them up any time after 4.
4:30pm- Ali and Sammy nurse.
4:45-5:30pm- Kids play and often get a show.  I prep dinner and try to keep the kids happy, but this is usually the fussiest time of day.
5:30pm- Dinner!  Ali and Sammy eat solids dinner with us.  I will feed just the kids if Pat is working late, then they play while he and I have dinner.
6:00pm- Play time!  Pat is home, and he gets to see the kids.  (He has to leave before they wake up in the morning, so all three adore this time.)
6:45pm- Ali and Sammy jammie up and nurse one last time.
7:00pm- Ali and Sammy to bed for the night.
7:10pm- Ben starts his bedtime routine.
7:30pm- Ben in bed for the night.
I want to note that this is the general guideline for our days.  Of course each day doesn’t work our perfectly.  (I sometimes feel a little stressed when I read other mom’s schedules, thinking their days run like clockwork all the time.  Our days don’t always run perfectly, but this is the plan I try to follow.) Some nights the girls are super tired and go to bed early.  Some nights (like Halloween) we let Ben stay up a little later.  Now that the weather is cooling off we might do an earlier dinner to have time to hit the park before bed.  Meal times can scoot up if I know kids are extra hungry.  We adjust as needed.
As I wrote the middle of the day slot is our most variable time.  If we are going to do a late lunch (like when we have story hour at 11) I do give Ben a little snack to tide him over before we go out.  The girls are still nursing, so that counts as their snack.  If we do an early lunch I know I may have to offer Ben a snack before nap time.  The girls are big enough that we can wiggle the window for morning nap to suit activities if needed.  I can scoot morning wake time and first nap up about fifteen minutes so they wake earlier.  This gives us even more time in the middle of the day.  Afternoon nap rarely moves though.  With all three napping then I try my very best not to mess with that time.
I definitely think having a schedule actually gives us more flexibility.  This structure helps me make sure everyone’s sleeping and eating needs are met.  I get a chance to have time to accomplish all the adult stuff we all need to do- cook, clean, work, shower (we all appreciate when I do that. 😉 ) I know when I can stretch a little bit because we have our basic routine to fall back on.  And even with a three year old and infant twins we still get out of the house almost every day!
Schedules are a plan for the day.  They grow and change as our kids do.  This is where we are right now and it is working for us.

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