3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants (and why diaper doublers are a must)

3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants (and why diaper doublers are a must)

Using Diaper Doublers to Save Your Sleep

 

“This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sposie Booster Pads, the number one brand in diaper doublers. All opinions are entirely my own.”

 

Overnight diaper leaks were tormenting me for months and I was ready to find a way to stop them from waking up my son! We had used overnight diapers before but they didn’t always stop from leaks and nighttime wake ups. It wasn’t until we found diaper doublers that we were able to get a good night sleep!

 

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

 

You finally make it to bedtime, and plop in a chair, ready to do your ‘mom tasks’ before bed.

 

You jump into your bed ready to doze off and, an hour or two later, you hear crying from the other room.

 

You go and grab the baby and put your hand on a super wet bottom and soaked sheets.

 

You groan because you know, that if the diaper had done its job, you would have probably gotten a ton more sleep.

Yup. I’ve been there too.

 

Like any mom, I love when my kids sleep through the night. But for a while, my sleep was getting interrupted by diaper leaks and crying littles. And, since my kids share a bedroom, my 1 year old waking up meant that my 2 year old would be up as well. We were caught in a cycle of no sleep and it felt like we were in newborn land again!

 

I had the same problem with my daughter, who didn’t sleep through the night until about 13 months. I got lucky with my son who, around 5 months, was sleeping through the night until the leaks started.

 

Luckily, we decided to fix up our bedtime routine to a system that worked for us AND the kids and finally helped stop having to change diapers and sheets in the middle of the night!

 


diaper-inserts-sposie

 

No drinks before bedtime

 

This was one of the first things we started to implement once we began potty training but for some reason, I never even thought about doing it with my younger son.

 

I made sure his last nursing session was at least 30-60 minutes before bed and he had no water after dinner. Giving your child’s body time to adjust and get any pee out BEFORE bed is key!

 

Related Post: Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms 

 

 

 

 

Bath and Diaper Change

 

In full transparency, we give our kids baths every other night but, I find on the days we do give them a bath before bed, they definitely go to bed faster.

 

I know some parents who start their bath and pajama routine super early but I completely suggest waiting until the last possible moment. You want to get them changed and in a fresh diaper right before bed so that they don’t even have the chance to wet it before hand.

 

There have been times where I changed the kids about an hour before bed and yup… my son would wet his diaper before we even read our book.

 

Even with this tips and our bedtime routine being smoother, I found that he was still having leaks overnight. I tried to size up a diaper (which may work for some) but it still wasn’t enough to hold it all in.

 

So luckily, I came across Sposie pads and thought I’d give them a try. Sposie pads are INCREDIBLE mamas! They look a little bit like feminine pads and are designed to fit right inside a regular or overnight diaper.

 

 

 

 

And get this… they absorb 8 oz of wetness BEFORE it even hits the diaper! It’s your first line of defense when it comes to extending the amount of time your diaper will not leak! They are also meant for boys and girls which means one pack works for both my littles! And yes mama… you can use them on cloth diapers too!

 

I was pretty nervous about 1. Whether they would work or 2. If they’d give him a rash. We all pretty sensitive skin over here and I noticed that certain diapers give him a rash. Luckily Sposie pads are hypoallergenic and we had no rash! There is nothing worse than a poor little baby with diaper rash!

 

Related Post: How to Create a Bedtime Routine and Get Your Kids to Sleep 

 

 

 

 

Quiet time and predictable bedtime routine for infants

 

After we get all the kiddos ready for bed, I highly recommend a super predictable routine with them. My kids now know what to expect, my 1 year old will start to fuss as soon as we get to prayer because he knows it’s just about time, and it helps them sleep better and decrease pre-bed anxiety.

 

We spend about 10 minutes in quiet play, which mostly looks like blocks or manipulatives. My daughter loves to run around but we try to make sure that is done BEFORE we head upstairs. Once we get upstairs, she’s reminded we’re in ‘quiet play’ zone which helps them both get ready for bed. And since they share a room, we want to make sure they are both ready at the same time.

 

Play is followed by 1-2 (okay more like 3-4) books and prayer, which is one of my favorite parts of the day. My daughter is in the stage where she can repeat most of the books since we’ve read them so many times and it’s cute watching her read.

 

Related Post: Teaching Your Children with the Beginner’s Bible 

 

sposie-diaper-doubler

 

After bed, I check and make sure the baby still has a dry diaper and my daughter heads to the bathroom. She’s completely potty trained during the day but isn’t at the point where we’re in underwear overnight. Her pull ups don’t always hold her so I sometimes will toss a Sposie liner in too! This is great because instead of buying overnight pull-ups, I can turn any diaper or pull-up into a nighttime one. If she gets up over night, she is MUCH harder to get back to bed because she becomes a negotiator and then becomes afraid of the dark room.

 

Once we’re sure everyone is ready to go, night light goes in, a goodnight song is sung and mommy and daddy get to tiptoe out of the room, collapse in the other room, and sigh that we’ve made it to bedtime! And luckily, we’ve found a great routine and systems that allow us to sleep through the night again!

 

What are some of your tips for a great bedtime routine? Post them in the comments!

 

 

Need any help with overnight leaks??? Head over and snag some Sposies now! You can grab them below on Amazon or at Target or Walmart!

More Help and Tips for Bedtime Routines 

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kids

7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Sample Morning Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

 

Must Have Resources for Moms of Infants!

Baby Sleep Made Simple

Pumping Mom Academy

Makeover Your Evenings Course

Free Productivity E-Book

 

4 Steps To Cheap Summer Activities

4 Steps To Cheap Summer Activities

 

Cheap Summer Activities for Kids

 

I am always looking for cheap summer activities for kids and there are so many ways to be a money saving mom! With summer right around the corner, I am SO excited to spend most of our days outside, getting in as much sunshine as my super fair skin can handle, and making memories with my family!

