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3 week old baby + 16 mth daughter - HELP

(8 Posts)
Denmark Sat 28-May-05 19:46:02

I have a 16 mth old girl and a 3 weeks old boy and I could really use some advise.

Everybody say it is lovely to have children so close to each other and I do agree to some point but I have one problem. BEDTIME.

My partner is working a lot which means he is leaving around 09H30 and is not home before past midnight and that is 4-5 days a week, which means I am alone with the children.

My problem is when my daughter is have her nap (sleeps 2 hours between 11-14) she only falls asleep with either me or my dad next to her, have not been a problem so far because it only takes about 10 min. But now she can only fall asleep if her brother is sleeping which is a little hard to control when he is so young. So sometimes I start a 11 but don't get her to sleep until 13 and that makes me really crazy. I hate the idea that she is tired and I cannot help her and that my son just want to be hold and I keep trying to put him in his bed to see if he wants to sleep. The only I get is two screaming kids.
In the evning she falls asleep on her own that is not a problem I just say goodnight and close the door but the problem there is that she is a very light sleeper so if my son start to cry she wakes up and start to cry. So if it is really bad I have a crying baby and a screaming toddler to comfort on my own.... any ideas ?????
And an hour before my daughters bedtime can hard as well if my son is not sleeping because she want to cuddle and read book for and hour. you know relaxing time but that is not always possible if he is awake and she get absolutly crazy she screams, puls my hair (for fun she thinks) throw thing around and tries to get up when I am holding my son. Any ideas, experince is welcome

franke Sat 28-May-05 20:23:03

I didn't want to let this go unanswered but I'm not sure I have any constructive advice. My 2 are 20mo apart and I remember very well those early days - a logistical nightmare.

It's strange that your dd will go off to sleep on her own at night but not in the day - what's different? Is the room dark enough or does she have a drink at night time but not at lunchtime?

I think in the end I tried to synchronise sleeping times. So once the baby went off (at some point around lunch time) I would get dd off just after. Does your dd resent the baby at all? I found it helpful to get mine 'involved' in looking after baby - passing me nappies, clothes etc. which made it a little less fraught (sp?)

This isn't much help is it? But it really does get better - you are still getting to know your little one and he is still to find his own routine I should imagine. Once he does, you can all fall in around him.

hotmama1 Sat 28-May-05 20:24:32

Denmark - I can't offer any advice but I thought I would bump this for you. I will be interested to the advice given as I am due in Jan and dd will be nearly 16 months.

Miaou Sat 28-May-05 20:25:23

Hi Denmark, I have 17 months between my two - they are now 6 and 7 but I do remember that period of adjustment!

Tbh the only way I got through it was to be very firm with dd1. She soon learnt that she could not have my undivided attention when I needed to attend to dd2. Kind of got round that a bit by reading to her whilst feeding dd2, or getting her to help by passing wipes, nappy etc so she felt involved.

When dd2 first came home from hospital, dd1 used to wake up and cry if dd2 cried. I would go in to her first, pop my head round the door, say "don't worry, it's just dd2 telling me she's hungry/pooey etc", then leave her be. If she carried on crying, I would just go back after a few minutes and tell her firmly "it's sleep time, go back to sleep", and generally she did. After about three or four nights of this she got used to dd2 crying in the night and never bothered about it.

Re. the falling asleep during the day, I think you will need to break the habit of her needing you/baby with her to fall asleep. Start by staying with her until she is sleepy, rather than actually asleep, and each time move further away from her bed, so she gradually gets used to you not being so close. Try to do it at a time when dh is there so you can concentrate on doing it without ds around. Make sure dh follows it through too. Be firm "it's nap time now, lie down and sleep", don't keep picking her up or cuddling her, and she will get the idea that she can drop off to sleep without your help fairly quickly. You could even try a "let's pretend it's nighttime" and see if you can get her to sleep that way! If/when she manages it, reward with loads of praise.

I've waffled on a lot here but I think my advice (based on my own experience) is:
- be firm
- be consistent
- acknowledge it will get harder before it gets easier
- make sure dh backs you up

HTH - Miaou

jessicasmummy Sat 28-May-05 20:29:27

No advice sorry but reading with interest as due in October and dd will only be 15 months old.

juuule Sun 29-May-05 15:33:56

I had my dd1 when ds2 was 16months old . I tried to remember that ds2 was still only a baby and still needed me a lot. I would settle the baby before I tried to settle ds2, that way I could give ds2 the attention he needed. If both wouldn't settle and I knew that ds2 was tired I'd put them both in pushchair/pram and take them out for a walk. Sanity for me, and usually ds2 would fall asleep while we were out, allowing me time with dd1 when we got home. Sometimes they both would fall asleep.
Whatever I did though I tried not to make it a fight. There is no set in stone time for babies to fall asleep and once things settle down you will probably find that your daughter will return to your previous routine. Your little boy is only 3 weeks old and routines are only just forming. It's all new to your daughter aswell as yourself and she needs your reassurance that you still want her. It will settle down although it doesn't seem like it at the moment.

As for waking in the night - if they don't settle down I have usually got up with them until they are ready to sleep again. Not as bad as it sounds as they are already tired and would normally be asleep again after about an hour, which to me was a better alternative than fighting with them for a longer time and everybody being upset.

Just remember it all passes and it doesn't last forever.
Oh and just to add 15m after dd1 was born I had ds3 and had to adjust routines again.

Nina27 Sun 29-May-05 15:47:16

v.interested to read as ds1 is 18mths and baby due sept. I currently lie with ds1 at naptime and nighttime and this has suited until now because its a nice time together and usually takes only 20mins before he's asleep. However am now really panicking as won't be able to do this come september... and really don't think I can leave him to cry.

nooka Mon 30-May-05 21:34:40

Hi Denmark,
I also had a 16 month gap between my two (now 6 and 4 1/2). I went for maximum help, and planned things so that at least for a few days a week life was pretty normal for ds. Is there anyone who can help you in these first few months? I'd call in all favours and see if there are any ways of making your dd feel at the centre of things, and to give you a break as often as possible. Otherwise I agree with Miaou, be firm, talk as much as you can to dd (although it's really difficult to know how much they understand when they are that little). Reassure her that babies just do cry a lot, and it's nothing for her to worry about. Try to synchronise as much as you can (I got very good at reading/hugging with one hand), and try not to drop things too much for the baby when your dd needs you. My dd got to cry much more than my ds ever did - having said that she was able to keep it up for hours (well probably not, but it felt like it!).

Good luck! It's incredibly hard work having them so close together, and will be so for probably the first year or so. But it does get better as time goes on, and you won't have the same worries about the bigger one hurting the baby very soon, as they will be closer in size (my dd is now probably tougher than her big brother!). Now I wouldn't have it any other way!

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