Back to school time with kids can be stressful, and if you’re adding a newborn into the mix this fall, it can be a lot for everyone in the household to deal with. But the good news is that there are things you can do to not only help you, but the whole family with the transition of a new baby and from summer to school schedules.
Sleep is probably at the top of your list, but it’s also important to set and stick to a school schedule to keep a more balanced life.
Here are 7 back-to-school tips for parents with a newborn and a school-age child…
- Sleep when the kids sleep. Try to get everyone on the same wake and sleep schedule. For the baby, try to establish a sleep schedule during the day and at night that works around your other kids’ needs. Establish a bedtime routine for all of your children that includes soothing and calming activities like a bath, book, songs, etc. And last but not least, don’t forget to sleep when the baby (or kids!) sleep. This is a common phrase new moms hear, but it is extra important during the school year. When you put the kids to bed, go to bed yourself. You’re most likely going to be waking up for night feedings so prioritize going to bed early.
- Organize before the school year starts. Think about how to best organize your child’s school belongings before the school year starts if you can. Do you have a drawer or cubby they can use where you can easily find their backpack, folders, lunch box, etc.? The last thing you want to have to do is run around the house in the morning searching for things they need that day—all while holding the newborn and making sure they aren’t tardy for school! And don’t forget about keeping your baby belongings stocked and organized. Consider using a baby diaper caddy to house all of your baby essentials. This will make it easier for you to have everything you need on hand around the house and as you are on the go!
- Pre-pack lunches. Prepare as much as you can for the next day, the night before. Let daddy hold the baby while you pack snacks, lunches, back packs, pump milk for the baby, etc. For your newborn, make sure you have formula or breastmilk stored and ready to go for the next day (if needed). Understand how to properly store and prepare breastmilk if you aren’t exclusively breastfeeding.
- Restock on the weekends. Weekends are a great time to clean the house and restock on groceries, gas, formula, baby products and other household needs. Make sure laundry is done for the week and meal plan to make your life easier during the school week.
- Don’t forget about snacks. It’s easy to focus on your newborn feedings, but don’t forget about healthy after school snacks for your other child(ren). Think about fun ways to stock up on snacks for the big kids that they can easily grab and access after school. Smoothies, muffins, trail mix and nuts are a few healthy snack ideas. Check out more ideas here.
- Stay positive. This is probably the best piece of advice we can give you! Back to school can be overwhelming for both children and parents, so just remember that when you feel overwhelmed or tired, it’s just a phase and it will get easier. Take each week day by day. Stay positive and try to keep a flexible attitude.
- Communicate and verbalize your love. Any time there is a new baby in the home, there is a transition for the rest of the family. Try to give your other child(ren) extra love and attention when you can and remember to verbalize how much you love them.
We hope that this school year is a success and that these tips can help you transition from summer to fall with a newborn and a child in school!