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The start of school (or any new routine) can be scary, both for your child and for you!

After every life event, like going back to work after maternity leave or my oldest entering preschool, school, etc., I’ve always had a pit of dread in my stomach. In the end, it always worked out, but I’ve figured out a few tricks to make the transition easier.

New routines are never easy, but there are ways that you can simplify the transition.

How to Transition to a New Routine

If you’ve been nervous about starting a new morning routine, or if your current routine needs a reset, try these five steps to get your child (or you) ready for your routine.

Start preparing early

These resources will help even the busiest moms get it together and be more organized.

While waking up early may be the last way you want to spend your summer mornings, it’s a great way to begin the transition to a new routine.

Start making small changes to your daily routine to make it similar to your child’s new routine. Begin transitioning to a new bedtime routine, morning routine, and even nap and meal times.

Last year, my son’s kindergarten class ate lunch at 10:30 a.m. A couple weeks before school started, I started serving an earlier, smaller breakfast to get him used to eating lunch earlier.

Make incremental changes

In addition to planning ahead and possibly changing your family’s overall routine, it’s a good idea to make incremental changes.

To ensure that your child isn’t tired on his first day of school, start moving bedtimes and wake times. Even small changes, like getting up 5-15 minutes earlier, can help.

Also, if your entire routine needs to change, try adding one thing each day instead of surprising your child with a new routine on the first day of school.

Create several routines

Plan your morning routine and remove everything that isn’t necessary, especially for the first week.

The 5 AM MiracleIf you’re sending your child to a new school or trying to create a new routine, focus on changing one thing at a time. This probably isn’t the time to try a new meal plan!

I always have big plans for my morning routine, but then I wonder why I’m never able to get out the door on time after trying a new diet, exercise routine, and kids’ routine all on the same day.

One of my biggest takeaways from The 5AM Miracle wasn’t waking up earlier – it was creating different routines for different days.

When you’re creating your morning routine, create two lists. One should include only the bare essentials: get dressed, get the kids dressed, eat, and head out the door. Create another list for your “ideal morning” and feel free to include your new exercise routine, meal prep, and laundry.

Especially in the beginning, while you’re getting used to your new routine, try to stick to the simpler routine. Once you have it down, then switch to a more complicated routine.

Simplify the routine

To simplify your mornings even further, try doing as much as possible ahead of time. Pack lunches, lay out clothes, and organize outerwear so that everything is ready for the next day.

One thing that’s helped me plan ahead is the Make Over Your Evenings course. Getting set up for a new routine is so much more than just laying out the kids’ clothes.

If you need help planning your morning routine, try creating a realistic routine with this printable.Struggling to figure out what time to start your morning routine? This printable helped me create a realistic start time so my mornings weren't rushed!

Do a practice run

Will 12 minutes be enough time to drive to school? Do you know where you stored your child’s backpack?

To make your morning routine smooth, do a test morning. Have your child wake up, eat, and get ready. Plan to leave at the exact time that you would need to leave to finish your morning routine.

After you’re done with your practice morning, think about what went well and what you could’ve done differently to make the morning smoother.

Starting a new morning routine (or any kind of routine) can be a challenge, but with a little planning and preparation, you and your family will be on your way to your new routine.

Related Reading on Organized Motherhood:

11 Ways to Simplify Your Morning Routine

How to Create the Ideal Morning Routine

How to Create the Best Bedtime Routine for Your Kids

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