To not understand how to get a toddler to sleep when you have a newborn??(31 Posts)
So one son 2.5yrs and other son 16 weeks...
Mon- fri I do bedtime on my own,
I do bath with both of them together, pyjamas on etc,
As we are upstairs I then put Thomas on for DS1 and feed DS2, try my best to settle him and put in crib, but he needs to be resettled, dummy in etc, if I leave our room to put toddler in his bed the baby cries and I end up running between rooms with DS1 getting hyper jumping on bed etc!! If I take baby into his room he will make noises which stops toddler settling!! Toddler goes to sleep quickly but needs me in the room, so basically I have ended up with them both in bed with me, holding baby and waiting for toddler to fall asleep watching Thomas which I know is bad and can't continue!!
So AIBU that it's impossible to get toddler and baby to sleep?? I know 100s people manage but am at a loss!!!
Suggestions please??? no cry it out)
Baby in a sling whilst you put toddler to bed? Or feed baby in toddlers room while the falls asleep? Having them fall asleep in your room is great and if they're happy then it's not doing them any harm.
I done all the nights in my own too as partner works away in the week. Let toddler play or watch tv or tablet whilst you put baby down??
Or just have half a bottle f wine and see what happens??
Put the toddler to bed first, then put baby down when toddler has settled. Be firm about it being bed time. No more Thomas! It's a tricky stage but you'll get through it.
Yes, toddler to bed first
I do try my best to be firm but my toddler will not stay in bed unless I sit by him, he will jump up run around turn his light on etc etc!!
There is a gate on his room but he will just stand by it and scream and scream!!
If I take baby in every time baby sniffles or speaks he thinks it's hilarious and her worked up again or will say 'put baby down' and get upset I can't cuddle him!
If I sit by him he will be asleep within 10-15mins no problem but can't rely on baby's to stay asleep in our room that long at that time of evening as he is not consistently feeding at set times yet!
*snuffles or squeaks
(I do not have a genius baby who speaks!!)
Toddler to bed first and put baby in bouncy chair or similar outside room.
It's such a tough stage and it doesn't get any better now DC2 is a bit older. I just pray bed time goes quickly but mainly I'm still running between bedrooms for 2 hours
Oh and with DC2 unless they are crying just leave them to amuse self for few minutes in chair/bed etc. - that's what I did anyway!!!
I used to breastfeed the baby while my toddler was falling asleep. They soon get used to baby noises! Just ignore his giggles or comments and he will eventually settle. It's a hard stage though, there is no magic formula!
Ah I remember this fondly! We have the same age difference for our DC. Get yourself on Amazon and get some lovely sleepy night time books for toddler (or if you can venture out poundland have some lovely books. Id pick about 10). Then put them away in a special box or drawer in toddlers room and only bring them out at bed time. Tell toddler that if he's a good boy he can quietly sit and pick out a special story for you to read after baby goes to sleep and if he manages to be really quiet whilst you settle baby he can pick 2 stories. Worked for mine anyway! This will get alot easier. Mine are 2 and 4 now and best mates. And both still love bedtime stories! Xx
Your main issue is your toddler does not know how to self settle.
Are they intelligent enough to understand explanations about why they must stay in bed, why they must make noise and get out of bed etc?
Also, 'putting Thomas on' do you mean on an iPad or tv? That needs to stop if so.
Why can't you bathe both the children, put the baby down, floor or boundary chair , and dress the toddler. Hand the toddler a book while you dress the baby. Put toddler and book in bed, and under blanket. Speak calmly and quietly about nonsense toddler things. Dress baby. Feed baby while you read a story. Toddler does pages, you make it up if you can't see.
Feed and story finished, you wind the baby and put it down again. Cuddles, kisses and explanations to the toddler you are going to put the baby in its cot, but will be back. If the toddler starts to carry on and get up, you will be cross and won't come back. Go and settle baby, go back to toddler, leave toddler go bc to baby.
In the day, speak frankly to your toddler about staying in bed and introduce sanctions if needs be. Or rewards if they do it.
From a sleep hygiene point of view, giving him Thomas to watch is undoing all your work. He doesn't 'need' you there to fall asleep. He likes you being there.
Or carry on as you are...
I had this problem when ds2 was born. I did a sort of gradual retreat approach, so I started off by sitting near the door with the baby and told ds1 that I needed to stand away so naughty baby didn't keep him awake. Then after a few days I told him the baby was so noisy I had to stand out on the landing with him (door open). Once he'd got used to that I told him baby was so tired I needed to put him into bed but I would be back to check on him as soon as the baby was asleep.
Any running around and silliness after bedtime I told him I would close the stair gate if he couldn't be trusted to stay in bed. If he got out then I closed the stair gate and walked away for around a minute. Then went back and said I would open the gate again if he promised to stay in bed. Had to repeat a few times over a few days but he learnt quickly. Ds2 did just have to be left to cry a bit at times if ds1 needed me but he appears to have coped ok with it!
