Tips on teatime routine with baby and toddler?(14 Posts)
hello! my newborn DS2 is doing great, responding well to the routine I already have in place for my DS1(mostly based on GF's CLB routine). However, I'm finding it hard to get teatime done, breastfeeding my baby at five while toddler is meant to be eating, then baby's to stay awake and get wee bath then toddler to get big bath and then baby to get breastfed again and at the same time toddler needs read to and put down. Any tips on how to re-jig this part of the day to accommodate both kids? Dump baby on the floor at various points?(JOKE) Get David Blaine to saw me in half, one half to each kid?(AGAIN, JOKE)
At the moment, Pingu and finger foods are keeping older DS busy, but I'd welcome any other suggestions.
how old is your toddler? is he not ok to get on with eating while you feed the baby?
and you can read to ds1 and feed at the same time. sling may make it easier.
as for bath maybe just dunk baby in toddler's bath? no need for major baths for teeny babies. i only used to do dd once a week. now she's 2 it's only maybe 3 times a week.
When I had my DTs I was determined nothing would stop my DS1 sticking to his same routine (bath every night etc) but I soon gave up as it was impossible and he has survived! He still goes to bed ok every night. DTs don't bath every night either, it just makes more work for you (I only bath them twice a week ).
So by missing out the baths some of the time it will give you more time. Can you bf your baby while you sit at the table with your toddler as he has his meal? Can you wear DS2 in sling while you prepare DS1's meal if he starts crying while waiting for their milk?
In all honesty I really did have to dump the babies when I was getting DS1's food ready sometimes, but then there were two of them so no chance of trying to console them both and get anything done!
As for stories, I get the babies into bed (if possible) half an hour before DS1, so I then have that time to spend with just the two of us reading stories and cuddling up.
At bathtime I would dunk baby into the bath quickly while DD was in and then get him ready for bed and into the bouncy chair in the bathroom.
Regarding story and bedtime, I used to bf baby on my bed with DD sitting next to me whilst I read a story. Otherwise make up a story so you don't need to juggle with a book. Sometimes she just watched Jungle Book on dvd while I bf.
It takes a while to all fall into place and yes, I used to find it very stressful to manage all of it, but you will find that suddenly it all works.
I am about to be in your situation, and slightly worried about exactly this time of day, but..
Am sure your toddler could hold on for his tea for half an hou while you breastfeed, and then have his tea at 5.30 and then straight up to bath.
Could you bath them together, using one of these for the baby:
Could whip the baby out and get him dry and dressed in the bathroom while your toddler is still in the bath, and then take them both into your bedroom for stories together in your bed.
I have two and 5pm til 7pm is by far the hardest part of the day! Dh is rarely home in time to help so a lot of juggling is needed! Ds is now 6 months and eating himself at 5 which has made life a lot easier.
I also follow gf and I think what I did when ds was younger was feed him a little earlier (around 4.45) or even while dd was eating. If I remember rightly, it's meant to be a shorter feed and it also gradually disappears to make way for a big 6.45 feed - I pushed ds off it a little earlier than gf recommends as ds seemed happy for me to do so. Then I put him on a play mat on the floor by the table in the kitchen so he could be with us while dd finished tea.
As far as bathtime is concerned, mine now get bathed about twice a week as I find it so hard! I got mine in the bath together from the start (ds has a baby bath seat so I can be hands free). Basically, undress ds, put in bath, undress dd, put in bath, wash ds, wash dd, dry ds, dry dd (very fast while ds cries). It works fine as long as everyone is happy but as it's the end of the day we're normally all a little frazzled!
Then we go downstairs and they both have milk. Dd always finishes first so gets a book and snuggles up next to me and ds for the story. (Now ds 'listens' to the story too)
Then we all traipse upstairs, put ds in his cot (around 6.50), brush dd's teeth and have another story in bed with her.
I've been lucky as ds is quite a quick feeder. In the night garden as definitely had it's uses though!
This is probably far too much detail but you never know what might help!
GF has a book on Toddlers (it's green from memory) and she tells you how to do bath and bedtime for a toddler and baby on her CLB routines. I haven't tried it yet (my baby is due in 4 weeks) but if you are a follower (and I am) it made lots of sense to me.
