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Morning Routine With a Baby and Toddler

Peppa Pig Helps Keep This Family's Morning Routine on Track

Julie lives in San Francisco with her husband, 2-year-old daughter, and 5-month-old baby girl. She works in the city and starts her commute after a morning filled with baby smiles, Peppa Pig, and lukewarm coffee.

My Morning Juggle

The baby wakes up for the second (or is it third?) time this night. Her crib is in our bedroom and she's not the best sleeper. Read: she’s never slept through the night. Nope, not even once.
I get her bottle, sit by her side, and feed her. I try to figure out what time it is and if I can wait until "morning" to change her diaper.
It’s dark, but I can see a huge smile on her face. She is clearly not in the mood to go back to sleep and starts “talking” to me.
Our toddler (who fell asleep in our bed last night and we were too lazy/scared to move) starts to grumble in her sleep. I silently pray for help from the sleep gods.
I try giving the baby a pacifier (there’s usually a few living in her crib), but her smile just keeps getting bigger and bigger so it falls to the side of her face. My heart melts. She knows she has won.
I give in, change her diaper, and bring her to bed with me.
My husband + our toddler + baby + me = four humans in a queen size bed. I think to myself that we need to get this sleeping situation under control.
Then I realize our toddler will leave for college (to become an astronaut according to her father) in 15 years, seven months, three days, and two hours. I suddenly don’t care about the sleeping anymore and just want the girls to stay in our bed forever.
I start looking at Instagram. I am always amazed by how many new things people posted since I last checked around 2 a.m.
The baby is asleep! I move her back to her crib and crawl back into bed to try to get another hour of sleep, or at least just close my eyes and rest.
My alarm goes off. I get out of bed and head toward the kitchen. I make two cups of coffee and empty the dishwasher. I place most of the dishes straight back onto the dinner table so it’s set for the evening. That’s one less thing for me to do when I get home tonight (self high five!)
I take the girls’ lunch boxes, which I always prep the night before, out of the fridge and place them in the entryway. Then I hop in the shower.
Shower time is over! I moisturize my face and head toward the bedroom where I find my husband snuggling with the baby in our bed. That ear-to-ear smile of hers worked on him too!
I get dressed while my husband takes a shower. I start drinking my cup of coffee, which is now lukewarm. But it’s still coffee! Somehow my husband manages to get dressed before I am done with my cup.
We’re both dressed. By now the girls are awake and comfortably resting in our bed. I remind my husband of the pre-kids days when we used to say we would never be those people who let their children sleep in their bed. Our morning strategy is to divide and conquer. We each pick a girl and work on getting her ready. Today, he gets the baby and I get the toddler.
Speaking of whom . . . is begging for milk. It sounds as if her life depends on it. I get her a cup of milk. She doesn’t want it anymore. I try to not roll my eyes and go get the clothes I prepped for her last night.
She decides she wants milk after all, but wants to pour it into her cup by herself because clearly I am not qualified to do that.
I decide it’s not a battle worth fighting so I take her to the kitchen where she shows me how to pour a cup of milk. I am thankful she eats breakfast at school so I don’t get a lesson on how to make a bowl of cereal just yet.
My husband is already done dressing the baby.
Meanwhile, I use any diversion I can to keep our toddler busy while I get her dressed. Pretty much anything Peppa Pig related works these days — books, stickers, the cartoon . . .
I do our toddler's hair and brush her teeth.
She’s ready! To catch our breath, we let her play around for a few minutes and have a somewhat adult conversation while drinking cold coffee.
Time to put shoes on the toddler! She picks out a pair and decides which shoe Mama is allowed to put on. Daddy then gets to do the other shoe.
My husband leaves with the girls for daycare. I have 15 minutes to make the house look livable again. Diapers, pajamas, empty bottles, dirty pacifiers, Peppa Pig stickers . . . I have learned to put everything back in its place at lightning speed.
It’s hair and makeup time: primer, mascara, foundation, and blush. I straighten my hair when I have time, but today I opt to just put it up in a bun.
I leave for work. I usually take Muni, but today is one of those days I want to treat myself, so I order a Lyft Line (that’s my definition of self-care).
I arrive at work, feeling like I have already accomplished quite a bit today and excited for a warm cup of coffee!
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Julie Tallhamn
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