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Thread: Juggling the dinner/bath/bed routine

  1. #1

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    Default Juggling the dinner/bath/bed routine

    Particularly interested to hear from those that do the routine by themselves...unfortunately DF doesn't help or offer much assistance so it's all up to me most nights

    I spend all afternoon thinking/planning how to juggle getting DD bathed, dressed, dinnered, bottled and bedded, as well as getting our dinner ready and cleaning up afterwards so I can have a bit of me time before bed.
    I'm never sure how to do it...give DD a bath first then she can have dinner while I cook our dinner, prepare our dinner (chop vegies etc) while she is eating hers then give her a bath and cook our dinner after or something completely different....

    She normally eats dinner around 5.30 and goes to bed at 7.30/7.45, and DF & I usually have dinner between 6.30 and 7 (I don't like eating too late because then I spend the rest of the night cleaning up). And if I had two children or toddler & baby to deal with, I think my head would explode...lol



    what's your nightly routine?

  2. #2

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    We all eat together about 5:45. We do baths before dinner. But Df does often help out with it all which is handy.

    Nights I am alone I will often do a slow cooker meal, bath them at 5. Eat dinner at 5:45. Or if I need to cook I'll move the bath earlier to 4:30 that way I can do dinner, eat and afterwards only have to worry bout night nappies, bottles and bed.

  3. #3
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    feeb is offline Thankful for the kindness of my 2012 RAK making me Life member

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    Depending on what dinner is it varys a bit, if in slow cooker its put on at between 12 and 1pm and then rice or pasta on at 1730. If spag bol i will make sauce if I get a time with both boys asleep or 1 in bed and re heat later and cook pasta fresh. Other times dinner put on between 1700 and 1800 depending on when DH will be home and what is dinner.

    Ds1 will have dinner with us or earlier, I then strip him off and to the bath he goes, DS2 gets bathed every 2nd night as doesnt get dirty being 6 months old! Some nights DH will shower with them.

    Dinner
    Bath
    Pj's
    BF
    Bed

    Then i clean up and fold washing etc, depending on when DS2 settles.

  4. #4

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    I do nights 4 times in a row by myself because DH is a shift worker. Pretty much got it down pat now! When DH is working we mostly eat food that can be reaheated eg. casseroles, risotto, oven food etc. I usually cook in the morning so Dh can take some to work then we have it for tea. Or a really simple pasta is another option. We have the fancier meals when DH is home! Here's what usually happens without being too strict.

    4.30ish DS goes down for nap for about 30-45 mins. If he doesn't have this he just playes or has snack in high chair. DD has quiet play or movie/TV at this time! I prepare or heat dinner in this time. I also do whatever quick tidy ups I can do.

    5.30ish - dinner for both kids.

    6.00ish - bath for both kids only every second night unless particularly dirty

    6.30ish stories, DS last feed and 7 pm bed. DD sometimes goes down a bit later

    I get their PJ's ready while they are eating - this take about 1 minute and start bath running too. I alsways get DS out of the bath first and pull plug on DD while he is getting dried.

    I eat dinner by myself when they are in bed unless I am hungry earlier and we eat together. This means we rarely have family dinners - about 1 or 2 times a week but that's what works for us. Some nights this does not happen in this order and we just do whatever!!! I usually do folding of washing during Master Chef and other chores on ad breaks. By 8.30 I give myself permission to stop if I haven't already!
    Last edited by JordieC; July 12th, 2010 at 09:47 PM.

  5. #5

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    Luckily we've got a team thing going on here, but there have been nights where one of us has to do the lot ourselves..

    Our routine (when running solo) is :

    Everyone eats together - usually around 6-6.30pm.
    While DS is still in his highchair finishing off dinner, i go & run the bath and get jammies ready.
    I turn on the heater, turn off the lights and set the iPod going with sleepytime music.
    Then I come back in and make very warm bottles which sit on the lounge until he's finished in the bath.
    Then after bath, get him dressed and give bottles.
    Then it's straight into bed.

    He's usually ok in the bath by himself now for short periods, so nowadays I can get the jammies and bottles ready while he's in the bath.

