Wednesday 8 January 2020

PARENTHOOD: Our Weekday Routine with a Newborn Baby, School Run and Toddler Group

Our Week Day Routine with a Newborn Baby, School Run and Toddler Group
One thing I was really worried about when we found out we were expecting our third baby was being able to do the school run on time, every day of the working week. I just couldn't see how I was single-handed going to get all three children ready, fed and out of the house all before 8.30am every single day. School doesn't offer any flexibility, so for the first time as a family our lives were being controlled by the constraints of the school day. My eldest daughter, Isabella, started school in September 2019 and I gave birth to our third baby, Rory, in October 2019. It was essential that we established a 'school day routine' as quickly as possible in September, so that when Rory arrived I hoped he would just slot into the routine with ease. 

Another big worry I had was being able to physically do the school run post birth because after a pretty traumatic birth with Isabella I knew how long and painful recovery can be. I am so relieved to say that my labour with Rory went smoothly and recovery has been the quickest of all three births. This has really helped being able to establish a new week day routine as quickly as possible and after months of worrying about getting to school on time I often find that we're the first ones at the school gates.

I do love a good routine and to be honest without it I don't know how everything would get done, especially as I still have a baby who doesn't like to be put down and a toddler who's independent skills are improving but still needs a lot of help. Below I have detailed our usual week day routine, which includes a school run, toddler class and a few tips/tricks thrown in to make your life easier as a parent.

5.30am - Isabella and Poppy wake up, while I'm usually feeding Rory. They play in their room until the sun comes up on their Gro Clock.

6.30am - The sun comes up on their Gro Clock and they'll watch 30 minutes of television in the tablet in their bedroom via either iPlayer Kids or Netflix. They used to come into our room, but Rory seems to want to sleep until school run time, so in an attempt to keep him asleep they go to their room.
6.40am - I get up and get ready while my husband is still here. It means that if Rory does get sad he can look after him, as there's nothing more stressful than trying to get ready with a screaming baby who needs your attention.

7am - My husband gets up, gets ready and leaves the house at around 7.20am. While he's getting ready I'll get Poppy dressed and Isabella will get herself dressed for the day.

7.15am - I take the girl's downstairs for breakfast, will make myself lunch and pop it in the fridge until later, put on a wash, ensure everything is ready for when we need to leave the house and sometimes grab a cup of tea.7.45am - Upstairs to brush the girl's teeth, get Rory dressed, set out Poppy's outfit for the next day (it saves time in the long run) and tidy up if the girl's bedroom is a mess.

8.10am - Back downstairs altogether to put shoes and coats on, then if there is still spare time then we'll watch children's television while I feed Rory. 

8.30am - School run.
8.45am - Drop Isabella off at school, have a quick catch up with friends at the school gate and take the long way back home in an attempt to up my daily steps.

9.15am - Back home and I'll try to get my breakfast. Rory has usually fallen asleep in the baby carrier during the school run, which enables me to get my breakfast and a cup of tea. Poppy plays during this time.

10am - Pack up the changing bag and drive to a toddler group we go to each week. It is my attempt at reducing mum guilt whilst giving Poppy an activity that is solely focused on her during the week. Life with a newborn can be very consuming and I've found it has made me feel less guilty about all the time I have to spend attending to Rory's needs.

10.30am - Arrive at the toddler group, pop Rory in the baby carrier and focus on Poppy completing the different activities. 

11.30am - The toddler group finishes and we head back home. Poppy is usually quite sleepy at this point, so we'll sing songs in an attempt to keep her awake.

12pm - Home and it's time for lunch. Isabella has her main meal at school each day, so to make things easy I will give Poppy her main meal at lunch time too. If I've been organised I will have pre-cooked it or defrosted a batch cooked meal from the freezer, so that it is just a case of warming it up when we get home. But if not then she will have something really quick like a Tilda Kids rice pouch or egg noodles with a pasta sauce. It needs to be quick because Rory is usually sad and needing feeding at this point.12.20pm - Poppy will go down for a nap, I'll get my pre-prepared lunch from the fridge and sit down to feed Rory. He will usually fall asleep during the feed, so I'll always ensure I have my laptop nearby and will get on with some work while he sleeps.

2pm - Poppy will either wake up or I'll wake her up from her nap and Rory wakes up too. We'll play together, I'll feed Rory again and then we'll get ready for the school run again. The days always go so quickly and often feel quite rushed.

