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Morning Routine with Baby or Toddler: What If You Can’t Wake Up Before Your Kids?

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If you read mom blogs or have been following me for any length of time, you know that I encourage moms to wake up before their kids. The perspective I have on it is this: When you wake up before your kids, you wake up FOR them not TO them.

One of the most difficult things as a parent is waking up to kids needing your attention and having no time to get yourself together. Beleive me! I lived that way for the first 18 months of my son’s life. Then I finally decided to go to bed earlier so that I could have some alone time in the morning before having to be ready for “mom duty”.

However, I know that waking up before your kids is not always possible. In fact, I get emails from moms a lot. They say things like, “My toddler wakes up at 6:00 in the morning. I just don’t know how I’m supposed to wake up before them!”

And you know, I don’t blame you. Personally, I think anything before 6:00 is just too early, at least for me. And especially when you have a baby or toddler who isn’t sleeping through the night, it makes waking up earlier even more difficult.

So if you struggle to wake up before your kids, please don’t feel bad about it. It may not be the answer for you and your family.

After I had my second baby, I didn’t wake up before my kids for a at least 4 months. I needed my sleep durning those newborn days. However, I still was intentional with my mornings. That’s what I encourage you to be as well. Don’t wait until noon to change out of your PJ’s.

The following is an example morning routine with a newborn baby or toddlers to give you an idea of how you can still be productive even when you wake up at the same time as your little ones. The times are approximate and may be totally different for you.

Example Morning Routine with Baby (or Toddler)

7:00 Feed baby.

7:20 Eat breakfast with your older kids and let baby sit in high chair. 

7:30 Clean up from breakfast.

The baby can sit in the high chair or swing. Older kids can start their morning routines or help clean up in the kitchen.

  • Clear the kitchen table
  • Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher or wash them
  • Wipe down the table
  • Sweep up any crumbs

7:45 Get baby and kids dressed for the day.

8:15 Get yourself ready.

I saved this one for last because that way your kids’ needs have already been met. They have been fed and had quality time with you. This will make it easier to get yourself ready without (too many) interruptions.

What your kids do at this point is really up to you, but here are some ideas.

It may be time for the baby to take the first nap of the day, depending on your baby’s age. Otherwise your baby can lay your baby in the crib or playpen with a mobile or projector.

Toddlers can play in their rooms. When my son was 3 and my daughter was a newborn, he played with his mega blocks while I took a shower. I had him build a tower as tall as he could and then I would ask to see it when I was done with my shower. This made him excited to build and kept him occupied. Other days he would line up his cars in his room, and I would always ask to see what he did after I was done getting ready. This made him feel like he was working hard on a project for me.

The key is that we played with his other toys the rest of the day and tried to keep the blocks and cars for mainly the time that I was in the shower.

Now that you have seen this example morning routine, you know that it it possible to still have a successful morning routine even if you need to wake up after your kids.

Here are 2 tips that will help you create your own morning routine.

1. Create a plan.

Sit down with a peice of paper and pencil and write out 3-5 things you need to get done each morning. It should include eating breakfast, getting your kids dressed and gettting yourself dressed for sure. The rest of the plan is really up to you. Maybe you want to throw in a load of laundry or clean up the kitchen after breakfast. You may even want to plan a morning walk while you push baby in the stroller.

Whatever you decide, make sure you write it down so that you have a flexible plan. That way you know what needs to get done each morning and you have a celar start to your day.

2. Avoid turning on devices.

After you have a plan in place, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t defaulting to the TV, phone, or other screens. It’s so easy to turn on the television in the mornings or scroll social media, and before you know it, an hour or two has passed by.

That’s the reason I found myself in my PJ’s until noon during that first year of motherhood. Half the day would be gone and I hadn’t accomplished anything! When I started leaving the TV off in the mornings and instead got myself moving, that’s when I felt more motivated and productive.

One last thing I’d like to point out is this. If you really do want to start waking up before your kids, start small. Try waking up just 10 minutes earlier and then 15 minutes. Also, make sure that you are getting enough sleep at night.

If you have babies, or children who are waking up at night the best thing you can do for more sleep is to go to bed earlier.

Be sure to get your free Balanced Mom Checklist if you are feeling overwhelmed as a stay at home mom.

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