My Top 4 Tips to Get Your Kids Out the Door on Time!

Hi everyone, happy Wednesday! Hope you all are having a great start to your day. I wanted to jump on here and give you some of my top tips for getting your kiddos out the door. I know that all parents have to live through this struggle, one that should not be as hard as turns out to be! Ha! What used to just be putting one foot in front of the other and walking out the door, has turned into a much different routine these days! I thought I would share some of my “get out the door” tips that seem to be working so far! I’d also love to hear any tips you have, let’s discuss in the comments at the end of this post! Especially if you have little boys because one of these tips mostly works for girls (or boys with long hair!) and I am going to need advice for when Riley gets a little bigger!

Getting Out the Door with Kiddos

time savers for busy moms ali manno out the door


Really quick, my jeans above are the Sofia Vegara jeans that are only $24! They are totally meant for girls with curves. I love the light wash and slightly distressed look! Plus, they are only $24!!! I do want to say that they run large. In these photos, I am wearing my normal size and I found them to be too big, but I wanted to share them with everyone before they sell out so I kept them! I ended up getting a pair in a size down too and they are perfect. So I recommend sizing down! They are meant for girls with curves, so if you have a straighter figure they might not fit you right! I posted about them recently, here, if you want to see another outfit with them!

And the Privacy Please hat is on clearance for $44 right now if you’ve had your eye on that! When I bought it, it was closer to $100!


I had to start with this tip because it’s my favorite one. And I think it’s genius. Ha! Plus it’s good for your growing kiddo and works perfectly to help them get into the car! We call vitamins “candy” in our household, and that’s because we give Molly chewable vitamins! This has definitely worked out in our favor because she looks at them as a treat. Recently we have started telling her that once we get into the car, we will give her her candy, and this makes her so excited to get out the door!

tips to get your kids out the door


This one is so easy, And also helps to remind us parents to give them their vitamins before school! That’s a win-win in my book!

FYI my duster above is $12. I love it so definitely check it out. My hair clip is also a favorite of mine right now.

Pre-Pack your Bags!

Some of you may already do this tip, but I definitely think that it is one of the most important! And that would be pre-packing your bags and your kiddos lunch boxes the night before so you can just grab them and go! It’s always good to have a bag in the car that’s filled with things that your kiddos might need while you are out and about. I always have a change of clothes for each kid and some snacks.

Another important thing that I keep in my is bottled water (refillable bottles if you can! You shouldn’t leave plastic water in the car, plus they aren’t good for the environment) and empty cups for your kids. That way you can fill them up whenever they are thirsty! And you don’t really have to worry about them leaking in the bag. You will also want to include things that keep them busy, in our case usually that means a book for each of them! Having this packed the night before saves me from running around the next morning, and alleviates any time I would have spent making sure I have outfits packed. If you still have kiddos in diapers, that is obviously a must too!! Never want to run out of diapers on an outing.

Packing their lunch the night before also makes a big difference! Molly has a bento box styled lunchbox, and I will put in a pouch, a fork or spoon, some fruit or veggies, and then a main food. Sometimes that means pasta with sauce, other times that means a container of broccoli or another left over from the fridge. This is one of those things that typically takes the same amount of time no matter when you do it, but having it out-of-the-way makes life so much easier! Especially if you pack up the lunchbox after your kiddos have gone to bed – that way they are surprised by what is in their lunch the next day!

“Princess” Hairstyles

This tip is mostly for little girls, but also could work for a little boy too (I’ll explain that in a minute!) We used to have a lot of trouble getting Molly to let us do her hair in the morning, which meant we struggled even more to get out the door! Recently we started associating different hairstyles with Disney characters and that has made all of the difference. We will ask her what hairstyle she wants, and if she doesn’t know then we give her suggestions!

For example, the Moana hairstyle means we brush out her hair and then clip back the top hairs so that they are out of her eyes! Other hairstyles we do are the Cinderella, which is a bun (or top-knot, depending on what you call them) on her head and we add a clip to the side or sometimes a headband! That’s what I’m doing to her hair in this photo! We also will do a ponytail, which we call the Belle. Oh, and don’t forget braids! One side-braid is for Elsa hair, and two braids are Anna! Ha! As you can see we’ve turned this into a fun game that encourages Molly to make a decision on what she wants her hair to look like for the day, and it also is more fun for me, because she is much happier!

And bonus, she goes to school looking halfway put together. Ha!

tips to get your kids out the door


Back to what I was saying about little boys hair! This could also work for them too! Depending on the length of their hair, you could also let them choose to do their hairstyle like their favorite characters. For example, if they have slightly longer hair on the top you could offer a hairstyle like Ryder (from Paw Patrol), and use a little gel on the top. Or, you could tell them it needs to be tidy like Whyatt from Super Why! Or two other characters with good hairstyles that you could replicate would be  Connor (CatBoy) or Greg (Gekko) from PJ Masks!

