Surviving the Morning Rush with a Baby in Tow - Tips to Make Your Life Easier!
Surviving the Morning Rush with a Baby in Tow - Tips to Make Your Life Easier!
You had your baby and planned lazy mornings snuggling on the sofa before casually getting ready whilst little cutie pie slept in the Moses basket, then out for lunch and maybe a relaxing walk around the park with the pushchair. And to be fair, at the start, it kinda was like that. Just being present and enjoying your baby during your maternity leave. Then somehow you find yourself caught up in the morning rush; you have an appointment to get to, or you need to do lots of jobs and need to get out of the house sharpish but its no longer as simple as that with a baby is it?
You envy your husband being able to get up in the morning, have a shower and iron a shirt without a second thought about having to manage anything else other than what he needs to do for himself before work. Oh to shower without having to have baby with you, or religiously watching the monitor hoping they stay asleep just long enough to wash off the shampoo.
With the simplicity of getting up and ready in the morning now drastically changed, you need to really make sure you have organised your life in a way that you can still get everything done and enjoy it without the stress of rushing every morning. Our tips on what is important and what doesn’t matter might just help you to enjoy those mornings again!
Shower the night before
If you want to enjoy your shower, get it done the evening before whilst daddy plays with the little one. You can really enjoy taking care of yourself for those 15 or 20 minutes. You can still have a wash in the morning but at least your hair is clean and you don’t have to worry about how to shower and watch your baby all on your own. Plus daddy gets some quality time with baby on his own so its a win-win really!
Daddy might not be there all the time, so who can you call on to just help out a bit? If you know you have a busy morning, pre-plan for someone to come and help out for an hour - people always want to help look after a baby and coo over them, you would be surprised…always accept offers of help!
Get that bag packed
Its an occupational hazard of a baby that they need a LOT of stuff. Especially if you are going to be out for a whole day, you need to properly plan what you need in advance, get it packed and then get rid of any extra weight in the baby bag that you don’t need. Again this is an evening before the next day job. This is one of the most important aspects to pre-organise in order to relieve rushing about the next morning.
Once you have worked out your ‘must haves’ from your ‘don’t needs’, this job only takes 5 minutes each night whilst baby is happily playing. So how have we broken down the baby bag essentials?
Nappies and wipes - replenished each evening, you don’t want to get caught out without enough nappies!
Food - whether you are bottle feeding or weaning, you need to make sure you have enough food in your bag for your journey plus a little extra for unexpected delays! There are some great snacks for babies too that are sugar free and don’t take up much space. Stock up!
Bibs and Muslin’s - Babies are messy! A bib for every planned meal plus a few muslin’s for those dribbles and runny noses are a real essential.
Water - Always have a bottle with water in, keeping baby hydrated is really important, especially on those hot days!
A toy - Something to entertain baby in the car - something small and quiet - you’ll thank me later!
Nice to Have:
A few different toys - Baby might get bored playing with one toy. So its nice to have a few options. But really, they could play with a receipt and be happy for an hour. You don’t need to stuff a million toys into their bag.
Creams, Teething gel, thermometer etc - Depending on if your baby needs any of these at a specific time, you don’t need to carry a whole pharmacy around with you. All that extra weight is just going to be annoying.
3 different outfits, just in case the weather changes - although its a good idea to take a light coat or jacket and a spare baby grow if you have a sickly baby, don’t pack your bag with 2 top options, 2 bottom options, trainers and sandals, a jumper and a coat etc. Think sensibly, plan for the expected weather and you should be just fine!
Pre-made meals from the supermarket definitely have their place in a babies routine, but it is important to cook fresh food. You know exactly what is in it and your baby will benefit from all the nutrition of freshly made food. But to cook every day for the next day is unrealistic. Get a batch of meals cooked on a Sunday night and stick in the freezer in portions. Then you have 2 options. Either each evening get one out into the fridge to de-frost for the next day. or in the morning just throw one of the frozen meals into the baby bag so by the time baby needs a tea-time feed, it has defrosted and ready to be eaten. No effort required for the sake of a little pre-planning each week.
Plan for yourself
If you know you are going to be busy in the morning, think about what you realistically have time to eat for breakfast, do you have time for a coffee, can you make toast or is it a grab and go type of morning? Check that you have what you need for the morning so that you don’t leave home hungry! If you need your coffee but don’t have time, get a flask out and ready and take your coffee with you. If you are having cereal, do you have any milk? If you fancy fruit, have you chopped and prepped it all ready in the fridge for the morning? Because, remember, you have to make sure baby is fed too…this usually leaves 0 minutes for you to feed yourself.
Check your timings
You know your morning routine better than anyone. How long does it normally take to get your baby up, changed, fed, cuddled and ready for the day? How long does it then take for you to get ready?
If you have an appointment at 9am (which is super early when you have a baby!) and you know it takes a good 45 minutes just to sort baby out, then you can easily plan what time you need to get up so that you can both comfortably get ready. Time just runs away from you and you will probably find you need a good hour and a half if not longer!
Get to bed at the right time
Often an overlooked tip by us all. We plan to get up at 7am so going to bed by 11pm should be fine right?…That is unless your baby decides to wake up at 2am for a play and then doesn’t go back down until 4:30am and you have basically had no sleep, leaving you feeling annoyed and stressed the next day! If you know you need to be up and ready in the morning, plan to get to bed earlier. You don’t have to go to sleep but getting away from the TV and technology will help you to drift off and get in as many hours as possible! (I had this exact situation recently where I needed to be up and ready really early, but went to bed late then ended up downstairs watching Mr Tumble between 12:30-2am! Not good!)
Don’t stress if you are late
For goodness sake people, take that stress from your shoulders. So what if you end up a little late? So long as nobody is going to die or be so negatively impacted by your few minutes then just be present in the moment. You have a little baby who needs you more than anything else in this world. Accept that, and that is your main priority. If you are going to be late, then there isn’t really anything you can do about it, so worrying isn’t going to help. Just accept it and do your best. Phone explaining you will be late or apologising for being late when you arrive is the polite thing to do and people really are generally very understanding.
So mums and dads who find yourselves worrying about getting everything done in time on a morning, it just takes a little pre-planning and you really should successfully make your lives so much easier, leaving you time to enjoy being a mum or a dad. Sharing the responsibility with anyone who offers to help! Nobody expects you to be a hero and remember, people actually want to help. We are all only human.