Since Baby R was born, it became quite clear to me he was a child of habit. He whimpered for his first feed 3 hours after he was born and for the next few weeks, (until his reflux became an issue) he fed every 3 hours at daytime. He slept at the same times and woke at the same times every day.
So, seeing as he seemed to like routine, once he started sleeping through the night we established a bed time routine for him.
It can change slightly with times if we've had a busy day, or if we are out visiting family. I try not to be too rigid with it and if he is tired earlier than usual we don't force him to stay up. Sometimes I miss out parts of the routine deliberately, this is so he doesn't need the entire routine to help him go to bed. If he doesn't have a bath one night or if he's staying with his grandparents he still needs to be able to go to bed, and some of his routine isn't always going to be possible. So it is flexible to a degree, but our routine looks a little something like this:
4.30 - 5pm Dinner Time
Around this time of evening eye rubbing is Baby R's favourite thing to do. He's getting tired but won't nap even if I did attempt to put him down for one. It is also this time of day he starts making a popping noise by smacking his lips together and this is his 'I'm hungry' sign. So once the rubbing of the eyes commences or he lets me know he's hungry, I take him in to the kitchen and sit him in his highchair with his highchair toy (1st on the list in my 3-6 month Must Haves). I make his bottle and put it to cool before feeding him his solids. Sometimes he has food from a jar or a pouch, other times he has what me & hubby are eating but mashed up a bit. Either way, once food is ready I take his toy away and he eats his dinner. After he's eaten his food and
chucked strategically placed what he doesn't want on the floor, highchair, his face, bib and clothes we attempt to wipe up the mess. The majority of cleaning is met with little fuss, but as soon as I wipe his face I am told in no uncertain terms that he doesn't like it.
I grab his bottle, remove him from the highchair and we go sit on the sofa together while he has his bottle. He's getting more mobile and active these days so bottle time & bed time are rare opportunities for a cuddle! This is his last bottle of the day. Baby R used to have a feed/bottle at bed time, but he eliminated this himself and started refusing any bottle offered to him at bed time.
5-5.45pm Play Time
After dinner Baby R has his final 'Play Time' of the day. I like to let him burn off that excess energy he suddenly acquired from nowhere! Usually he goes in his door bouncer or walker/activity centre. He loves being stood up so these are his favourite things to play with, but occasionally he's not in the mood for either of these activities so we will play in his sensory tent, or with some of his other Christmas gifts. I will normally put Cbeebies on the telly, music on my phone or Baby Einstein on YouTube for him. Some days he will take great interest in the programmes or songs but usually it's just background noise to him. He doesn't like the house to be too quiet so background noise keeps the levels of happiness up.
5.45-6.15pm Bath Time
I run Baby R a bath most nights. At the moment he is enjoying Johnsons Baby 2in1 bubble bath & wash. I use Johnsons Baby Shampoo with calming Lavender. I put his bathtime buddy (a sponge shaped like a frog, his bath book, a hippo water squirter and his rubber duck for him to play with and then sit him in the bath. For those who have read my must have posts you will notice we are no longer using the bath seat. I still love it and if he's very tired having a bath I will lie him in it, but he enjoys sitting up and playing in the bath these days.
Although Baby R is currently using and loving a lot of Johnsons products, our bathroom cupboard is filled with lots of different products/brands. I was bought a lot while I was pregnant and most of what you see in the picture is my pre-pregnancy stock. I like to try different brands to check he isn't allergic or sensitive to anything.
Once Baby R is all washed, and he's had a good 10 minutes of playing & splashing I take him out of the bath wrap him in his hooded towel and dry him off. Twice a week I put baby lotion on him to try and keep that skin lovely and smooth. If I use it any more or less often his skin suffers. Twice a week works for us. Then it's a clean nappy and fresh PJ's to end his bath time ritual. He is always calm an relaxed after his bath.
6.15-6.25pm Bed time story & cuddles
|Baby R's book collection|
Baby R has quite a collection of books already. We even have a few in Welsh for him, although my pronunciation isn't the best, we are hoping it will stand him in good stead for school. We normally read him one book, but if the story is long we will split it in half. The favourites at the moment are One Ted Falls Out of Bed & Guess How Much I Love You. We have a cuddle, read the story and look at the pictures together.
6.25-6.45 Quiet Time & Bed Time
|Calpol, Slumber Buddy, Light Show & Goodnight Bear|
Obviously calpol isn't a constant in our routine, but I'm 'featuring' it because at the moment Baby R is teething. He has two teeth and another two are trying to push their way through. I have tried every teething product I could get my hands on. Even the so called miracle teething powders but nothing really helps him much. If he is showing signs of suffering with teething at bed time, we will sometimes give him a dose of calpol to take the edge off so he can get to sleep. Then we put on his Slumber Buddy which shines stars on the ceiling and plays different lullabies or soothing sounds. Brahms Lullaby is Baby R's favourite. We have a cuddle and some quiet time in the rocking chair and wind down. At the end of our routine Baby R is placed in to his cot, while still awake. He is given his goodnight bear and tucked in. I say "It's bedtime now, night night." and then leave the room. Normally he is asleep before I get to the bottom of the stairs but sometimes his chattering can be heard over the monitor for a few minutes. After a few tired giggles & some cooing he drifts off. By 7pm he is asleep.
|Coffee and some Brahms!|
After that I settle down with a cup of coffee, the baby monitor & YouTube. If Hubby is home we natter and catch up, if not I enjoy the quiet time. That's it then until 7am when Baby R wakes us up with the joyful babbling and giggles over the monitor. It really is the cutest alarm clock ever!
What does your little ones bed time routine look like? Let me know down below. If you're a blogger and have already written a post about it then leave the link for me in the comments so I can have a read! As always thanks for reading! xoxo