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How Long Should a Routine Last

The duration of a routine can vary based on several factors, including the child’s age, individual needs, and the specific activities involved. Here are some general guidelines:

1. Infants and Toddlers:

  • Sleep Routines: Bedtime routines for infants and toddlers typically last around 20-30 minutes. This includes activities like bathing, changing, feeding, and reading a bedtime story.

  • Feeding Routines: Feeding sessions can vary but usually last 15-30 minutes per meal.

2. Preschoolers and School-Age Children:

  • Morning Routines: Morning routines before school may take 30-45 minutes. This includes waking up, getting dressed, having breakfast, and preparing for the day.

  • Homework and Study Time: Allocate 30-60 minutes for homework and study sessions.

  • Bedtime Routines: Bedtime routines for older children can last 30-60 minutes, including winding down, brushing teeth, and reading.

3. Teens and Adolescents:

  • Morning and Evening Routines: Teens benefit from consistent routines. Morning and evening routines can last 45-60 minutes.

  • Self-Care and Hygiene: Allow time for showering, skincare, and other self-care activities.

4. Flexibility:

  • While consistency is essential, be flexible. Some days may require longer routines (e.g., special occasions, family outings).

  • Core routines (like bedtime) should remain consistent, even during disruptions.

Remember that routines should serve as a helpful structure, not a rigid constraint. Adapt as needed to meet your child’s changing needs.

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