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Night-time routines for working parent and baby

(15 Posts)
Orissiah Fri 13-Feb-09 08:57:11


Soon I will be leaving my LO with a childminder as I will be returning to work. My LO will be 11 months at the time. My husband will be dropping her off at 8.30 or 9am as I go into work early. Then I will collect her around 5.45pm. We can be home by 6 or 6.15pm.

I will have to feed her her dinner and bathe her and her usual bedtime is 7pm but I am aware that when I return to work I will most likely have to shift her bedtime to 7.30pm to get everything done.

How do other parents out there do the post-work night-time routine. Timings would be good.

I think feeding her would take 45 minutes alone (preparing/heating food and feeding her) then the bath routine then last bottle of the night possibly?

How on earth will I manage it all? Should I try and ask my husband to bathe her in the morning?

Worried mum returning to fulltime work soon xxx

rubyslippers Fri 13-Feb-09 08:58:32

can your childminder feed her dinner?

Don't worry about a bath every night either

you will all find your way - babies can be very adaptable smile

CaptainKarvol Fri 13-Feb-09 09:03:22

Not unlike my schedule - my DS has been in nursery since he was 10 months, he'll be 3 in a couple of weeks.

We always had a 7.30 bedtime, otherwise I just felt like I never saw DS!

A couple of things that might make it easier...

First, why are you preparing/heating food at that time of the evening? DS had his last meal at about 3.30/4pm, milk after that. Could your childminder not feed? If not, it really is worth doing a big cook-up once a week or so and freezing portions to feed your DD when you get in. So just heat and serve.

Also, I really doubt you need to bath every day. I worried that it would muck up the whole routine if I didn't do the bath thing. Well, it didn't!

You'll get used to it. Best advice I can offer is to have as little as possible to do re 'tasks' each day, prepare in advance and maximise your playing time with your DD!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 13-Feb-09 09:24:02

agree that cm needs to feed her at 4.30/5pm

i think eating at 6pm+ is too late for a child of that age

I personally feel that children should have a bath every night (was a post on chat about bathing a while back, but many on MN dont bath every night) but thats just me

is a nice part of the bedtime routine, and a nice wind down - bath time doesnt have to take a long time, a quick 10min dip and you can be in PJ's by 6.30 and then have a play/read books/tv time and then story and milk and bed

or play etc as soon as you get home, and then in bath by 7pm the latest, out at 7.10,and time for cuddle and story and tucked up asleep by 7.30

sure it will all work out

VictorianSqualor Fri 13-Feb-09 09:28:27

We don't bath DS every night as we were told it's not good for their skin at this age. (He is ten months) so I really wouldn't worry about the bath. Maybe change the routine to a top and tail wash which can take moments. Also if you like doing the last meal, how about getting cm to do dinner but giving something small like a yoghurt or banana and custard or similar when you get in? Won't take a minute to make and you could be in for 6:15, have fed her by 6:30, play for half an hour, then bottle at 7, a cuddle and a story then bed by 7:30.

Milkmade Fri 13-Feb-09 09:42:07

We asked creche to encourage dd to have an extra nap in the afternoon (around 4:30 ish) and had bed time back at 8pm - I think it's nicer for all if you get a bit longer together otherwise as you say it just feels a rush, when it should be your fun time.
We do have a bath each night, she likes it, and quite often one of us have it with her, but that's just becasue it's something we like rather than essential.

On dinner, and fitting it in, my view is you can't rush how long a baby that age takes to eat, but you can squeeze down the preparation time hugely. As a working mum, don't knock ella's kitchen sachets! (bonus is that by 11 months ish they can suck the vege ones themselves on the route home if they are hungary which dd often is) Also give dinner in "stages" so they can eat each bit as it's ready while other bits cook (e.g. we might cook peas for 2 min in the microwave, and then dd eats those while I grill fish etc). Hope this helps...

susiey Fri 13-Feb-09 13:51:35

our childminder has always given our LOs tea if they were picked up that late in the evening which meant we got more cuddling and playing time!

also our kids have always gone to bed at 8 so that we can eat as a family( except on cm days) and my dh can bath them.

tankie Fri 13-Feb-09 15:33:11

It would be great if childminder could give tea at 4/5pm, then you'd just have to give milk and maybe a small snack. I also don't think you need to bath every day and it's not great for their skin anyway - unless they're particularly dirty twice a week is fine.

