Before you had kids, getting ready for work in the morning was simple: You only needed to think about your own plans for the day, what you should wear, and what you would have to bring along. Now that you have a baby (and maybe toddlers or older kids, too), the morning routine feels much more complicated.
Between preparing bottles, packing lunches, and making sure everyone is up, dressed and ready to go, it can feel impossible to get out the door in the morning.
But rest assured, with just a little advanced planning and organization, you can curb the chaos and simplify the baby morning routine. Here’s how:
1. Start the Night Before
The key to a successful morning with little ones starts not in the early hours—but the night before. Instead of rounding up everything you need for the day as you rush around in the morning, try to get as much done as you can before you go to bed. (Yes, even when you’re tired!)
This might mean emptying any dirty lunchbox containers and bottles from the day before and getting them clean, ready and packed for school lunch the next day. Or, heading to the closet and pulling out what you and your kids will be wearing for the day ahead. Don’t forget to pack extra diapers and outfits for your baby in the daycare bag, too.
2. Make it Easy to Kick Start Your Day
If you have a baby or young kids, you may not be getting a lot of sleep, so feeling alert in the morning can be extra-challenging. Make the wake-up routine as easy on your exhausted self as possible. Spend a few minutes making overnight oats before you go to bed, so you can have breakfast waiting for you in the morning. Set up the timer on your drip coffee maker so that your fresh cup of morning brew is ready as soon as you’re up. Utilize technology to your advantage in other ways, too. Ask your virtual assistant to tell you the weather and the top news headlines, so you can quickly get up to speed while your hands are busy getting yourself and everyone else ready.
3. Get Up Earlier Than Your Kiddos
Whether or not you’re a morning person, try to get up an extra 30 minutes to an hour before your baby or kids typically do. This will give you time to get yourself dressed, pump and get the baby’s bottles ready, and maybe even drink a few sips of coffee before you’re holding a little one in your arms.
4. Shield Your Clothes From the Morning Mess
If one of your major morning hurdles is that you end up changing work clothes multiple times after getting spilled on, spit up or thrown up on, shield yourself. Wear your bathrobe over your work clothes while handling your kids in the morning, and don’t take it off until you’re about to walk out the door. That way you won’t have to worry about showing up to work with random stains on your pants.
5. Grab and Go
To make your baby morning routine go more smoothly, set up your home so everything you need for the day is in place and easy to find. Fill up airtight containers in your kitchen with healthy, family-friendly snacks like granola bars so you can grab them quickly on your way out. (Make sure to refill them weekly or when the supply gets low.) And keep extra diapers, wipes and baby clothes by the door in a diaper caddy so you can refill the daycare bag without having to run back to the nursery.
Now that your mornings are a bit easier to navigate, check out the OXO blog for more tips on creating daily routines for you and your little ones.