 

In the summer I find that we spend way more money than needed because of all the fun events and things we want to do. This year, I vow to stick on my budget! We are coming out of a season of financial hardship and for the past few months, haven’t really had any space in the budget for luxuries and events.

 

Related Post: An Open Letter to the Mom Struggling with Her Finances

 

Due to that, I’ve had to get super creative in finding and creating fun that our whole family can enjoy. Once we get past the money roadblock, our second challenge is our kids’ age ranges. We currently have an 11 year old, 2.5 year old and 8 month old which can make activities a little tricky.

 

I sat down and said that no matter what we will have a fun summer, not break the bank, and find things that they all enjoy! I came up with a simple summer activity planning system that will keep the kids busy, you from going crazy, and your wallet happy!

 

Budget Friendly Summer Activities

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Use a time blocking template

 

Depending on your household, your kids may or may not have a schedule for the summer. Some families send their kids to camps, some prefer to keep their schedule more open and some take a lot of trips or homeschool events.

 

For us, none of our kids will be attending camp regularly (though my stepson has the occasional basketball drill on the calendar) so we’ve decided to keep a more open schedule. This helps a lot because currently, baby naps rule our life! I am a HUGE proponent of good sleep practices and try my best to make sure that the baby and the toddler get their sleep!

 

Related Post: 7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Better

 

Their nap schedule also helps identify when we will be doing things and what days we have more free. There are days when we will want to do a fun day trip and naps will happen in the car but, for the most part (and my sanity) we’ll try to be home for nap. Since I also work from home, that nap time is crucial for working so I plan to keep it as much as I can.

 

Identify for yourself what your typical day will look like this summer. How structured is your time? Do you have to do a lot of driving to activities? Will kids have time at camp or be home all day? How many activities do you want to plan each week?

 

Once you have that time picked out, you can look at a typical day and see where you might want to add in an activity.

 

For us, we have about a 2 hour window right now in the morning where all of the kids are up and we’re ready to be out and about. That is when I will plan something fun or an errand. Otherwise, we keep the day open.

 

During this time the kids are encouraged to play with their toys, read and do other crafts, and play outside. We’re also fortunate because we have a pool so that keeps the 11 year old pretty happy! I’m hoping this year goes better with the toddler in the pool because last summer she hated it!

 

 

Determine your summer bucket list

 

If you’re looking for cheap activities for the summer, it helps to start with a list. Once you see your week at a glance, you’ll be able to see how many day trips, overnight trips, or just fun activities you can fit in.

 

I’m not huge on planning every little bit of the day out but I do like routine and I like a plan in advance. I’ll encourage the kids to just do their things most days but I will plan out a few fun things or playdates just so we can get out of the house and have fun together.

 

Related Post: Using Time Blocking for a Simple Weekly Schedule 

 

If you’re trying to stay on a budget, you won’t be able to always do every single thing on your and your kids’ lists. There may be a limit to how many trips you take and places you go. So many of the fun places out there cost a fortune and when you add parking and food you’ve spent almost $100 for a few hours, and in my mind that is not worth it!

 

Sit down with your family and come up with a list of things that they’d love to do this summer. Is there a place they really want to go? Can you determine one big weekend (or longer) trip you want to take? What do they want the day to look like?

 

This is much easier if you have older kids because my toddler really has not idea what we’re planning but, if you can invest the older kids in the summer plans they may be more excited to do things or less bummed out if you can’t visit all of the places that they heard their friends talking about.

 

Looking for more budgeting help? Snag this budgeting e-course!

 Plan Ways to Enjoy Summer Activities on a Budget

 

There are actually a lot of fun summer activities you can do with your family that doesn’t cost a ton. You just have to do a little research, some planning, and be creative and you can all have an excellent summer.

 

I know sometimes we look at other moms and see their pictures and get envious because we’d love to take our kids to a lot of the same places but maybe it’s just not in the budget. We need to get rid of that mindset and realize that you can all have an amazing summer without always doing things that cost a lot.

 

Related Post: How to Change a Negative Money Mindset

 

 

Join local groups and community pages

 

You can go to Facebook to search local groups and community page and will be able to see a bunch of events going on. (By the way, are you a member of our community page on Facebook? Come join!) The other day in my area I randomly found a post about a free carnival for the kids. It wasn’t huge at all and we only stayed an hour but it was a free, fun activity and got us out of the house.

 

You can save these events as you see them on Facebook or, I like to write them directly into my planner so that I didn’t forget about them or have to look somewhere else to plan activities for the week.

 


Local colleges are also a great place to look for activities and events because they are always posting things that might be open to the public. The library is another great stop. Ours has movies outside for free, fun day time activities for the little kids, and it’s always a great place to just go spend a few hours.

 

You can also check out the newspaper to see community events or things happening in the area. I just saw an ad the other day that some Regal Cinemas offer $1 movies on Wednesdays and it’s the perfect time to try out taking the toddler to the movies!

 

Check out a place’s website before you go and see all of their policies. You might be able to bring in your own lunch, find a special place to park for cheaper, or a cool special free event one day.

 

We live super close to Sesame Place and last summer went a few times a week. I knew from their website that I could bring in all my own food so when we were there we never even went into the food places so the kids wouldn’t even know to ask and we’d just have our snacks that we brought in. Most places will let you do so and it never hurts to ask or check. It just takes a little extra planning to do it.

 

 

Look for discounts to save money on summer activities

 

I am a HUGE couponer so obviously before we go anywhere I scour the internet for coupons. (if you want to see how I save money with coupons, go snag this free webinar!) They often aren’t too hard to find if you just search google! You can also find discount codes on apps, in other Facebook groups and in some stores just sitting right on the counter! Our local library also has free tickets for local zoos and parks and all you have to do is call and pick them up!

