I recently mentioned the dreaded phrase ‘bedtime routine’ on Instagram and have been asked by a few people how I’ve changed this to encompass the new baby. If you had asked two weeks ago I would have turned pale and been a quivering wreck at the thought of bathing and putting them both to bed alone (I also quite enjoyed my evening cuddles with the baby). When my first child was 7 weeks I started to do a nightly routine with her that worked so I’ve just copied this with Rory, sadly down to circumstances, my husband being in hospital, I just had to get on with it last week as I didn’t want to miss the window.
I’m no parenting or sleep expert, so please don’t think these are golden rules, but I’m happy to share what happens in our house come 6.30pm, as it seems to work for us as they are both pretty good sleepers *atm.
6.30 - Generally bath time post dinner most days
I tend to head upstairs with both kids and run the bath with Rory on a changing mat on the floor while I undress Liv.
I always pop a couple of drops of lavender oil in the bath water to relax them and set up the thought of sleep. I prepare Rory’s towel, nappy and PJs in the bathroom with me, I also shut the curtains in the nursery and our room at this time so that the rooms are prepared.
Liv jumps in the tub first while I undress Rory and then he goes in on a bath seat. Which I’ve found invaluable as it leaves my hands free to wash and play with her.
I use a lovely lavender wash on her, but I don't put anything on Rory's skin yet other than cradle cap shampoo.
Rory is out first after a quick wash and normally cries while I dress him, once he’s ready I pop him in Liv’s cot in the nursery while I do her teeth and get her out. Don’t be fooled it’s not all plain sailing, sometimes he’s screaming at this point....
Then it’s all into the nursery to put Liv’s nappy and PJ’s on, curtains are drawn and lights down low at this time.
Once she’s ready, which can take anywhere from 2 mins – 15 mins, we sit together on the floor with some pillows and I breastfeed Rory, Liv has a bottle (if she wants one) and I read two stories.