Back-to-School With a Baby in Tow
Every fall, students big and small gather their bookbags and their lunchboxes and head back-to-school. For kiddos, the new school year often means making new friends, learning new things, and trying out new skills on the playground. For parents, it often means packing endless lunches, getting up early to make drop off, and navigating pick-up time and after-school care or activities. For parents who’ve added a baby to the family since last school year, all of these back-to-school activities might seem a little overwhelming. Check out the tips below for navigating your big kid's new school year with a baby in tow!
Don’t underestimate the power of prep
At the end of each busy evening, all most parents want to do is relax for a few minutes before heading to bed. As tempting as the coziness of a warm bed may be, preparing as much as you can for the next day will greatly ease your morning scramble. In addition to making sure you have everything ready for your school-aged child, pack the diaper bag for your baby and anything you’ll need to grab on the way out the door!
Get up early in the morning
Rushing doesn't feel good for anyone and, chances are, the more you try to rush your school-aged child out the door, the slower they’ll go. Add a baby with the potential to have a blowout or need to nurse at any time and the best solution is to get up half-an-hour to an hour before you would have before the baby came into the picture.
Plan naptime around pickup
There’s nothing more stressful than a baby at risk of missing their nap. As soon as baby begins to get on a schedule, work to align their morning and afternoon naps around your older child's school pick up time so you’re not rushing to get them home as their eyes begin to droop in their car seat.
Keep your hands free
Walking an older child (and their backpack, water bottle, lunch box, jacket, and artwork) in and out of school with a baby along for the ride can be a real challenge. Instead of trying to juggle your baby along with your older kid's items, keep your hands free by investing in a comfortable baby carrier and letting your little one snuggle up as often as they’d like.
Keep your expectations in check
When you add a baby to any situation it get a little more hectic. Avoid the frustration of the “shoulds” by recognizing that this phase of life is temporary and, soon enough, the baby in your arms will be the one walking through the school gate.