The founder of Gro-To skin care, author of everyone’s favourite fart books and mum of two believes a solid framework is key for your best chance of a successful 5-7pm.
We’re routine through and through
We don’t mess with that routine unless we’re flying, or Beyoncé drops in for a rosé. I think kids like to know what’s coming next, that they feel safe knowing there is a routine, even if they try to mess with said routine at every step. Keeping things predictable, so they know what to expect and what’s expected of them, helps my kids anticipate and trust bedtime, instead of it becoming one long, exhausting battle. They know that after their dessert, the bath or shower goes on and they need to be undressing, now.
Make bath time fun so there’s less battles
Especially when the kids are little, use bath or shower time as a fun little full stop at the end of the day. Less of a chore, more of a game: bring in toys, activities, bubbles and lots of nonsense. Get in yourself, occasionally. They love it, and the memories are always worth it. If he can, Dad showers with them, but if not, I swear by music, at all times, but especially in the evening to encourage a mood. We have had many a bath disco with glowsticks, glowing balloons or just night lights and music blaring from a waterproof (pool) speaker. Most often though we do calming baths, with my Calm Down Kids playlist and low light. (It’s always low lights after 6pm at our house. It’s hard for anyone, whether they’re 5 or 50, to go from bright lights everywhere to lights out and sleep. Clean your toys, because mould is real nasty, and rotate them or sub in simple kitchen stuff like a cup or sieve. Some days I just want them to be in bed asleep NOW, the last thing I want to do is sing songs and vroom a car along the side of a bath, but before I know it they’ll be 9, showering solo and asking for privacy so I try to be present.
Bad Dream Buster
Gro-To Sud Bud turns bath time into playtime.
“Use bath or shower time as a fun little full stop at the end of the day. Less of a chore, more of a game: bring in toys, activities, bubbles and lots of nonsense.”
– Zoë Foster Blake
Let the kids apply their own product
Once the kids have been caught (why do they always run when they’re wet and nude?) and dried off, I rub in some nourishing lotion or oil. This is key in both summer – hours in the sea or pool – and winter: dry flaky skin from hot showers and heaters. Let them rub it all over their own tummy and thighs and while they’re doing that, apply it everywhere else. Involving your kids teaches them from an early age that caring for their bodies is fun, looking after your body is nice and skin can feel happy, not itchy and tight.
Got a tiny, wriggly baby? (Naaaw, lucky you!) Follow bath time with a gentle massage. It’s relaxing, soothing and can help with digestion and giant toots. Post-bath, when the room is low-lit and toasty, start gently, but firmly, massaging oil all over – palms, thighs, arms and tum. Stroke from the heart to the hands and then from head to toes. Repeat. Oh, it’s delicious. Soak it up.
“Follow bath time with a gentle massage. It’s relaxing, soothing, and can help with digestion and giant toots.”
– Zoë Foster Blake
Use Gro-To Skin Wizard for a gentle post-bath massage.
Time for PJs/books/bed
Right. Now we’re in the place of sleep. Time to wind the heck down. Reading books (with a bedside-lamp not overhead lights) helps little minds relax before sleep. Kids don’t get a whole lot of choices in the dinner/bath/PJs scenario, so once mine are in their PJs and teeth are brushed we let them select their own books. Even if I’d rather not. (Frozen! Again! Of course!) Once the kids are in bed, I play either an audiobook, a Spotify playlist of mostly Disney classics that I made or kids meditation (I like the New Horizons one) for them to lay in bed and listen to and nod off. Then I set their Gro clock (we have an early riser who wants the whole house to wake pre-6am), I mist Bad Dream Buster all around the room, especially in areas monsters hide, before kisses, cuddles and lights off. Ahhhhhh.