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How do you do 3 bedtimes?

(7 Posts)
Doraemon Wed 20-Mar-13 11:32:02

DD1 is nearly 8 weeks old ( but 6 weeks prem so still tiny and I'm not expecting any semblance of routine for a while yet), DSs are 7 and 5.
At the moment DD is basically carted around in a sling or in my arms with a boob in her mouth at bedtime - at some point I do her nappy and put her in a sleeping bag but she doesn't go to bed until we do (we co-sleep). However at some point I think we should probably try to get some sort of bedtime routine for her and I have no idea how it's all going to fit together.
DH is usually home by about 6:15 but works late probably once a week. I eat with the boys about 5-ish most nights, DH eats when he gets in.
Currently DS2 is in bed by around 7, and has two chapters of book read to him - he's not quite ready to read to himself - then I have to sing him a lullaby confused. DS1 is in bed by about 7:30, we read a bit to him then he reads by himself until about 8. He has ASD and needs a far amount of supervision with getting ready for bed as he gets distracted and forgets what he is meant to be doing.
How am I supposed to fit in bathing/feeding/changing/settling a baby as well?
Please tell me how you get everyone fed and put to bed!

mathanxiety Thu 21-Mar-13 14:15:25

Forget bathing at bedtime. Get it done before dinner for the boys. Bathe baby after lunch. Top and tail later once she starts in on solid food (a quick blast of a washcloth after dinner would do).

Change your dinner menu to allow for cooking earlier in the day so you free up the time you would normally be cooking for bathing, or use a slow cooker, or aim to cook only three times a week with leftovers warmed up, rice or pasta or couscous to boil daily to vary it a bit. Eat a little later, maybe wait until your H comes home and have a family dinner?

The boys are old enough to stand in the shower together or hop in one after the other, and should be able to manage washing hair and bits themselves at 5 and 7. Even if they're not great at it they won't smell too bad if they get rinsed off daily. Get shampoo with built in conditioner. Showering is much faster than a bath.

Both boys to bed together between 7 and 7.30 - split the diff and say 7.15. That way you can supervise both of them at the same time and bedtime won't seem like it drags on all night.

Keep baby's sling and co-sleeping going as long as she seems happy with it. Try to rope your H in for the boys' bedtime more and more until he is doing 5 or 6/7 nights.

CheeseStrawWars Thu 21-Mar-13 14:20:30

Read the same story to your DCs, at the same time, then pop DS2 into bed, sing lullaby, and let DS1 get on with reading on his own while you settle DD? Or use an audiobook if you need to buy yourself some time? One of those where it goes "ding" to turn the page, then your DS2 can 'read' on his own? Let him read that while you sort out DD, and then pop back to sing his lullaby?

Fallenangle Thu 21-Mar-13 14:24:41

Different idea but not claiming its the best option.

Boys eat at 5, (chill and reheat later for you and DH if appropriate) you and DH eat at 8
DH helps with bedtime routine for boys while you bath and feed baby ( or vice versa), then put her down to sleep.
Heat dinner up for you and DH
I think DH will get more quality time with the children and with you. You get the help when you need it at bedtime, the kids get read to by their Dad.

Fallenangle Thu 21-Mar-13 14:28:37

Cross posted with cheesestrawars. Reading to children should involve discussion about the story, I'd avoid audio books unless there are other times DCs get read to. Dad reading to them is important - was a report and threads on it a few weeks ago.

Fresh01 Thu 21-Mar-13 20:13:53

We have 4 kids, 7, 5, 3 and 1. Like you DH in around 6.15pm 5 nights out of 7.

I eat with kids at 5pm as I am trying to go to the gym a couple of evening when kids in bed. DH reheats his whenever he can.

We take them all upstairs at 6.30pm and have a bath with separate shower in one bathroom. If DH home he does all bathing, teeth etc. I then dressed DC4 - if he is home I continue to give her her bottle and put her down by 7pm, if he isn't once dressed I take her to DC3's room get him in ok'd story then put to bed. DC4 just plods about his room when she was younger I had a second rocker seat that I could rocker with my foot if she was unsettled or it had a bar toys could be hung from. Then go back and give DC4 bottle and put in cot. Whilst these 2 are getting put to bed the older 2 get their pj's on and either play quietly together in one bedroom or in their own rooms.

Then if both home we each read to one of the older ones and put them to bed by 7.30pm. If it me on my own I do DC2 next then DC1 and am usually done by 7.40.

We try and only wash hair when both of us are there, if they want a shower on other nights they have shower hats.

We have been doing variations of the same routine since DC1 was 3 months old so they all know the score. It was harder when the youngest was BF as they took longer to put down so I tried to give them a top up feed at 6pm, bath them with the rest of them, either hold or have in rocker seat whilst all the others got put to bed then I could feed for as long as they wanted.

mixedmamameansbusiness Fri 12-Apr-13 13:37:33

We have three Ds 7,5 and 2.

Ds3 goes to bed between 6.00-6.45 and I usually put them all in the bath about 5.15 then dinner, little play them just put him down sometimes I stay withsp I can read and the other two are usually catching up on Nlue Peter or playing a board game.

About 7.00pm I do reading with Da2 whilst ds1 reads independently and then he reads aloud and we have a chapter of whatever we are reading. Then 7.30-8.00 off they both go.

I find it easiest to keep ds1 and ds2 routine the same, but they all share a room so I do it to minimise disruption, but soon that will change when the baby goes in his own room and I expect more of a staggered system and reading in bed scenario.

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