How to get your toddler out the door on early days

Whether you’re an early bird to begin with or you believe that early birds are a myth, mornings become a little harder when you become a parent. You’re not just getting your sleepy self out of bed and ready for the day – you’re also in charge of convincing another person that it’s a good idea. There aren’t many tricks for being less tired in the morning, but there are a few for getting out the door faster.

Prepare the night before

Your brain works way better at night than it does when you’ve just woken up, so it will probably take you less time to set things out the night before than it would in the morning. Pick out your own outfit, help Baby pick out theirs, and pack the bags you’ll be taking. Finding everything the night before will ensure that you’re not scrambling to find a shoe or a clean pair of underwear in the morning. If either of you will be bringing a lunch the next day, try to make it the night before. Have an idea of what you’ll make for breakfast, and double check that you have the ingredients you’ll need.

Have a wake-up game plan

Leaving things to chance is a recipe for being late. Before you go to bed, make sure you and Baby both know what time you’re getting up in the morning, what time you have to get to your destination, and what time you’re leaving the house. It could help to go over the things you’ll need to do in the morning (wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, grab backpack). With your necessary items laid out the night before, this will be easier to remember.

Delegate tasks

Getting Baby to take on some solo tasks might slow you down at first, but it will save time in the long run. Try to get them into the habit of brushing their teeth with a little less assistance from you, and then a little less than that. From there, you can add on tasks like getting dressed, putting on shoes, and, when they&;s a little bigger, maybe even fetching their own breakfast. It doesn’t need to get more complicated than milk and cereal on especially early mornings.

Give them a reason to get up

What gets you up in the morning? Maybe it’s the promise of food, a hot shower, or an exciting new day ahead. To help encourage Baby to get up in a timely manner, try explaining the reason why you’re leaving (especially if you’re leaving at an earlier time than usual) in a positive manner. “Yay, it’s time to go to daycare and see your friends! Woohoo, it’s time for breakfast!” If you’d like, you can even throw in a reward to get Baby moving a little faster in special circumstances. “I thinks someone left a treat for you in the car…”

Make it fun

It’s a brand-new day, and you get to start it off with your little one! There’s always time to grab a quick hug or kiss and let Baby know how much you love them. After that’s done, you can make time for the Getting Ready Game. Hint: it’s just regular getting ready, but faster! “How fast can we get ready today? Can we beat yesterday’s score? I bet I can put my shoes on faster than you!” You might not have the energy for this kind of thing every morning, but that will make it even more special and fun when you do get to do it!

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