Save 6 minutes: eat outside

Toddlers and food usually result in a spot of mess. “Now the weather is warmer, eat in the garden so you don’t have to clean the table or floor afterwards,” suggests Simone Cave, author of Baby to Toddler Month by Month.


Save 7 minutes: match lids

Families create a mountain of washing up. “When you unload the dishwasher, always match pots, dishes and bowls with the correct lids to save looking for them later,” suggests Jonathan Gold, dad of two and founder of Brother Max ( “This is helpful when you’re preparing lunch boxes in the morning.”

Save 15 minutes: eat together

“When I’m in a rush at mealtimes I give Oscar his own fork and spoon like normal, but if he’s playing with his food, I use my fork to pop a few bits in his mouth. This way he’s mainly feeding himself, but with a little help to speeds things up.”

Sarah Acklam, 21, from Lichfield, mum to Oscar, 16 months

Save 7 minutes: go for Velcro

“Look for shoes with Velcro fastenings so your tot can put them on herself,” says Simone. “She’ll be able to do this unaided from about 2, but it will be much later if she has to master laces.”

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Save 5 minutes: use plain socks

Bulk buy either white or black socks for your tot so you can always find two that match.

Save 10 minutes: plan ahead

“I decide which coat, hat, mittens and shoes Isabella will be wearing the night before. This way, everything’s ready for her and there aren’t any arguments in the morning as she can see I’ve already picked what she’s wearing.”

Jane Crump, 35, from Somerset, mum to Isabella, 16 months

Save 5 minutes: use name pegs

“Both my boys have their own peg on our coat rack where they keep their jackets and bags,” says Jonathan. “Each has a sticker above so they remember which peg is which, and it avoids last minute searches.” Try a who-can-do-it-quicker game to help your little ones to get themselves ready if you’re short on time.

Save 3 minutes: choose poppers

“Look at the fastenings when you’re buying clothes for your toddler,” says Kathryn Mewes, Bespoke Nanny ( “Poppers are your best bet as they’re quick to use when you’re dressing your tot.”

Save 10 minutes: wash wisely

“My daughter Alice sits in her bath seat at one end of the tub and I stand under the shower at the other end. I’m right there so I know that she’s safe, and I can pass her toys and sing songs, but it also gives me time to shower every day.”


Jenny Amphlett, 35, Staffordshire, mum to Alice, 10 months