How to Make a Morning Wake-Up Routine for Toddlers

By Susan Revermann
Eating breakfast as a family is a way to start the day.
Eating breakfast as a family is a way to start the day.

You might not be a morning person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t demonstrate how to get the day rolling the right way. Set up a morning routine for you toddler and go through the steps of the routine each day. Sticking to a consistent schedule can help reduce some of the chaos that comes with wrangling a kid in the morning and getting her out the door.

Set your child up for a chipper morning by ensuring he gets enough sleep. Although no magic number will turn a night owl into a morning person, the correct amount of sleep helps replenish your child’s body and mind. A toddler should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep per night, according to KidsHealth.

Establish a consistent wake-up time for your toddler and stick to it. Consistency makes a morning routine go smoother. If you have more than one child, the American Occupational Therapy Association suggests staggering wake-up times, starting with the youngest child first.

Greet your child with a smile as you wake her up, even if you aren’t a morning person. This starts the day off on a positive note. A tickle, kiss, singing voice or other form of affection also works.

Head for the dresser and get your toddler’s clothes out. Offer your toddler two choices of clothing to avoid a morning power struggle. You can make it easier on yourself in the morning and have the clothes chosen and laid out the night before.

Direct your toddler to the kitchen. Breakfast is a critical element of the morning routine because it fuels your child for much of the day. Offer him a healthy breakfast for best results. Mix the breakfast menu up throughout the week and offer fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy products. Whole wheat toast, almond butter and banana slices go with a glass of orange juice. A ham and cheese omelet and a whole-wheat English muffin is toddler-friendly. French toast with fresh berries, oatmeal with dried fruit or a Greek yogurt, banana, peanut butter and flax meal smoothie are also healthy options.

Finish off the morning routine by washing her face and brushing her teeth. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of kid’s toothpaste on your toddler’s toothbrush and help her brush all sides of her teeth. Remind her to spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it. A quick rinse with water and she’s set.