Our youngest is headed to preschool soon. It'll be a radical change for him and us. We will not only miss him around the house but we have lots to prepare for.

It's an exciting time for parents as we send our little ones out into the world, but it's also fraught with challenges. Can we get our children on a schedule? Can we get ourselves on a schedule to make sure the morning flows smoothly? Can we deal with even less sleep?

Here are a few ideas to help the transition.

Prepare Ahead of Time

The secret to a successful morning is a busy night of preparation. If you lay out clothes, make lunches, and pack up your child's book bag the night before, chances are the morning will be much smoother. In short, do everything you possibly can to prepare for the next day before you go to bed.

Build in Extra Time

Things can be chaotic in the morning as you're trying to get a child out of bed, fed, dressed and cleaned up on a tight deadline. To avoid any last minute tension, build in an extra 15 minutes to deal with any unforeseen problems that might arise.

Find Quality Time

If you get yourself prepared the night before, you'll have time to sit down and eat breakfast with your daughter before taking her to school. Since she's headed back to school, you won't have as much time with her and you both will value at least a few minutes of quality time together.

Start Getting Up Earlier

It can be challenging for parents and kids to get adjusted to a new wake-up time. In the days or weeks leading up to the start of school, begin getting up a few minutes earlier to get used to a new wake-up time.

Go to Bed Earlier

If you're going to get up earlier, try to go to bed a little earlier so you don't lose any sleep. Same goes for your little one.

Prepare for a Rough Patch

Remember that the first few days — or weeks — might be challenging. Your child has had an entire summer of friends, fun, and family, but now he's headed back to school. If your child has never left home, it might be even more of an adjustment. Make sure to talk to your child often about preschool and all the fun he'll have. Plus, remind him of how excited you are to hear about all his new adventures.