The Bathtime Routine Revisited

About a year ago, I wrote about Bernard’s bathtime routine. I stumbled across the entry just now, while looking for something else, and marvelled at how things have changed, and how glad I am that I wrote it down for posterity.

These days the routine goes something like this…

Shortly after 6:30pm, I pull up to the front door and fumble about in my bag for my keys. Bernard waddles towards the front door in a futile attempt at escape, and Karen holds him back while I park my bike in the garage and take off my cycle helmet. I am not allowed to sit my sweaty ass down on the sofa until I have had a quick shower, so I usually do this.

We read books until about 6:55pm, at which point we announce “tidy up time!” and all the toys and books go back into the appropriate boxes. We open the stairgate, and lure Bernard towards the stairs. One of us goes ahead, to start the bath running, while the other follows Bernard, just in case he slips (which never happens, but you can’t be too sure). Once upstairs, we close the top stairgate. Whoever went up ahead closes all the doors on the landing except for the doors to Bernard’s bedroom and the bathroom, to prevent him from going off and finding lots more interesting things to do. The landing light and bathroom light are switched on, Bernard’s bedroom light is left switched off.

Bernard is usually either on the landing at this point, or stood by the bath throwing toys into it. He is undressed, his nappy is removed, and by now the bath is ready, so he is lowered into it.

He may or may not sit down in the bath. We generally take turns to give him his bath, though if the other person is nearby, they may help with the rinsing of the hair. When he is clean, he is hoisted out, wrapped in a towel, and I brush his teeth.

He is then released back onto the landing, and encouraged through to his bedroom, where his new nappy is put on. We then sit him up to put his arms into his pyjamas, lie him back down to tuck his legs in, sit him back up to put his arms into his grobag, stand him up to tuck his legs in, sit him back down to zip it up.

He then climbs onto my lap and selects a book for his bedtime story. Karen goes to change into her pyjamas, and then comes back through and sits down on the POÄNG. When Bernard decides that he has read enough for this evening, he leans towards her and emits a little whine. We put the book away, he is hoisted up on to Karen’s lap, I kiss him on the head and wish him goodnight, and head off to do the washing up. Karen feeds him, and he goes to sleep. For a while.

2 replies on “The Bathtime Routine Revisited”

[…] Pete wrote a rather nice description of bathtime, as it is now, to go with how it was then. Reading it, I thought that this would actually be quite useful for parents-to-be: a series of general descriptions of events at, say one month, six months, one year; just to give a picture of how things change. At first, all seems to be chaos. There isn’t a moment to think. Everything is terrifying and you have no idea how to go about it. Then a routine starts to develop, and things are a bit easier because at least you know what you’re supposed to be doing, and can tell if something is out of the ordinary. Then after a while, you don’t even realise that you have a routine; it’s just what you do. […]

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