Do you have a morning routine for your kids? What about a nighttime routine? Ms. Rachel, who’s made a name for herself with her “Songs For Littles” YouTube program, says she starts her morning routine before bed. How does that work exactly? Easy. She lets her young son sleep in his school clothes.
Rachel readily admits this won’t work forever, nor will it work for everyone. However, letting her child sleep in the clothes he’ll wear to school the next day certainly cuts down on some of the biggest morning stressors for moms and kids, like picking out and putting on those clothes in a timely manner.
“I dress my little boy for school at night,” Ms. Rachel recently shared on TikTok. “We put on a nice new shirt [and] sweatpants. [They’re] super comfy. Great for pajamas. And then, when he wakes up, we just throw on sneakers.”
You could also just as easily let your kiddo sleep in the clothes they wore that day, though many people have big feelings about “outside clothes” or “street clothes” touching the bed or furniture. Dressing them in fresh clothes for bed eliminates that concern. And it still leaves all the decision-making and “getting ready” for post-wake-up in the morning — which you already know is half the battle of the a.m. hours. Ms. Rachel and her son’s evening routine skips that struggle, making it a pretty genius addition to the big book of mom ideas.
This change in routines may not be ideal for little kids who have to wear uniforms to school or for kids who are still having bedtime accidents. Uniform pants certainly aren’t super comfy, after all. For many kiddos, you could just let them sleep in their shirt and underwear and pull on their pants in the morning. And if they’re still struggling with potty training? They might have an accident overnight, so you’ll have to change their clothes again. There’s still a sweet spot where Ms. Rachel’s system could be successful for many parents, though.
“Someday, I’ll teach him to wake up for school and get dressed,” says Ms. Rachel. “That will be a very good thing to teach. But I can’t do that right now. And that’s OK. I’m doing my best, and so are you. And I love you.”
For parents worried about stinkiness, it’s a valid concern. However, you probably don’t need to worry about that as much if your child is still very young. According to KidsHealth.org, most kids don’t start to stink or need deodorant until around the time they hit puberty. For boys, like Ms. Rachel’s, that’s between the ages of 9-14. Girls start puberty a little earlier, at ages 8-13.
Sure, you’ll need to teach your kiddo better time management for mornings at some point in grade school. Subtext: It doesn’t have to be right now! There are so, so many things kids need to learn before puberty. Hard skills like writing, tying their shoes, or even buttoning their pants should happen sooner rather than later. Leaving the more abstract skill of time management (which some adults still suck at) until they’re a little bit older isn’t going to hurt them. It sure as hell will make your mornings go a lot smoother, though.
Other tasks you could try doing the night before:
- Bathing (it just makes sense to do that before dressing)
- Packing lunches
- Prepping breakfast
- Readying backpacks
- Hair maintenance (full styling for longer hair might be better suited for mornings)
In other words, mornings don’t have to be stressful. If you’re sending your kid to school dressed and as fed as they want to be, you might be doing the best you can. Sure, your grandmother made a six-course breakfast every morning and pressed every dress she sent out the door — but your grandmother wasn’t also answering to the demands put on a modern mom or millennial family. She did her best, and now you (and Ms. Rachel) are doing your best.
And like our gentle leader says, “That’s OK… and I love you.”