We’ve all been there. Nightly. Putting the baby down is never the easiest of tasks. Here’s our guide to your average nightly routine.
6pm – Tonight will be the night. You’ve got a plan, you’re going to stick to the routine and the baby is going to go to bed nice and early, giving you a night to yourself. This is going to be it. You are a super human and you’ve totally got this
7pm – Time to start the routine. Declare you are ‘just going to put the baby down and then we’ll eat’. Tell husband to cook. Just need to put the baby in the bath and then you’ll read a book. Because THAT is what good parents do, they read to their babies nightly. With voices
7.10pm – Hmmm, isn’t a bath meant to be sleep inducing? Screaming doesn’t seem all that relaxing. Sod the bath, we’ll do that in the morning. Time to find the pyjamas
7.20pm – Attempt to wrestle damp and wriggly baby into a onesie and a sleeping bag. Previously bendable joints become locked into position as baby plays ‘fight the sleeping bag’. Restrain yourself from breaking their limbs and resign yourself to the fact that the sleeping bag will, once again, be substituted for a slightly sick stained blanket resulting in you fearing suffocation all night
7.30pm – Commence books only to be met with screams. Decide to jump straight to the night-feed and then go back to the books
7.40pm – Still feeding
7.50pm – Still feeding
8pm – Seriously, how is there any milk left?!
8.15pm – Decide that baby is sleepy enough to start books. Start reading. Complete two pages of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ before crying face starts to appear. Wanting to avoid a meltdown, pop them back on the boob
8.20pm – Complete reading the book. You’ve read it solely for your own purpose but boy, were your voices good. Look down and realise baby has drifted off to sleep. Decide to give it a few minutes before attempting to relocate them to their own bed
8.30pm – Commence wormlike shuffles across the bed to get to the side where they need to be. Start to relocate hands so that you can move them easily. Stop breathing for fear of awakening and begin contorting your body around theirs so that they’re flat on the cot
8.35pm – Slooooooowly remove an arm from said cot
8.37pm – Back body away from theirs. This is the moment of truth, can you remove all contact between their body and yours without them waking?! It’s the baby version of Operation crossed with Buckeroo
8.45pm – You’ve done it! You and baby are now separated with them asleep in their bed. Yes they’re on their side and at a funny angle but THEY. ARE. DOWN. Stare at them whilst appreciating just how cute your child is. So gorgeous… Avoid all temptation to give them a kiss, touch or any form of contact. You love them MORE when they’re asleep. Remember this
8.50pm – Position the baby video monitor, trying vainly to point the camera at their face whilst not really knowing where the camera is. Reflect that anyone downstairs can now be part of the fun too. Mutter about how bright the ‘f-ing light is’ on it
8.55pm – Baby begins to fidget. Hit the white noise machine frantically. Drop to the floor and freeze in position just in case they open their eyes. Curse yourself for not leaving the room IMMEDIATELY
9.10pm – Decide it’s safe to move/breathe again. Begin to crawl/body shuffle out of the room. Consider how ridiculous the situation is – you’re a fully grown adult, crawling around on the floor. Decide dignity is overrated and resume crawl
9.15pm – Slowly pull the door too. Have your doors always been this noisy?! Stand outside the door and exhale
9.20pm – Make it down the worlds noisiest staircase. Look down and realise your boobs are still out of your top. You’ve become numb to this type of exposure, the neighbours enjoy a nightly display for free. Lucky ducks
9.25pm – Greet your spouses ‘Oh have they gone down already?!’ with barely disguised disgust. Hold yourself back from committing GBH.
Woohoo!! – you’ve put the baby down! Congratulate yourself on it only taking 2+ hours this time. You’re totally winning at this! Realise that the monitor display only shows the top 5mm of your babies head. Ignore it. You’ve got an hour; eat your cold meal in near-silence for fear of waking the child and contemplate all the jobs that need doing before you sneak back into your own room. Enjoy!