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I’ve been asked by several of you for an update on our current bath and bedtime routines for the kids, which I am happy to oblige. These are just such a big questions in the parenting world, “How well do your kids sleep? What’s their bedtime? Do they sleep through the night? Are your bath times as crazy as ours?” The long and short answer is always the same, “Life with kids is always crazy… and wonderful. Sometimes they sleep, sometimes not so much. Most days they LOVE the bath, sometimes not so much.” 

So with that said, it’s about time I post an update on our bath and bedtime routines and the products we use that take us to dreamland (or my kids at least). And you know what? I’d love to hear your tips and recommendations as well! We’re all in this thing together, right?Bath and Bedtime Routines and Tips Bath and Bedtime Routines and Tips

I have to say that even with a bout of colic for our first and of course many early-month nighttime feedings, by 6 months or so, all of my kids have been great sleepers. Our littlest, Skylar, is probably the one that wakes the most, and with our schedules changing so often with travel, it’s not really a surprise. But when we can stick to our normal, they usually all sleep through the night really well (meaning from about 8pm-7:30am). And that normal nighttime schedule looks a little something like this:

6:00 pm:  Dinner time.

6:30 pm:  Clean up, hop in the bathtub if they’re taking a bath (With our first, Aliyah, this was nightly. When the second babe came, it was more like every other night unless one was needed. Now, Aliyah usually takes her own showers while the boys bathe, and it’s every other or so.).

7:00 pm:  Use the potty, lotion, diaper and pi’s, brush teeth. While they’re bruising teeth, I usually turn an essential oil diffuser on in their room with a calming blend like lavender and cedarwood to help lull them to dreamland.

7:30 pm:  Rub lavender or cedarwoood essential oil on the bottoms of their feet (their big toe to be precise, as this is an area that carries stress).

7:40 pm:  Blinds closed, fan turned on, last story, prayer and everyone tucked in. Unless Skylar was especially tired and already in bed, I’ll rock him for a few minutes at this time and then lay him down tired but awake as well. 

Usually by around 8pm, all kids are asleep. Sometimes Skylar will squirm around to find his comfortable position or fuss for a moment or two, but it doesn’t usually last long. I can tell a difference when I’ve been traveling in how quickly he falls asleep. When I’m home more often, he falls asleep more quickly, when I’ve been away, it takes him a bit longer. Those nights, I may still lay him down, but I’ll sing a song or two while he’s adjusting positions in his crib to reassure him I’m there, although I’m not holding him. 

These are the products we use and love to help us out in our nightly bath and bedtime routines with the kids.
The necessities for a great bath and bedtime routine for babies and kids, from Aveeno, Gymboree, Lifefactory, Spark Naturals Essential Oils and more!1// After three kids, I’ve learned that as far as stuff goes less is better. Yes, the above might still seem like a long list, but compared to the items I used for baby #1? This is minimalist!

Baby towels, robes, slippers, extra toys? Really… for the first time parent it’s easy to get caught up in the “lists” or on a shopping spree where “this is too cute not to have,” but in all reality, a simple washcloth and towel from your linen closet is all you need. If you really want to get something, get towels in a different color that you use only for baby and wash separately (this is what I did the first time around with Aliyah). Now though, I figure we are all family, and we all use the towels. And think about how much space you can save without having to store those extra things?!

2// We’re a fan of Aveeno® Baby Wash & Shampoo and lotion for all of the kids, even when they’re not babies anymore. Every mama knows that a good bath means using something that is tear free, but I like that it’s also soap free so it’s not drying to the skin (while it blends natural oat extract into the lathering wash) and it’s paraben free as well. 

3// Toys, toys and more toys right? We used to have a bunch… but now, my kids happily play in the bathtub (and don’t usually want to get out) with a washcloth and a couple of bowls (that used to be in my kitchen). The one tried and true toy that we’ve had for each kiddo and is especially great in bath play during teething are the bath letters, though we don’t always get them out of the cupboard.