I completely sympathise - I found this particulary tough at the beginning with DS (my DD was 2 when he was born). Firstly, can I just reassure you it does get easier - but early on it can feel ridiculous and impossible.
My DD could sit well in front of the TV and happily concentrate for quite a while without needing me, so that was a bonus. I would try and do less of a cooked tea for her - making sure she had her main meal at lunchtime once my DS was in bed. So tea is something quick to make like sandwich, egg or cheese on toast etc. I would get that ready and sit her at the table whilst I fed DS. She was in a seat she could get down from easily on her own (trip trap).
After tea I'd take them both upstairs and she would watch TV in our room (next to bathroom) whilst I bathed DS (using that linked bath seat!). I NEVER bathed them together - It was too stressful - but I know other mums who managed just fine. I couldn't work out how to get them both safely out of the bath and kept warm etc. DS used to need to go down no later than 6.30pm, so once he was in his sleepsuit we'd go downstairs for a bit, then I'd put him to bed, then do bath and bedtime with DD.
Unfortunately, DD did watch quite a lot of TV when DS was younger!
Thanks to all for some great suggestions and such detail, much much appreciated. I'd never considered bathing them together or not bathing them every night, or indeed using a bouncer! And it's just good to know that it all ends up finding a rhythm of its own, a new one, eventually. And thanks for confirming that this is universally a tricky time of day for the toddler species.
I love routine for my kid(s) and they love it too, so was keen not to lose it. The main problem I have is keeping DS2 awake at this time of day so he settles at 7. Still, nothing like an episode of Supernanny and a glass of wine to help you remember that things could be alot worse!
Ds has only just stopped having a half hour nap sometime between 4 and 5 - that was a saving grace - kept him much happier between 5 and 7.
I also really recommend the GF Toddler book - has helped me to get dd to be far more independent.
This is what I do when I'm on my own and it's surprisingly easy:
5pm get dinner ready for toddler
5:15pm toddler eating & I BF baby
6pm put on Pingu and put baby in bouncer while I whizz and put a folded towel on bathroom floor (to put baby on) and a nappy sack, wipes and nappy in the bathroom & baby's pyjamas and towels for both. Make sure toddlers PJs are out ready in our room (where baby sleeps) and nappy and BOOKS!!
6:15pm put toddler's cows milk bottle to warm (5 mins) then we all go to the bathroom and I close the door with all of us in it. Sit toddler down with her toothbrush asn get her to 'clean' her teeth while I strip the baby down and give him a quick swill and wash in the bath (2-3 mins usually).
Then, lie baby down on the pre folded towel on the floor and dry, nappy and Pjs while talking the toddler through taking off her clothes. Lovely bath for toddler while baby listens and kicks on the floor.
Take toddler out of bath and take in to our roo (leaving baby on bathroom floor) and quickly put on nappy and Pjs.
Go and get baby and put baby in the cot briefly while get toddler on to our bed with her bottle and the books on the bed within her reach for after the bottle.
Start to BF baby again while toddler drinks milk and then reads as many books as it takes until baby has either stopped feeding or is full enough to lie quietly for a wee while while I pop the toddler in the cot with a cuddle and a kiss and a chat about the day routine. (baby is swaddled and tucked in as if for the night even if more feeding to be done) Go back to baby for more feeding if necessary.
Oh and toddler is 21 months and baby now 12 weeks but has worked from the beginning.
Have dropped toddler's bath for now and he showers with me in the morning, which keeps baby safe too at that time of day.
However, can now imagine it might be possible at some point to have both of them bathing together, in diff. baths maybe or not, thanks to your detailed descriptions. Again, much appreciated!
I had always planned that I would bath toddler and baby together, with baby in bath seat. Not possible with twins as two bath seats means no room for toddler!
Was thinking about this thread earlier actually, presume if you followed GF then you did / are doing last feed of day in darkened baby's room? I used to do this with DS1 and was utterly convinced he would never sleep unless we did, but babies get fed downstairs, with cbeebies on, with dS1 racing round, and they still go down to sleep without a problem. Otherwise it would mean leaving your toddler alone while you whisk baby off upstairs for last feed .
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