 

If you know you might be going to a place a lot, like we did with Sesame Place, it may not hurt to get a season pass. Ours paid for itself in 3 trips and like I said we went 2x a week! You could also maybe get passes to split with another family or meet up at someone’s house before going and split the cost of parking.

 

Also make sure you check out local YMCAS for what activities you can get with a membership or kid’s gyms that have discounts for open play! And before you get tickets to anything, check out discount sites like Groupon to see what events they have going on!

 

Budget Friendly Summer Family Activities

 

 

Activities at Home for Kids

 

There are also a ton of activities that you can do right in your backyard without spending any money at all (or maybe a few bucks at the Dollar Store!)  So on those days when you don’t want to leave the house, spend money at all, or have a ‘home summer camp’, just have the kids go outside or do something fun together!

 

Check out this list of activities that you could do that are free and cheap and super fun!

 

Bubbles

 

Family Walks & Bike Rides

 

Water Play

 

Hikes

 

Find Community Events

 

Geocaching

 

Make  a Time Capsule

 

Take a park tour

 

Go local

 

Nature Walk

 

Find cheap museums

 

Baking Day (bring to a neighbor)

 

Game Nights

 

Make a summer scrapbook

 

Puzzle

 

Parks and Splash Pads

 

Farmer’s Markets

 

Find free classes (college campuses)

 

Utilize the library

 

Outdoor games

 

Busy Bags


Sensory Boxes

 

Pick a Summer Read Aloud

 

When you’re planning out your summer activities, don’t let the stress of spending money get in the way of making fun memories! Use this system and ideas to get the ball rolling and just enjoy the memories!

 

And don’t feel like you have to plan out every minute. I know we want our kids to have a fun time but there is something magical that happens when we let them get bored and use their imaginations!

 

Go and download a copy of this list (with more ideas) to put on your fridge for when you need an idea!

 

 

More Money Saving Tips!

How to Change Your Money Mindset

5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

How to Save Money on Kid’s Clothes

How to Survive When Money is Tight

6 Best Apps to Make Money 

 

Money Saving Resources

Kick Your Debt to the Curb Challenge 

Busy on a Budget E-Course

Master Your Money Bundle

Get $6 gift card from Brandless

 

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

 

Looking for the best way to get organized for back to school? Me too! See the thing is, every summer the same thing happens, I let go of our routines slightly, get a bit unorganized, allow the house to be more lived in and messy and just enjoy. But systems and routines help so much for getting ready for back to school. 

 

But there is something magical about the start of the school year.

 

It feels just like the start of a New Year to me. Everything seems brand new, I want to work harder on my goals, finish the year strong and we start to get used to our new routines and schedules. And this year, on top of my stepson going into middle school and that adjustment, my 2.5 year old is starting PRESCHOOL!

 

I know, I know… cue the tears!

 

She’ll be going 3x a week from 9-12 which means adjust our normal schedule where we’d go on playdates or run errands, praying my 11 month old keeps his current 2 nap schedule for a bit (which means he’ll nap 9:30-11:30!! Imagine the possibilities with 6 extra ‘kid-free’ hours a week!)

 

Speaking of my 11 month old, we’ll also be starting Tot School at home in September  which means figuring that routine out and when we’ll not only do activities but having to plan them out. (We use ABC Jesus Loves Me for our ‘curriculum’ and love the flexibility it gives while providing structure to make it easy for moms)

 

With my stepson staying at the same school, not much changes for his schedule but now that it’s time to add in more sports, clubs and activities and it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to remembering everything and just feeling on top of life.

 

trello back to school

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Using Trello to Get Organized for Back to School 

Enter Trello!

If you’ve been hanging on my page at all lately, you know I am OBSESSED with Trello, heck I even teamed up with my girl Elisa from Meal Planning Blueprints  to make an entire COURSE around how it can help moms! Click below if you want to learn all I know about Trello!

 

 

Trello is going to be a mom’s best friend for back to school and I’m so pumped to be able to use it for the first time this entire school year. Trello eliminates having to have papers everywhere, forgetting dates and to-dos and losing things you know you need.

Trello will also allow you to share your Back to School lists and to-dos with other family members so if you have older kids, it’s a great way to communicate and if you need your spouse to pick them up from practice or your mother in law to attend a school event, you can keep it all streamlined!

 

 

 

Trello allows you to make BOARDS that you can organize with various lists and tasks. And because I know you don’t have a ton of time to do things, I’ve set up a Trello board just for you to copy for FREE!

 

Just click this link and you can snag my Back to School board (you’re welcome!) Just COPY it to your account and it’s yours to edit. If you don’t have Trello, just go here and get a free account! Between the website and the app, you’ll be in your Mom Organization Glory! 

 

If you’re not sure about Trello or want to see how I organize my board, I did a video for you to give you all the tips on making this board work for you and your family! You can watch that or check out the step by step ideas below!

 

 

 

 

How to Copy Boards On Trello

 

 

If you want to copy the board, you’ll need a Trello account to do so but it’s free!  Once you log in go on over to the right where it says SHOW MENU. Next, hit the MORE button and hit COPY BOARD. When you copy the board, you can decide if you want to rename it and where you want it to go. Feel free to use it as a template, to get ideas, and customize however you want!

 

 

copy-trello-board

 

How to Create a Back to School Board on Trello

 

Step #1 Create Lists on Trello

 

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

You’ll want to start with making lists for all the things you want to remember, Look at these as your categories. My board has lists that include;

 

IMPORTANT

 

SUPPLY LIST

 

SCHOOL LUNCHES

 

THINGS TO BUY

 

IMPORTANT DATES

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

ROUTINES

 

HOMEWORK STATION

 

You can add as many as you want and even organize this board by kid or month.

