10 Top Tips for Creating a Consistent Morning Routine for Nursery Days

Mornings can be a challenge at the best of times, but when you throw a young child who needs to get ready for nursery into the mix, it can up the ante. The hustle and bustle of getting everyone dressed, fed, and out the door on time can be a stressful race against the clock. Luckily, a consistent morning routine can make these nursery days a whole lot smoother, less chaotic, and more manageable. In this article, we share 10 practical tips for creating a morning routine that works for your family.

  1. Plan the Night Before

One of the most effective ways to ensure a smooth morning is to do as much preparation as possible the night before. Here are some tasks to consider…

Clothing: Lay out your child's clothes, including socks, shoes, and any accessories. This can help you avoid spending time in the morning making decisions, searching for matching socks or a missing shoe.

Bags: Pack nursery bags with all necessary items, such as spare clothes and any forms or notes that need to be handed in. Depending on what your nursery provides, you may also need to pack extra nappies, as well as snacks.

Food Prep: Following from above, if you are preparing lunches and snacks, pack this the night before to save time, as well as ensure that meals are nutritious and thoughtfully prepared. You can even set up for breakfast the night before too (see point 5).

Check the Weather: This helps with preparing clothing and shoes the night before, but also whether or not you’ll walk or cycle to nursery, as well as setting out raincoats or umbrellas if needed.

  1. Create a Morning Checklist

A visual checklist can help both you and your child stay on track. A simple list on a whiteboard or a printed sheet with pictures for younger children can include tasks such as:

  • Wake up and cuddle time
  • Bathroom routine (brushing teeth, washing face)
  • Getting dressed
  • Eating breakfast
  • Putting on shoes and jacket
  • Gathering belongings and heading out the door

You can make it interactive by allowing your child to check off each task as they complete it. This gives them a sense of accomplishment and helps them understand the sequence of the morning activities.

  1. Wake Up Early

Giving yourself an extra 15-30 minutes in the morning can make a significant difference. This buffer time allows you to handle unexpected delays calmly and ensures you have a moment to gather your thoughts and plans before the day begins. Perhaps this can be your time to grab a quiet cuppa before the rest of the house rises.

  1. Establish a Consistent Wake-Up Time

Consistency is key for both parents and children, so try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate everyone's internal clocks and makes weekday mornings less of a shock to the system.

  1. Simplify Breakfast

Breakfast is essential, but it doesn't have to be elaborate. Aim for quick, healthy options that are easy to prepare. Some ideas include:

  • Overnight oats or yoghurt with fruit
  • Wholegrain toast with avocado or nut butter
  • Smoothies packed with fruits and vegetables
  • Boiled eggs and soldiers (dippy egg)

Having a few go-to breakfast choices can save time and reduce decision-making in the morning.

  1. Involve Your Child

Involving your child in the morning routine can make the process more engaging, more fun, and less of a chore. Encourage them to help you pick out their clothes the night before or help pack their nursery bag. This not only teaches responsibility but also gives them a sense of control and participation over their routine. It can also help them to mentally prepare for the day that lies ahead. 

  1. Minimise Distractions

Try to minimise distractions during the morning rush. This means keeping the TV off and limiting screen time. Instead, play some calming music or have a designated quiet time where everyone focuses on getting ready.

  1. Stay Positive and Patient

Mornings can be stressful, but maintaining a positive attitude can set the tone for the day. Children are very perceptive and can pick up on stress and anxiety. Try to stay calm and patient, even when things don't go as planned. Use positive reinforcement and praise to encourage your child when they complete tasks on time. Allow for flexibility and don’t be too hard on yourself if your plan doesn’t fully work…

  1. Adapt and Adjust

…No routine is perfect from the start. It might take some time to figure out what works best for your family. Be flexible and willing to tweak and adjust the routine as needed. Regularly assess what’s working and what’s not and make changes accordingly.

  1. Set Realistic Expectations

Understand that not every morning will go perfectly. There will be days when things don’t go as planned, and that’s okay. The goal is to create a routine that reduces stress and helps everyone get out the door on time most days.

Creating a consistent morning routine for nursery days takes a bit of planning and patience, but the benefits are well worth it. An organised morning can reduce stress, improve time management, and generally get the day off to a great start! By planning ahead, involving your child, and staying flexible, you can make mornings more manageable and even enjoyable! Remember, the key is consistency and making the routine work for your family's unique needs.


If you enjoyed this article and found it to be useful, you can check out more of our early childcare resources in our Family Resource Zone!

And, if you’re not yet a Bright Horizons parent, but are interested in what our nurseries can offer your child on their exciting educational journey, book a personal tour at your local nursery today!