Bedtime routine for toddler and newborn?(13 Posts)
I have a 2 week old baby and an older ds who has just turned 2. My dh is back at work tomorrow after paternity leave and I'm really worried about doing bedtime on my own.
I've done a few practice runs during the week but my problem is that ds1 still needs me to sit in his room with him until he falls asleep and evenings are ds2's cluster feeding/grumpy time. So ds1 can't get to sleep because ds2 is crying and fussing so much.
I've tried using a sling, using a dummy and swaddling to keep ds2 quiet and none of them work. Have also tried doing a big feed and putting baby down to sleep right before I start the bedtime routine but he still woke up demanding to be fed at his usual time just as ds1 was settling down to go to sleep . Can't really move ds1's bedtime any earlier and I don't think it would be much help anyway. No friends or family nearby who can really help.
Is there an obvious solution to this that I'm missing? How does everyone else cope?
I got round it by feeding my newborn while reading bedtime stories and waiting for my two year old to drop off to sleep. My newborn was a cluster feeder in the evenings and most of the time could happily feed for long enough. That worked fine if the two year old was being good! Once out of the early newborn weeks is there a quiet activity that your two year old likes doing? Mine can happily stack jigsaw pieces for ages so I can set him up doing that in his room and then get baby to sleep before getting toddler to bed.
I did the same as Look. I'd feed the baby while reading stories to DD1 and hope to hell she fell asleep before the baby got sick of feeding. It was only ever a problem one time and I ended up snuggling everyone up in our bed where the toddler fell asleep. I then went through and did normal routine with the newborn and transferred the toddler later.
It was honestly one of my biggest worries actually. Because DP was away on business overnight so I didn't even have the whole 'ride it out until he comes in' opportunity and knew it was all on me. Even now the 'baby' has just turned one I give her a bottle as I'm doing stories but if the toddler has napped during the day and doesn't want to go down it causes me an inordinate amount of stress...
I did the same as Look too. Fed ds2 his cluster feeds at same time as story time. Hope you can work something out that works for you.
Thanks for the replies.
I start the feed while I'm reading ds his bedtime story but ds2 won't just cuddle up and feed quietly, he feeds for a few mins then starts fussing and crying until I burp him (which takes aages) then few more mins of feeding loudly, then back to crying and fussing, etc, etc. This continues until 10pm, maybe later. He refuses to sleep during this time so having us all snuggled up in bed wouldn't help unfortunately!
I will be in this situation in a few weeks. I plan to get everyone in our bed and feed baby laying down while I read DS his story, he has his milk
and then takes a year to eventually drop off . I don't know what will happen if baby is fussy as you describe though, hopefully DS won't be too distracted... Following for more tips!
I had this, DD was 3, so a bit older but still liked me to sit with her. I would sometimes be pacing round her room trying to tell a story while wrestling a crying bundle of DD2... We bought a CD player and story CDs for her bedroom and I would tell her stories and cuddle them both as long as I could, then when DD2 was crying I put the story cd on, explain that I was going to take noisy baby away so big girl could listen, but I'd only be in the next room - in fact I think the first couple of times I stayed with her for the beginning of the cd to listen a bit with her - then keep popping my head in to check on her. It took a little while to get used to and she'd often call me back for a last cuddle so I always went when she called, so she wouldn't feel lonely or think that I wanted to be with DD2 not her, she needed a lot of reassurance. But it worked really well once she got used to it.
It is hard work and tiring but it does get easier! Good luck
We also had a couple of weeks where DD2 just cried inconsolably for s couple of hours each evening which was an absolute pleasure... DD1 never did that so was totally thrown... I used to walk around the living room with her alternately feeding/ burping/ rocking her with a large glass of wine and something funny on tv to distract me!
Thanks SliceofLime, I will try the story cds idea. Was your dd able to fall asleep with the cds playing?
ODog Good luck! I'm sure you'll get a quieter baby than mine .
My plan for tonight is to get ds into bed early, read stories until he's really tired, and just hope for the best! If I haven't updated by 10pm it means I'm still up there
or I've flung the baby out of the window in frustration.
8.14pm and I'm sitting on the sofa with a and a (sleeping!!!) baby while toddler is fast asleep upstairs. Took me over an hour but I did it!
Good work Trinky ! Yes she does fall asleep with the CDs on, still does now 18 months later, she listens to Winnie the Pooh stories, they are very quiet and not too exciting! Enjoy your well deserved
Put bang to sleep with white noise in room mifgt help?
A swing for baby if you can afford it? You could keep it on the landing or somewhere out of DS room but close enough for you to hear her, it should keep her pretty happy.
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