    HTH a bit!

  6. #6

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    I'm new and dont know where to start lol. Feel bad posting anywhere like im intruding...but i'll start here i guess.

    bath/shower 5.30 ,Dinner by 6pm, books read clean up by 7.30pm. watch some tv then my daughter goes to bed at 8pm. follower by my son around 8.45-9pm (his older)
    I also dont get much help from my DH.

  7. #7

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    I'm often on my own - DH is a shift worker with lots of OT.
    Usually while i'm making lunches I start dinner - whether that be just the prep or actually making dinner in the SC like today.
    We do a tidy up as the start of the routine at about 4.45.
    5.00pm bath for both.They're pretty quick. Start/finish dinner.
    5.30ish dinner for all of us (sometimes i eat mine when they're in bed but generally not)
    6.00pm DS has a feed and goes to sleep, DD is allowed to watch a DVD/kids channel until 7 - I usually tidy up then (or eat if I haven't already)
    7pm DD has a story and goes to bed.
    then timeout for me

    as a general rule I unstack the dishwasher in the morning so all I have to do is put dishes in as they're used and then there's hardly anything left to do at the end and I put it on overnight.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumof2darlings View Post
    I'm new and dont know where to start lol. Feel bad posting anywhere like im intruding...but i'll start here i guess.
    Sorry to hijack, but I just wanted to say 'Welcome!' . Don't feel bad posting... that's what we're all here for! Just dive right in!

  9. #9

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    Our routine is the same whether it's me and DP (most of the time) or just me (rarely).

    Start cooking dinner about 5pm, depending on how long it will take. We aim to have it on the table by 6pm. DS has a snack about now usually.
    Often the TV goes on just before 5:30 (In the Night Garden) to occupy DS while dinner is getting organised.
    Dinner at 6pm - we all try to eat together but occasionally DP and I eat later.
    Bath somewhere around 6:20-6:30pm. One of us usually gets into the bath with DS, the other one gets pj's ready and cleans up after dinner.
    Out of bath somewhere around 6:45pm, dried and pretty much straight into bed.

    We have tried reading books but this seemed to hype him up. Tried offering sippy of milk but he usually refused so now we give it with dinner. Most of the time he is down by 7pm and the kitchen is reasonably tidy but this is with both of us. If I'm by myself then cleaning up happens last.

    HTH. Every family is different in terms of what works for them. If your night routine is not working for you (and I suspect from your 'juggling' comments that it's not) could you discuss it with your DF? Tell him it's not working for you, is stressful, whatever and see what he thinks? He may not realise you need/want a hand? He may be happy to do one part of it (like the bath, or the clean up after dinner) which would ease things for you.

    I hope I haven't overstepped the mark here. The night routine can be stressful.

  10. #10

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    Our routine has only just been established in the last couple of weeks and we are now realising that little one needs an early bedtime, so I'm going to have to do the routine by myself too as DH gets in from work 15 minutes before lights out for little one.

    So the past week I have been making dinner in the daytime - slow cookers are THE best invention yet.
    I also get all of the stuff I need for little one organised and where it needs to be for when I need it. I do her whole routine in our bedroom with the lights dim, and the heater on (cold just now), so get all of that organised in the day time.

    6.15pm - bath (on the nights that she gets one)
    6.30pm - massage, jammies on, story book, cuddles, boobie
    7pm - gets put down in cot

    DH gets in at 6.45pm and comes in and gives her a kiss and some cuddles.
    We then go and have dinner - either heated up, from the slow cooker or some nights we just have soup and a sandwich.

    Being more organised in the day helps me a lot.
    Sue xx

  11. #11

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    My #2 is still very little so we are yet to figure out our routine involving a second baby... but routine with first baby goes:

    DH home sometime between 3pm and 5pm... works for himself so changes daily... Generally he's home by 5pm which is when our routine starts...
    5pm - snack for DD, play with DH while I start dinner
    5.30pm - bath, I'm doing dinner and getting PJs ready
    6pm - dinner for DD and us too, if it is ready and we are hungry
    6.30pm - quiet play for DD
    6.45pm - ready for bed (night nappy and drink of milk)
    7pm - bed

    Hopefully when DS is older he will just slot into the routine.

