I fondly remember the days with our first two kids when we could focus on baby’s schedule. We worked around naps to determine the perfect opportunities for outings and getaways.

But time marches on.

Those first little ones have grown and more have come along. Three more to be exact. And now I find myself learning how to integrate baby’s schedule with that of my school-aged kids.

The Morning Marathon

I often liken my mornings to a marathon, with several small sprints thrown in the middle. There are big kids to wake, feed, and drive to school. There are little ones to cart around, cuddle, and play with.

It all begins with a moment for myself. A shower, a cup of coffee, some time spent in Scripture help me to feel grounded and ready for the day.

As the hour approaches, I find a few breakfast choices, pull out some dishes, and warm up a bottle. And then the house awakens.

I’ve found that morning is a great time for a nursing baby to drink from a bottle. He’s extra hungry, and when faces need to be wiped, braids fixed, and coats zipped there’s always a sibling available to help hold the baby’s bottle.

An hour later, we’re headed to drive my oldest two to elementary school. Getting the six of us in the car is no small feat, but we eventually do and are even on time most days. Then it’s already time to drop our preschooler off for the morning.

Yes, a marathon.

Snoozing on Schedule

I’ve always found that my babies are ready for a morning nap about an hour-and-a-half after waking. My littlest one is no exception and guess where we are when those yawns start?

That’s right, driving home. Pretty much a terrible scenario for getting baby into a good napping routine.

So, five kids into this journey I’ve made a decision. Your morning nap, little one, is going to be in that comfortable, secure, blanket-covered car seat. Sweet dreams, I love you.

There’s just no better way for right now.

My Must-Haves

I’ve learned a few things about myself in the past eight years of parenting. Firstly, I must have a break during the day. For that reason I’ve made sure that all my kids have an afternoon rest time, at the same time, every day.

Secondly, I must get as much sleep at night as possible. So I make sure I’m waking and feeding my newborn often throughout the day.

Other than that? We’ve learned to be flexible. Very flexible. And that’s okay.

Baby Benefits

My youngest ones are some of the most flexible and scheduled children you’ll ever meet.

Sounds like an oxymoron, right? Somehow this is what works for us. I do my best to preserve baby’s schedule when we’re out and about and he never fails to let me know if I’ve forgotten something.

Feedings on the go? Sure, no problem. Need to schedule a nap in the car while we run kids here and there? Okay, you’ve got it.

There have been some real benefits to merging baby’s schedule with that of my older kids. He becomes a more flexible baby. They learn how they can help us achieve our common goal of getting out of the house in the morning.

There’s no perfect solution. By laying out my must-haves I’m able to determine what other aspects of baby’s schedule I can be flexible with.

How are you merging baby’s and older sibling’s schedules?



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Jess Wartinger

Jess Wartinger resides in rural New York with her husband and five children. Formerly an early elementary teacher, Jess currently spends her time loving her kids and holding down the fort at home.

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