In the last few weeks of pregnancy, I spent a long time looking at other people's routines with their kids. I've always been a lover of routine, it keeps my anxiety at bay and helps me know where everyone is (or should be) at what times, which is a big help when you have a newborn and a three-year-old running around.
For the first month we just went with the flow, let Caelan completely rule our routine and fed as and when he needed/wanted, slept when he slept, and never got any time for us to do, well, anything. Introducing this night time routine has really, really helped.
So, let's start at dinner time, which generally is the most stressful time of day in our house.
Anytime between 5pm & 7:30pm, we try and get all of us fed. Caelan will take 5 & 1/2oz at this point, and while either myself or James gives him it, the other will eat and make sure William (three-year-old) is fed as well.
If it's earlier in the evening, Caelan will usually have a small nap before bath time, but if it's a later feed, like around 7, we'll usually have play time/sensory time before his bath, and while William is having his.
Between 8 & 8:30 is bath time. We try and keep it the same every night, but on the nights we have William we usually do it just as he goes to bed at 8:30. However when we don't have him we do it a bit earlier. We use ASDA's Little Angels bedtime bath, it's 97p and has been amazing at helping settle Caelan for sleep.
After bath time we go straight upstairs for cuddles & settle down time. This is when Caelan and I will have skin to skin/tummy cuddles, and he'll usually snooze a little bit while James and I watch Netflix or YouTube, or a movie if we're feeling wild.
Between 10pm & 11pm Caelan will have his last feed. We usually do a bigger bottle, 6oz, as it helps keep him fuller for longer which means he sleeps longer. He's usually pretty tired by this point so it takes him longer to eat it, but we keep all the lights low and turn the TV right down so theres nothing too stimulating going on to wake him up.
Once he's finished eating, I'll swaddle him up and turn on the lullaby setting on his Ollie Owl and get some last cuddles before putting him down in his Next2Me for the night. He'll usually sleep from 11/11:30 until 4/5am, which is honestly amazing.
So, to recap:
- 5 - 7:30pm - "Dinner" bottle, 5&1/2 Oz.
- 7:30pm - Play/Sensory time
- 8/8:30pm - Bath time
- 9pm - Settle down time
- 10/11pm - Last bottle, 6 Oz.
While I know this routine won't work for every baby on the planet, I thought I'd share it just in case there's some new mum's out there feeling just as anxious and unorganised as I was.
I'll see you all next time!