When Bunny was about a month old, we decided that we would eventually like to have a bedtime routine/rhythm ( I like to plan ahead as much as possible to avoid last minute, stress filled decision making). I got so into the idea of a nice, relaxing, bedtime rhythm, that we ended up starting it just a few days later. It goes something like this:
Mama nurses Bunny if she is at all hungry.
Daddy takes Bunny while Mama runs a warm bath with lavender oil, sets out pajamas, lights candles, and other night time things.
Mama gets in the the tub and takes a quick bath.
Daddy brings Bunny to Mama and Bunny takes a bath and plays in the water.
Daddy takes Bunny and dries her off and diapers her while Mama gets dressed and ready for bed.
Mama takes Bunny and lotions, dresses, and nurses her (while humming or singing lullabies).
Mama and Bunny nurse and snuggle until Bunny goes to sleep (this can take anywhere from five minutes to 20 minutes and sometimes even longer if she isn't very tired).
Once Bunny is sound asleep, Mama moves her to her little bed next to Mama's and Daddy's bed.
Our rhythm usually starts at about 8:00pm (earlier or later depending when Bunny got up from her last nap) and ends whenever she falls asleep, which is about 8:30pm or 8:45pm. I use this time to connect with her, to get back to the way we started. I love to just hold her and watch her fall asleep after a long hard day. Our bedtime rhythm is one of my favorite things about our day.
P.S. We plan to add a lullaby CD to our rhythm soon because Bunny loves music so much.