Morning Routine for Moms of Toddlers
Looking for a morning routine for moms of toddlers? Have no fear! As a mom of toddlers, I know that my morning routine will set up my day for success or failure. If you’re like me, then you need to come up with a streamlined morning routine that you and your kids can follow. Having a morning routine will let your mornings be filled with less stress and chaos and more family time. Routines for moms will make your life so much easier!
Maybe you’ve been there. You expect to get up before the kids for some quiet time but hit snooze too many times and instead, you are awakened with a kids finger in your nose. You all stumble downstairs but you haven’t planned breakfast so you’re just attempting to put something on the table while they run around at your feet. You didn’t load the coffee pot so you’re barely making and sense as you try to find the grinds and your kids… they just keep talking to you! They are talking your ear off about Paw Patrol, or that you gave them the blue cup instead of the green, and you realized that you forgot to make your husband’s lunch and need to scramble to finish.
Me too! But since creating a good morning routine in our home mornings like this are less, though they still pop up from time to time.
Morning Routine Checklist for Adults
If you’ve never created a morning routine for your family, now is the time!
And I know what you’re thinking – I promise it’s not just about getting up at the crack of dawn! I’m a tired mom too and I know how precious sleep is but, what I’ve realized is that if I don’t get up before my toddlers, I won’t have any peace and quiet the entire day. I need that time in the morning to get focused, tie up loose ends and set my intention for the day.
I suggest creating two checklists for the morning routine in your home – one for you as an adult and one for your toddlers. You can download the ones I’ve created below and customize them to meet your needs and priorities. Having a morning routine checklist for you as the adult helps you make sure that the time you get up early is spend doing what you need – not wasted scrolling social media or trying to figure out how to best spend your time.
My toddlers get up between 6am-7am so I have to get up around 5-5:30 to really have adequate quiet time and get my day going. You might be lucky and not have early birds so adjust the chart to meet your wake up time. I recommend getting up at least one hour before they do so that you can have that time and some productivity.
What to do in a morning routine as a mom?
So what should you do before the toddlers wake up? My suggestion is formed with ideas from the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This book helps you figure out the best ways to spend your morning to channel your energy into positivity and focus.
Silence: Spend time each morning in silence. And as a mom of a toddler, this is probably the one silence you get all day! I spend 15-25 minutes reading in my bible and in prayer. This helps me connect with God and get my mind right for the day.
Personal Task: I suggest trying to get one personal task done before the kids get up. Since I work from home, my personal task is often centered around a work task. But, this could be something you’ve been putting off – like writing thank you cards or researching a family vacation or a goal you’re working on – like journaling for scrapbooking I find it’s so important for moms of toddlers to spend 10-30 minutes a morning on something for them (while enjoying their coffee HOT) so that they can remember that they are much more than ‘just mom’
Exercise: As someone who lost 70 pounds before I had kids, I knew that once I became mom I didn’t want to lose all of the healthy habits that I already had. This means that, 7 years after creating a 5-6 day a week exercise habits, it’s finally become part of my lifestyle. I choose to workout around 7:45-8:30 every day while my kids are awake. I didn’t want to waste any of my precious alone time in the mornings working out when it was something I could do when my kids were awake.
Getting Dressed/Shower: This part of your routine might depend on the rest of your day. I make it a point to get dressed every day, even if it’s the same pair of jeans and 3 shirts that I rotate. It makes me feel less sloppy and helps me be more productive because I’m dressed. I actually don’t get dressed right away because I workout later in the morning but I always recommend taking time before lunch to get dressed and put together.
What do your toddlers do when you get showered?
Well, you have two options here. You can shower and dress before they get up or when they are awake.
I work out after breakfast and shower after that. During this time, since my kids are awake I let my daughter (3.5 years old )watch a show on my phone in my bedroom (if she’s not at school – she goes MWF) and my 18 month old hangs in the bathroom with me. Some days I toss him in the shower with me but most days, he builds a toilet paper tower, pulls things off the shelf or climbs on the toilet. My shower doesn’t take very long and I keep poking my head from behind the curtain to check on him. While i get dressed and ready, he runs around the room or plays with a basket of toys that I have just for him during this time. Pulling them out after shower makes them special and him excited to play with them.
Morning Household Chores and Tasks
I also suggest using your morning time to do daily household chores that make your day easier. For me this includes starting a load of laundry (I am a ‘load a day’ type of mom) and unloading the dishwasher from the night before.
I also spend time cleaning up after breakfast (which the kids help with) and sweeping up the inevitable egg pile that my dog hasn’t ate yet.
During breakfast clean up and morning chores I also gather our school materials, check the calendar for day and help facilitate the toddler’s morning routine.