 

Step #2 Customize Cards on Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

 

Now that you’ve created your lists, go though and customize each card.

 

Some of my favorite ways to do this is to add links of ideas I see on Pinterest  (because we all know we’ll pin a ton of things and forget to do them all) , link to my meal planning boards, and create master shopping lists.

 

You can do this with multiple checklists on each card, adding in important dates, sales you see, organization ideas or adding attachments with specific links!

 

Step #3 Add members to Trello

 

trello-back-to-school

 

I think one of the best features of a back to school Trello board is adding members so that you can all be on the same page. You can add your spouse, babysitter or whoever and if you want them to be responsible for a task or just let the, know of a date, use the @ sign and add their name. This way they’ll get a notification!

 

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to Trello for back to school and know that you can be a less stressed mom ASAP! Now go grab this FREE back to school board, copy it and start to customize it for your family!

 

 

 

Trello Boards and Ideas

The Best Way to Plan a Birthday Party with Trello 

How to Organize Your Goals with Trello 

Organize Your Kid’s Schedules with Trello 

The Ultimate Christmas Planner with Trello 

How to Organize Your Prayer Time with Trello 

 

More Trello and Back to School Resources 

Organize Your Life with Trello

Free Productivity E-Book

Ultimate Productivity Bundle

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend so You Can Have a Productive Week

 

It’s important to have a productive weekend so you can have a productive week. This allows you to get more set, set yourself up for success and feel like stressed. Systems and routines allow you to live less stressed life and give you freedom to get done what matters.

 

I intentionally take one day off a week. I started this practice 2 months ago and am so thankful that I did. Prior to this, I was just go, go, go and didn’t rest, felt myself pulled by my to-do list, and was starting to burn out again. I knew the feelings of burn out, I had been there before. 5 years ago, I left teaching to become a full time entrepreneur and work at home mom because I felt the same feelings start to creep in. Now that I’m running my own business and family, I decided I needed some preventative measures to make sure that I was still taking care of me.

Hence… my Saturday’s off. I decided to take Saturday ‘off’ so that I could really just do what matters. The only work that I do on Saturday is what I just feel like doing, no pressure or to do list. On Saturdays if I don’t want to do laundry, house cleaning, or other ‘mom duties’, I don’t. I don’t really make too many plans unless it’s something we really want to do. Oh… and I take a nap.

 

I really love my Saturday nap.

 

But in order to make my Saturday rest day really work for me, I needed to make sure that I had a system for being very productive the rest of the week so I could relax, guilt free. And once I decided that I was going to schedule out a day of rest, it became so freeing. The week started to go more smoothly because I knew that I had a day to chill coming up, I didn’t feel guilty anymore about letting myself decompress, and I just started to laugh and enjoy our family time more. I learned to use my weekend to set my entire week up for productivity and keep it moving.

 

I chose to have my rest day on Saturday rather than Sunday for a few reasons.

 

On Sundays since we go to church, I still have us on a schedule to make sure we get out of the house on time. My husband delivers the newspaper as a side job right now so, he works Sunday mornings and I want to make sure I can give him rest time when get gets back at 6am before we go to church. Sundays are also my day to set my week up for success.

 

I may do some grocery shopping (though I often like to do that on Saturdays. I actually really like grocery shopping because I love to coupon and it’s a hobby for me and on Saturdays I get to go without kids!), I’ll meal prep so that I can save time during the week, and I’ll work on organizing my week, my planner, and other work tasks that I need to have a super successful and productive week.

 

Related Post: How to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

 

 

productive-weekend

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

How to Have a Productive Weekend

 

There are a few things that I make sure to do over the weekend that help me have a productive week. I tend to spread them out over the weekend but you can create a schedule that fits best for you. You may have a busy Saturday and want to use Sunday as your prep day or you may spread it out – it’s up to you!

 

Tips for a Meal Prep System

 

The #1 thing that I suggest you start your Sunday with is meal planning and preparation. I actually have a system where I make the meal plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday so that I don’t do it all on one day. This saves me time and decreases the overwhelm that I can face when it comes to getting it all done. 

 

However you decide to do it, make sure you plan out your meals for the week. We keep it pretty basic and have a rotation of 2-3 breakfast, lunch and dinner options each week. My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing each day and it’s easy to be predictable with the kids.

 

Related Post: Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

 

I’ll spend some time doing some basic preparation like cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, cooking up rice, steaming veggies, browning some ground turkey for quick lunches, and boiling some eggs.

 

I then make sure that I have listed out what’s for dinner each week so that I can check the fridge and see what I still need to get at the store. I try my best to make our plan from what we already have to save money and not have to go to the store as much.

 

Honestly though, I cannot stand cooking dinner. I struggle so much with thinking of what to make and it was becoming super stressful. This month I’ve started using the Theme Night System from my friend Elisa at Meal Planning Blueprints. This allows me to sit down one time and create a monthly meal plan. I thought this was going to take way too long and be a waste of time but it’s proven to be a game changer! You can check out theme nights here!

 

I suggest even packing out as many salads for lunches in tupperware as possible (even if you stay home) because then you can grab and go instead of preparing things. This helps a ton if we decide last minute to go to the park, or meet up with friends because the food is ready to go. It also prevents me from running out of what we need or knowing what i have to stop for. These are the ones we used in the picture below!

 

meal-prep-bento-box

 

 

 

Weekend Cleaning Routine

 

Even though, I have a cleaning routine where I do a little cleaning each day so that it doesn’t pile up that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything on the weekends. Often, after my Saturdays off, my house needs a little more TLC since I probably didn’t do as many dishes or pick up as much. What I have now just come to accept as a mom is that my house will probably always be covered in stuff, things will be out of place, and everything will just be sticky.

