Our mates at Gro-To make clean, cute, worry-free skin care for kids. Created by Go-To founder, author and mum-of-two Zoë Foster Blake (who we spied using our Ubabub Pod Cot and Booksee Bookshelves in her children’s nursery), Gro-To products are very nourishing, very nice-smelling, suitable for all skin types and INSANELY FRIGGEN CUTE. (At least that’s what they told us to say.) We hit up the Gro-To crew to share their best tips for a calm evening routine.
A simple (flexible) evening routine has loads of benefits for kids. It can make things consistent! It can make everyone calm! It can make your children eat their peas with no complaints! (Maybe. No promises.) The trick is keeping your nightly activities soft and relaxed, so everyone ends up feeling a little bit snoozy and ready for their cot or bedtime. (Including you!) We can’t guarantee it will eliminate all the 5-7PM chaos, but we reckon it’s surely worth a shot.
1. Start with a cosy bath.
Regular baths don’t just keep kids’ skin squeaky clean and smelling delightful, they’re also a great way to get everyone to calm the heck down before bed. Start the unwinding process in a toasty warm tub (preferably between 37°C and 38°C, and preferably with a squillion bubbles) and use a gentle, soap-free body cleanser (like, ahem, this one!) to wash them from top-to-tiny-toes. If your little stinker will not get in for a scrub, try turning bathtime into a game and not a chore. Start a timer and see if they can set a PB for their nightly speed wash. Or give them something to do while they’re soaking. Learn some dinosaur facts! Build a story together! Belt out some bathroom karaoke! (The acoustics are TERRIFIC.) They won’t even notice that you scrubbed their elbow creases and all the mud out of their ears.
2. Try a gentle massage.
Big grubby, whiffy kids might not stay still long enough, but for teeny wriggly babies, try following bathtime with a gentle massage. It’s very relaxing, very soothing, and can do a great deal of useful stuff, like help tiny humans digest and do giant toots. Try it after bathtime, when the room is in low light and all toasty, and when your baby is calm but alert, (and hasn’t just eaten). Start gently, but firmly, massaging a nourishing and calming body oil all over – palms, thighs, arms and of course, the tummy. Imagine your hands are a wizard's cloak: drape them across your child’s body in a gentle, rhythmic manner. Stroke from the heart to the hands and then from head to toes. Repeat. It should feel (and smell!) delightful, for both of you.
3. Enjoy a bit of quiet play.
When bathtime is done and PJs are on, it’s time for everyone to shoosh. Make time for quiet play with soft, soothing activities (and this acoustic-y, folksy, evening-calm-down playlist). Read a bedtime story (or seven), get out the pencils to draw and colour in, or sit down for a quiet chat about important stuff (like, bugs and whether llamas can laugh). This is an excellent chance to offer your kids some choices. They don’t get to decide when to go to bed, but they can very carefully (painstakingly!) select a book to read.