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Bedtime routine with 2?(6 Posts)
I've just had my second daughter 6 weeks ago and have another little girl who will be 3 in a couple of
Months. We have quite a strict bedtime routine with the eldest and plan to have the same with little one. I'm after tips and experiences from people who have a routine with 2? My husband is out late sometimes and there will be occasions where I'll need to do get them both into bed on my own. We're always quite tight for time as I pick DD1 up from nursery at 6, dinner at 6:30/6:45-7/7:15 then bath, dressed, stories and lights out by 8pm (in an ideal world). I appreciate little one won't be into a proper routine for another month or so but how can I fit in bathing her and doing stories with the big one and giving her a nighttime feed etc without everyone getting stressed and upset?! (Most likely me!) I can't bring anything forwards because timings are already tight and I can't do one and then the other as I'll have them both on my own.
Top tips and examples welcome!!
Seriously? You need to let something slide, this is just a recipe for getting yourself stressed out! I would try to keep DD1's routine if you can and let DD2 fit in around it. A baby doesn't need bathing every night so forget that. Give her a feed whilst reading to DD1 or put the baby in a sling so she goes to sleep while you're doing the night time routine. I'm six months in to a 21 month age gap and there is no way I could manage a strict bedtime for both on my own. Soon your little one may start with the witching hours in the evening which makes a strict routine impossible.
With us DH generally puts the 2yo to bed and I have to settle the baby. If he's not home for bedtime I usually get the babysitter to help me for an hour as it's such a nightmare doing it on my own.
Please don't take what I'm saying the wrong way, but I think your expectations are very high and the standards you have for the first just can't apply second time round, unless maybe you have a really easy baby. I say this as somebody who is a complete perfectionist and wants to do everything just so, but with 2 it's just not possible!
We kept the same routine for DD1 when DD2 arrived. 17mth gap, and a husband who works late.
Honestly? You just do the older kid's thing and fit the baby in. Babies can lie on the bathroom floor, babies can feed while you read a story etc.
I put DD1 to bed, then DD2 came to bed with us later, or just sometime after the older one. Eventually she fell into the bedtime routine too (by eventually, I mean some time between 6 and 8 months).
Just wing it. Don't stress. The world won't end. The more stressed you are, the more stressed the kids are.
When baby was little I bathed him first then he kicked around on the bathroom / landing floor/went in his crib depending on whether he was awake or sleepy. If cranky he went in the sling once the toddler was out of the bath while I did stories and put the toddler to bed.
Now he's older (9 months) I bath them together, baby out first and gets put in toddler's room with toys (and a stair gate) while I get the toddler out of the bath, then stories together in toddler's room (baby crawls around once he loses interest in the books), toddler into bed, then baby into his room for a feed and bed.
I put the toddler to bed first because the baby naps quite late so tends not to be quite so tired. For nap time I've been known to stick the toddler in his room with the iPad while I see to the baby. You'll figure out what works for you xxx
I've just been talking with DH about this as scarily I can't remember how we did it!
I think DS2 slept a lot and had a feed then would doze whilst I put DS1 to bed. He'd then wake for a 10pm feed.
I guess the point is, you'll find something that works. Don't be too worried about schedules and if something has to give, don't worry about it.
Give the baby a feed whilst toddler has dinner, then pop baby to bed. If toddler has finished dinner before you've done the baby's feed, stick him in front of the telly. Do your usual routine with your eldest (maybe minus the bath some nights) and if baby won't sleep include him in the routine and then do cuddles once toddler is in bed. When baby gets older, include him in the bath / book routine when he can handle it.
I don't really do strict routines but I have a 2yr gap (now 13m and just 3) and always bathed both together, pjs, story in my bed, feed/rock baby while toddler nods off. Put baby in their cot once asleep and move toddler to their bed at some point. Works for us. We are also fairly flexible about timings though. For a long time they needed to go to bed at different times so I would put TV on in my room for toddler while I got baby down and then get toddler to bed later on.
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