Bedtime routine with 3...how to get a 3yr , 1 yr and 1 month old to bed

(16 Posts)
Hillijx Mon 11-May-15 20:17:08

It's just that....if you have 3 children close in age, how do you get them to bed. I need to tweak our routine as it often ends with me in tears!! Or at the best totally shattered. I would like to stick to some routine as the girls seem to thrive on it and once in bed we don't hear from them again but trying to sort all 3 out on my own is a nightmare....So any tips or just telling me how you do it would be very helpful x

Artandco Mon 11-May-15 20:23:46

Sort all out together then filter into bed.

So all bathed/ teeth/ nappy/ toilet/ pjs together. Easiest way imo is all in the bath with toys, rinse baby and out and changed first and into bouncer.
Then get older two out, eldest starts changing himself, change 1 year old and help eldest.
All into eldest bed, read stories. Can feed baby now at same time. Once read stories, say goodnight to eldest and tuck in. Take 1 year old and baby to 1 year olds cot, tuck in and settle ( with baby on lap feeding if needed), then take baby to living room with you and settle/ feed more

It means you hopefully settle them in order of how long they need your help to sleep, so eldest first to youngest

Hillijx Tue 12-May-15 14:22:54

Thank you, I have been doing separate story time after joint bath and feeding baby whilst elder two play in bath but when they are tired they don't want to stay in the bath happily, instead they just want to fight over toys!! Tonight's plan of action is to quickly bath them all, bundle onto my bed for joint stories whilst I feed baby. Then put the elder two to bed separately and hopefully baby will be happy with a dummy for 10 minutes. My main problem is that the baby is either sleeping, feeding or crying, she isn't old enough to stay awake happy yet as she gets tired so easily, a problem that shouldn't last too long......wish me luck for tonight (last night ended in tears all round!!)

Artandco Tue 12-May-15 14:29:08

Good luck! You don't actually need to bath them every night but I find it helps as the bath is like a kind of playpen! In that you can keep them contained whilst you sort baby, then next one!

Do you have a soft baby wrap? You might find it easier to get baby changed then into wrap so you are hands free to sort others and usually settles baby as can feel your body heat. You can feed baby in sling also whilst reading if needed enough to keep calm, then as mentioned finish feed and burping etc once elder two settled

Good luck

withalittlebitofluck Tue 12-May-15 14:30:21

We have 3 year old 18 month old and 3 months old. We bath all together baby first then two girls together. I get baby in pjs and then get 18 months old ready then she waits (runs wild) while I get/help 3 year old. We all come down for milk. Then after milk story in girls bedroom. Lights out. (Takes 10 mins for them to drop off) while sitting in girls room feed baby. Then finish feed downstairs or on our bed and into bed he goes. Key is having milk and biscuit and story chosen before bath time. Hope that helps. This works most the time. If it's a crazy day then I wing it! ��

withalittlebitofluck Tue 12-May-15 14:30:49

I see the bath as a playpen too!

Hillijx Tue 12-May-15 21:31:33

A bath really helps prepare mine for bedtime and the act of getting them ready for bed is the hard bit, the bathing is the easy bit! Withalittlebitofluck that's what I was aiming to do, my main issue is the crying newborn and she has a set of lungs on her! So tonight I did stories on my bed, I prepared milk so they could sit still whilst I read/fed but for some reason never gave it to them?! Baby brain mush! Anyway they weren't very still and baby nearly got a book on her head a few times! Toddler kept leaning on the baby. Child and toddler wouldn't share a story so I took it in turns reading even though they wanted the same book so I had to read the same books twice! It was marginally successful so I will try the same tomorrow but with the milk this time as it might make them fidget less!

I don't have a wrap but hopefully as she gets older she will be happier awake for longer.....I just have to keep my cool until then!

Ps.....withalittlebitofluck......the age gaps are very similar to mine, please tell me it gets easier?!

Artandco Tue 12-May-15 23:04:20

Sounds like slight progress though

Yes tomorrow give milk ( they can't complain so much if drinking!). And let them from now on choose one book each before bath, that is put on your bed ready so they have already agreed. So they both choose one, but get to listen to two

withalittlebitofluck Tue 12-May-15 23:08:34

Yes it does. Some days are fab, others tough! I have found that I have to let the house work go. (Do when all in bed) and make sure we go out every day even if it's a puddle walk. The thing I find really tough is when out and my baby
needs a feed, my 18 month old is crazy with no fear and I cannot feed and keep her safe. Any suggestions anyone? It does stop us from park, etc. I also do 'easy dinners' no faffing or spending ages In kitchen. Any chopping/pre dinner getting ready is done in nap time.
I also have a 10 year old too.

can you feed new baby before bath? Then do bath straight away. So baby then feeds after bed time for your older children?

Artandco Wed 13-May-15 07:04:55

I took raisens and little Mr men books out to parks etc. Then when baby needed feeding I would get elder one to sit next to us and he could have a snack and story whilst baby fed.

wotamidoing Wed 13-May-15 13:39:30

Thank you for posting this!! I have a similar ending in tears issue and I only have 2!!! Much respect to you and thanks for the ideas!

Hillijx Wed 13-May-15 20:46:12

Who's tears?!

Tough day today as toddler is channeling Damien and doing her best to drive me and her big sister insane.....I'm hoping its teething so that there is an end to it but I'm beginning to fear it's her personality! Anyway bath time went brilliantly as my husband came home �� it's so easy with two parents! Although my eldest has taken to the idea of stories on my bed and telling her to pick one falls on deaf ears so we had a pile to get through! Tomorrow I may try feeding baby first thank you then I only have to settle her during books which may be more flexible.

I am not brave enough to feed out and about on my own as worried about the other two needing me to save them, instead I go to a local park and go out straight after I have fed and get home before next one. I was the same when feeding dd2, I wish I was braver as it stops us doing days out during the week and life can get a bit boring.

I know it will get easier but omg I am finding the days go on forever at the moment with them just to end with everyone crying.......hey ho, focus on the good stuff right?!

withalittlebitofluck Wed 13-May-15 23:17:19

I too only go out as soon as baby has fed. I have 2 ish hours from then. Today we went out with a friend(support) it took 45 minutes to get out the door! Madness! Bath time tonight was a mess! Baby ended up sleeping before his feed and woke back up in the time I normally specifically make for our 10 year old.
I actually had a melt down earlier about mess etc... Cannot wait to be able to get more done.

Artandco Thu 14-May-15 08:47:16

Hill- lots of cafes visits for feeding. Toddlers get bribed with crayons and paper you keep in bag, plus sugary crossients! And you can have drink and feed baby.

Hillijx Thu 14-May-15 20:03:59

Artandco....I'm determined to be more at one with feeding out and about alone so will def try cafes as staying home all the time can be depressing. I have always got embarrassed before as not keen on getting myself out, but I will be brave!

Witha.....I feel you, I find when I have had a rough day then the mess gets to me even more, or the laundry (I mean it's increase is exponential with each child!) or the fact my house always looks like a bomb just went off! I look forward to be able to wash my hair more than once a week! Today went better and I felt I showed them some more attention and not just moaned at them �� hope yours went more smoothly.

withalittlebitofluck Thu 14-May-15 21:23:07

Glad your day was better. Unfortunately 2 out of my lovelys are unwell. Have spent the morning at the doctors for dc3 and when been nursing her and dc4..who I'm still cuddled up too now. So the house still looks like a bomb has gone off and all I want to do is sleep! I make sure I have a shower every morning, before hubby leaves for work. I call it my me time. (Only time I get some personal space) ��. Hope tomorrow is better for everyone!

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