Morning Checklist for Kids and Toddlers
Now that we’ve talked about what you do during your morning as a mom of toddlers, what are your kids doing?
I’ve created a morning checklist that you can customize for your kids and toddlers to help them know what to do. Routine is so important for your kids and once you’ve been doing something for a few weeks and months, your kids will fall into line. Our kids can get used to any routine and having a morning routine for them allows them to help out more around the house (yes, toddlers can do chores!) and learn how to be independent while you get tasks done too!
Coloring, Printable and Toddler Learning Activities
The night before (as part of my evening routine) I put out an independent activities for my toddlers to do at the kid table we keep in the kitchen. I make sure to do this before the morning so that, while I get breakfast together and do some morning chores, they are independently occupied.
They have plenty of time during the day to create their own play centers but I think there is nothing wrong with some guided independent activities. I often just leave open ended toys (like blocks or magnet tiles) on the table or print out simply coloring sheets or printables to keep them busy.
I have found that this is a great start to their morning, gets their brains moving early, and keeps their hands busy and them not under my feet! My kids love play doh or kinetic sand so this is often an option. And since we’ve done this routine for the past few months, we’ve gone over the expectations, they know what not to do, and that mommy will put the toy away if they don’t share or follow directions.
Of course, we still have moments where markers go in the 18 month olds mouth, the 3 year old takes the chair from his brother, and they make a bigger mess then expected but most days, it’s a great start! If you’ve never done a morning activity, I suggest starting with simple coloring sheets or printable and crayons! It’s simple and easy to clean up and very low prep. But make sure you also add in time to teach them how and when to clean up and come to the table for breakfast. It may take a while in the beginning but after the first few weeks, they’ll know what to expect and putting on the ‘clean up song’ helps signify the transition to the table.
Easy Toddler Breakfast Ideas
Obviously a big part of the morning is getting everyone fed and breakfast cleaned up. So how do you make breakfast simple for your toddlers and serve easy and healthy breakfast ideas?
My biggest tip is to keep breakfast simple. The weekends are a great time to cook up something more elaborate but during the week, I love to have some simple but yummy go-to options.
I spend time on Sunday batching some homemade waffles, pancakes, or muffins so we have a grab and go option. I use a simple breakfast chart so that anyone can make sure they give the kids healthy and balanced breakfasts – this even helps my teenager get a good breakfast for himself too! I like to make sure breakfast has a fiber filled carbohydrate (like fruits or whole grains) and protein to keep them full.
Having your kids get into the habit or eating at the table together will help them understand the process of meal times and allows you to have more time in conversation. This is when you can have teachable moments about behaviors, talk and set up your day to let them know what’s going to happen, and allow you to drink more of that coffee!
After breakfast, create a good routine where they know they are to scrape their plate (we just taught my 3 year old this and we’re working on it with the 18 month old) and every can put their dishes in the sink. You want them to realize that it’s not mommy’s job to clean up after everyone and that they can do it too!
How to Teach the Bible to Toddlers
While we’re at the table, I also do a small bible lesson and reading. Right now, we use the Toddler Bible and read a few stories. My kids LOVE hearing bible stories and this is something we’ve done every morning since my 3 year old came home from the hospital.
They each get to pick a story and we often red for 10 minutes or more (which is great for their literacy skills and attention span).
After reading is done, we pray as a family and they get to pick who they want to pray for or anything they want to ask God for that day. Often my 3 year old prayers for everyone in the family and then asks God for a lollipop! I want them to get in the habit of starting the day with God, giving thanks and praying for others.
I also will sometimes make their morning table activities centered around a bible story so I might use printables about that story or an activity from my friend Liz’s book Play Through the Bible.
I like to see which stories my kids are most interested in and then find activities to teach more about them later in our day during our bible time before dinner. I am not currently homeschooling my kids (and not sure if I ever will) but I am super intentional about learning time during the day. We do a lot of teachable moments and learning in play but we do a chunk of reading and literacy and bible every day. We will be adding in some handwriting and math in the next month as well.
Ideas for Morning Routine for Toddlers
Our breakfast portion takes almost a full 2 hours and by then, it’s time to go to school! I allow them to have 30 minutes to watch a TV show after we’re done and I use that time to clean up and get us ready and out the door!
With a predetermined morning routine, I find the mornings fly by – but not in the ‘I’m so stressed and it’s so chaotic” sense but in the “Wow that was quick” way. Things are more smooth (though we have hiccups) and the predictability is great for all of us!
If you want to start to incorporate your own morning routine as a mom of toddlers – drop your email below and I’ll send you a template and customizable printable morning routine chart for adults and toddlers!
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