For almost a year, we have had the same bedtime rhythm. Snack, bath, dress, read, and sleep. It worked fairly well until about two months ago. Bunny decided that the bath energized her enough to want to play, not sleep. We started off just letting her play on the bed for a few minutes before putting her to sleep, but after a while that wasn't enough for her. She wanted up, and anything else was a struggle.
Tonight we made a change. After snack and bath, we dressed her in only her diaper (saving her jammies for later), and got up. She helped The Hubs do dishes, played with magnets on the fridge while I cleaned up the house and started a load of laundry, got dressed, and ate a few puffs in her highchair while I swept the floor.
Just as I finished, I turned to her and saw her almost do a face plant on her tray. She then fussed and reached for me. I scooped her up, holding her in one arm while undoing my shirt with the other. We sat in our rocking chair for a few minutes while she nursed. Then, seeing her eyes start to roll, I told The Hubs it was time to put her to bed. Bunny and I nursed while The Hubs read to us from the Bible. Bunny was out within three minutes. No fuss, no fight. The Hubs finished the chapter and I situated Bunny in her side bed, and turned out the light.
You would think that letting her stay up later would leave us with little to no alone time, but we actually ended up with more. We usually spend a lot of time getting her to sleep and then still have to clean up the house and do our little chores. This was, however, we already have all of that done. So as soon as she is asleep, we are free to do as we please. I also kinda like the idea of Bunny being a part of the house clean up process.
We will see how this new rhythm goes. Hopefully, it will ease our evenings and work as well as it did tonight.