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Putting 2 children to bed at different times..so hard!!

(25 Posts)
mammainlove Sun 16-Sep-12 17:34:26

DD1 (2yo) goes to bed at 8/9pm, whereas DS2 (3mo) needs to be in bed by 7. DP works lates alternative weeks. So far I've been getting help from my mum or mum in law. I've put them both to bed twice before and it's bloomin difficult!! They both need my full attention. I can't leave DD in front of tv etc when puting ds to bed, she cries for me after 10mins. I can't really have DS in sling all that time bcos he needs constant movement to stay settled in it. I can keep b'feeding him til bedtime but he gets really grouchy and cries a lot if not in bed by 6/7. DD is also very demanding at this time too. If I try putting her to bed earlier she messes about in bed for an hour or more, keeping DS awake.. It's just so hard! I know this probably leaves me without any other options, I guess I'm just having a rant. im dreading night times this week, last time I ended up in masses of tears, DD trying to console me! Bless her. Does anyone else struggle with this? It's seems like such a big deal, though I know so many other parents do this all the time! I can't bear to hear my children cry. It feels like there must be another way of doing it, without all the tears..

Iloverobinhood Sun 16-Sep-12 21:21:07

I think it is really hard and most of my friends say how hit and miss bed time with 2 little ones is until they are quite a bit older than yours are. When my dd2 was about 4 months I was able to feed her watching the tv / reading stories with dd1 and thn when she was very drowsy pop her in the cot with some music and shed fall asleep on her own which then gave me time to sort out dd1 which takes ages. I think I realised she would fall asleep on her own by accident, one time I out her in the cot thinking she was asleep when she wasn't she cried for a minute or two (I was in the middle of something else with dd1) and then suddenly she was asleep. So bed times were really smooth for a few months but they've all gone awry now as shes no longer self settling but that's another post smile. Might be worth a try, you never know it may work. What tv programmes is your daughter watching? Could be worth trying to find something that would captivate her for a bit longer . This has worked with my dd1 although she is now 3 so I guess their attention spans are longer.

Good luck .

Flojo1979 Sun 16-Sep-12 21:23:43

U need to stop worrying and relax, getting yourself wound up won't help.
I'm a single parent, u r lucky you've had help up til now!
It'll be fine. If not there's always wine!

EdgarAllanPond Sun 16-Sep-12 21:26:53

i have a 3mo and a 2yo -

i put the 2yo to bed at 7 (if 3mo cries whilst i do this, so be it, i'll be with him in a jiffy) and then give the 3mo whatever until he sleeps.

this is the third time i've done 2 2 and under, it gets easier really really soon, you'll get there.

tough while you do though.

Jojay Sun 16-Sep-12 21:27:51

I had 4 under five, including newborn twins, and the only way I managed was to use a dummy and a swing for DTD which kept her happy while I sorted out her more difficult brother. Would that work for you?

And then TV and milk / snack for the older ones.

It is tough, I feel your pain.

GobblersKnob Sun 16-Sep-12 21:28:10

Could you not just put them both to bed at 7? My ds is 8 and he goes to bed between 7 and 8 o clock in the week. It might get easier with time.

Mine have a bigger gap but I used to just feed dd to sleep on our bed while reading to ds, who used to bring his blanket and cuddle under it and up to us until he fell asleep. Then I used to carry him to his bed.

simpson Sun 16-Sep-12 21:28:32

It does get easier as they get older tbh...

I would suggest having a special toy box/ bag to entertain your older DC whilst putting the younger one to bed and it only comes out at bedtime so she does not get bored with it.

It might contain postcards, stickers, crinkly paper etc. Anything to keep her amused for a bit.

Other idea is to plonk her in front of a fav DVD for a bit.

As flojo says, there is always wine!!

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sun 16-Sep-12 21:31:10

It sounds to me as if your 2yo would benefit from going to bed at 7 tbh. Mine have never stayed up til 9 as a matter of course. If it were me, Id put the 2yo to bed and read them a story while bfing the baby. I can't believe you've had help every day for 3 months!

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sun 16-Sep-12 21:35:13

Is your dd just 2 or nearly 3.

