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How do you do bedtime with a 2.9yo and 1yo?

(14 Posts)
badchat Fri 03-May-13 21:56:58

So, I have DD 2.9 and DS 1yo, who is still bf and feeds to sleep, and DP who is very rarely home before bedtime. Our routine has all got a bit long and stressy and I just can't seem to work out what to change and how...

So, at the moment we do:

Bath and teeth about 6pm, after dinner

Get everyone in nappies and pyjamas (takes bloody ages)

Try to read a couple of books with DS (this is just to try to get him in to the 'books' part of the routine, at the moment he just wants to throw them mostly though rather than look at them)

Read around 6 books with DD; DS will either crawl around pulling books off the shelf, throwing toys around, whining etc. or will feed on one side for a bit.

Put DS in cot just to keep him contained so I can have a cuddle and chat with DD, sing a couple of songs and put her in her cot. He is often shouting/crying which makes this stage not as calm as I'd like!

Take DS into dark, quiet room next door to feed on other side until he drops off...

When he was younger, DS would fall asleep during stories so it was nice and easy to have quiet time with DD, and I was all done by 7pm. But now he is more mobile and doesn't fall asleep in a bright room, and for some reason feeds for absolutely AGES, I am normally not done until 8.30... It is driving me mad.

I would like to wean him off the feed to sleep association, but not sure how - where would milk come in the routine? And how to do it without disrupting DD too much?

Any advice/ideas much appreciated!

CreatureRetorts Fri 03-May-13 22:04:06

Forget all the books! Just a couple for both, lights out, feed youngest to sleep by 7pm. Are they in the same room?

okthen Fri 03-May-13 22:17:28

Definitely reduce the number of books. One each I reckon. Also can you read to dd while feeding ds? that would keep him quiet and get the feed started earlier.

I'd also skip the bath some nights.

As you say, stopping the feeding to sleep association would be a big step. Google the 'Pantley Pull-Off' for technique

Lawabidingmama Fri 03-May-13 22:19:39

My DDs are 1 and 3 my DH sometimes works nights so I often do bedtime myself my youngest isn't bf any more but our routine is:

Bath 6.30 both in together I have everything ready for them getting out (pjs etc)
DD2 out first I have her things ready in the bath room so she gets out dried teeth cleaned pjs on while DD1 plays for a little longer
( can be a challenge to keep DD2 dry as she runs repeatedly up to the bath while DD1 is splashing around hoying water everywhere!)
Then DD1 out wrapped in towel teeth done then both into DD2s room which has the spare bed and cot in.
DD1s pjs etc are all laid out on spare bed so get her sorted while DD2 either has a bottle or jumps on the bed making DD1 laugh!
Both snuggle with me on spare bed for 1 story then DD1 either lies quietly on spare bed or 'reads' to herself in her bedroom while I settle DD2
Once DD2 is asleep (7pm) I read 2 stories to DD1 in her bed lights out (usually 7.20 ish)

Usually works well and we read plenty through the day so I think 2 stories is fine sometimes I read a couple more but the rule is 2!

I think the key is settling baby so older child gets a little one on one before bed x

DomesticEntrepreneur Fri 03-May-13 23:28:16

Mine are 3 and 10 months.

Baby's no longer breast-fed. They both have dinner at the same time. Then 3 year old watches Fireman Sam (latest obsession) while baby goes in the bath and gets changed for bed. Check on 3 year old and he kisses the baby goodnight. Bottle for baby, into cot, normally straight to sleep. Then 3 year old gets bath (mostly - sometimes we skip it depending on time), teeth, changed for bed, stories on my lap for 10 minutes, into bed, couple of songs and lights out.

Normally works like a charm. I find the 3 year old is knackered by this time and happy just to watch TV for the time it takes to settle the baby. If I'm on my own, I make sure the front door is locked and keep the bathroom door open, just in case.

recall Fri 03-May-13 23:42:41

co sleep, mine are now aged 5, 3 and 2 …I gave up trying to settle them all, they all had different issues that needed addressing, it became ridiculous. One night when they were asking to come into our bed, we were so sick of it all that we gave in. So they all pile in, and we read them all one or two stories. My husband usually sleeps in with them , and I go into one of their beds….we all sleep well. I usually wake up with one in with me.

I have learned to really cherish co sleeping, because I have 3, it gives me time to have a cuddle with them, and I know they will grow out of it.

Not for everyone, my friends and family think it is really odd, but it works for us.

