I hope you’re enjoying this new series. As I mentioned, my goal in this series is to share our experiences in each phase and what is and isn’t working for us. Today’s topic? Our bedtime routine!
It’s safe to say that most nights feel like a race to the finish line and every night is different. Our work schedules can vary and other commitments come up, but Buel’s bedtime routine never changes.
I was adamant about the routine from the beginning because I had countless friends and family tell me how important it would be for sleep, which I’m so glad I listened to! It took awhile to figure out the timing, but now our nights go as smooth as they can.
First up is dinner. Usually we get home, I unpack all our bags and then prepare everything for the next day. On daycare days, this means packing five bags- my lunch, my workout bag, my laptop bag, my diaper bag and Buel’s bottles. Then, it’s time to eat.
We usually get home around 6:00 and start winding him down around 7:00 so the he trick is, while I’m making dinner Buel gets to snack as we go. As I mentioned last week, dinner is a version of whatever we’re having. This is his witching hour, so it’s what I do to manage it and feed him dinner at the same time. Rich and I then sit down and we eat as family then one of us cleans up and the other starts bedtime.
Every other day is bath day. In the beginning we would do a daily bath and only use soap every other day, but now that he’s sleeping through the night this works for us. After drying off we lotion up, put on a nighttime diaper and a fresh onesie and then head into his bedroom.
The next step of our routine is reading, which we do in the dark with only a night light on so Buel can wind down. Depending on the day and how close to meltdown we are at this point we read one to four books.
Just recently Buel has gotten really into books and it’s been fun to watch him, but this has always been a part of our routine. We have a library of books that we were gifted at my baby shower, so it’s fun to mix it up.
Last but not least is his last bottle of the day. The key to this step is timing. If we start too early or too late he’ll either meltdown or fall asleep while eating. Once he’s finished we slip him into his sleepsack and set him down. Most nights he’ll fall right to sleep or take a few minutes to wind himself down. Occasionally we’ll rock him to sleep since I’m not opposed to him needing me while he’s still a baby.
The Victory Lap
After bed it’s time for Rich and I to wind down. In a perfect world the prep for the next day is done which gives us about and hour and a half before we get ourselves ready for bed.
Usually we get a second wind and watch TV, read or get sucked into our phones but I’m making an effort lately to bring back my nightly routine. I actually wrote this post to look back on for a reminder when I became a Mom, so it’s time to take my own advice!
Our routine is nothing revolutionary but more of a tried and true routine used by many smart parents. Consistency is key and I full heartedly believe our success with sleep is one half routine and one half luck!
What is your bedtime routine? Parents: did you follow the bath, book, bottle routine when your kid was a baby?