I wanted to share with you my hectic morning routine, along with some things I’ve discovered that help to relieve the chaos.
First of all, our morning routine is timed down to the minute because the adults need every possible extra second of sleep. We prioritize sleep in this family, so anything not essential is never done at the expense of sleeping. I’m not actually complaining about sleep, because all our kids sleep through the night: lights out for the babies is between 6:30 and 7pm, for their sister at 8pm. I know it could be much worse, so we do highly value the sleep we get.
It also helps that I’ve never been the type to labor over my appearance every morning: never liked to wear much make up, always had a wash and wear hairstyle. And my job as a teacher doesn’t require wearing a suit or anything fancy, so it’s basic business casual attire and comfortable shoes.
However, that doesn’t mean mornings aren’t crazy around here anyway. With two adults and three kids to get out the door, it’s truly a coordinated effort. The secret to most of it is to have a solid routine and prep what I can the night before.
6:00 I wake up
6:20 I am showered and mostly dressed
6:30 Bottles prepped for the day
Pack snacks (if preschool’s serving something I don’t approve)
Grab packed lunch
Husband wakes up
Big Sis gets out of bed
6:45 Hair and makeup done
Big Sis dressed and hair done
Babies changed and loaded in car (by Husband)
6:50 Out the driveway
7:10 Arrive at Grandma’s
7:20 At work
Husband takes care of giving preschooler her breakfast while he showers and gets ready. He does his chores in the morning (like unloading the dishwasher and picking up dog poop) since he gets home so late at night, so Big Sis usually doesn’t get to school till after 8am, but they get to spend some time together in the mornings.
Some things that have helped shave minutes off our morning routine:
Formula mixing pitcher / Take & Toss sippy cups
This is a great invention! I have the Dr Brown one that holds 40oz, and it’s perfect for four 9oz bottles. No clumps, no foam, just a few presses of the handle and you get formula ready to pour. Similarly, the handheld battery-run ones are useful too if you’re only making one (or two) bottles.
When they are done with bottles (can’t wait!), I teach them to use these sippy cups. They’re just one solid top with a spout that snaps onto a cup, great for washing in the dishwasher. Also good for teaching babies to drink from a real cup, no tiny pieces to take apart or silicone to sanitize, and very inexpensive. In fact, when I need Big Sis not to spill, like if she wants to have warm milk while lying down in the morning, we still use these.
Laundry basket / hamper / large bag
This is a lifesaver for all the knick knacks that always seem to accompany babies everywhere they go. At least once a week I transport clean/dirty bedding, soiled/backup clothing, rotating toys, food/snacks, new diapers/wipes– anything I need to remember to take to Grandma’s I dump in this basket so in the morning Husband just needs to load it in the car.
Ditto for Big Sis’s preschool, except hers is a bag.
Light up clock
When I switched Big Sis to her toddler bed, I got her this clock to prevent her from getting up at all hours. I didn’t think it would work as well as it did! She never gets out of bed until this light turns green at 6:30am, and not having a barrage of toddler questions come at me when I’m getting ready in the morning is definitely a sanity saver. Bonus: it teaches time!
Footed pajamas / leg warmers
My babies always sleep in footed zip-up (never buttoned) pajamas when the weather turns cold. It’s perfect for not requiring blankets, and nice and cozy to put on right after baths. We don’t change them in the mornings. Grandma might change them if it gets too warm during the day, or if their outfits get soiled, but usually they’re in them until they get changed into the next one the following evening. Big Sis wore these right up until she was potty trained.
When it’s too warm for footy pajamas, I have a couple sets of baby leg warmers both at Grandma’s and at home to keep tender knees from getting raw from crawling while wearing cooler short or long-sleeve onesies.
A dedicated Grandma who lives five minutes from work
No amount of money can buy this one. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these like I am, things are exponentially easier. I am literally five minutes away from my babies during the day. I can even visit them if I wanted to, but I’ve never had to. My mom makes soups and stews for the babies that I blend into baby food that they LOVE. I never have to worry about them while I’m working, and the peace of mind that I have dropping them off is probably the most stabilizing aspect of my mornings.