I’m a fan of routine, some call me militant, I’d rather think of it as organised. Whatever. I think it’s good for the minis to know what’s coming next and it’s good for my mental state too. Therefore, when Millie was born, the first thing I was nervous about tackling was the bath and bedtime routine. I searched online and couldn’t find much about dealing with two such young kiddos at bathtime alone… cue mental breakdown.
I wish that I was one of those mums who gives their kids sporadic baths – it’s not that I don’t approve of it (all credit if you can get away with it), it’s just that my monkeys are always filthy by the evening regardless of how many wipes they’ve have forced on them throughout the day. Additionally, I’ve found it’s a great way to attempt to calm some of the energy levels before bed (if they bottled and sold that stuff, I’d be a millionaire).
After some gradual tweaking, I’m now comfortable with doing our bath and bed routine alone whilst Dickie is at work. With Millie almost 7 months, I’ve just transitioned her to a supporting seat so that she can bathe alongside Bells… of course this now means that Bells now wants to shower, but I’m trying to discourage that for as long as possible.
So, here is how our busiest hour of the day goes…
6pm – As the bath is running, curtains are drawn (the neighbours are always suspicious of this), PJs are prepped and outfits for tomorrow are hung, OCD much? I get everything ready for post-bathtime to make things as smooth as possible, including nappies, medicine, nappy cream, hairbrush etc. This minimises post-bath naked time and therefore the risk of puddles.
6.10pm – Bells gets undressed and spends some time squeezing her tummy with nothing coming out on the potty whilst I undress Millie and pop her in the bath. Once Millie is in and playing with toys, I get Bells into the bath with her, at which point she’s guaranteed to pee.
I start by bathing Millie and washing her hair. As she has so little hair at the moment (another sore subject), I use JOHNSON’S Bedtime Wash on both her body and hair. I then let her play/suck on Bells toes whilst I get Bells cleaned up.
Given that she’s an independent lay-dee, I squeeze the Bedtime Wash into her hands (leaving her in charge resulted in a whole bottle being used in one go previously and not all in the bath, so I’ve learned my lesson since then) for her to wash her face and body. I then give her the toothbrush for her to brush her teeth/eat the toothpaste.
After a thorough rub-a-dub, I wash her hair with JOHNSON’S Shiny Drops Shampoo before applying the Shiny Drops Conditioner. Thankfully the No More Tears formula means that the bubbles which always end up in her eyes result in a verse of “bubble pop” rather than tears.
Finally, I apply the Conditioning Spray to tackle the inevitable tangles before giving it a good brush through (I’ve learned this is much easier done in the confined space of a bath than yet another game of ‘chase me’).
6.25pm With Bells squeaky clean, I turn my attention back to Millie, drying her off as I get her out of the bath before lying her on a warm blanket with a nappy under her bum (I learned that bit the hard way #weegate) before giving her a thorough massage with JOHNSON’S Bedtime Oil. I did a baby massage course which taught me all of the basics, but to be honest it’s just mainly round and round rubbing whilst pretending to know what I’m doing.
6.35pm Having completed Millie’s massage and dressed her, I pop her in her jumperoo with Baby Jake (the lesser of two evils when faced with Baby Shark) for 5 minutes as I get Bells ready. As it’s often me doing duo bath time, Bells doesn’t get a massage often any more, but when Dickie’s around, I try to throw one in for her as a treat. I figure anything more regular has the potential to increase her current diva status levels.
6.45pm Bells sits with me reading/watching stories (READ: watching the iPad) for 10 minutes as I give Millie milk before her bedtime. I usually get Millie off to sleep before story time for Bells, but if she’s not playing ball, I’ll curse under my breath and take her with me before attempting again afterwards.
6.55pm Millie is usually down for the night at this point and so Bells is read 3 stories in her bed. The first story she gets to choose, the second relates to her Gro Clock (in the hope she might sleep past 5am!) and the last is always Lion Inside which signals it’s time for sleep. The light goes out for her last story and she gives me a kiss and a cuddle before I leave her to send herself off to sleep for the night.
7pm I congratulate myself for surviving and keeping the children alive by pouring myself a glass of wine. And relaxxxxxxx.
Do you have a bedtime routine? How does yours go? I’m always looking for ways to improve our minute-by-minute schedule, so any tips and advice are welcomed.