We have definitely been blessed with a gal that for the most part is a fantastic sleeper! I like to think that she is just like her momma and thrives on routine and that is why it is so dang easy to put her to bed every night.
When she was just a wee babe, we knew that incorporating a routine for her as quickly as possible would hopefully set us up for a recipe of success. I wasn’t sure how things would be when I went back to work but knock on wood they have been great and our routine at night is a big part of that.
I work 9am – 5pm throughout the week and I am usually pulling into the driveway by 5:20. I go in and drop all of my work stuff off and then head across the street to pick up Isla at the sitters. We usually chat for a few moments and Isla and I are back home with enough time to play and make a mess of the house.
I usually have dinner ready for her by 6:15pm. I use to feed her a bit earlier but noticed she wasn’t eating as much because her snack time it usually around 3:30pm. This new time seems to work better for her.
Dinner time can go either way. A) she will sit and eat her whole plate, no throwing food involved and it will take her 20 minutes, or B) she will eat really well for the first 5 minutes and then it’s usually a contest to see how far she can throw her food. If B happens, then I usually leave the table and do dishes or something and keep my eye on her and then she will finish the rest of her meal in peace.
After dinner, around 6:45 Isla usually makes her way into her room and plays with her books. While she is doing this, I get her clothes and backpack and everything else ready for the next day.
By 7:00 it is bath time and it usually lasts for 10 minutes or so. Isla loves bath time but usually gets sick of it after long and wants out. Usually she has splashed water in her face and scared herself so that normally signals that bath time is over.
Baby lotion, pj’s and hair brushing is usually whats involved next and this can go either way. She will either lay there, let me pat lotion on her bum and put on her diaper all while she hums and sings to herself OR she will scream and twist her body into any possible way just to get free. It is brutal and this way usually happens more than the sweet singing I mentioned above.
After the screaming and hair pulling has stopped (she pulls my hair and screams, not the other way around) I warm up a bottle of milk and we go back to her room and sit in her rocker with the lights dimmed and we read a few stories. The success of reading a few books is solely based on the fact that Isla did not see me bring her bottle into her room. If she sees her bottle then it’s the only thing she can focus on and story time is finished before we can even start.
After story time and bottle, I rub her back for a few minutes and she gets her soother and lovey and I lay her down in her crib. This is usually by 7:30 give or take a few minutes and I honestly don’t think I even shut her door and she is out like a light!
I will spend the next half hour cleaning up, doing dishes and getting things ready for the following day then it’s time for me to relax. Sometimes I will watch some of my PVR’d shows or I will read, blog, whatever I feel like doing. Other times I make a nice dinner and wait for Dana to get home. Then we go to bed and wake up and do it all over again the next day!
What is your nighttime routine? Does anything specific work for you and your family?!