We decided to start trying to get Archie into a bedtime routine when he was about 5 weeks old, and are so lucky that he’s taken to it so well! It has definitely helped him sort out the difference between day and night in his little mind, and it means that Chris and I get to enjoy our lazy evenings again with some baby free time. Those first five weeks were a blur, with days and nights merging together and barely any real rest at all, so I’m beyond happy that we all enjoy our routine and totally have it down to a tee.
It starts after we have had our dinner – anytime between about 6/6.30pm. Chris will start to fill up the bath while I undress Archie, wrap him up in his hooded towel and get all the bits and bobs that we’ll need together.
I absolutely love this bath – the house we are currently in only has a shower so we were looking for something big and spacious for the little one, and it’s perfect! It has two different supports at either end, meaning it will last from newborn until he’s about a year old when he’ll be sitting up and splashing about himself. Just now Archie can lean back on his own if need be, but as Chris and I do this routine together most nights, he usually holds the wee one’s head up and chats away to him while I wash his hair and clean his body. We bought our bath from mamas and papas HERE.
I love the Johnsons baby bath/skin items. Before I gave birth I bought THIS in preparation because it has a good variety of things to start off with. I don’t actually use everything it contains now, but have been loving these three and have used them every night since we brought our little monkey home – they make him smell good enough to eat!
While he’s having his bath and being lotioned/dressed we listen to ‘Sugarplum Fairy’ by Tchaikovsky. It sounds odd, but it really settles him down and has just become part of the routine! I use the cotton wool balls to clean Archie in the bath, and pop the Metanium barrier cream on afterwards to prevent nappy rash.
Once he’s in a fresh sleepsuit and all nice and cosy we head through to the bedroom and take it in turns each night to either feed or read the stories. We have some favourites:
and some just for mum and dad…
Between 7/7.30pm Archie will have had his 4oz bottle and been burped well, so we pop him in his little moses basket either swaddled in a blanket or with his sleeping bag on. We prefer to put him down drowsy but awake, rather than waiting until he’s completely asleep, just so that he learns to self soothe.
This sleeping bag from M&S is gorgeous – it’s 2.2 tog so keeps him nice and warm all night long. I find the sleeping bag so useful because I know that Archie will stay cosy in it all night, and can’t either kick it off or pull it over his face like he could with a blanket. Just before we leave the room, we turn on Ewan the sheep who helps him drift off into a peaceful slumber…
Now we get our lazy time… after the bottles have all been washed and sterilised, formula been measured out for the night feeds and all the dishes from the day been cleaned- there’s no rest for the wicked that’s for sure!
Most nights Archie will sleep for at least 5 hours before waking for a feed – then a few more times a bit more frequently throughout the night. If he does stir more often we give him his dummy and ‘shh’ him back to sleep – until we know he’s waking for more milk. It’s getting easier the more we get used to getting up during the night – and I can’t complain too much when I get the cutest little face staring up at me and the best boyfriend to help with it all too.