Listen to Their Favorite Songs!

As you all probably have realized, my kiddos love music and they love to dance! We have nightly dance parties at our house every single day! A great tip to help get your kiddo into the car is to let them choose the music! So while we are getting ready, I let Molly choose which song or movie she wants to listen to music from. Usually she chooses Moana, Aladdin, or the occasional Vampirina! This really excites her and helps her get out the door because she has something to look forward to! I love this tip because even if the morning didn’t go smoothly in the household, and even if there has been tears, once we get in the car and I put on the music that Molly chose, then all frowns are turned upside down!

If she is having a bit of a morning where nothing seems to be making her to happy, and she isn’t choosing to give me the name of a song, then when we get in the car I will put on something that I know she would like! Usually at that time, she will give me an opinion on what she wants to listen to for that day! And again, she becomes much more of a happy camper!

Riley is still too young to choose which songs to play, but he is starting to try to sing along to songs that he knows and it is so cute! So when a song comes on that Molly chooses, usually it cheers him up to!

What are your favorite tips?

I hope some of these tips will help make your mornings go smoother and get those kiddos out the door! Do you already do any of these tips? Are there tips that you would recommend to other parents here?? As you know I love when parents help other parents! Let’s all make this a discussion in the comments below!


34 Thoughts

34 thoughts on “My Top 4 Tips to Get Your Kids Out the Door on Time!

  1. Disney hairstyle choices is such a fun idea! Do you recommend any accessories that stay in place throughout the day? Our little one loves to pull out barrettes. :/

  2. Such great tips! Thanks for sharing.
    We always tell Olivia (our 2 year old) to get her backpack, water bottle, sunglasses and hat. These are not only items she has, but we have as well. So when I say okay-Mama has her sunglasses-where are Olivia’s? Since we are also bloggers-we also tell her to bring her camera if we are “going on an adventure”


  3. Great tips! i agree staging all the bags and lunch the night prior helps so much. For us, following the same routine so Grace (3 yrs old) knows what to expect next helps. I suggest getting yourself ready first, bags staged or packed in the car, then the last step is getting kiddos dressed. I give her 2 options each for pants/shirts/shoes/socks – so she gets to make the choice for her outfit each day 🙂 And giving 10 minutes more than you think you need!

  4. Love this entire post! Especially love the Primcess hair styles! We’ll definitely be taking this one from your list! Thanks for the helpful ideas!

  5. I love most of your suggestions which with 4 children I allways packed bags, lunch boxes and laid out outfits the night before. Even to this day I get an outfit out for work for the next day so I’m not wasting time in the morning trying to fiqure out what to wear. The one thing I do have a concern with is telling your child that the vitamin is candy. I had a conversaton with my peditrician and she advised me never to tell our children that it is candy. She said god forbid if they ever got ahold of the vitamins and thought they were candy they would eat more than one. she said she has had and heard of situations where children ate several vitamins thinking they were candy and they had to induce vomiting . Just thought i would share that with you.

    1. I shared the same thought about the “candy” / vitamins… my daughter would get m&ms here and there when she was doing good at potty training, and I know if given the chance she would sneak the whole bag if she could! I do see the point of making it to be more attractive, especially if Molly doesn’t get candy, I just know my daughter, and she couldn’t be trusted! Lol
      I also love the princess hairstyles! I would French braid Daphnes hair after a bath and before bed and would always have her tell me if she wanted 1 or 2 like Elsa or Anna… I’m going to start trying that in the mornings to make it more fun!
      Thanks for sharing your family with us! I love watching your kiddos grow along with mine who are respectively the same ages as yours!

  6. First of all, I am still in shock over the Sofia Vergara jeans only being $24. Buying, ASAP! Secondly, I am so happy to hear I’m not the only parent making healthy vitamins out to be something they’re not (candy!) and bribing my kids with them! I mostly commented to ask if you and Molly have seen the ballet movie ‘Leap’ on Netflix? It is for sure a hidden gem and has beautiful, fun music. You and Molly should watch on your next movie night, but let’s be honest, Dad and Riley will probably love it, too! Loved today’s post, Ali! Keep it up, Mama!

  7. I’m a nanny for two kids similar in age to your two and the little girl never let anyone ever do her hair and then she only let me; and her mom aunt and grandma all asked how i got her to let me. I played hair dresser with her and let her do my hair at the beginning to get her into it, and let her give me some crazy dos and then I’d say okay my turn to be the hair stylist. Now while we’re getting ready for school in the morning i say time to go to the hair stylist and she loves it and comes running.