I put our ds's to bed on my own regularly though they are a different he to yours. When ds2 was 3 months old, ds1 was nearly 5.

Can you explain to your dd that you'll be x minutes and that if she sits and looks at a book, watch tv etc until you come back, you will reward her good behaviour? Would obviously be easier to do if she's nearly 3 though.

Take your time at bedtimes. There's no rush. You will get your own routine over time.

Ds1 is nearly 6 now, ds2 14 mo, ds3 due in 7 weeks. My boys have a bath together about 6. Pjs on. Bottle and a hot Choc downstairs. Ds1 watches tv for five mins while I take ds2 up. Then ds1 has a snack, teeth, book, bed. All done by 7.15.

A new routine just takes time.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sun 16-Sep-12 21:36:34

And also agree at maybe changing dd bedtime routine. Maybe put her to bed first?

mammainlove Sun 16-Sep-12 21:48:35

Thank u mammas. Fuckity why can't u better I've had help every day for 3months? I think most families have a parent each putting each child to bed. I can't really leave dd for longer than 15mins, she wonders where I am and is very clingy, too young to understand I need to put her brother to bed. She would cry and be very loud if I don't give her attention. DVD might work for a bit, but also I'm not sure how I feel about leaving her on her own for that long. DS takes ages to feed to sleep. She stil puts things like money in her mouth, climbs furnature etc. I suppose I could try making her bed time earlier, or missing her daytime nap. It's stil hard to feed ds2 to sleep whilst dd is in bed being clingy and noisy sometimes.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sun 16-Sep-12 21:52:04

Could you give baby his bottle while reading a couple of books to dd?

Then when he's finished his bottle take him to bed?

mammainlove Sun 16-Sep-12 21:53:32

She is only just 2

BobbysBeardOfWonder Sun 16-Sep-12 21:57:03

At 6.45pm-ish I get 2yo DD to sit on the bed with me reading stories while I bf 4mo DS. When he's drowsy I ask her to pop next door to her bedroom & wait for me while I put DS in his cot.
Then I do bath & bed for DD, she's in bed by 7.30.
This works so far, not sure how long it'll last though!

beth12345 Sun 16-Sep-12 22:04:09

I would also suggest bringing your older child's bedtime forward, maybe even put her to bed before your baby. I have DCs aged 6 and 4 yrs, along with a baby, and when DH is working late I always put my older two to bed before I feed the baby to sleep. Even though it sounds perverse to put the older ones into bed first, it is so much easier.
It is tough with a 2 year old and a baby, and I would just do whatever works out to be easiest on you.

flubba Sun 16-Sep-12 22:14:00

I had the same, but used to get both into their PJs/sleepsuits as the same time, then would read bedtime stories to DD1 while breastfeeding DD2, then when DD2 was ready to sleep (or DD1 for that matter), I'd pop the sleepy one into bed and then finish the bedtime routine with the other.

Importantly though we did the whole 'bedtime routine' thing - bath, milk, teeth, PJs, story (all to low-lights etc) so there were definite signals to them both.

I also think you might want to bring DD1's bedtime forward (gradually).

FWIW I now have three, and youngest is 19m, and I put all to bed at roughly the same time following above routine.

Good luck smile

BlueCanary Sun 16-Sep-12 22:21:17

9pm is late for a 2yo IMO.

I also then you are wrong in thinking most parents only put one child to sleep at a time! It is very rare for this to be the case in my house. Either dh is working late, out at he gym, or I've gone swimming, or one of us cooks dinner whilst the other deals with bath/bed.

We've always got the older child in bed first, and then dealt with younger ( when dc2 was still a baby). Now they both go to bed at the same time.

