Let’s be real, as parents, there are many days when we are counting down till bed time. A smooth running night time routine is crucial in the Smith Household. With two under two we ALL need bed time to run like a well-oiled machine. Rested babies and rested parents are SO important. Below, I am going to go through our daily night time routine in hopes that you might find something that helps with your own child’s bedtime.
It starts with Dinner.
I like to think that our bedtime routine starts with dinner. We usually try to eat dinner around 6:30 and both babies go to bed by 7:30. Now, I feel like I need to start by saying we are pretty strict with our routine, but there is always one or two nights a week when we have to push everything back by 30 minutes to an hour. It just depends on the day of the week and the activities that we might have scheduled. The majority of nights Dallas is home with us and helps me put the kids to bed. But I have done this easily with both babies by myself as well.
So we start with dinner. Gemma eats exactly what we eat, just deconstructed. I try to always include something I know she will like. We don’t force her to eat but we also don’t make a second meal for her. Some nights she devours her food and some nights she takes three bites. It just depends. Evander usually takes a bottle around this time as well.
Double the Bubbles.
After Dinner is bath time. Both of my children have very sensitive skin so originally I only wanted to do 3-4 baths a week. However, Gemma runs around a lot more and is learning to eat with utensils so she is always sweaty and messy. Evander is the spit up king, so if he doesn’t get washed every night he smells like spoiled milk and it’s disgusting. So we have started doing bath time every single night. We just have to use sensitive soap and lather them with lotion (see number 4).
We almost always bathe the babies together. It requires a lot of prep work but generally is much easier. I gather all the supplies first (bouncer, towels and wash cloths) then get the water running. I undress Gemma first and get her in to play while I undress Evander. Then once Ev’s in the bath we quickly wash their hair then their bodies. I take Evander out, wrap him in a towel and put him in the bouncer. We drain the water and I get Gemma out. We brush her teeth and hair and then we all move into the nursery.
Set the Mood.
We have started playing music in their nursery. We try and stick to worship music (Hillsong or Austin Stone) or calm and relaxing music (Like Sleeping at Last). It helps keep everyone calm by providing a relaxing atmosphere.
WATCH: Our Nighttime Routine
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Lotion, Diapers and PJs.
Once the music is playing it’s time to get everyone ready for bed. I usually get Evander ready first. I put on his diaper, cover him with lotion, especially at his ankles where his dry skin is the worst, and put him in footie pajamas. Then I brush his bald head even though he doesn’t have hair because I’m sure it feels good. Ha!
Then I put Evander either on the floor, in his lion chair, in the crib or with Dallas and move on to getting Gemma ready. I repeat everything with Gemma. We use two piece pajamas with Gemma instead of footies. Once she started walking we made the switch to two piece. I think they are so cute and make her look like such a little girl instead of a baby.
Time to Wind Down.
Once they are both dressed and ready for bed we turn off all lights except their closet light and a small lamp. I turn off the music and start the white noise machine. We keep the white noise VERY quiet. Loud white noise can not only become a crutch for sleeping but can also impact their hearing later down the road.
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Stories and Prayers.
Gemma will pick out anywhere from one to five million books. If we have time to spare we will read as many as she wants. Once the clock strikes 7:25 we read one last book and then take time to pray with and over each baby. There is something powerful about praying over them as we hold them. Sometimes they still act antsy but most nights you can feel them relaxing as we lift them up in prayer.
Lights Out and Into Bed.
Lastly, we put Gemma in her crib with her pillow, blanket and paci(s). Then it’s lights out, except for the hall light and one of us feeds Evander his last bottle. The first few nights we did this Gemma whined but now she usually plays quietly (or sometimes loudly) while we feed Evander. Then Evander goes in his crib. He gets his paci and a kiss goodnight. Gemma gets another kiss and is tucked in a second time. Then we leave and close the door behind us. Very rarely do we have to go back in the room.
ITEMS WE USE IN OUR NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
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