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My DC's are so demanding - I've had enough

(27 Posts)
BetteDavis01 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:33:36

Dd is 3 and DS is 16 months. They will not play together, they just attack each other. DS has one, 30 min nap and DD does not nap at all, she just works herself up and overtired and then starts being silly, screaming, hitting and generally out of control.

I'm not being very coherent, but basically I need some tips on how to exhaust them and make then sleep. They are both wide awake and won't go to be til 8.30pm. I'm so fed up and tired. I'm a SAHM and I'm sick of it atm. The day seems to go on forever.

I think my main issue is getting them to bed at a reasonable hour, I don't get an evening and I really do need it for my sanity.

Any advice gratefully received. Thank you.

baskingseals Wed 12-Dec-12 19:36:37

bette - i too have HAD ENOUGH.

do you do bedtime on your own?
what time do you start proceedings?

DancingInTheMoonlight Wed 12-Dec-12 19:38:26

They are really too young to 'play together'. Most children dont start to learn these skills until after 3. Before that, and for some time when they are learning! they just parallel play at best usually fight over posessions. Do you go out and about to classes/ toddler groups etc. I find that changing up routine to include new and physical things wears my DS out. That combined with a pram/car ride there usually induces sleep.

What time are they eating their evening meal? What is there current bedtime routine?

BetteDavis01 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:40:20

Glad I'm not alone! grin

DD is currently trying to climb onto my head and DS is pushing his little bus along the floor! Both been bathed and had their milk. I start trying to 'wind down' at about 6.30pm, ha ha!

Please someone help us!

IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 12-Dec-12 19:41:50

You say they are overtired but then are wide awake and wont go to be til 8.30pm...that's probably one of the main issues.

DS is 2.10 and doesn't nap - he is in bed by 7pm most nights, 7.30pm at a push. Any later than that and he's a mess.

So I would start by moving bedtimes earlier. Start a consistent wind-down routine from 6pm (DS has some fruit in front of Abney and Teal, then bath, stories and bed). If nothing else, you will get your evenings back and therefore have more patience during the day.

Has your DD started nursery or anything yet? My DS goes to a little playschool for two hrs, twice a week which helps save my sanity a bit (also a SAHM, 38.5 weeks pregnant). He'll start getting his 15 free hrs in April.

I can't advise on how to encourage them to play better together, as I only have one. But getting out and about as much as you can (in this hideous weather) will help...are there any soft play places/playgroups etc nearby that you could go to? Could you set your DD up with a toy/task/craft at the table where your DS can't get to her? She might be getting frustrated with his involvement...

I wish I could help more!

BetteDavis01 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:42:17

Yep do trips to parks, sing songs, trip to shops etc, play games. I always try to engage them but they exhaust me! I need to claw back my evening. I'm going crazy here.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 12-Dec-12 19:44:21

Oh - I tidy all the toys away (lock them in the conservatory!) before bath (while DS getting his Abney and Teal fix). So there are no distractions/temptations for when he comes back down stairs. Might this help a bit?

baskingseals Wed 12-Dec-12 19:45:45

oh bette if i could teleport myself i would. not that i'd be a lot of help. we could go and swear in the kitchen or something.

one thing i did read is the hour or so before bedtime to try and focus on them. not clear up or faff about, but really play and concentrate on them, and then when it comes to bedtime it is easier to leave iyswim.

it is really hard. mine are a bit older than yours 10, 5 and 3. at this time of year it is difficult to wear them out.

i did use to pretend to be a monster and chase them around the house - that meant they weren't fighting each other but fighting me. that worked a bit.

DancingInTheMoonlight Wed 12-Dec-12 19:47:54

Where do your dc nap during the day? Do they share a room? Do they go to bed together? I have no experience in getting 2 children to bed at the same time. For my own DS i put him in his own room early and he went down to bed after his supper at the same time every night with the same routine, same things said etc. I put him down and if he didnt settle (initially he didnt) i used to keep going in every 3/5 mins or so (depending on how unsettled he was) say 'bedtime' and put him back down. Initally i could be doing this for over an hour but within a few days he realised it was bedtime and now loves going to bed.

I think the key is to find a routine which suits your family life and stick to it. Initially its hard but children adapt. You DD will be starting nursery soon? so will no doubt need more sleep as it seems to exhaust them so she may be more willing to go to bed hopefully

gingerninja Wed 12-Dec-12 19:54:29

I would advise starting bedtime routine earlier. Evenings are very important to you to recharge when you're at home with them all day. I do find with mine that if I miss their window of opportunity for bed then they get overtired and it takes them another 2 hours to settle, but I'm the same I can be exhausted at 9m but wired at 11! My great granny apparently always advised my mum that an hour in the evening was worth two in the morning ie she'd rather have them in bed at 6.30 in the eve and risk them waking at 5.30 than loose her evening. She had a point!