 

Related Post: The Best Digital Cleaning Routine for Moms

 

But just because my kids will always make a mess, doesn’t mean that I  won’t try to make it just a little more clean and tidy. I also find that when the clutter builds up, my anxiety peaks and for me ‘outer order leads to inner calm’ so taking time on Sundays to clean up really helps.

 

 

My suggested Sunday system includes laundry (I do 1-2 loads each day so that it’s easy to put away so my Sunday laundry is normally the same), sweep and mopping the floors, vacuuming the playroom, and doing a Zone clean up.

 

 

We do a Zone Clean Up as a family after church on Sundays where everyone is in charge of a room or area (My 11 year old or husband normally does a zone with my toddler). I put on a 15 minute timer and everyone is in charge of putting away things that don’t belong in their zone. This really helps all of the out of place items to find their way back home and means that I”m not the only one picking up the books that have been on the floor for 2 days and everyone walks around (you know what I’m saying!). If you’ve never done a 15 minute pick up, read about how it can change your home here!

 

Before I go to bed on Sunday, I make sure that I’ve done my typical evening routine and an additional 15 minute clean up. There is nothing more exciting for me (I know this is going to sound really nerdy) than waking up on a Monday morning where there are no dishes in the sink, my kitchen table is cleaned up, and the clutter is gone. It’s really my favorite way to start the week and having a productive weekend is the first step in having a productive week!

 

 

 

Organize Your Weekly Calendar and To Do List

 

The last thing that I do to set my week up for success is make sure i have a plan in place. Often, people ask me how I can be so productive and get so much done and, while I have some hacks that help, one of the things that helps is that I always take the time to plan.

 

I took a training with the Franklin/Covey system once that really changed the way that I planned. I learned all about the power of weekly and nightly planning and have since been implementing it for years. It’s what I do in my life, what I teach the moms that I coach and what I teach in my e-book and course; Design Your Day; Time Management for the Busy Woman 

 

time-management-cover

 

On Sundays, I take out my planner (I use a mix of a paper planner from Erin Condren , google calendar, and Trello) and look at my week ahead.

 

I start with putting in all the dates of things that I cannot change like doctor appointments or meetings. We use a family calendar in the kitchen so these things always get written on their first and then transferred to my digital system.

 

After those dates are in, I then plan out what tasks I want to accomplish that week. I create a list of personal items, business items, and projects (around the house and for work) that I want to complete. I break them down into 20 minute tasks so that I know they are manageable and easily can be accomplished in a day, rather than over planning myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t get done. 

 

organize-trello

 

I then go into my planner and actually assign 3-5 tasks for each day. I split them up so that I Pick 1 personal task (call grandma, put pictures in frames etc….), 3 work tasks (write blog post, create images, email clients….) and 1 project task (brainstorm ideas for birthday party, work on mother’s day scrapbook etc….).

 

Assigning those things to a day BEFORE the week starts allows me to know what is going to happen and have a plan. This way, when it’s nap time and I get to work, or I have free time after dinner and want to work on a project, I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I can just take action.

 

Trust me when I say that if you set up your week for success you WILL be able to get more done, feel more accomplished and actually take a day off to rest and not feel the mom guilt! You can have a productive weekend for a more productive week!

 

I challenge you to start using this system (or one that works for you) to take more control in your life!

 

 

 

 

More Productivity Tips for Mom

How to Find More Time to Be Productive as a Mom 

The Ultimate Checklist for a Productive Week

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Morning Routine for Work at Home Mom 

 

Productivity Resources for Moms

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

The Ultimate Productivity Bundle

Organize Your Life with Trello 

Erin Condren Planners

 

 

 

Morning Routine for Moms of Toddlers

Morning Routine for Moms of Toddlers

Morning Routine for Moms of Toddlers

 

Looking for a morning routine for moms of toddlers? Have no fear! As a mom of toddlers, I know that my morning routine will set up my day for success or failure. If you’re like me, then you need to come up with a streamlined morning routine that you and your kids can follow. Having a morning routine will let your mornings be filled with less stress and chaos and more family time. Routines for moms will make your life so much easier!

Maybe you’ve been there. You expect to get up before the kids for some quiet time but hit snooze too many times and instead, you are awakened with a kids finger in your nose. You all stumble downstairs but you haven’t planned breakfast so you’re just attempting to put something on the table while they run around at your feet. You didn’t load the coffee pot so you’re barely making and sense as you try to find the grinds and your kids… they just keep talking to you! They are talking your ear off about Paw Patrol, or that you gave them the blue cup instead of the green, and you realized that you forgot to make your husband’s lunch and need to scramble to finish.

Sound familiar?

Me too! But since creating a  good morning routine in our home mornings like this are less, though they still pop up from time to time.

 

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Morning Routine Checklist for Adults

If you’ve never created a morning routine for your family, now is the time!

And I know what you’re thinking – I promise it’s not just about getting up at the crack of dawn! I’m a tired mom too and I know how precious sleep is but, what I’ve realized is that if I don’t get up before my toddlers, I won’t have any peace and quiet the entire day. I need that time in the morning to get focused, tie up loose ends and set my intention for the day.

 

Related Post: Evening Routine for Stay at Home Moms

I suggest creating two checklists for the morning routine in your home – one for you as an adult and one for your toddlers. You can download the ones I’ve created below and customize them to meet your needs and priorities. Having a morning routine checklist for you as the adult helps you make sure that the time you get up early is spend doing what you need – not wasted scrolling social media or trying to figure out how to best spend your time.

My toddlers get up between 6am-7am so I have to get up around 5-5:30 to really have adequate quiet time and get my day going. You might be lucky and not have early birds so adjust the chart to meet your wake up time. I recommend getting up at least one hour before they do so that you can have that time and some productivity.

 

What to do in a morning routine as a mom?

