Our Bedtime Routine (And Our New Game!)

We’ve followed the same bedtime routine for pretty much all of J’s life (or at least for as long as he’s been sleeping alone in the crib). It’s pretty standard — known as the “Four B’s”: Bath, Book, Breast, Bed. Here’s a run-down of what a typical evening in our household is like.

1. Bath

We bathe J two or three times a week. Always after he’s at daycare (two days a week) and any other time he gets dirty. Since he’s still not really mobile, he just doesn’t get that dirty. (Don’t judge me.)

Luckily, J loves bathtime. He has so much fun splashing in the water and chewing on the rubber duck (which doubles as a temperature gauge).

Baby boy in bath tub

As you can see, we’re still using our infant tub. Not sure that we’re really supposed to these days, but he seems comfortable and he’s not trying to stand up in the bath yet. Plus it’s much easier to fill than the whole tub.

Looking in the mirror and snuggling with Momma is another highlight of bathtime.

Snuggling with Momma after bathtime

After he’s all dried off, I put on a BumGenius diaper (stuffed with a regular pad plus a newborn pad) and dress him in a onesie. (Side note: Summer weather means much simpler pajama choices. Winter is much more difficult for me to judge.)

2. Book

Once he’s all dressed, the three of us pile on the bed in the nursery and read a story together. Actually, it’s usually D that reads because, well, he’s better at it than I am. (Anyone who knows him well should not be surprised.) D is great at making funny voices to keep J’s attention. (Although for now, I’m the one who is usually laughing at D’s reading. His voice for the green sea turtle in Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? cracks me up every time.)

We’ve tried to keep several good books in rotation, but — and here’s the game I mentioned — recently we started letting J choose… He’s already got a clear favorite.

Choosing a book for storytime

Hmm… What to choose…

I choose The Foot Book!

As always, The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss wins!

The Foot Book -- my favorite!

(Do you see how tired he was? No smiles… but no crying either. Such a laid back little dude, even on very little sleep after a day at school.)

Tonight was the third in a row that J chose The Foot Book. Definitely not a complaint (at least not yet) — we all enjoy this book, actually. It’s the perfect length for J at this age, and, really, who doesn’t love the sweet, simple rhymes of Dr. Seuss? I think the main reason J loves it so much is that I bounce his feet up and down to go along with the rhyme. (D always laughs at my foot-bouncing interpretation of “sad feet.”)

After the book is over, D says good night to J before leaving us alone to nurse. J always gives him a big bear hug, which is super sweet! Then, he pushes him away and tries to root. It’s like he’s saying “Okay, Daddy! I said I love you. Now go away so I can eat!” Haha!

Then comes…

3. Breast

J eats on both sides, even if his last meal was only an hour earlier. It’s usually more for comfort than for nutrition at this time of day, but it’s definitely key to calming him down and helping him sleep all night. Occasionally, D gives him a bottle instead, but I always prefer to feed him myself. I love getting to snuggle with and nourish my baby right before he goes to bed. There is absolutely no better way to start and end my day!

4. Bed

After J is full, I pop his pacifier in and transfer him to the crib. At this point, he’s usually very ready to go to sleep, and lately I haven’t even been rocking him to sleep — just placing him in the crib and letting him fall asleep on his own.

baby sleeping on side

Passed out and sleeping on his side, just like his Daddy.

He’s almost always in bed and down for the night by 7:30 pm, leaving me and D plenty of free time in the evenings. It’s a great way for all of us to wind down.

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3 comments for “Our Bedtime Routine (And Our New Game!)

  1. Frances Brock
    September 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    A great post—

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