My secret to getting ready in the morning with a toddler

secret to getting ready with a toddler

If I ever needed proof that routine is important to kids, this is it.

Anyone who knows my daughter knows that she doesn’t sit still for more than a second. There’s a world out there to explore and she’s going to explore it. Not a minute to waste!

And yet, every morning, she asks to go in her “crate.” (I didn’t name it that, she did I promise).

Yes, she requests that she be confined to a tiny 4′ x 3′ space for 30 minutes or so.

Why? Because she’s never known mornings to be any other way.

The Crate

Ever since she was itty bitty, I would put her in her pack n play (I don’t remember how it got the “crate” nickname but it makes us laugh now) while I quickly got ready for the day. In the early months, I would prop her up with a boppy and I could watch her from the shower as she batted her toys. Around a year, it became more like a playpen with a bunch of her favorite toys. At a year and a half, she started to ask for her “show” and since then, it has been the place for her morning snack, milk and a show: Dora, Diego or Peppa Pig. She’s a creature of habit apparently! Or maybe all kids are??

Routines for the Win

She loves it and we rarely EVER skip it. It’s routine – and kids truly like routine. It’s comfortable and expected and they look forward to it.

“Consistent routines, activities that happen at about the same time and in about the same way each day, provide comfort and a sense of safety to young children.”Zero to Three

At an age where power struggles are beginning – especially with a strong willed child like Ellie – I appreciate that there are a couple routines that she doesn’t fight against or question. It is because we’ve stayed consistent and she has seen no real deviation from the “procedure.” She respects the routines and I can tell she looks forward to them.

Most importantly – I honestly don’t know how I would have been able to shower and get out of the house for the last 2+ years if it wasn’t for our little morning routine….and the crate. Think she’ll let me keep her in there ’til she’s though her teen years? 😉

What are some of your “best kept secret routines”?

17 thoughts on “My secret to getting ready in the morning with a toddler

  1. Thank you for this post. I have an 9 month old. I try to stay with a routine but my better half is always pushing the envelope. It helps when I see that routine is a good thing.

    1. Haha!! There’s definitely a fine line between being consistent and letting a schedule run your life, which isn’t ideal either. Healthy routine and repetition make for an “easier” kid I’ve found though! Good luck Mama! 🙂 🙂

  2. That’s awesome! Who cares if it was accidental–it’s brilliant! And good for you to maintaining a routine of your own anyway, so many moms don’t. I will have to start a routine like this for Evie!!! Thank you!

  3. Love this Jessy! Thanks for sharing. I have some routine things that I’ve done for her naps and bedtime but never thought of this…such a good idea! Maybe she’ll let me start doing it now?! Sounds like our daughters are the same when it comes to being “busy”…haha!

    1. Oh yea! Busy girls for sure!! Nonstop. But I just tell myself its because she’s so bright ;). Even this morning Ellie came with me to fill up her sippy cup and then went running back through the house “I TAKE THIS TO MY CRATE!!!!” She loves her darn crate, haha. It totally happened by accident but I’m so grateful. She’s in there as I write now! Try it now – if you don’t mind a pack n play in your room for awhile! Worth a shot! XOXO

  4. You’re right! Consistency is key. When my oldest was a little one I would put her in her high chair with toys or cheerios or something and then pull it over to the hallway outside the bathroom door. She stayed busy and was right there where I could see her and she could see me.

    1. Perfect! Any distraction that works for a period of time is a good one! Before the crate, I tried putting her in an extra carseat in the bathroom….she didn’t like that one as much but Mama’s gotta get clean! haha 🙂

  5. I wish my little one would ever sit in her pack and play…it’s just so convenient!! She NEVER liked it!
    And thank goodness for Peppa the Pig…it’s let me do real chores while she watches for a couple of episodes. 😉

    1. Oh no! That’s how I felt about the Ergo, could have been my lifesaver but I don’t think I put her in it as much as I should have in the beginning. Who knows!? And yes, Peppa Pig!! I can stand her more than other cartoons too… 🙂

  6. This is so sweet and made me smile. I am so happy that you and your daughter have a morning routine that works for both of you! It’s a great way to get your day off on the right track.

  7. I giggled when I read she wanted to go in crate! So cute. But a morning routine where you get to have time to get ready is godsend. Glad she is consistent and you both make it work!

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