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The joys of motherhood include so many things from the smell of a fresh, out of the bath baby to the adorable noises your baby makes. However having a newborn can really throw your normal routines out of sync! What is a mom to do? Create a NEW morning routine that includes your little one’s natural infant schedule! If you are a mom of a new baby PLUS a toddler, believe it or not this can make it even better! Here are a few hacks to help your mornings go from chaos to calm giving you more bonding moments and less blurry-eyed days!
Make a Plan
When it comes to morning routines, the best plan is to have a plan! This means starting your morning routine the night before. Now, before you start scratching your head or rolling your eyes in confusion or frustration, hear me out. When you have a newborn you may be up many times during the night for feedings, diaper changes, or even just to soothe a fussy baby. You already know what the average number of times you are up during the night is. Plan for these by having all of the supplies you may need in the night plus a few extras close at hand by your baby’s crib or bassinet to make these midnight tasks quicker. Having a few extra supplies set out means they are already prepped for the morning! The obvious things such as diapers and wipes should be included but also think about what baby eats. If you are strictly breastfeeding, obviously there is no prep needed. However if you are combination nursing and pumping or strictly pumping or formula, having a couple bottles in a little cooler by the bed as well as a bottle warmer in the room and already on can save precious time when the baby is waking up hungry! Another way to prep the night before is to lay out the clothes you would like both yourself and your baby to wear in the morning, as well as your other children’s clothes if you have more than just the baby to get into a routine! This saves you the hassle in the morning of digging through closets and drawers looking for that missing sock or shirt that you SWORE you just put away!
Use the Baby’s Schedule
Another great morning routine hack is to start your day on your newborn’s schedule. While it is completely exhausting getting up at a certain time when you have been up and down all night and it is SO tempting to sleep until your tiny human alarm clock goes off, getting up at the same time (or at least close to it) every day is actually one of the best ways to get not just yourself, but also your baby on the same schedule. If you have other children, you can even get them on the schedule by giving them a list of things they need to do before time to wake up their little sister or brother. Things such as brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and putting their pajamas away are all things that even toddlers can do with a little supervision and assistance. Obviously you will want to have a few minutes to yourself to take care of your own change of clothes, teeth, hair and any other morning rituals you like to perform such as meditation or prayer. However, once you have finished your own routine, you can start waking up the kiddos oldest to youngest. The reason I say oldest to youngest is the older they are, the more they are able to do on their own! Once everyone else is up and ready for the day, it is time to wake up baby! Letting your older ones (if you have them) help you wake up your newborn will help the children bond and give the older ones precious memories of how their family grew.
Breakfast for Everyone
When it comes to breakfast, it can be interesting juggling a newborn, yourself, a toddler, and a small child! I have found that by giving the older kids and yourself the same foods it cuts down on the “I don’t want that” or “Why didn’t I get that” complaints! One of our favorite breakfasts when my son was young was fruit and peanut butter toast. Is it messy? Most definitely. It is also packed with protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. The best part though is that it is an easy breakfast to eat while feeding an infant and it is something that even a toddler can feed themselves. If you only have a baby to feed and no older kids, the benefits are still there. Keeping in mind that you need to keep up your energy when you have a new baby, a breakfast with those nutritional benefits will give you a more natural energy than, say, drinking that entire pot of coffee you just brewed!
When it comes to creating a routine, remember that not all routines work for everyone! Each family has different needs, different schedules, and is well, different! If something doesn’t seem like it is working while you are trying to set a morning routine, it is okay to re-evaluate and see what might work better. Perhaps you prefer to shower in the mornings because showering before you go to bed makes you feel more awake and it is taking you too long to fall asleep. Maybe it is easier to just stay up after your newborn’s last wee hour wake up call. Don’t be upset if it seems the routine you are trying to set isn’t working. It just means maybe you need to adjust a thing or two and suddenly everything will click into place! The important thing is that you are trying and even if none of the suggestions we have made work for your family, eventually you will find the perfect little hacks that do!
As the kids get older, here are some tips for how to get your kids to be more responsible which can also help with morning routines and getting them moving as they can do more for themselves.