  12. #12

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    My DH doesn't get home from work until approx 6.45pm so i pretty much do the whole afternoon/night routine myself.... i have three children who are aged 7yrs, 4yrs and a 12 week old.

    I always prepared and cook tea throughout the day so i don't have to worry about getting tea sorted out during the afternoon rush, then we just re-heat it when DH gets home.

    The older boys have baths usually by 6.15pm while im feeding bubby, by then DH is home so we will eat tea as soon as he gets in after tea i tidy the kitchen and make lunches for the next day. Once all the above is done it's time to bath bubby so i get all of that ready - by this time its about 7.20pm bubby has a feed straight after his bath then goes to bed at approx 8pm. The older kids go to bed at 8.30pm , i'm really happy with our rountine it works really well for us....everyone goes to bed happy and refreshed to do it all again the next day

  13. #13

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    My DH doesn't get home from work until usually 7ish so I am very strict with routine.
    I quite often plan our meals in advance and do the chopping and get ingredients ready or have our dinner sitting in the oven to turn on when he lets me know he is leaving work.
    The kids eat 5pm (DD included now) then it's usually 30min giggle and hoot time.
    6pm is bath for all of them together. I get the two boys out first and dress DS2 and DS1 can dress himself and then it's DD's turn.
    DD feed and bed at 6:30pm while boys play quietly or noisily
    Then I get a move on with dinner after DD is in bed and the boys play.
    Most of the time dinner is ready to go and will only take 10mins or so to throw together and cook or if it's an oven dish it will be ready at 7:15pm. Sometimes I actually leave dinner up to DH altogether and we eat around 8ish.
    DH usually does stories for DS2 at 7pm when he gets home and then bed for DS2. If he doesn't get home in time or DS2 is particularly tired I put DS2 to bed at 6:45-7pm.
    Then DS1 has stories and bed at 7:30pm on a school night.
    From 4:30pm for me it's go time (I cook kids dinner at around that time).
    While the boys eat dinner and DD chews on some bread I do the dishes and then they all sit down and watch a little bit of giggle and hoot night time before bath. As thegoodnight song plays I am running the bath and getting DD undressed. Boys can undress themselves.
    I love 4:30pm as it's busy, in a very good way. Kids are always happy after dinner and love bath time and a little play after.

  14. #14

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    I'm flying solo for at least 4 nights out of every 9 days. I rely heavily on my chest freezer full of home cooked meals for DH & I! This way I can eat alone if DH is going to be late. Either way it's just a quick zap in the microwave when he gets home, which is usually around 8:00pm.
    But nightly routine is dinner for DS at 5:30pm.
    Always leave the bath for after dinner as he just gets it all over him, so this is usually around 6:00pm. He sometimes gets a little play between dinner & bath if he didn't get too messy!
    I pack his toys away while the bath is running. This is so when he gets out he doesn't start playing with them & get all hyped up!
    Usually by 6:30pm I'm getting his pjs on, if not earlier. Depends on how tired he is & how much he is enjoying his bath (or not!).
    After this he gets a booby feed, then we read books until he starts yawning.
    Bed is somewhere between 6:45 and 7:00pm.
    As I said if DH is working, dinner is usually something out of the freezer that I just have to reheat.
    Or if I am cooking from scratch I start when DS goes to bed.

    If DH is home we kinda do tag team. But I'll usually start preparing dinner while DS is having his or is in the bath. Depends on what it is I'm making.

    But I am probably going to change all this now DS is getting older. I want to start eating together as a family, on DH's work days I'll just reheat DH's later on. So I will have to work out how to cook with DS around so we can all eat around 6:00pmish!

  15. #15
    rhyb Guest

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    Well my routine is different. I found with 4 babies (well DS is 2 so I may have to give in and *gulp* admit he's a toddler )
    I bath my DDs in the morning. I get nappies and clothes ready after they feed then like a crazy production line I bath one after another stopping to dress everyone then put them down to play.
    At dinner time DS waits for us to eat dinner which could be as late as 8 (I know, I know but some nights it cant be helped). DS showers with me (if its morning or night I pick). For bedtime I change everyone at once (again like a whacky production line), everyone gets a night time bottle and then door gets closed and lights off and Im out of there!!!

