When I did my “Day in the life” post, the evening part wasn’t really reflective of a typical day around here. Darling Husband works most evenings, and he happened to be home that night, so it wasn’t the usual way I go about putting Baby Boy to bed. Hmmm, maybe that is why he wouldn’t go down easily that night.
Here’s our usual evening routine, followed pretty much to the letter every night:
4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Baby Boy plays in the Exersaucer in the kitchen, while I make myself some dinner. Usually I’m making something that will also serve as Darling Husband’s lunch (and my lunch) for the next day — because I firmly believe if I’m going to put effort into cooking something, it should be several meals’ worth!
5 p.m. Eat my dinner (usually with Baby Boy on my lap, as he’s tired of the Exersaucer by this point)
5:15 p.m. Tote Baby Boy with me into the kitchen again, where I put my dishes in the dishwasher and explain why that’s important. This kid is NOT going to follow in his dad’s “Oh-I-thought-the-dishwasher-was-full-of-clean-dishes-so-that’s-why-I-left-them-on-the-counter” routine, if I can help it. (Love you, Darling Husband)
5:30 p.m. Take Baby Boy into the bathroom. Set up his plastic tub on the counter, pour in three buckets of warm water. Set out his body washes and shampoos. Carry him into his room, pick out a sleeper for the night, pick out a diaper — usually just a plain white BumGenius, because we like to save the fun colours for during the day, when people see him. Get a bath towel and two baby facecloths. Strip him and carry the little nudie into the bathroom.
5:45 p.m. Bath time! Lay him in his tub, cover the boy-parts with one facecloth, and use the second facecloth to wet his hair. Scrub him all over with his Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash (love it!). Rinse him off. Wrap him in a towel (soaking my tank top, because damn, baby towels are small!) and carry him back to his room.
6 p.m. Put Baby Boy on the changing table. Dry him off, put on his baby lotion (not sure if it counts as a baby massage, but it probably does), put on a clean diaper, put on his sleeper.
6:20 p.m. Carry Baby Boy back to the bathroom, where we put his shampoos and body washes back in their bucket, empty the tub, put it back inside the big tub (easy storage, right?), and wipe the water off the counter. I am not sure if “helping” me clean up is beneficial at his young age, but I would rather get this out of the way while he’s awake (and not waste precious sleep time doing it).
6:30 p.m. Lay Baby Boy in the middle of our bed. Take off my bathwater-soaked clothes. Pick out my pajamas and put them on. Put him in his bouncer seat in the bathroom while I take off my makeup, wash my face and moisturize.
6:45 p.m. Carry Baby Boy around with me while I get everything ready for bedtime. This involves filling up my water glasses (I have three permanent fixtures — one in the nursery next to the glider, one on my nightstand, and one next to the couch), turning down my bed, turning on the soft lamp in his room, tidying up all of the toys, etc.
7 p.m. Settle on the couch with Baby Boy, the nursing pillow, a pacifier, and a book. If he’s not sleepy at all and won’t nurse yet, I’ll put on the TV and we’ll both watch for a while. When he’s looking sleepy, we’ll read a chapter from one of his classic Winnie the Pooh books — we’re currently on The House at Pooh Corner. Baby Boy has tons of different books, but I love the Pooh ones for bedtime because of the old-fashioned, gentle writing. He lies on his nursing pillow and listens to me read.
7:30 p.m. His bedtime used to be anywhere between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., but we’ve been getting into a steadier routine of around 8 p.m. lately. Basically, I nurse him as often as he’ll let me from now until he drops off. I don’t like putting him to bed until he’s had a good amount to eat, because then it just means he’ll wake up in an hour or two. Hooray for force-feeding.
8 p.m. Lately this has been the magic time. When he’s had lots of milk, and his eyes are drooping, I carry him into his room and lay him in his crib (with rolled-up receiving blankets on his left side, to prevent rolling onto his stomach). We say prayers, I switch on his fan, turn on his Precious Planet aquarium thing, and if the soother’s not in his mouth, I make sure it’s lying in the crib where I can find it easily in the middle of the night. Sweet dreams, Baby Boy!
*Editor’s note: I am usually in bed myself by 8:30 p.m. Because I am that cool. And tired.