Mornings can be stressful. In the rush to get out the door, there may be tempers lost, meltdowns, and the occasional forgotten supply of diapers or a permission slip. There are several things you can do to make your mornings run more smoothly, though, and get you all out the door and to daycare and work on time.
If your child has reached that age (it’s different for each child, but you’ll know when you reach it) when getting them dressed is….a challenge, offer them options. Pick out two shirts and ask them which they’d like to wear. Offer pants or shorts. Giving children options gives them a feeling of autonomy.
Give your child something fun to do while you finish getting ready, but make sure it isn’t something that takes too long. Turning on an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine (a current favorite at our house) is a great way to keep your child occupied, but if you have to leave before the episode is over, be prepared for a meltdown or tantrum. Have some of your child’s toys or book set aside to pull out in the mornings to keep him or her occupied while you get yourselves ready to hit the road.
Make sure your bags – both yours and your child’s – are packed the night before. Whether you have to bring diapers, blankets, permission slips, or any other supplies, do not rely on your memory to make sure you have everything you need when you leave the house in the morning. Review the calendar and any notes that your child’s teachers sent home the night before so that you can have the bags fully stocked and ready to grab and go.
Depending on how long the drive to daycare is, you may want to have a few toys or books in the car, especially for those mornings when perhaps everyone did not get enough sleep. No one wants to spend the drive to daycare listening to a fussing child, so have tools in your arsenal to distract your kiddo along the way.
Fill out any daily paperwork before you get to school. There’s no reason to take time in the classroom during one of the two busiest times of the day to fill out paperwork. Just grab a handful of papers and fill them out before you get in the car, or before you unload the kids from the car. Doing this will allow for a quicker (and usually easier) drop off.
What are your tricks to getting out the door on time? How do you make the daycare drop offs go more smoothly?