Parenting

Bedtime Routine for Busy Mums

5th October 2016

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Hello you lovely lot. This last week has been rammed as usual, getting back to work after a period of illness means email back logs, postponed meeting catching up, and on top of that an overnight stay for a big project… manic! The only thing not causing bedlam this week is getting the kids off to bed (see what I did there), and that’s because from about 4 months we implement a bedtime routine. Ours has served us well with LB still largely having the same routine now at almost 7 years old as he did when he was a baby, and now RB is 2 months into this set routine we have no problems getting her off to sleep (sleeping through the night on the other hand still needs work!).

Everyone has a different approach to bed times, Britmums has asked me to write about my bed time experience and have provided a free tube of Bepanthen Nappy Care ointment to use over the course of the week to see if it helps us all get a bit more sleep as part of their Bepanthen Bedtime Challenge!

As I mentioned, everyone has a different approach that works for them and I’m by no means saying that my way is best (do what works for you) but here’s my bed time schedule that may be useful to other busy full time working outside of the home mummies:

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6pm: We all arrive home so in order to keep everyone happy we divide and conquer, normally PB cooks dinner while I play with the baby and boy, I try to keep the play to quiet not too stimulating for the baby as she is starting to get a little crabby and I don’t want to get her riled up!

6.20pm: Dinner time, usually the baby will sit in her high chair just to be part of the action

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6.30pm: After I’ve inhaled my tea it’s upstairs for a quick nappy change (this week featuring Bepanthen to offer protection for her little bum overnight) and into PJ’s.

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6.40pm: We settle down for a snuggle and a bedtime bottle. This is one of my favourite parts of the day, we try to keep it as quiet as possible so she knows it’s time to wind down for the night.

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6.50pm: Storytime! We keep it pretty basic and a firm family favourite is anything by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. RB is still too young to really understand what’s going on, and spends most of the time trying to cram the book corners into her mouth but it’s another great signal that it’s time for sleep.

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7pm: By this time she’s pretty sleepy already and is usually rubbing her eyes, we settle RB down into her cot with her dummy (no dummy shame here!), her buzzy (muslin cloth, both of the kids are buzzy babies) with her mobile going.

And it’s as simple as that!

For a week we have been adding the Bepanthen step to the routine to help prevent RB from getting nappy rash which is so common with the overnight nappy in particular, when else would they be left in a wet nappy for so long? The ointment not only helps protect your baby’s bottom, with additional pro-vitamin B5, which cares for your baby’s delicate skin it’s ideal for protecting the skin as well as keeping it soft and moisturised.

After a week of use I can honestly say I hadn’t realised how red her poor booty was in the morning until I saw the difference Bepanthen has made. Although we still had a couple of interruptions in the middle of the night (usually to track down a lost dummy) it made all the difference in the morning when her bum was a happier tone of peach instead of red!

My Bedtime Top Tips

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Bath time is not bed time

For us bed times and bath time are not synonymous with each other, we typically bath the baby every 3 days as she just isn’t getting dirty enough for a daily bath, plus our motto is “a little dirt won’t hurt” so I’ve never understood making something that isn’t a daily occurrence part of your routine. Try to keep bath time to slightly earlier than bed time so avoid making this a trigger for sleep.

Consistency is key

No matter what your routine is, keeping it the same (or as close to the same as your schedule allows) day in day out helps your baby develop sleep cues which will help make bedtime less dramatic.

White noise works wonders

We have a small fan in RB’s room which means that the house doesn’t need to be silent for her to get a good night’s sleep, constant white noise avoids waking from spontaneous noises like the dog barking, or someone knocking on the door.

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Happy bum, happy sleeper 

Unless you are still doing a middle of the night nappy change, your baby will be sitting in their own mess for at least 10 hours at this stage, preventative treatments like Bepanthen during the bed time nappy change can go a long way to protecting your little one’s little bum overnight and helping them get  good night’s rest.

It’s oh so quiet

Avoid bright lights, loud noisy games and anything that will overstimulate your baby before bedtime, ever heard the phrase “I don’t want to go to bed, I’m too tired”? Well that’s what you’ll be dealing with if you end up with an overstimulated baby too close to their bed time. Keep lights low, your tone relaxing and where possible older siblings (which are way more entertaining than Mummy) in a different room with Dad! 

Let me know if you have any top bedtime tips in the comments below.

Love,

Mama Fairbear x

This post is an entry for #BepanthenBedtimeChallenge, sponsored by Bepanthen. Learn more at www.facebook.com/BepanthenUK  or www.bepanthen.co.uk

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Kate Holmes 5th October 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Great tips. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

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