woodstock3 Sat 14-Feb-09 21:31:51

ds's bedtime is 7.30-8, i moved it back when i went back to work to give us more time together. bit different as i have a nanny and when i get home he's had tea and is in the bath but roughly: i get home at 7, finish off the bath/putting into pyjamas, clean teeth, bottle, read about a million books (spun out by ds for as long as humanly possible) and put him to bed. i do nothing else but take off my coat when i get through the door until he's gone to bed - only when he's down do i worry about starting our dinner/tidying up or anything like that. now he is a bit older (20mo) we have a cuddle and a rudimentary chat about his day, when he was a baby it was just comfort, but this part of the day was always really important to him (and to me).
suggest he has tea at CM's just because he will otherwise get very hungry waiting until 6. if your lo really likes the bath, do it every night (should be time in an hour and a half to do bath/pyjamas/bottle/story), if it's a struggle i wouldn't bother with every night and would have more time playing. when does your dh get home? can he be part of this routine?
the most important thing is however frazzled you are when you get through the door, take a deep breath and forget about everything else until they're in bed. i find ds's bedtime wind down routine as relaxing for me as it is for him as it helps me forget my working day and shift back into mummy mode.
the above bedtime routine should obviously be followed by a large glass of wine grin.

HSMM Sat 14-Feb-09 21:36:58

Does the CM do a cooked lunch (so you could do a cold tea). If CM other children to look after they may not be able to feed one child and not the others (you will need to ask). CM may be able to arrange a longer afternoon nap, so a slightly later bedtime would not be a problem? These are all questions your CM can help you with.

cmotdibbler Sat 14-Feb-09 21:50:22

Ds has always had a hot lunch (11.30) and substantial tea (3.30) at nursery. He then has a snack at home (toast and fruit sort of thing) when he gets home. When he was bfing, he wanted to have mummy milk as soon as we got in - which was nice just to collapse on the sofa together.

We don't have a bath every day as I don't see the point - he doesn't like a splash and dash either, so we would get into arguements about getting out

We do pyjamas and nappy on at 6.55, up to bed at 7, story in bed, and then light off

Sidge Sat 14-Feb-09 21:56:09

I would ask the CM to give him dinner at about 1700, then if necessary you can offer porridge or something when you get in.

I like to do a bath every night however late we are, even just a 5 minute dunk and wash as IMO it's easier than having a face and bum wash, and relaxes them ready for bedtime.

You'll surprise yourself how your routine adapts when you go back to work smile

Orissiah Sun 15-Feb-09 13:14:24

I am so reassured by your comments - thanks so much! Yes, I will ask CM to give dinner. LO does not like baths (at the moment) - she has them every few days but really gets stressed by the water so I will keep bath times to every other day or see if my DH can give her one in the morning. My DH comes home after 9pm so unfortunately he can't help during the week.

I like the point also about coming in the door, taking off my coat and focussing just on LO until 7.30 bedtime.

And about giving dessert to her at home!

Oh, I feel so much better. Thank you all!

LadyBee Thu 19-Feb-09 15:27:39

Glad that's been helpful - this is our pattern:

DS (10 months) has supper at CM about 5-5:30
I arr. at CM 5:45-6ish
I carry DS home, walking, so we can chat as we go & I'm already back in mummy mode
- plonk DS down on my bed or in his cot for a bit a quiet play while I get out of work clothes
- we do a daily bath at about 6:30 but DS loves his bath and no skin problems here.
- by about 6:45 changed, massage, and breastfeed
- he's asleep in his cot sometime between 7-7:30 depending on how long he wants to feed.

DP usually gets home around 7:30 and starts dinner a couple of nights a week, otherwise I start dinner once DS is in bed.

Indiechick Thu 19-Feb-09 15:34:28

Echo what others have said, mine is 11 months and has been at CM since 7 months. CM gives her dinner at 4.30 and then she just has milk or dessert at home. To be honest sometimes if I'm not bathing them and dh is doing dinner, I sit down and play for about an hour before bedtime which is lovely after a day at work. Good luck, it's exhausting but rewarding. Someone on another thread said the trick is once a week going to bed at the same time as your child, I like this idea.

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