Bathtime, Bottle and Bedtime routines are so important for baby to get their rest and for you to keep your sanity, here is some tips on how i run our B.B.B routine.
When i first brought Tabitha home i was very squeamish about her belly button clip and was reluctant to bath her until it had fallen off so stuck to sponge washes for the first week. Once it was off we started our B.B.B routine everynight. It has helped so much in getting a good nights sleep out of her and given me and my partner our evenings in peace . I could not recommend more the J+J Bedtime range with Lavender, we use it all.
Our routine goes like this...6pm bath with bubbles, i use a plastic moulded seat inside our big bath, this gives me two free hands as i do bathtime on my own Monday to Friday. I don't keep her in there too long a five minutes play, hair wash, body wash then out. After the bath i take her into the nursery to dry off, talc and put on P.J's.
I think its vital to keep the ambience relaxed from this point onwards, low level lighting maybe soft music (think first date setting!). Even though i am usually on my own for bedtime (my partner isn't home from work) i am never tempted to take her out of the nursery while i get her bottle. Tabitha plays in her cot while i get the bottle ready. I think its nice to have somewhere to feed in the nursery. We did not splash out on a feeding chair, i have put the sofas footrest in there and covered it with a pretty blanket just for while she is still having night feeds. While feeding her the bottle i make very little eye contact with her. I don't engage in cooing or smiling either.
Now i'm not saying i feed her like a droid because i don't i stroke her head and cheeks and settle her but i am very aware not to stimulate her. We then swaddle and place in the cot, turn out the lights, give her a kiss and leave the room. Some nights she will cry a little and some she will gurgle to herself and quickly fall sleep.
Other nights she screams the house down! On these nights i wait a few minutes and return to the room stroke her face and hush her for a while then leave and repeat this until she is asleep it never takes more than three goes. I also use my monitor to hush her using the talk button this sometimes works but test out the volume with your partner before you use it, it may sound a bit more scary than comforting. My main tips are that however your baby goes to sleep ie. alone listening to music, in your arms, being rocked in a buggy ...that is how they will want to fall asleep when they wake during the night. So ideally you want them to settle themselves for the last dropping off to sleep part.
Every child will be different and like different things to settle them, but try and find a routine that works for you both. Make sure baby knows bedtime by all the key factors that surround it, low lights, music, fragrance, soft voices and quiet time in the nursery.
Oh and good luck!