Make the school drop off stress free! Mum of five, Kelly, shares her ten top tips...
The school drop off accompanied by toddlers and babies is definitely not for the faint hearted. When you’re doing it 5 days a week, it becomes your mission in life to make the whole process as smooth, stressfree and safe as possible.
My children attend a school with around 1300 children. Which means at bell time, there is a mass exodus of blue and white checkered school children funnelling like ants towards the gates, creating noise that can be heard in a galaxy far, far away.
On the off chance you’ve experienced anything remotely like this, you’ll know that there are some tricks of the trade that can help make this deceptively hard task a little easier when you’ve got other children in tow.
So here are my top tips for busy parents juggling school drop off with babies and toddlers.
1 - Pram organiser
If you’re heading in with a pram, get your hands on a pram organiser for all those bits and pieces. It’ll keep everything on hand and easy to find and save you from rummaging around in the storage basket under your babe.
2 - Clutch with Wrist Strap
If you’re using a baby carrier, there’s always a possibility that you’ll need somewhere to pop your keys and phone. A clutch with a wrist strap works beautifully for this purpose, freeing up your hands for helping your little people pack their artwork into their bag, or just for holding little hands on the way out.
If you don’t like the thought of hanging it from your wrist, look for one with a press stud strap that you can attach to the baby carrier.
3 - Pram Hooks & Clips
School kids equals school bags and bits and pieces, right? Lighten your load by having extra hands on your pram. Check out all these handy hooks and clips to do the bag holding for you.
4 - Toy Tether
The last thing you want is a toy or rusk tossed into an unknown sticky puddle in the school grounds. Keep these items secure with a teething tether or toy holder attached to your babe or pram.
5 - Toddler Skateboard
Skateboards save lives. I’m serious – keeping your toddler close by if they are walking near a pram can be tricky in a busy and distracting environment.
Invest in a skateboard for your pram so that younger siblings can ride along safely with you in and out of school. Best invention ever.
6 - Nappy Wallet
Keep a nappy wallet stocked with nappies and wipes in the car so that you don’t have to worry about remembering your nappy bag just for the school run.
7 - Activities
Waiting for the bell to go can be tedious for little ones, especially day in, day out. Keep a bag of favourites in the car and rotate them around each week. I love stamp books, magic markers – anything that minimises mess and fuss when you’re out!
8 - Pram Cover
School kids will always try and touch your newborn or small babe at school. And who can blame them, our babies are irresistible! Grab a pram cover to keep curious hands away from your little one. Or use a wrap and secure it with pram shade clips.
9 - White Noise
Ahhhh white noise, my best friend and saviour. If you’re planning on your baby having a quick nap while you’re doing the school run, it’s worth considering a portable white noise machine to block out the shrill screams and sudden loud noises that happen in the school grounds.)
It might all sound like overkill, but when you’re dealing with tired school children, unsettled babies and a toddler in the throws of the terrible two’s, you’ll be glad you came prepared.
Now all you need is your own barista to brew that perfect coffee to get those school days started (Tip Number 10!) Good luck, mama – you’ve got this.
Kelly McDonough is not only a mum to five beautiful children all under the age of 10 but somehow manages to find time amongst packing lunches, school runs and house work to run her own product styling business, The Styling Mama. If ever a woman knew anything about juggling work and family, Kelly would be it.