BetteDavis01 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:06:24

It makes me laugh to think that I used to want 4 kids! grin

DD is now eating a banana. DS is calm but awake. We are all watching Sarah Beeny's Selling houses! grin

doughnut44 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:41:49

I would say turn the TV off at 7pm when Cbeebies finish, bath, pj's, stories and bed. Do it all upstairs

Tolly81 Thu 13-Dec-12 03:04:43

Earlier bedtime and bedtime routine that does not involve any tv or toys upstairs. No playing after bath time, I'll sing to DD or read her a story but that's as stimulating as it gets. My mum (who had 5 children, including 4 under 6) always said bore them to sleep and she's got a point - of it's more fun to stay up they'll fight sleep for as long a they can!

MrRected Thu 13-Dec-12 03:41:40

Bette - it's quite easy.

Dinner at 5.30pm.
Tv from 6pm - 6.30 pm - whilst they are watching you can run the bath, get PJ's, beds ready etc.
Bath both children at 6.30pm. Whilst you are getting the younger one to bed, let the older child read a book (IN their bed). No tv, games, etc.
7pm, lights out for younger DC
Read story to older child
7.15pm lights out for older child

Just don't negotiate. They may grumble for the first few days, but if you stick to it, they'll go to bed.

If they keep coming out, follow the dreaded supernanny approach (she is appalling but the bedtime thing does work):

First time they come out - tell them gently that it's bed time. Put them back in bed.
Second time they come out - say a bit more firmly - bed time and put them back in bed.
Third, Fourth and subsequent times they get up - put them back in bed without saying anything.

Truly, if you stick to it for a few days, you'll crack it and get your evenings back.

MovingGal Thu 13-Dec-12 05:11:01

I agree with the "no playing after bath time" advice. A warm bath and warm milk both encourage sleepiness, so to bed asap after these with as little excitement or entertainment as possible.
It might take a while to establish the new night routine but will be so worth it. I always used to say that even though my kids could have stayed up later, they had to be settled in bed before 7.30pm because thats when my patience ran out.
(Now they're 15 & 18 - still wish I could get them to bed at 7.30!!)

Horopu Thu 13-Dec-12 05:24:52

Great advice here. Are you able to take them swimming? That always left my kids exhausted when they were young and they would go to sleep really quickly.

Tolly81 Thu 13-Dec-12 10:15:04

I'd second the swimming tip - also makes them hungry so they eat lots too which helps!

princesss Thu 13-Dec-12 18:23:27

bananas are full of natural sugars....i dont give my ds anything sweet at all past his dinner time at 5pm

SecretSantaSquirrels Thu 13-Dec-12 18:26:50

MrRected has it right.
You are in charge here. They are only up and watching tv at 8pm because you allow it. They won't hate you forever if you make them go to bed.

NellyTheElephant Thu 13-Dec-12 21:58:53

I remember well how totally exhausting that stage is (mine are now 7, 5 & 3 and believe me it DOES get better). I would definitely start the bed time routine earlier. Make sure that they are upstairs by 6pm for bath time. Do they share a room? If not it's slightly easier, once into PJs teeth cleaned etc put DS into cot and say good night (ignore complaints), then go and read an extra story to DD and lights out for her too. Do you have a stair gate over your DD's door? We found that invaluable for keeping them in their rooms. My DDs shared a room from 2.11 and 11 months respectively and I would just be v strict about lights out and stairgate across the door. Funnily enough my two used to spend most of their time during the day trying to murder each other but that bedtime zone when they had nothing else to do and nowhere to go used to be the one time they would often giggle and be silly together before crashing out. I can't stress enough how important it is to be firm. Not angry or shouty, just firm. If mine cried I would go up, quick kiss and cuddle, say 'I love you very much but it's time to sleep now' and go away again. As many times as it took. Eventually they got the hang of it.

doughnut44 Thu 13-Dec-12 22:41:42

I don't think you need to tire them out by swimming etc - a good routine should be enough - you can't tire them out every night, there isn't enough time especially when they start school

notnowbernard Thu 13-Dec-12 22:49:40

I would also advise earlier bed time

When mine were that age they were in bed by 6.30. Dinner at 5, bath at 5.45, c beebies then tv off and story in bedroom with milk etc

God I feel nostalgic for those days blush

Alas 2 yr old ds is still bouncing off the walls at 8pm cos his older sisters aren't ready for bed until then... But I have to have them on their rooms by 8. for my sanity

Horopu Fri 14-Dec-12 19:23:59

I agree that a good routine is what is needed doughnut, but a good swim might also help break the cycle! Hope you can use some of the great advise people have given you.

PorridgeBrain Sat 15-Dec-12 05:18:31

It sounds like you are waiting for them to ask to go to bed/ put themselves to bed. Agree 100% with Recte.

LoopsInHoops Sat 15-Dec-12 05:54:31

How hard have you tried with the afternoon nap? My kids are same-ish age and both have 2 hour daytime nap.

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