 

So what should you do before the toddlers wake up? My suggestion is formed with ideas from the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This book helps you figure out the best ways to spend your morning to channel your energy into positivity and focus.

 

Silence: Spend time each morning in silence. And as a mom of a toddler, this is probably the one silence you get all day! I spend 15-25 minutes reading in my bible and in prayer. This helps me connect with God and get my mind right for the day.

 

Related Post: How to Find Time to Read as a Busy Mom 

 

Personal Task: I suggest trying to get one personal task done before the kids get up. Since I work from home, my personal task is often centered around a work task. But, this could be something you’ve been putting off – like writing thank you cards or researching a family vacation or a goal you’re working on – like journaling for scrapbooking I find it’s so important for moms of toddlers to spend 10-30 minutes a morning on something for them (while enjoying their coffee HOT) so that they can remember that they are much more than ‘just mom’

 

Exercise: As someone who lost 70 pounds before I had kids, I knew that once I became mom I didn’t want to lose all of the healthy habits that I already had. This means that, 7 years after creating a 5-6 day a week exercise habits, it’s finally become part of my lifestyle. I choose to workout around 7:45-8:30 every day while my kids are awake. I didn’t want to waste any of my precious alone time in the mornings working out when it was something I could do when my kids were awake.

 

You can read more about how I workout daily with my kids around me (and not go crazy) here!

 

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Getting Dressed/Shower: This part of your routine might depend on the rest of your day. I make it a point to get dressed every day, even if it’s the same pair of jeans and 3 shirts that I rotate. It makes me feel less sloppy and helps me be more productive because I’m dressed. I actually don’t get dressed right away because I workout later in the morning but I always recommend taking time before lunch to get dressed and put together.

 

What do your toddlers do when you get showered?

 

Well, you have two options here. You can shower and dress before they get up or when they are awake.

 

I work out after breakfast and shower after that. During this time, since my kids are awake I let my daughter (3.5 years old )watch a show on my phone in my bedroom (if she’s not at school – she goes MWF) and my 18 month old hangs in the bathroom with me. Some days I toss him in the shower with me but most days, he builds a toilet paper tower, pulls things off the shelf or climbs on the toilet. My shower doesn’t take very long and I keep poking my head from behind the curtain to check on him. While i get dressed and ready, he runs around the room or plays with a basket of toys that I have just for him during this time. Pulling them out after shower makes them special and him excited to play with them.

 

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Morning Household Chores and Tasks

 

I also suggest using your morning time to do daily household chores that make your day easier. For me this includes starting a load of laundry (I am a ‘load a day’ type of mom) and unloading the dishwasher from the night before.

 

I also spend time cleaning up after breakfast (which the kids help with) and sweeping up the inevitable egg pile that my dog hasn’t ate yet.

 

During breakfast clean up and morning chores I also gather our school materials, check the calendar for day and help facilitate the toddler’s morning routine.

 

Related Post: Creating a Digital Cleaning System in Your Home 

 

Morning Checklist for Kids and Toddlers

 

Now that we’ve talked about what you do during your morning as a mom of toddlers, what are your kids doing?

 

I’ve created a morning checklist that you can customize for your kids and toddlers to help them know what to do. Routine is so important for your kids and once you’ve been doing something for a few weeks and months, your kids will fall into line. Our kids can get used to any routine and having a morning routine for them allows them to help out more around the house (yes, toddlers can do chores!) and learn how to be independent while you get tasks done too!

 

Coloring, Printable and Toddler Learning Activities

 

The night before (as part of my evening routine) I put out an independent activities for my toddlers to do at the kid table we keep in the kitchen. I make sure to do this before the morning so that, while I get breakfast together and do some morning chores, they are independently occupied.

 

Related Post: 15+ Indoor Activities for Toddlers 

 

They  have plenty of time during the day to create their own play centers but I think there is nothing wrong with some guided independent activities. I often just leave open ended toys (like blocks or magnet tiles) on the table or print out simply coloring sheets or printables to keep them busy.

 

I have found that this is a great start to their morning, gets their brains moving early, and keeps their hands busy and them not under my feet! My kids love play doh or kinetic sand so this is often an option. And since we’ve done this routine for the past few months, we’ve gone over the expectations, they know what not to do, and that mommy will put the toy away if they don’t share or follow directions.

 

 

 

Of course, we still have moments where markers go in the 18 month olds mouth, the 3 year old takes the chair from his brother, and they make a bigger mess then expected but most days, it’s a great start! If you’ve never done a morning activity, I suggest starting with simple coloring sheets or printable and crayons! It’s simple and easy to clean up and very low prep. But make sure you also add in time to teach them how and when to clean up and come to the table for breakfast. It may take a while in the beginning but after the first few weeks, they’ll know what to expect and putting on the ‘clean up song’ helps signify the transition to the table.

 

Easy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

 

Obviously a big part of the morning is getting everyone fed and breakfast cleaned up. So how do you make breakfast simple for your toddlers and serve easy and healthy breakfast ideas?

 

My biggest tip is to keep breakfast simple. The weekends are a great time to cook up something more elaborate but during the week, I love to have some simple but yummy go-to options.

 

I spend time on Sunday batching some homemade waffles, pancakes, or muffins so we have a grab and go option. I use a simple breakfast chart so that anyone can make sure they give the kids healthy and balanced breakfasts – this even helps my teenager get a good breakfast for himself too! I like to make sure breakfast has a fiber filled carbohydrate (like fruits or whole grains) and protein to keep them full.

 

You can download the chart I made and read more about that here!

 

Having your kids get into the habit or eating at the table together will help them understand the process of meal times and allows you to have more time in conversation. This is when you can have teachable moments about behaviors, talk and set up your day to let them know what’s going to happen, and allow you to drink more of that coffee!

