Can we talk about bedtime routines? What do your routines look like, how long do they take? how long before bedtime do you eat? are all days the same? What would you say are the most important aspects?
I am embararessed to admit that we have almost no routine. Up until now it hasn't seemed to be a huge problem, but it really takes a long time for DS to settle down and I am getting to the point where I need a bit of a change. There is a slight problem though; my husband and I share a car, and his work schedule isn't particularly reliable. He can catch the train home and we can get back by 6:15, or not until 8. We are working on keeping two days where DH works late and the other 3 days he comes home "early", but there is still a lot of variation.
So right now, whatever time we get home, we all eat (even if DS and I have already eaten, DS has taken to having a late second dinner. At this point, it is one of the only meals he has consistently eaten, so I don't want to mess with his eating too much....yet). After some horsing around with DH while I clean up the dishes, DH will get him into his diaper and jammies and then sometimes DS brushes teeth with me, and sometimes DH does the brushing. Then we say goodnight to daddy, and I bring DS to bed and nurse him to sleep. This can take a while because usually DS is still pretty worked up about hanging out with DH, but at the same time it's getting late. So his wind down time is nursing. I want this to change, but I am not sure really how to make up a routine. My DH I think feels insecure about fathering outside of play (i.e. feels silly reading books). I think that this will change as DS gets older and is able to relate a bit more to DH. Bedtime used to be around 8, but is now closer to 9, or even 9:30 some nights, although it still can take some time for him to settle. We get up every morning at 7. This weird bedtime stuff makes the timing of DS's naps kind of wonky some days. I think that he should be going to bed earlier, but he really treasures the time with DH. Luckily, has has started taking longer naps recently to compensate. All that being said, all of this has never been a huge problem for DS, so I don't think he is a schedule oriented kid, but I do think that something of a wind down routine would be beneficial...Thoughts??