You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine – John C. Maxwell
The bedtime routine is something that was solely my responsibility for the first almost 9 months of Emily’s life. This is mostly due to the fact that I breastfeed and she will only fall asleep being fed. Although, up until recently we didn’t have much of a routine at all. I basically just kept an eye on her and when she seemed sleep I whipped her off into the bedroom, changed her nappy, put her in a sleeping bag then fed her to sleep. Once asleep I attempted to transfer her to the cot. Some nights this would take forever. If she wasn’t asleep after an hour of feeding then I would give up, take her back to the living room and let her play until she seemed tired again.
However, I could see Daddy wanted to be more involved and I also wanted to have a little time to rewind before starting the bedtime feed. And so our new bedtime routine was born!
6.00pm – The bedtime routine starts now, roughly an hour or so before I want Emily to be in bed. We start to wind down which means turning the TV off and turning the music to something a little more gentle and calming. We also tidy away Emily’s more ‘exciting’ toys. This means anything with flashing lights or loud sounds.
6.30pm – Run the bath. We have recently introduced a bath into Emily’s bedtime routine. This is Daddy’s job. He is in charge of running the bath and then bathing Emily. He picks out a few bath toys, such as her stacking cups and adds some bubbles to the bath.
6.45pm – The bath is ready so Daddy gathers together all the things that he needs. He takes the changing mat, some towels, a clean nappy and wipes, vaseline, talcum powder and clean pyjamas into the bathroom. We set this all up on the floor so that when she is done in the bath it is easy to get her dry. It also means that everything we need is to hand.
7.00pm – Bath time is over and it’s story time now! This is Daddys job too when he’s not on the late shift at work. He gets Emily all cosy in her sleeping bag and they cuddle together on the bed whilst he reads her a story. We recently picked up some books from Home Bargains for 69p! Can’t argue with that at all!
7.10pm – Time for a feed. This is where I take over. Emily is sleepy at this stage and is aware it is time for bed. So I swap with Daddy and feed her until she falls asleep. Once she is asleep I transfer her to the cot, pray she stays asleep and sneak out of the room.
Emily will wake up once or twice before I go back to bed. Either I go in and feed her back to sleep or Daddy goes in first to see if he can settle her by patting her little bum. As ever this routine is a work in progress and will change and adapt day to day. If we are out of the house until late then we will skip a few steps or if she is particularly tired we might start the routine earlier or just put her straight down when she’s ready.
Love Laura xx