My Bedtime Routine: Shawn Johnson and Andrew East Discuss Tag-Team Parenting, Finding Alone Time, and More


In our Sleeping With… series, we ask people from different career paths, backgrounds, and stages of life how they make sleep magic happen.

Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson may have retired from her athletic career in 2012, but her journey certainly didn’t end there. Today, she’s grown her platform as a social media, lifestyle, and blogging darling—with a few books down the hatch too. On Instagram and YouTube, Johnson and her husband, Andrew East, are known for sharing everything from relatable couple moments to adorable photos and videos of their two-year-old daughter, Drew.

The couple, who live in Nashville, are currently expecting their second child, a boy. As part of their partnership with H&R Block, SELF had the opportunity to catch up with both Johnson and East about how they manage to create downtime, all while prepping for a baby and parenting a toddler. “When I was pregnant with Drew, a lot of my self-care time was taking baths or going to get massages or spa treatments,” Johnson says. “This time around, there is no time for that.”

Here, Johnson and East walk us through a night at home—including Drew’s bedtime routine, why they respect each other’s alone time, and how Johnson gets a good night of sleep while several months pregnant.

Andrew: Shawn is the queen of schedules.

Shawn: We did the whole schedule thing starting early on, so Drew is very used to her nighttime routine. Starting around 6:30 or 6:45 p.m. after dinner, we turn all the TVs off to start calming down. We read some books, we play with toys, and we just get in that quiet zone.

Andrew: During that mellow-out period, Drew is oftentimes in full hype mode—she’s running around the house, crazy screaming. It’s awesome.

Shawn: Usually running around naked. Bath time is around 7 p.m. I get her nursery ready, I get her blankets out, and her loveys, and we do a fun bath time. We brush her teeth, we put our pajamas on, and then I hand her over to Daddy.

Andrew: The crazy thing is, she’ll be really excited, even after Shawn gets her in her sleep sack. She’ll be kissing Shawn, she’ll be screaming at Shawn, and then [Shawn] hands her to me and I give Drew the bottle. And as soon as she starts on her bottle, she is ready for bed. Her eyes get all droopy and it takes about five to 10 minutes. We do a little cuddle and then put her in the crib, and that’s that.

Shawn: We swear by Avent bottles; that’s what she’s used ever since she was born. And the best sleep sack in the entire world is Kyte. [Ed. note: Johnson has partnered with Philips Avent in the past.] We’ve been very spoiled. She’s been a great sleeper from day one. She slept through the night at about 10 or 12 weeks, and then she’s slept through the night ever since. So she’ll sleep from 7:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Andrew: Usually around 7:15 p.m., I’ll close the door onto Drew’s nursery and then we have what we call “beverage time.”

For the first year we had Drew, we realized we would put her down and then just want to go lay down on the couch and not talk to each other, but a lot of times we would be frustrated the next day because we didn’t talk about logistics or debrief the previous day. So now we use this time as five to 10 minutes to talk about the day, express any feelings, and then if it’s a nice night, we love having fires. So we’ll go out and do that, and then we go to bed at, like, 8:30.

Shawn: When I was pregnant with Drew, a lot of my self-care time was taking baths or going to get massages or spa treatments.

This time around, there is no time for that. So I think what I would consider my self-care right now is my workouts. I’ve been working out Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and it just gives me an hour or two hours to get away from the house and to go hang out with friends and get a good workout in that’s just for me.

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