3pm - School run. 

3.25pm - Back from the school run and if Rory has fallen asleep on me then I'll make the girl's sandwich dinner ready for later. I'll also sort out the washing, set out Isabella's uniform ready for the next day, make my husband's packed lunch and sort out our dinner. Isabella and Poppy are so happy to see each other again that they usually play happily together while I'm getting these jobs done. 

4pm - We'll practice Isabella's phonics, she'll read her book to me and I'll feed Rory if he's woken up.

4.15pm - The girl's will watch some television while I'll continue to feed Rory.

4.50pm - Dinner time for the children. While they're eating I'll try to finish making our dinner, take out the recycling and get any other jobs done. However, sometimes this is when Rory starts getting fussy (thanks witching hour!) so I have to sit down with him to let him either feed or go to sleep.
5.15pm - Tidy up the children's dinner things, put our dinner on to cook and then it's up for a bath. 

5.45pm - After the bath they'll get dressed into their pyjamas and then we'll get snuggled into bed for a book of their choice each. 

6pm - Bed time for Isabella and Poppy. They have always gone to bed on the earlier side, but then they get up early so I guess you can't have it all!
6.15pm - I'll finish dinner, feed Rory and get out the bowls/cups ready for breakfast in the morning. 

6.45pm - My husband is back from work, we'll have dinner and a catch up about our days.7.15pm - Rory feeds and has a sleep. We'll watch whichever series we're currently watching.

8.15pm - Wake Rory up and have some awake time playing together.

9pm - Lower the lighting in the room and the volume of the television. I'll feed Rory to sleep and then pass him to my husband who stays up with him to allow me to have some solid sleep.

9.30-10pm - Rory asleep and I go to bed.

1am - Rory wakes up, so my husband will bring him up to bed and I'll feed him. 

1.30am - He'll go back to sleep and I'll pop him down in the co-sleeper next to me.

4.30am - The nights can be varied, some nights he'll sleep for three-four hour stretches and other nights I'll see every hour. Most of the time he'll wake around 4.30am for a feed.

4.45am - Back to sleep and he can get fussier now, often needing a feed again at 5.30am and then we're back to the beginning of our day routine. 

As you can see our days are tightly packed with feeds, activities and drop offs, but it works and means that most days aren't as stressful as they could be. The school run is actually a really nice break in the day and if the morning has been a bit stressful then I'm able to offload to any of the very understanding parents in the school playground before returning home to take on the rest of the day. It also means that these early newborn days don't feel lonely at all, as twice a day I'll have a chat, see friendly faces or share a smile.

Do you like a good routine or prefer things to be a bit more relaxed?

Feel free to leave me a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. Wow! That’s a military mission! I was only writing in my journal this morning that I was grateful for relaxed mornings. I’m relieved now I only have one little person to think about. He won’t start school till 2021 so I will take every advantage of chilled get ups! It sounds like you have it licked though. Top work!

  2. Wow, I did wonder how people actually got it all done. It does sound exhausting - go you. Those Gro Clocks look good, by the way. Xx

  3. It sounds like you have a busy day, but like your super organised. Juggling the school run and a newborn was always something I dreaded as my daughter always wanted a feed/ nappy change as we were about to leave but it sounds like you have it sussed already xx

  4. You sound just as busy as us. I am loving all the delicious meals you are creating too - breakfast looks yummy x

  5. Wow that sounds very busy! I'm amazed the kids go to bed at 6, but then I also couldn't cope with 5:30 am starts haha. We don't have any sort of routine here, we home ed and so our days look totally different from one day to the next depending on what groups or classes the kids are going to or whether we're having a home day etc. Bedtime is never until about 8:30 though and takes them until about 9.30 to actually be asleep! But then they also tend not to get up until 8:30 in the morning. xx

  6. Blimey you get a lot packed in before you do the school run. I try to be really organised but this is usually totally a scuppered by the 9yo who loves to drag her heels with literally everything in the mornings. Go Supermum!

  7. I have always had a routine with the boys, especially when our second came along for the same reason as you. As Monkey started school a couple of weeks later. Its great that you have found one that works for you, makes everything so much less stressful x

  8. Routine was key for me when I had the twins and my eldest was at school, the only way everything went smoothly and happily!!! Sounds like you've got yourself in a great routine, well done


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