The youngest would not settle after her feeds in the night, so I ended up passing her to my husband who would sleep semi sat up with her on his chest, she hardly slept in her cot. I think we just learned to sleep any way possible.

recall Fri 03-May-13 23:45:13

lawabidingmama Your post sounds similar to my old routine, it was when the 3rd came along 15 months after the second that it all went tits up.

backinaminute Sat 04-May-13 21:41:38

Mine are younger so maybe not relevant at all. Ds1 is 2.1 and Ds2 is 5mo but also usually do bedtime by myself.

Start by bathing them both together at 6ish. DS1 in first, then ds2, ds2 out first into pjs and into bouncy chair in the bathroom. Ds1 out the bath and into pjs.

Then milk in front on cbeebies. Milk in a cup for ds1 and breastfeed for ds2. All downstairs with bright lights. Teeth brushing then all upstairs together.

Mine share a room so I lay ds2 in his cot with a mobile on and read a story to ds2 until ds2 looks sleepy in his cot. Usually only takes one 'gruffalo length' story.

Light out and leave them both awake and (touch wood, please don't let this post jinx it) they go to sleep.

Ds2 then gets whipped out and brought into a cot in our room when we go to bed.

I stopped feeding DS2 to sleep a few months ago. He was younger so maybe more amenable but I did it in our room. He was really windy so winding him would wake him up. I just used to sit on our bed with my hand on his tummy till he went to sleep. After a few nights took the hand away but still sat there and after a few nights (I needed the loo) left him and came back and he'd gone to sleep. There weren't any tears at all. If he squeaked I just picked him up.

Good luck grin

forevergreek Sat 04-May-13 22:41:01

Age 2 and 3 now, We do:

7.30pm quick bath
Out bath, dressed, milk, teeth
X2 stories (1 choice each)
8pm bed- both popped into bed, say good night, kiss.

Leave door ajar and they settle themselves now. Used to sit outside open door until asleep

forevergreek Sat 04-May-13 22:45:21

Oh and we don't do read to one/ settle one etc then the other, it's just both at once.
When smaller ie newborn and 15 months we still did the same. They have always been fed/ read to / settled etc at the same time.

Beatrixpotty Sun 05-May-13 05:52:37

My routine very similar to forevergreek,my older 2 are 2&3.Has been like this for a long time & have been sharing a room since DS2 was 8m.When he was 1 I think he went into his cot first and fell asleep whilst DS1 had another story,but doing everything together saves time.Now I have a baby as well he quickly gets put in the bath too & into bouncy chair whilst I get the others out & has to listen to their stories whilst bf.

Beamae Sun 05-May-13 06:31:54

We switched the last feed to before the bath to break the association with feed to sleep. They had nice full bellies for bathing and then straight into pyjamas and bed. It made the getting ready for bed much calmer too because they weren't crying for their bottles. Can you try long breastfeed, then both in the bath, then cuddling little one while reading to the older one? Also, I did quiet nursery rhyme singing while doing pyjamas for months until they were used to the routine and only introduced a couple of books much later, because like you say, the books were toys and got them all worked up again.

issimma Sun 05-May-13 07:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

badchat Sun 05-May-13 21:00:43

Sorry for getting back to this so late - DP away all weekend and hard to find time to get on the PC. Thank you all so much; is really helpful to get ideas and perspective.

forevergreek - that sounds ideal and part of me thinks if I just hold on another year until mine are 2 and 3 then it will all just sort itself out into that kind of thing!

I think I will try switching feed to before bath like Beamae - just have to psych myself up for it and have a plan for how it will all go (and be prepared for it not to go like that at all...)

The worst thing is just how long he wants to feed for. Normally it is too bright/noisy for him to drop asleep whilst we are doing books etc. so he just has the one side and quickly comes off, then more in dark room later, but tonight was obviously a bit tired as he started falling asleep as I was reading with DD. Went on to feed for 40minutes; wailing every time I tried to remove him so I gave up and read about 20 books; poor DD exhausted and flaking out on the bed by the end...

recall - am amazed you can all sleep like that! I have done part of the night co-sleeping with both of them for different periods of time, and DS is usually in our bed by 2am atm, but if for any reason I've ever brought them both in it just doesn't work at all - DD since about 1yo has been the most terrible kicker/wriggler at night.

Funnily enough I thought I was quite mean with the books - I mentioned my 6 book limit to my sister once, who said she let her DCs have as many as they wanted - normally 15-20!!! We don't normally read in the day, but I like the idea of doing more books in the day and just a couple at night.

Anyway, thanks all again for sharing; shall use all this to have a think and come up with a strategy...

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