Why does getting out the door take so long with a toddler?

For such tiny people, toddlers sure come with a lot of stuff. Whether you’re rushing around each morning to get Baby to daycare and yourself to work, or taking them along with you to run some errands, it’s easy to feel spent before you even leave the house.

At this age, Baby likely isn’t able to be of much help, unlike older children who can prepare their own breakfast or pack up a bag – give Baby a few years and they'll get there, but these days, even when they are trying to help you may run into trouble. On top of remembering which items to pack (and where the heck you put them) there’s also the challenge of helping them through the transition from one part of the day to another, which can be difficult for many toddlers. Unfortunately, your toddler probably doesn’t fully understand the concept of time, nor why they have to put down the toy to get dressed. Resisting transitions often results in tantrums, which will also set you back.

Any parent of a toddler knows each day comes with its own series of unpredictable events, but a little preparation can go a long way. Here are some tips on taking control of your morning so you can leave energized and on time!

  • Plan ahead: Sure, by the end of the day, you’re probably ready to swan dive into bed and drift off to sleep. While it may seem daunting, getting in the habit of preparing the night before can save a lot of time and aggravation in the morning. Plus, you’ll sleep more soundly not having to worry about what Baby will wear in the morning, or where in the world you put their sippy cup.
  • Be strategic: Come up with a system that works for your family and stick to it. Sure, getting Baby dressed before breakfast may seem counterproductive, but putting on new clothes while changing their morning diaper saves an extra step. Just remember to slap on a bib!
  • Reevaluate your mornings: If there is a consistent problem that comes up in your routine, like being 10 minutes behind each day, it may be time to address that aspect. Setting your alarm to an earlier time will take some getting used to, but those lost few minutes of sleep will be worth it if it means starting your day on a less stressful note.
  • Expect the unexpected: Spills happen, and so do diaper explosions right as you’re about to walk out the door. It’s just a fact of life. With a toddler, it’s unrealistic to expect the morning to go seamlessly. Your boss will thank you if you remember to factor a “mishap minute” into your schedule.

As your little one grows, heading out of the house will become easier and easier, but during the toddler years, it’s totally common to have some less-than-tranquil experiences trying to hit the road.

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