To ask for anyone's successful toddler and 6 year old bedtime routine? (Alone)(14 Posts)
My dh works in London leaves at 5am back around 9pm. I work 9.30am-2.30pm. My 3 year old goes to preschool 9-3, and 6 year old to school 9-3.30. This year my dd(6) has started 4 after school clubs, swimming, gymnastics, ballet and rainbows. Before this she only did ballet. She begged to do them and I didn't see a problem with it. However 3 nights a week we get home at 5pm and ballet night 6pm. Ds(3) is tired, dd is hungry. They hate having baths together as ds torments dd but dd needs a bath every night and eczema treatment and ds smells if he doesn't bath nightly and ends up with dinner in his hair! I am struggling to get them to bed on time, they fight constantly, I don't know what I'm doing wrong! Does anyone have a good double bath time routine and double bedtime routine that they do alone? I have to read to them seperatly as well otherwise ds interrupts dds school reading practice. Then once they are in bed the toilet trips, extra hugs, water etc start. And then I can't wake them up in the morning!
Does the 6yo have to do all those clubs? Hard on the 3yo. Could either of them shower rather than bath? Can you read to the 3yo while the 6yo baths/showers themselves? Could you double up with any other parents to share lifts to/from activities?
Things I might try;
Dinner for toddler in the car/while at the group then Bath youngest
Out of bath and dinner for eldest, youngest in pjs can play and you can do reading with your eldest over dinner
Toddler to bed then your eldest to bed?
Or, get a bigger/better bib (hat?) for your toddler and sponge him down after dinner so he doesn't need a bath. (Bath him during the day or shower with him on a morning). Read with your eldest after the toddler is in bed?
Or, if you have a separate shower/bath, could one shower while one baths?
I have the same age gap. This is the sort of system I used.
I used to have tea made up before hand and just reheat and cook rice etc if needed, so it was ready in 15mins max after getting in. My 2 get hangry so this was a key thing to a smooth evening.
After tea allow 6 year old to watch 20mins tv while you bath 3 yr old. Get 3 yr old in their pjs and in their bedroom for 10 mins quiet play while you get 6 yr old in bath and wash them. Let them play in bath while you do 3yr olds teeth. Get 6 yr old out of bath and leave them to dry themselves and put pjs on while you read story to 3yr old and settle them in bed. Do 6 yr olds teeth, read them story and settle in bed.
Go downstairs and get dinner ready for next day, pack bags, lunches etc and clear up tea. Open wine.
I'd drop 3 clubs! Sandwiches for 3yr old while 6yo is at club, 6yo eats sandwiches later/ in car. Quick bath for 3yo while 6yo eats/plays. 6 yo in bath while 3yo has story. 3 yo to sleep, school reading with 6yo. See it as a staggered routine.
Very similar ages here (7 and 4) and similar in that I work and DH never, or rarely, home for bath.
We do the following: dinner at 5.00, but on an activity night it is later- however on those nights something quick... pasta with a sauce made earlier in the week and defrosted, eggs on toast etc.
Then 6.15 (bit later if an activity night), take younger one upstairs to bath. Bath him, 1 calm game, 2 stories. Older one allowed 45 mins tv/DVD etc. settle little one at 6.45 (i.e. Leave him to go to sleep but hover upstairs tidying/sorting to make sure he is asleep!
7.00, downstairs, take older one up and supervise her shower and pjs, teeth etc. read her 1 story or 2 chapters of a story, the put on her CD player with an audio book until she falls asleep.
I learnt v quickly for us it's hopeless trying to have the older one upstairs when I'm trying to get the younger one to sleep. They just wound each other up. DD likes the privilege of having tv time without her brother! Sometimes they do bath together but then DD is straight downstairs until he's asleep...
Feed toddler earlier/at activities. Then dd can eat while u bath toddler, put in pj's then quiet play (or cartoons on ipad so they stay put). Bath 6 yr old then let her play or watch TV while you put toddler to bed. Then do same for 6 yr old. Then super strict about staying in their beds - no drinks, no interaction or talking.
You're being really ambitious with the activities. I have a 5yo and 18mths and I'm keeping it to just swimming 1 night as im also solo in the evenings and it's really hard work. I agree I have to separate them or the younger one would never sleep. Older one gets tablet
to keep him quiet as a special treat, while i put toddler to bed. Also yy to tea already prepped beforehand or something super easy like beans on toast. I won't be encouraging more after school activities til they are past the tired/hungry meltdown stage.
Sorry will just apologise for the use of "meltdown" as I didn't mean to trivialise.
I bed my toddler, then do reading with my 6 year old.
In your case, I would explore options other than a daily bath for your toddler (big bib as others have suggested), and top and tail daily. Alternatively I would either wash the toddler in the morning, or while eldest is doing activities, and then straight into jammed. Make things easy on yourself!
Also that sounds like a nightmare commute for your dh. Surely it's not sustainable?
love that 'divide and rule' is definitely the key theme here. My 2 (now 11 & 8) are amazing, wonderful boys when apart. Together they are little s@@*@s*. Sigh.
I second packed teas for ease - eaten whilst clubs are going in or in the car. Even dropping one club would help too, that is a really busy schedule.
Both my children's eczema was far better after dropping daily baths.. are you sure it's not making it worse? But luckily my children used to like bathing together so it wasn't a flash point. On non bath days just a good flannel helped. Good luck.
I would also seperate school reading from bedtime story, so hear your child read in the morning.In the car on the way to school works. Then story time can be sharing a book all together. I used to do one younger picture book and then a 'chapter' from a slightly older book, together in my bed. Then send older one to his room whilst I tucked younger one in. Then peeked in on older one to give kiss/hug .
I simply didn't have the time energy or willpower to do 2 bedtimes and 2 baths.
It will get easier as they get older. Hugs for now though
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