How to Make a Child's Morning Routine Move Quickly: 12 Steps
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Following a schedule can help your tot look forward to the new day.

When your tot dillydallies through the morning, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve gone through a treacherous quest before even stepping foot into the garage. Doesn’t your little one get that you have somewhere to be -- on time -- in the mornings? As your kid grows, you can make motherhood less about chronic morning lateness by setting up a routine that works for the whole family. The trick about routines is that you have to give your little one a fair chance and not give up. In an article for the magazine “ADDitude,” Peter Jaksa, PhD, shares that it can take up to a few weeks for a child to see a routine as a way of life.


  1. 1
    Create a poster that outlines your tot’s evening and morning routines with a checklist. Use pictures to help your child understand the tasks. By making a visual aid, you and your little one are more likely to stay on track.
  2. 2
    Check tomorrow’s weather forecast so that you can plan the right clothes for your tot to wear. Don’t let a snow or rain showers catch you by surprise.
  3. 3
    Lay out your little one’s clothes. In addition to picking out the main articles, grab a pair of her underwear, socks and shoes. It doesn’t hurt to get your own wardrobe ready, too.
  4. 4
    Get the tub splashing out of the way. Skip the hassles of splashed water on your work outfit and bath time fits that make you late by getting your scrub-a-dub-dub on at night. Not only will your tot be clean, the warm bathwater can help relax him before bed.
  5. 5
    Pack your little one’s bag so it’s ready for the next day. Things that you might want to throw in include signed papers that you need to give the preschool or nursery, a toy for sharing, mittens or a sweater.
  6. 6
    Prepare meals. If you have to bring your tot’s lunch or snack to preschool or day care, make it the night before so you can grab-and-go in the morning.
  7. 7
    Prepare breakfast. Stop digging through your pantry and fridge in the mornings for breakfast food and plan the most important meal of the day the night before. This can mean putting a box of cereal on the counter with bowls and spoons, cutting up fruit or beating eggs so they’re ready to scramble in the morning.
  8. 8
    Wake your tot up as the same time every day. When you go into the room singing the “Good Morning” song, your morning will move faster if you’re already dressed and have your hair and makeup done.
  9. 9
    Change your kid’s diaper or have her use the potty. As she washes her hands after using the toilet, have her wash her face, too.
  10. 10
    Dress your little one with the clothes that you set out the night before. If your child can dress himself, give him verbal cues to get dressed. If he tends to dawdle, set a timer for some fun motivation.
  11. 11
    Review the items on the routine poster after breakfast to make sure you’re not forgetting anything before you and your little one walk out the door.
  12. 12
    Follow the same routine daily. In an article for, Susan A. Miller, EdD, shares that kids feel more secure when they follow the same routines and schedules daily. Plus, routines can help your tot develop a sense of time.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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