 

After breakfast, create a good routine where they know they are to scrape their plate (we just taught my 3 year old this and we’re working on it with the 18 month old) and every can put their dishes in the sink. You want them to realize that it’s not mommy’s job to clean up after everyone and that they can do it too!

 

How to Teach the Bible to Toddlers

 

While we’re at the table, I also do a small bible lesson and reading. Right now, we use the Toddler Bible and read a few stories. My kids LOVE hearing bible stories and this is something we’ve done every morning since my 3 year old came home from the hospital.

 

They each get to pick a story and we often red for 10 minutes or more (which is great for their literacy skills and attention span).

 

After reading is done, we pray as a family and they get to pick who they want to pray for or anything they want to ask God for that day. Often my 3 year old prayers for everyone in the family and then asks God for a lollipop! I want them to get in the habit of starting the day with God, giving thanks and praying for others.

 

I also will sometimes make their morning table activities centered around a bible story so I might use printables about that story or an activity from my friend Liz’s book Play Through the Bible.

 

I like to see which stories my kids are most interested in and then find activities to teach more about them later in our day during our bible time before dinner. I am not currently homeschooling my kids (and not sure if I ever will) but I am super intentional about learning time during the day. We do a lot of teachable moments and learning in play but we do a chunk of reading and literacy and bible every day. We will be adding in some handwriting and math in the next month as well.

 

Related Post: Ideas to Teach Handwriting to your Toddler

 

Ideas for Morning Routine for Toddlers

 

Our breakfast portion takes almost a full 2 hours and by then, it’s time to go to school! I allow them to have 30 minutes to watch a TV show after we’re done and I use that time to clean up and get us ready and out the door!

 

With a predetermined morning routine, I find the mornings fly by – but not in the ‘I’m so stressed and it’s so chaotic” sense but in the “Wow that was quick” way. Things are more smooth (though we have hiccups) and the predictability is great for all of us!

 

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If you want to start to incorporate your own morning routine as a mom of toddlers – drop your email below and I’ll send you a template and customizable printable morning routine chart for adults and toddlers!

 

 

More Resources for Toddler Moms 

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

15+ Indoor Activities for Toddlers

20+ Ways to Teach Handwriting to Toddlers

Printable Toddler Behavior Chart 

 

Must Have Resources for Moms of Toddlers!

5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge 

Pumping Mom Academy

Makeover Your Mornings Course

Free Productivity E-Book

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

Evening routines for breastfeeding moms help their babies sleep better and allow moms to get more sleep themselves. Depending on how old your child is, they may or may not be sleeping through the night. You might still be getting up to nurse them or they are getting up super early to eat. You might have just gone back to work or perhaps you’re attempting to wake up earlier to start to get used to a ‘new normal’ with baby. Whatever routine for moms that you’re hoping to work on, I suggest you start with the evening routine.

A good evening routine can help set your morning up for success. Having a plan and checking some things off an evening routine checklist can help you wake up knowing what you want to do, go to bed less stressed, and allow you and baby to sleep better.

 

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This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Evening Routine Checklist for Moms

Whether you are in a new mom sleep haze or you’re extended nursing your toddler (I’ve been in both those stages! I breastfed both my kids until 19 months so I feel you on how tired you are!) it helps to have an evening routine checklist to guide your night. Having a checklist allows you to maximize your time, not have to make too many decisions or think too much when it’s late and you’re super tired and lets you pat yourself on the back when you make progress.

A checklist isn’t just about being perfect all the time, it’s about progress. I like to use checklists for pretty much everything because it allows me to set small goals, check out my growth and practice habit stacking.

Related Post: Using habit stacking to make routines that stick

For example, say you have 5 items on your evening routine chart and notice that you typically only get 3 done each night. Next week, you can make a small goal that 3 out of 7 days you’ll aim to get 4 things done. The next week, aim for 4 tasks every day of the week. Now you can slowly up your goals, realize how capable you are of getting tiny tasks done, and feel more accomplished – instead of defeating for not perfectly checking everything off.

When it comes to creating tasks for your evening routine checklist, you’ll want to make sure that they take 5-15 minutes per task. If you find that you’ve got a task that might take 30 minutes (say clean the bathrooms or do a big meal prep) you’ll need to break that down into smaller chunks. Instead of ‘clean the bathroom’ write down ‘wipe down sink’ and ‘clean the toilet’.

Having your tasks in small chunks allows the busy mom to take action on goals instead of living in dread and overwhelm. Small tasks are also super easy to delegate out to the rest of the family. I find if I ask my 12 year old to clean the bathroom, it’s a whole fight I don’t feel like having. But if I just ask him to wipe the sink, he will do it with minimal huffing and puffing.

 

Related Post: Creating a Digital Cleaning Routine with Trello 

As a breastfeeding mom, your evening routine checklist might have less of your homemaking tasks and more of your mommy duties.

I’ve provided a sample evening routine checklist at the end of this post for you. It has some things that I do in my nightly routine but there is also a blank copy so you can add in your own. It’s helpful to write on it, put it in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker so that you don’t have to print a new one each week!

 

 

 

Evening Routine for Infants and Toddlers

 

Before we dive into an evening routine specifically for a breastfeeding moms, let’s talk about what your baby or toddler could be doing for their evening routine. It’s super important to have routines for your kids (note that I said routines, NOT super duper strict schedules) so that they can see some predictability in the world. Having them on a routine makes things a ton easier on both you and baby!

 

Your baby will go to bed at various times depending on how old they are. For a great chart and baby sleep help, I highly suggest the book Precious Little Sleep! This book and its corresponding blog helped me SO much when I was struggling to get my baby to sleep!