4// Ever since Aliyah was a wee babe (8 years ago, eek!), we’ve kept Aveeno® Soothing Bath on hand for times when our little one’s skin gets a rash or irritated, which for her happened regularly (true story!). For Aliyah, she was allergic to so many brands of diapers and products, that this was a more natural solution we used often that helped to sooth and calm her skin.

5// Now to those essential oils… essential oils are able to reach the limbic system of the brain, which is the brain’s control center. This is what allows oils to support our emotional well-being and calm anxieties, fears and stress. There is so much research that shows scientifically how essential oils have a dramatic effects on our bodies… physically, mentally and emotionally. And this is the reason I use essential oils on myself and my kids, because there is a natural way to effectively address so many issues in the body, from sleep and relaxation to cuts, bruises and pain. Some of my favorites to have on hand and one’s I use nightly on my kids and drop in their bath are wild orange, lavender and cedarwood, all of which are calming and relaxing.

6// Our all time favorite baby and water bottles have been the silicone sleeved glass bottles from Lifefactory. 

7// Of course, comfy pj’s are a must for sleeping littles and some of our favorites to reach for are still our Eric Carle for Gymboree PJs for Brayden and Skylar (in fact, I got another set for Brayden during a big Christmas sale).

8// Our kids have never been that into pacifiers, which I guess is a blessing because we’ve never had to break them of that habit. But there have been moments where I’ve wished and prayed they’d take one. The closest we came was when Skye would use his WubbaNub giraffe for a couple of months. I think it may have been more of a teething toy for him, honestly, but it did allow for bits of peace and quiet when he’d recognize his familiar friend.

9// We’ve always had a fan around to create white noise, probably because this was something that my husband has always had himself. I think it’s helped our kids sleep through the night at an earlier age and for a longer period of time. I’ve also heard of studies that show moving or circulating air in the room can help prevent tragedies like SIDS. If you don’t feel comfortable having a fan in your kiddo’s room, you can always opt for a white noise machine or use an app for it (that’s what I do when we travel!).

10// I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a oil addict. We run a diffuser in our house all the time… and I even have a small one that I take with me when I travel (a great way to deodorize and sanitize a hotel room)! Eventually I want to have one that stays in each of our bedrooms, because that would just be an easier way to do it… but for now, about a half an hour before they’re tucked in for bed, a bring our diffuser into their room to diffuse a couple of relaxing and soothing scents. 

11// When I was pregnant for Skylar, we went through a couple of bins of items we’d kept, and none of our baby monitors worked. We looked for a bit and didn’t really want to drop the money for the really good systems out there, and yet I didn’t want to waste money on a cheap one. Well, there’s an app for that! A few actually, and this is the one we use. When you have more than one iPhone or an iPad in the house, you can use them as your monitoring system. We use an iPad in their room, and it syncs with our phones to alert us of movement, noise, etc and we can see live video or picture, as well as soothe them remotely. Bath and Bedtime Routines and Tips, Aveeno® Beauty Nature Holistic skin health #aveenoBath and Bedtime Routines and Tips, Aveeno® Beauty Nature Holistic skin health #aveenoBath and Bedtime Routines and Tips, Aveeno® Beauty Nature Holistic skin health #aveenoBath and Bedtime Routines and Tips, Aveeno® Beauty Nature Holistic skin health #aveenoBath and Bedtime Routines and Tips-11

A tip I remember hearing early on as a mama was, “If you have a crab, put them in water.” Meaning, when your kids get crabby, lead them to a playful and relaxing bath… and many times this works (unless they are just way too tired)! As for sleep tips, well, I don’t have a ton of advice besides white noise and get in the practice of laying them down awake as early as possible, when they get used to falling asleep on their own, they will be much better sleepers through the night. 

I hope this little look into our routine helps you in some way! And of course, now it’s your turn to share, what helps you get your kids bathed and sleeping? I’d love to hear your tips and what works for you (and I’m sure others would love to as well, we’re all in this community together). 

xo

Tabitha Blue

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