After having four kids, I know one thing – having a morning routine helps me be a happier, productive mother. However, each time we have a new baby, I remember how hard it is to have a baby morning routine when you have a newborn with a wild night sleeping schedule.
The reality is that a morning routine with a newborn is tricky; you’ll spend a lot of time with your baby, and exact times are rather hard, if not impossible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a routine for the morning that works for your family.
Here is how I put together a morning routine with a baby and toddler that works for our family.
Why Is a Routine So Important?
A morning routine is essential for both you and your baby. For your baby, having a typical routine helps separate the night from the day. Your baby learns that when you get her out of bed, change her diaper, get her dressed, and go into the living room that it means that the day begins.
Having a morning routine won’t solve any sleep problems that your baby has. The purpose is to prevent sleep problems from the beginning and to create an average schedule that your family follows throughout the week.
Essentially, your baby learns that the day starts when the routine begins. If the routine hasn’t started yet, then it’s not time to wake up in the morning.
For adults, having a morning routine offers other benefits.
Do you feel like you have no idea how to spend your day with a newborn or a toddler? Do you feel unproductive throughout the day and wish that you could get more done throughout the day?
Having a morning routine is often the key to being a productive parent. It’s easy to get lost throughout the day, cuddling, looking at social media, and washing tons of baby clothes. If you want to be productive and feel happier, a routine is a way to go.
When you have a morning routine with a child, some things you might accomplish in the morning include:
- Drinking HOT coffee or tea without needing to reheat it a thousand times.
- Exercise for 15-20 minutes per day
- Get started on your morning chores without having a baby or toddler clinging.
- Be able to make a hot, healthy breakfast.
- Spend 15 minutes to yourself with no one needing you
Simply put, having a morning schedule gets your day off on the right foot.
When Should You Start a Routine with Your Baby?
You should start a routine with your baby as soon as possible. I suggest waiting three or more weeks to get started, especially if you have a c-section. Your body needs time to heal, and you need as much rest as possible.
Once your partner goes back to work, and your body is healed, it’s time to start a routine. It doesn’t need to be complicated; start the routine simple and build it out from there.
5 Tips for a Realistic Morning Routine with a Baby
If you’re struggling to put together a baby morning routine, here are a few tips to get you started.
Get Up Before Your Baby
This is the most challenging yet most helpful tip that I received when I decided to put together a morning routine with a baby is to get up before your child. It’s hard to get up before your baby when your baby is up throughout the night, but it makes a huge difference in the morning.
Here are some tips to make it easier to get up before your baby.
- Go to sleep earlier. Yes, you might be a night owl and want time alone, but you’ll get the time alone in the morning if you go to bed.
- Co-sleep or room share for the first six months. The less you have to get out of bed; the better rested you feel in the morning.
- Sleep in on the weekends; have your spouse get up with your baby to give you a bit of a break.
- Start slow; wake up only 15 minutes before your baby and gradually extend that.
- Stay awake after your baby’s last feeding of the night or early morning. That’s usually the easiest time for you to get up before your baby.
Make Sure You Have 15 Minutes Alone
Having at least 15 minutes alone in the morning is vital. This is the time to do things for yourself that you might not be able to do with a baby in your arms.
I like to drink a cup of tea or coffee and check social media. I do some yoga stretches, load up the dishwasher, and check over my planner. Since I have older kids, I also need to be ready to meet their needs and my baby’s needs.
Make a Daily Schedule
I cannot tell you how important it is to have a daily schedule. Having a stay-at-home mom schedule helps your house run smoothly and gives you time to get everything completed that needs to be done for the day.
Some things that I include on my daily schedule are:
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner times
- Practices and lessons for the older kids
- Average feeding times for the baby
- Typical nap times for the baby and toddler who still naps
- What I need to clean for the day
- Sleep time for everyone
Prepare the Night Before
Figuring out a morning routine with a baby before work is even more challenging. You have to get ready for work and have some sort of routine with your baby that makes sense.
I spent years working outside of the home, and one of my best tips is to prepare the night before as much as possible.
If you need to prepare bottles (and keep it warm), formula, and baby food, do so the night beforehand. Set out clothes for you and your baby. If you need to pack lunches for your older children, you should do all of this at night.
Then, in the morning, all you have to do is get up, have coffee and breakfast, feed your baby, get your baby dressed, and head out of the door.
Cleaning is often included in a morning routine, and if your baby isn’t a huge fan of hanging out in the swing or bouncing chair, I suggest having a baby carrier or two to use. After your baby eats breakfast, put him into the baby carrier and start your cleaning routine. Most babies doze off and sleep while in the carrier, so you combine napping with cleaning.
What is a Normal Morning Routine with a Baby?
Having trouble figuring out what your morning routine with a baby might look like? Here is a suggestion to try.
- 5:30 AM – Feed your baby and put him back to sleep
- 6:00 AM – Get up and make coffee for yourself
- Exercise for 15 minutes and drink water
- Grab a quick shower and get dressed for the day
- Load up your dishwasher and washing machine for the first loads of the day
- 7:00 AM – baby wakes up. Get your baby changed and dressed for the day.
- Feed baby
- Spend time talking and cuddling your baby
- 8:30 AM – Put baby down for a nap
- Clean up your area for the day
This is just an example of how you might spend your day, and remember, your schedule will look different based on your child’s age. A toddler won’t need to nap until 11 AM or noon, but a newborn baby only stays awake for 45 minutes.
How to Know When to Change Up the Routine?
Routines eventually need to change, and that happens as your baby grows and his sleep schedule changes.
You’ll know that it’s time to change up the routine when the sleeping times no longer work for your baby. As your baby gets older, he will have more extended wake periods. Instead of only staying up for 45 minutes, he will be up for two hours.
His feeding schedule will change as well. In the beginning, most babies need to eat every two hours, but as your child gets older, he might go 3-4 hours between feedings.
Changing a routine doesn’t have to be dramatic. It’s the gradual changing position of tasks throughout the day to match what your children need.
Putting together a morning routine for your family helps you feel productive and helps your baby understand his sleeping schedule. It’s possible to have a baby morning routine even with a newborn and a toddler.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.