 

Related Post: 7 tools to help your baby sleep better

 

I also suggest an earlier bedtime than you think for your kids. When mine were little, I was putting them to bed around 6:30pm and everyone thought I was crazy but science proves that sleep begets sleep! So tell all those people who tell you to ‘keep the baby up later so it sleeps in’ that it’s not true! Once they got older (mine are now 1.5 and 3.5) they do go to bed closer to 7:30-8:00 pm

 

When creating a sleep and evening routine, make it predictable and the same as much as possible. A calming bath with lavender soap can help them sleep better and start to signify that it’s getting close to bedtime. We also did our best to not nurse directly before bed so I suggest that the last feeding is right before you start your bedtime routine (about 20-30 minutes before you put the baby down) This helps decrease nursing to sleep associations and let’s you clean up any spit up!

 

After you’ve nursed the baby and possibly given a bath (because I”l be real, we probably do a bath about 3-4 times a week and not every night), take your baby or toddler up to their room to finish the evening routine. Try to get your baby used to being in their room if you’re trying to transition them out of their bassinet or your bedroom. It helps to play in their room during the day to increase their comfort level.

 

Use some lavender lotion, give a short baby massage and get them comfy in a fresh diaper and pajamas. We always end our night with a story and prayers – this part of our routine started on day 1! Please start reading to your babies daily as soon as possible (even in the womb!) It helps develop their language and love of reading early on!

 

Related Post: 3 Keys to Nighttime Success (and why diaper doublers are a must)

 

We then use a white noise machine, blackout curtains and slowly back away from the bedroom. I do let me kids fuss/cry a tiny bit before bed and my kids may make noise when I put them down but are quiet by the time I get to the bottom of the stairs (well most nights!)

 

Our favorite baby sleep items include:

These Blackout Curtains

This white noise machine

These incredible velcro swaddlers (we used this until my kids could roll over)

 

Need help getting you baby to sleep through the night? Check out the tips on my friend Jilly’s site by clicking the banner below!

 

 

When to Breastfeed Your Baby At Night

Depending on the baby’s age they might have middle of the night feedings for a while. My daughter didn’t stop her night feedings until we weaned them at 12 months and my son stopped his on his own around 6 months. You can make the choice when to stop them but, around 6 months, when they are starting solids, you may notice that your baby doesn’t need to nurse at night as much.

If you’re pumping during the day so that someone else can give the baby a bottle, make sure you have it ready to go. Neither of my kids took bottles…. EVER (it was awful and we tried every dang one) so it was up to me to nurse them every night.

Babies will most likely nurse every 2-3 hours until they are about 3 months old and then it increases to 4-6 and then they can go longer stretches. Each baby is different but be prepared with a good video monitor so you can see when your baby is up. Sometimes your baby may just stir or make noises in the middle of the night, like we all do, so I usually gave them 5 minutes before I went in to see what they would do.

Do your best to put the baby back down after you nurse, again it’s normal and okay if they fuss a little, so that you can get back into your bed. I won’t pretend that I haven’t pulled my kids in bed with  me or fell asleep on a chair but it’s really not safe (unless you practice all safe co sleeping practices from the AAP) and really only like ‘half sleeping’. If you can put them down and crawl back into your bed, do it!

 

 

 

Routines for Breastfeeding Moms

After you’ve gotten the baby into bed for the first time, take some time for you before you jump right into trying to manage your home and housework. I like to take 20 minutes to literally sit in my bed, put on a positive podcast or audiobook and scroll my Insta Stories to decompress. I used to just scroll stories but I found it made me a lot less productive, so by putting on a podcast I at least get my mind in a good spot to do things. Check out my list of favs here!

Pick 2-3 tasks that you know you need to get done to set up tomorrow for success. My suggestion is to do one task to close out your day, one task to physically prepare for tomorrow and one task to mentally prepare for tomorrow.

To close out your day you might;

  • Sweep the floor
  • Take out the trash
  • Load the dishes
  • Wipe the counters
  • Fold that load of laundry that has been sitting there for was too long
  • Complete a 15 minute pick up

To Physically prepare for tomorrow you could;

  • Prep any lunches
  • Take out meat to defrost for dinner
  • Pack up other kids book bags or items
  • Set out quiet time activities for older kids
  • Pick out your clothes or the kid’s clothes

To mentally prepare for tomorrow you might;

  • Write down 3 things you’re grateful for in today’s chaos
  • Set up your planner for tomorrow
  • Pray or have quiet time

By picking just a few tasks, you really set yourself up to start the morning more prepared and less frazzled. This helps a lot if you aren’t sleeping through the night and don’t want to make a ton of decisions in the morning.

If you need to pump to prepare for the next day, I really suggest doing this with an electric pump while you mentally prepare for tomorrow. I find this to be the least active time where I’m really sitting and gearing up for the day. I loved my Medela pump with the hands free nursing bra and even though I didn’t have to pump a lot it was a lifesaver for hands free pumping!

Speaking of pumping, if you’re a pumping mom and need help creating a routine, want to troubleshoot issues or unsure of where to start, go and check out the Pumping Mom Academy (click the picture below!)

 

 

I’ve created a checklist that really helps a breastfeeding mom create an evening routine that works. I’ve added in the things that really help me but make sure you download and print the blank copy to customize it! Make sure if you do you share it on your Instagram and tag me @apurposedrivenmom! I’d love to see how it’s helping you!

Does your breastfed baby sleep through the night yet? Post in the comments and let us know what your night’s currently look like!

 

 

 

evening-routine-breastfeeding-mom

 

More Help and Resources for Breastfeeding Moms!

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kid

3 Keys to a Nighttime Routine for Infants

7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Sample Morning Routine for Breastfeeding Moms

 

Must Have Resources for Tired Moms!

Baby Sleep Made Simple

Pumping Mom Academy

Makeover Your Evenings Course

Free Productivity E-Book