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Anyone have any tips on getting two under 2 to bed at the same time?

(9 Posts)
attethersend Sun 05-Jun-11 21:35:29

DS1 is just 2, DS2 is 5 months. Unfortunately neither is very good at settling down to go to bed of an evening.

We normally manage by taking one each - DH reads to the toddler and then spends about 45 minutes repeatedly going back in, lying him back in his cot, and telling him to go to sleep, while I take the baby downstairs away from the wailing, banging and shouting, and give him a feed then rock him to sleep. No doubt this isn't ideal, but it works just about.

However, in a few weeks DH will be going away for work and I will somehow have to manage to get them both into bed on my own. No doubt, in an ideal world the baby would go to bed much earlier, but for some reason he will never settle in the afternoon/evening without being held (though he's fine in the morning), and because I have to get tea for the toddler that's not going to work.

I have visions of having them both screaming for hours on end and am absolutely dreading it to be honest. Does anyone have any tips?

SockMunkee Sun 05-Jun-11 21:40:47

I would get the toddler to bed 1st. Start a bedtime routine now, then once the toddler is in bed settle the baby.
My son was awful at bedtime, I used to spend hours taking him back to bed. Bloody exhausting

Sleepyspaniel Sun 05-Jun-11 22:13:59

Definitely focus on gettin the toddler in a routine first. I found that it was the protracted reading and sitting with our toddler that caused sleep problems. We do bath, get into pyjamas, milk whilst reading story then it is VERY FIRMLY night-night, cuddles, kisses, and go downstairs. He wailed a bit initially but within a week was going happily to sleep within two minutes of me leaving the room (honestly) with no follow-up waking up. He has slept like a dream ever since. The more you go up and down the stairs the more the toddler will expect you to, so just stop doing it. He will adapt.

Can you pre-prepare your toddler's tea at a more convenient time during the day ie sandwiches, pre-baked potato that just need heating up, likewise pasta, chop fruit into a fruit salad etc. That way you can just get the stuff out of the fridge and can serve his tea up quickly. Put the baby in a sling whilst you do this if he wants to be close to you. Start the toddler on the fruit whilst you get on with heating the meal. Meals don't have to be perfect either - nothing wrong with chopped cheese and apples and grapes with wholemeal buttered toast cut into squares, ie "picky" bits that make up a fully satisfactory meal. Make full use of the TV and/or treats - it's about surviving til your DH gets back, not long-term perfection. Good luck!

Sleepyspaniel Sun 05-Jun-11 22:15:44

PS nothing wrong with white toast either of course BTW grin - I was just trying to illustrate "picky bits".

dizzyblonde Mon 06-Jun-11 09:19:07

I had 2 under two as well. I used to make a picnic type tea, put it on a tray and take it upstairs to have on my bed whilst feeding the youngest. While we had tea I would put on a story tape and the oldest DC would wind down listening too it and looking at books. We could then move straight onto bath ,bed etc.

FourFish Mon 06-Jun-11 20:40:21

I have two methods depending on how tired my eldest is - mine are currently 2 years and 9 months and 16 months but i've done this since DD2 was 8 months old.

If DD1 is ready for sleep at DD2s bedtime, she comes to bed with me and DD2, we all snuggle up together with a story tape and I breastfed DD2 to sleep and DD1 drifts off having a cuddle and a story. I have to admit I fall asleep myself sometimes.

If DD1 is not sleepy, she has a snack tray in front of bedtime hour on ceebies (quietly) on a little table in my room while I feed DD2 to sleep. I then take DD1 into her room and read her a story until she falls alseep.

Intrestingly, DD2 will not settle to loud noises but is unfazed by a story CD or ceebies on in the background! I think it is constant, predictable noise that doesn't affect sleep. This works for us though recently DD1 has started wanting to go to bed in her own room like a big girl with no mummy and while I am pleased that bedtime is getting easier I also miss our nighttime hugs.

headfairy Mon 06-Jun-11 20:44:57

I had a slightly larger age gap, 2.3 years, but I used to have dd in her bouncy chair upstairs at story time (I used to bounce her with my foot grin) while ds got his stories. I'm ashamed to say that I sang ds to sleep after stories (still do blush in my defence he falls asleep in about ten mins so not too bad) so I used to get dd in her sleeping bag and sit in ds's room singing to him and bfing her to sleep. Once ds was asleep i'd creep in to dd's room and put her in her cot.

on desperate lazy some days I have been known to take them both up to my bed and lie in bed with them bfing dd and let ds fall asleep watching cartoons, but that was when I was soooo tired I could barely hold my head up.

headfairy Mon 06-Jun-11 20:48:03

sorry, missed the bit about tea time. Second the sling thing... and super quick tea that night (I quite often do baked beans on toast for ds on these kind of days) and possibly accept a little bit of wailing for the 5 mins that it'll take to do that. I did a heck of a lot of prancing around the kitchen singing to dd while she screamed at me as I made ds's tea - ah fond memories grin

naturalbaby Mon 06-Jun-11 22:10:35

i have somehow managed a week without dh with 3 under 3's. somehow things are much easier and more relaxed when i'm on my own. plan it all and get things ready way in advance, have a trial run with your dh downstairs and you upstairs getting them both ready for bed.
tonight (no dh again) i got ds1 to watch t.v while i got baby ready for bed, fed to sleep then quickly got ds1 ready for bed. then when baby woke up and was grizlly, ds1 was ready for bed so i could leave him with his toys while i sorted out baby. i let him stay up late playing in his room so he was properly tired and settled quicker.

an afternoon walk helps and i use a lullaby cd for him to listen to in bed so he's happily lay in bed for ages listening to that. i also have a good cot mobile that will keep baby entertained for a few minutes while i sort other things out.

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