You are over thinking things IMHO.

alcazar Sun 16-Sep-12 22:37:28

Do you have a laptop she could watch dvds on whilst you feed the baby in the same room? Or youtube is good for nursery rhymes! Dont worry about doing things "right" in these first few months, things will gradually get easier for you but in the meantime just be easy on yourself. 9pm is quite late so if you could try to settle her 15 mins earlier per night it may work out easier for you long term. I second the box of quiet interesting things just for naptime. Is her room pretty babyproofed? Could she play in her room with the babygate shut whilst you feed the baby? my dd is nearly 2 and I also wouldnt feel comfortable leaving her for more than a few mins unless she is in her room where I know she is safe. Perhaps try getting them both ready for bed at 6pm, or earlier, or even feed the baby downstairs and pop him in his cot when asleep (I know rod for back etc!), thats what I used to do! Hope things get easier for you soon op.

simpson Sun 16-Sep-12 22:54:34

Can you do it the other way round and put DD to bed first??

And then have more time to put baby to bed??

lindsell Sun 16-Sep-12 23:12:14

I agree with the pp who say you're lucky to have had help for 3 months!

I have a 3.5yo and a 4mth old and do bedtime on my own most nights and have done since ds2 was about 5 days old as dh works late most evenings. Ds2 just has to fit into ds1's routine at the moment. So I bath ds1 about 6.45/7, if ds2 needs a bath I put him in with ds1 as well. Ds2 is in the carrycot in the bathroom while ds1 is in the bath, I can easily bf then if necessary to settle him. Then ds1 teeth/pjs, leave ds2 in his carrycot while I take ds1 upstairs (unless ds2 is distressed in which case I take him with me). Put ds1 to bed usually by 7.30. Ds2 doesn't have a bedtime as such at the moment, so if he's awake he sits in his chair in the kitchen while I cook dinner for me, dh & dsd1, if he's grumpy he goes in the sling, if he's asleep he's in the carrycot wherever I am. Will start instituting a bedtime proper for ds2 soon but I find it easier just to take him around with me and bf/sling as necessary also not happy leaving him in our bedroom on his own because of SIDS risk. This all works generally well until both of them decide to have a meltdown at the same time... grin

I agree with the other posters that it's easier to put older one to bed first so maybe try that and see?

Meggymoodle Fri 21-Sep-12 13:30:54

Just to add my twopence worth - I always used to put youngest to bed first. I would sit DS (who was 2) on a bean bag at the entrance to DD's room with a cup of milk and some books whilst I bf DD and put her to bed. DS was always brilliant - in fact far better than he is now (aged 3.5). sad Then I would read him stories and he went to bed. So only 15 mins later than DD. I would go with getting them both down at the same time.

Now we're having fun and games because DS doesn't have a nap most days (although he is asleep at the moment so tonight will be different!) so he needs to be asleep by 6.45pm at the latest and DD can go until 7.15. It's way harder doing it that way round I find!

Iggly Fri 21-Sep-12 21:16:21

Yes an earlier bedtime for the older one definitely. Maybe an earlier nap too to make it work.

I had "help" with bedtime as DH gets home early enough. When I do it solo, I just turned lights out at 7pm and would sit feeding baby until ds fell sleep then carry baby to her room and put her down. None of this back and forth madness!!

ceebeegeebies Fri 21-Sep-12 21:24:54

When Ds2 was 3 months old, I used to leave him downstairs on the baby gym with a very low light on whilst I put DS1 to bed...he used to cry a bit but would often fall asleep there. Have you tried that? Plus it may help him fall asleep by himself - DS2 is a fabulous sleeper and I often wonder if it is because he got used to settling himself.

Have you tried letting your DD "help" you put the baby to bed so that she is with you and not downstairs crying? She can tuck him in, give him a kiss etc and feels like she is being part of it. Then you can go downstairs and give her some special time?

plutocrap Fri 21-Sep-12 21:37:50

I have a 4yo and 9mo, so they have their bath and then I feed DD as DS is having his stories and wind-down chat. She falls asleep feeding so I pop her next door and return to finish winding DS down (which tonight took about an hour and a half- gah!). If you think your little one will be too tired, maybe you can do a later nap (e.g. while you're preparing supper)?

Ragwort Fri 21-Sep-12 21:42:27

I agree with others that either put them both to bed at the same time or put DD to bed first - 8/9pm for a 2 year old sounds very late. My son went to bed at 7pm until he was 8 grin. Does she nap a lot in the day ? Maybe cut that back.

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