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I’m a total sucker for a bit of personalisation; whether it’s a suitcase with a fancy monogram or gold initials embossed on the front of a dainty little notebook, things just feel that much more special when they’ve got your name on them.
(Disclaimer: I don’t actually have a monogrammed suitcase, but it’s on the list.)
My fondness for personalised goods has only become more profound since having Angelica and Ted; it’s an absolute joy receiving a little fluffy toy, or a soft, knitted blanket and then realising that your baby’s name has been embroidered onto the teddy’s jumper or printed onto the fabric of the blanket. There’s something that feels really special about it – I suppose it’s the fact that the gift can only have been meant for one person, but also it’s just so nice seeing your baby’s name in print! I never tire of getting letters through the post addressed to Ted or Angelica, even if they are only ever from the NHS or the bank.
Since Angelica was born I’ve had some absolutely beautiful personalised presents from friends and family that have been ordered from My 1st Years. my1styears.com is an absolute treasure trove of personalised delights – everything from wooden ride-on aeroplanes to tiny high top trainers and gingham-trimmed robes, and things you’d never even think of personalising such as xylophones and jigsaw puzzles and pram liners.
I’ve always felt a little surge of glee when one of their distinctive blue gift boxes peeks out from beneath the wrapping paper and so I was delighted when My First Years got in touch about doing a post on bedtime routines. What I didn’t tell them is that our “routine” consists of basically muddling through from 6pm until 7pm without anyone crying, but I’ve tried to give a realistic overview whilst giving some semblance of order to the proceedings.
Ted isn’t really in a routine at all, yet, but I do try to put him to bed as soon as possible after Angelica goes down so that we get some peace in the evenings! I’d probably start getting him into bed earlier in an ideal world, but I don’t like to miss that lovely hour with Angelica when she has her milk and sits and cuddles.
So here we go: the bedtime routine.
6pm: bath time, depending on what time dinner ended. We’re not great at sticking to a set time for meals and so sometimes things run over, sometimes bathtime doesn’t happen at all! Angelica has to be coaxed into the bath with various bribes as she’s not naturally a bath-lover – bubble-makers, coloured soaps and wind-up monkeys have been previously brought into play, but the current favourite things are the embroidered bath towel sets from My First Years.
Angelica calls them “Daddy towel, Mummy towel and Baby towel”. Baby towel is the flannel and is, in fact, just the right size for drying off her bath baby. (Bath baby has been specifically made for the bath but weirdly, fills up with so much water it ends up weighing about five thousand kilos. Trying to lift it out of the water is like trying to heave up the wreckage of the Titanic! Also, it has one weird, wonky eye which totally freaks me out.)
6.30pm: Angelica will usually have her milk in hand and be sitting down to watch a little bit of Peppa Pig or whatever. Our particular favourite is In The Night Garden for that crazy dancing session they all do. Angelica makes us get up and “do the dance”, so my husband and I try to let go of any dignity we thought we had left and we pretend to be Macca Pacca and Iggle Piggle. (What is this life?) Dancing is done either in pyjamas or pyjamas and dressing gown, depending on outside temperature.
6.45pm: just before bed, a kind of “crazy moment” happens and Angelica has a burst of energy. Books get pulled from the shelves for us to read, the wooden rocking horse is suddenly mounted by a yee-hah-ing toddler, puzzles are tipped out over the rug… You may wonder what Ted is doing for all of this time, answer: chilling on his play mat and watching on with a look of mild disdain.
7pm: bedtime. This is probably the only time that is actually set in stone – unless we’ve been out and dinner has been very late, but that’s really rare. Angelica likes to do a checklist of all of her dolls and teddies (she’s commandeered Ted’s personalised teddy as well as her own ballerina doll!) and then she has to say goodnight to lots of individual things, including her giant giraffe and the baby and the dog. We all get kisses, the light goes off and then I get started on Ted’s routine!
Ted is far simpler, at the moment: I change him into a little sleepsuit and then feed him until he drifts off. He’s still exclusively breastfed, so no bottles to prepare or anything like that, but he does wake up at about 11pm, 2am and 5am (YAY) so, swings and roundabouts…
After both babies are asleep, I pour myself a litre of red wine into one of those massive joke wine glasses and then get into the bath to read magazines and stare at my perfectly manicured toenails. CORRECTION: this has never happened. After both babies are asleep, I open up my iPhone to-do list and get cracking on all of the work I needed to do during the day! No wine involved, as I’m up through the night like a jack-in-a-box, and I haven’t painted my toenails in around three months. (Just about to do them, actually, because writing this has reminded me that my feet look as though I’ve spent two years walking through a jungle with no shoes on.)
Sorry there are no particular words of wisdom when it comes to bedtime routine – I’m pretty sure most people just try and muddle on through too. Any tips or tricks or things you do that you think might be quirky or amusing? As always, answers on a virtual postcard and posted into the comments box, please!
You can browse the wonderful things at My First Years by clicking here and you can shop the items in the photographs using the “shop the post” section below. You can choose different fonts and colours for most of the personalisations – I’ve honestly lost hours on there, creating various things for Angelica and Ted! At least they’ll never forget their names…
This post has been sponsored by My 1st Years.
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