    1. I have always thought that too. I don’t know if Molly just doesn’t like having it brushed or maybe she takes the ponytails out. Glad I wasn’t the only one

  8. I would not call vitamins candy because that’s lying. So, there’s that. You could just tell her she can have her vitamin in the car. Same appeal. No lie.
    I do try to do everything only one time to get my 4 kids out the door. SO, when we are upstairs EVERYONE gets COMPLETELY dressed and goes potty, brushes teeth, etc. That way we’re not making multiple trips up and back to leave. Then, once we’re downstairs we eat (and I’ll use the Ikea paint smocks as bibs cause they cover arms and upper body so as not to get the clothes we just got on messy). Then, when it’s minutes before leaving, everyone goes and waits by the door/puts on their shoes by the door. THen, I can just grab the keys, do a once over, and head out. And, exactly like you said, the more you can do the night before the better!!!

    1. I like the idea of the IKEA paint smocks! We always came down and ate first, then back up to get dressed, so they didn’t get food on their clothes, so those smocks would have been handy. But you’d still have to go back upstairs to brush teeth after you have breakfast anyway!

    2. And wouldn’t it be dangerous to call vitamins candy because if she ever by some chance got a hold of them. And ate a bunch she would think its candy!

  9. I have 2 girls and I do their hair while they are contained in their breakfast chair ha! I have a basket with all the hair supplies and I just carry it over to the table and while they eat I brush and do their hair. Multi-tasking AND they can’t escape me 🙂

  10. Thanks for the tips!! Do you have trouble with the weighted sippy cup leaking? We have a couple of them and they leak out the top of the straw even when they are sitting upright?!?!

    1. Ugh, we have this problem too! but it is the only cup my 14 month old reliably drinks out of so we just deal with the milk dribbles everywhere.

  11. Ali- thanks for sharing your thoughts. As a nurse, I’m concerned about calling vitamins “candy”. There are often overdoses when children eat too much “candy” which are really vitamins/ medicine. Hopefully your kids won’t get into anyone medicine, but it could be easy for a kid to mistake medicine for “candy”/ vitamin. Your other tips seemed to be spot on. Way to go.

    1. That was my first thought. What if a child got their vitamins themselves, they would think it’s candy and could eat it all, dangerous

  12. When I have my granddaughter and need to leave to go somewhere ,time to eat, nap etc I set a timer on the phone. She gets excited to wait for the timer to go off and it helps her keep track. It seems to work for us!

  13. I always tried to do as much as possible the night before, even to putting out their breakfast dishes and the cereal/pop tarts, whatever. And I’d get myself up a 1/2 hour earlier than the kids, to get myself dressed, drink a cup of coffee, start dinner in the crockpot, whatever. One thing as kids get older. My six-year-old grandson asked for his own alarm. He is so proud of getting himself up, and he knows exactly what time he needs to be finished eating breakfast, exactly what time he needs to go upstairs to get dressed, and exactly what time he needs to be putting his shoes on. No more reminding because it is his responsibility and he takes it very serious. Just a thought to start kids being accountable. Even the little ones can tell when the clock shows this number….we need to finish breakfast and go up and get dressed….when the clock shows this number, etc. And they will be the first to say…Mommy! It’s time to go get dressed!

  14. I like how you always try to let Molly be involved in the decision process when you can. My oldest (just turned 5) is very independent and strong willed and letting him be involved in decisions about something that impacts him definitely helps! Now that my younger one is getting old enough to have an opinion we do run into some trouble about who is going to make the decision when only one can choose. Ideally they would take turns, but at 2 and just 5, it’s not always our best strength! 😆 Thanks for sharing your life! I admire your openness and confidence to share! It’s encouraging to me to not let others opinions control my self confidence when i know I’m doing my best as a mom and doing what works for my family! You’re a great mom!

  15. Hi Ali!
    I have a 3 yr old little girl and your tips including your potty training got my daughter potty trained in 1 day!
    Thank you for your pure honesty regarding parenthood you are truly the BEST❤️

    Btw- the 3 yr old tantrums, telling the about parties and the only napping at school🤦‍♀️
    Oh ya same over here😬

  16. Hi Ali! Sorry to put this here, but I couldn’t find where to put a message in regards to skin care. I wanted to give you a heads up that on Chrissy Tegan’s Instagram (don’t know if you follow her) she has the same problem with her chin breaking out as you do and I sent her your blog website. Hopefully you can help her out with some good advice 😊. Love you and your family💜

  17. I love all of your ideas. We have two “caddies” in the car that just live there. One is for the kids’ needs – diapers, wipes, sunscreen, travel first aid kit, change of clothes. The other sits between their two car seats and has books, toys, etc in it. That way if our diaper bag (that also typically goes with us) is out of any of those things, we’re still ok. And we rotate/restock regularly.

  18. Be careful with the vitamins. A friend of mine’s 4 year old went to the dentist and had a cavity because of the gummy vitamins. Kids vitamins can have sugar. If they don’t brush their teeth after eating one, they could develop a cavity.

    As always, PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR CHILD’S DOCTOR AND DENTIST before giving out vitamins.

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