Mother in robe holding infant in kitchen

The before-work morning routine that will make things easier on you and your baby

Your workday might be hectic, but your pre-work mornings don’t have to be. We know your day is full. You’re go-go-go from the moment you open your eyes until the second you crash into bed at night. It sometimes seems like a race against the clock. But what if it didn’t have to feel like that?

To make your mornings run as smoothly as possible, focus on these two words: prep and process. By planning ahead, you’ll fall into a routine that works so you can actually breathe in the morning, cherish that time with your baby and start the day feeling refreshed, not stressed. Here are our tried-and-true tips:

Prep your mornings in the evening

You’ve heard it before—and it’s for good reason: Getting ready the night before means you’ll have less to do in the morning crunch time. To cut down on your own prep, shower before bedtime and lay out your clothes and shoes. Plan for a quick breakfast (we love overnight oats or toast topped with nut butter or avocado) or a grab-and-go snack (a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts are great!). Clean and pack your breast pump supplies so you have absolutely everything you need. If your baby is leaving home for daycare, fill a cooler with your backup stash of breast milk and replenish the diaper bag with fresh clothing, burp cloths and bottles as needed.

Be realistic

Consider how long it truly takes to get up and out the door. Start with the exact time you need to be walking out of your home and work backward. Do you need to wake up before your baby? Or if your baby’s sleep schedule is unpredictable, do you have a getting-ready routine that will keep him or her safe and occupied? You can always set up a pack ’n play in your bedroom or a bouncy seat in the bathroom. Get really clear about what you need to get done and when. A real-mom secret: Build in a little buffer time every morning for the inevitable blow-out or unexpected scramble.

Consistency is key

When you’re dealing with sleep deprivation, work demands and family responsibilities, it can feel like you’re always at risk of forgetting or losing something (hello, #mombrain!). The solution? Consistency. Keep everything in the same place every day—diaper bag by the door, pump bag and cooler on the counter, keys on a hook, whatever works for you. Have a set routine for your mornings and for your evening prep. The less you have to think about what to do or where to find something, the smoother your morning will go—and the smaller the chance you’ll accidentally skip a step.

Automate and delegate what you can

You may be a super-mom but you don’t have to do it all. Cut down on your to-dos by automating what you can. Set a timer for your coffeemaker. Start using Amazon Dash buttons. Ask if you can store some essentials at your daycare facility. Can you count on A.M. help from your partner if their schedule matches up with yours? Divide-and-conquer those morning (and evening) duties. If you rely on a nanny or a babysitter, give them tasks you think you “should” be doing as a mom, and move on – remember, it takes a village. Whatever you need to do, enlist help from technology or your tribe to take some weight off your shoulders. It’s worth it!

You’ll have bad days where you forget your computer at home and realize it when you’re already at work, or you’ll forget to grab your baby’s favorite binky. It’s inevitable. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success where you can with regular night-before prep and an organized morning routine. If you need help with picking the right breast pump and getting all the supplies you need, reach out to the Ashland Health team. We’re real moms who understand the A.M. rush and want to make your mornings easier.