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Bedtime routine for baby and older sibling - any tips?

(10 Posts)
MarrogfromMars Fri 07-Feb-14 12:11:50

I think having a proper bedtime routine might help DS2 (4 months) go for longer than 90 minutes sleep at a time at night, but I'm having trouble working one out that fits around DS1's bedtime and would be manageable on evenings when DH isn't around.

At the moment DS2 tends to nap a bit in the buggy on the way home from school, but will soon wake up when we get in, just after 4. By 6 o'clock he is getting tired but is pretty cheerful as DS1 is in manic entertaining the baby mode. At about 6.20 DS1 settles down to watch some TV before bed. Typically DS2 quickly gets grumbly then and I change him into sleepsuit and take him into our bedroom to feed to sleep from about 6.35. He either zonks out very quickly or wants a long leisurely feed. Meanwhile if DH is around he can take charge of DS1's bedtime - the faffing around, getting undressed, bath, bedtime story etc. takes from 6.45 to 7.15 (if DH in charge) or nearer 7.30 (if I do it).

About 45min to an hour after he's fallen asleep DS2 will wake up again. I'll go in and try and settle him by feeding - sometimes this works, more often at the moment it doesn't. If it doesn't, I tend to get him up, because firstly this tends to be exactly the point when our dinner's ready, and also because I got fed up with spending my evenings in the dark in the bedroom. Once he's up he tends to get a bit grumpy, which suggests to me that it's worth persevering with the early bedtime - if I can just get him to stay asleep!

The difficulty in doing a baby bedtime routine when DS1's awake and playing is that he demands attention / wants to play with DS2 and just generally is not conducive to a sleepy relaxed atmosphere! But lots of parents with two children have clearly got it sorted. Thanks for reading and if you've got any advice I'd be grateful!

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Fri 07-Feb-14 20:04:43

Watching with interest, similar problem in our household DD 22months, DS 41/2months. I just can't quite figure out how to fit DS into a bedtime routine to suit DD's. I have no logical thought process at the mo as DS not really sleeping at night so am too tired! Hoping someone wise with excellent advice will be along soon........

eltsihT Fri 07-Feb-14 20:13:20

Ds1 is nearly 3 ds2 is 8mo. Dh is only home for bedtime at weekends (not all)

5pm dinner
5.15-6pm telly
6pm bath time (from 1mo boys have shared a bath)
6.15ish out of the bath, into pj's brush teeth
6.30 bedtime story. Depends on whether ds2 is happy on the floor (when he was 4mo I had him on a beanbag by ds1's bed so he could see) how long/many stories we read
6.45 give ds2 a feed downstairs and wait till he falls asleep then put him into bed. (They share a room)

pmgkt Fri 07-Feb-14 20:16:38

I take both kids up at 6, bath them together and they play together in the bath. Take baby out, changed and pop in cot awake while you get older one out of the bath, dry and dress older one, then feed baby while reading story to older one. In bed by 645. Obviously you can push this later and start at half 6 if that works better.

MarrogfromMars Wed 12-Feb-14 20:50:43

Sorry to have started this thread and disappeared - been a bit overwhelmed with sleep-deprivation the last few days. I'm trying to organise his (brief, frequent) naps so that he ends up having one about 5pm and then can 'join in' with big brother's bedtime routine without being too tired. I've managed this one evening out of three so far!

RebeccaJames Thu 13-Feb-14 21:33:19

Popping in on this thread as I am finding it difficult to figure out whether to put 10-week-old to bed before or after the 5-year-old!

Liveinthepresent Fri 14-Feb-14 18:25:59

Another one watching for ideas - totally don't get how people manage this - mine are 2.9 and almost 8 months.

7IsALieIn Sat 15-Feb-14 05:59:12

I found this the hardest time, tho I have a much smaller age gap, so DC1 couldn't be left alone.

It sounds to me that you need to get the baby to be able to self settle, so that a) you can put him in bed awake, and b) he stays asleep when you do put him down. Not easy though.

Feeding to sleep caused me so many problems in both mine. Breaking it is so hard.

moojie Sat 15-Feb-14 06:10:31

I absolutely found this the hardest thing and didn't understand how others did it but I now realise almost everybody struggles!

In the early weeks I would put ds2 down for a nap at 6ish and do ds1's bedtime and have quality time together. Then wake ds2 and put him downstairs 9ish. This way DH actually got to see him too.

After a few months it got easier and they were both put down together. We also had the waking after 45 mins thing and nothing I did changed that Ds2 naturally fell to sleep around 9 but I spent many weeks rocking him in the dark bedroom trying to change that.

Eventually I just decided to follow his lead and by 6 months ish he was down at 7 and slept through that 45 min hurdle . Now at 4.5yrs and 22 months bedtime is a little more energetic and manic than I would like but they both sleep well 7-7. (I'm awake this morning due to the wind)

I would ride it out a little longer and see what happens.

moojie Sat 15-Feb-14 06:11:48

Meant to say put him back down at 9 ish NOT downstairs!

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