    Madness with no 'real' structure I know but best I can do at the moment

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhyb View Post
    Well my routine is different. I found with 4 babies (well DS is 2 so I may have to give in and *gulp* admit he's a toddler )
    I bath my DDs in the morning. I get nappies and clothes ready after they feed then like a crazy production line I bath one after another stopping to dress everyone then put them down to play.
    At dinner time DS waits for us to eat dinner which could be as late as 8 (I know, I know but some nights it cant be helped). DS showers with me (if its morning or night I pick). For bedtime I change everyone at once (again like a whacky production line), everyone gets a night time bottle and then door gets closed and lights off and Im out of there!!!

    Madness with no 'real' structure I know but best I can do at the moment
    Rhyb, hats off to you hon!!! What an awesome effort! I would love to hear a day in the life of 'Rhyb'.

    My DH helps out quite a bit by cooking dinner and if he's home early enough, he feeds and baths DD (in which case I cook dinner).

    On a good day we aim to have DD fed around 5.30, she's in the bath around 6ish and then having her last breastfeed at 6.30ish. We often eat around 8ish as we prefer to have DD in bed and settled so we can both enjoy our dinner. I'd like to eat earlier but DD's routine seems to go for about 2 hours so instead of keeping her up, we deal with her first then we eat dinner. It works for us.

    We have a dishwasher so one of us packs that at some stage (usually the one that didn't cook) and wipes down the kitchen benches. We both chill out in the evenings so I tackle the laundry, if need be, during the day. As long as the kitchen is clean and the dishwasher on before I go to bed, I'm happy.
    Last edited by Taurean; July 13th, 2010 at 10:43 PM.

  17. #17

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    I'm lucky, my DH does help out with Josie. Dinner usually happens around 6pm, shower around 6:30 (he jumps in the shower with her and cleans her, then she comes out all bundled in a towel and I put her in her PJ's). She has a small glass of warm milk at around 7:15pm and about 7:20 or a bit after, I take Josie to bed, we read a couple of books and then she is usually out like a light by 7:30!
    DH doesn't really read her books though, unless I'm really running around like an idiot or have other things to do. He whinges that he can't fit on her bed properly to read them to her! Lol

  18. #18

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    First of all I see your sig says it was Hayley's birthday on Monday!!! Happy 1st Birthday

    DP works 5 nights out of a week and has done so since DD was 1 week old. It's just me and DD

    My routine:

    I cook 3 times a week. The meals that I make will always last us for 2 days. I may just cook up some fresh veggies or make a salad on the day that its leftovers. I cook during the day when DD is having a nap and also then DP who leaves home at 2pm can take his in a container to work for dinner that night. The rest gets put in the fridge with gladwrap. I will even put DD's into a bowl ready so all I have to do is put it in the microwave later on. I then wash up then as well. That way in the evening all that will be left is 2 plates and cutlery and that is just rinsed, left in the sink for the next day (no dishwasher). I also make up bottles at this time as well so I dont have to do it later in the evening.

    Then between 5pm and 5:30, DD will have dinner. I normally eat then or am doing some other jobs while she is eating in her high chair. She watches In the Night Garden while she eats and I normally go an run the bath then and get her pj's, nappy, etc out and ready on the change table. I personally could never bath DD before dinner as she makes such a mess that it would become pointless and create more work for myself. I should also add that some nights when I am getting DD's bath run and clothes ready, I will get my pj's out and put them in the bathroom and we will ahve a bath together. Then I would get out first but obviously be right there getting dressed then get her out.

    At 6pm, In the Night garden is finished and I tell her its bath time. She has a bath and I clean the bathroom while I am in there. Just a quick wipe over things and when she's finished, we pack up the toys and she is out and into her room getting dressed.

    6:0pm is stories and quiet time.

    By 7pm she is in bed with a bottle.

    Then its my time! (I actually just let a sigh out loud go)! LOL! I love this time.

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