I used to bf dc2 while I was reading to dc1. She was a bit older though so could self settle after the story. You can't turn the pages with ff though!
My toddler also acts on at bedtime unless I sit in his room while he drifts off. I just stick the baby in her sling while I'm doing the story & then feed her while the toddler is falling asleep.
Thanks guys, good ideas there!
Yes putting Thomas on TV not tablet, but I know this is not great!
His language is not great so not sure if I would be able to reason with him etc
Have tried so hard to get him to self settle but get into a cycle of getting him sleepy, tuck him in bed, leave , even slowly and gradually and he jumps up runs round etc therefore not in sleepy mode any more!!
Love the box of books idea- thanks, we have some present books that I've not given him yet so could use those.
Am reassured that others have had similar problems with this age gap and that it does get better!! The classic 'this too shall pass' mantra!!
I beg to differ, you can turn pages while FF! My technique was me and toddler sat on bedroom floor (sometimes she sat on a bean bag), baby in bouncy chair. Hold bottle with one hand, book on lap and free hand to turn pages!
Now that DS is 10 months old I still bathe them together and dress them both in DD’s bedroom but then I feed DS in his room while DD sits in her room and either plays quietly with her soft toys or looks at a book.
Once DS is fed everyone in bathroom to brush teeth then DS is put to bed (neglected second child so he’s very easy going and happy to go down in his cot awake!) then back into DD’s room to read a few books together then lights out.
The first few months were tough going, and like you my DH works away from home Monday to Friday. Now that they are both getting older it is gradually getting easier.
I say that but DS has started crawling in the last week so I now have to keep moving him away from things (chest of drawers, laundry basket, etc) in DDs bedroom while I’m trying to dress her!
For me the "getting them to bed sleepy" is what you do for a baby, a toddler should be calm but not necessarily sleepy.
You can't really do anything about the newborn needing you so the change has to be with your toddler. Even without going as far as cry it out you maybe work on making him understand that he is expected to go to sleep without you there.
I know, easier said than done...
DH has an unconventional approach, which I was a bit unsure avout but it turned out to be working: he would sit DS on the landing and say that he can stay there if he doesn't want to sleep (not angry at him, more like "your choice DS, we don't mind"). No toys, minimum light, not allowed to get up, so boring. After 10-15min DS would ask sheepishly if he could go to bed. DH: "are you going to stay quiet?", DS "no" (hasn't understood the concept of lying...), 5 more min and he would plead to go to bed and promise he will be quiet. Job done! Worth a try?
It's so weird - I had 3 children age 3, 1 and 0 and now I cant think how it worked! Somehow it did but I really cant remember - I think they were all fairly sleepy and I got the babies to sleep first and then the toddler. Sorry not much use!
Following with interest as in a similar situation x
It’s a shitty time. (Been there got the wrinkles). I’d try to get DS1 to sleep slightly earlier whilst DS2 is still awake and happy, —I realise this is easier said than done— So skip Thomas. park DS 2 next to the tumble get ds1 to sleep and then deal with ds2.
It gets easier I promise.
I had this with my last 2, I'd take my baby boy with me in DD2's bed, hold him, feed them both usually and hope for the best takes a bit of getting used to but it worked and actually got my last into a routine sooner than my first two. Nowadays DH settles baby boy (nearly 1) whilst I deal with DD2 (she still needs me)...
My DD just turn 2 & my DS is 14 weeks. Before DS was born, DD's bed time routine was cuddling in bed with me / fed to sleep and staying with her until she fell asleep.
It took 1 week of routine, dinner about the same time, no screen time after dinner, play time, bath, pj's, bed. Sometimes we do a book before bed but we always single the same song once she's in bed and depending on how tired she it only takes a few lines or a few repeats of the song before she crashes out. Sometimes she now asks to go to bed or asks to sing the song when she is really tired!
Until the end of Dec she would be up till 10/11 pm before she would go to sleep, now it's 8pm asleep every night!!
Oh yes, always the same song is a good idea. It gets them to understand in a gentle way that the day is now over.
I have a 2.5 yr old and almost 1 yr old. Toddler goes to bed first. Toddles routine has stayed the same, just with baby added in. So we go up, bath or wash , dry and dress baby while toddler plays in Bath. Dry and dress toddler. Into toddlers room. Baby was either fed, laid on bed or in bouncy chair, while I read stories (now he's older he cruises about the bedrom) then kiss and cuddle for toddler, mobile on and leave.
Go and give baby milk and put him to bed .
I think the big difference is my toddler was able to be put in the cot and left. (I did gradual retreat to get to this stage!) And also, he's still in a cot.
It's tough going. You do need to teach your eldest to self-settle, we let ours cry it out 😭 when he was about 2, it was horrid but it did work. Two years later we did the same with dc2.
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