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Bedtime with toddler and newborn - how?!?!

(7 Posts)
LovelyWeatherForDucks Tue 11-Aug-15 19:36:25

Have a 4 week old and a 2.8 year old who has never been good at going to bed. DH works late so it's all me. Things are getting hellish with the arrival of DS2. Baby DS just wants to feed all evening (ie during bedtime) and consequently spends a lot of DS1s bedtime crying in his crib which is awful. DS1 has taken to saying no and tantrumming about every step of bedtime - going upstairs, putting pajamas on, pull up, teeth, only having 2 books, then once eventually in bed demands more book, more milk, water, wees, mummy lie in bed, door open, door shut, different blanket, resulting in full on screamy tantrums if I say no or offer alternative choices. Therefore I spend the best part of an hour if not more dealing with this, while popping DS2 on boob to pacificy him for a few mins whenever i can. How do I speed up and stop the mucking about at bedtime? I couldn't deal with it today, he has ended up going to sleep in his clothes and without a pull up on and having not done his teeth, and sobbing at one point because I shouted at him and I feel terrible....its neglectful and he has had a really unhappy hour and a half since coming home from nursery. I'm considering putting a stair gate on his bedroom door and say goodnight and leaving him to it (inevitable tantrum but hopefully will work out longer term) but that seems so cruel. Rapid return not practical as I'm not physically up to it. Ideas desperately needed!!!

Yukky Tue 11-Aug-15 20:00:53

You have my sympathies. I have the same age gap but am a year down the line.

What time is DH home? Does your eldest still nap in the day? Could he stay up until your DH gets home so DH can help?

I found a sling useful for the first 3 months, and I did just stock dd1 in front of the tv a lot at that time of day whilst sorting dinner. Tbh I rarely did bedtime on my own as DH was always home and could deal with dd1. But if he was out I would either sit and feed dd2 on dd1's bed whilst reading a story. Or stand with the sling on jiggling dd2 whilst reading. This then evolved to me getting them both ready for bed by 6pm and putting dd1 in her bed with the iPad, and me then getting dd2 to sleep in our room (could take anywhere from 5-60 mins) and then tending to poor old dd1 who's eyes would be going square at that point.

I still hate doing it on my own tbh. Dd2 is horrendous at going down but thankfully dd1 isn't too bad but it does mean a lot of running between their two rooms.....

Good luck.

Mrsantithetic Tue 11-Aug-15 20:04:43

I had this although eldest was 20 months and also still breastfed.

I used to get everything done downstairs as more places to dump a baby there than up. Did an awful lot one handed and then popped on a pre recorded suitable programme whilst I fed ds.
upstairs teeth brushed and then into bed with me and baby. breastfed them both together and once that was over laid breastfeeding baby whilst rubbing dd back.
it took hours. But got there in the end.

I've recently (two weeks) weaned both dd is now 3. Ds 1 now they both get into bed / cot and they have two stories and I leave. Going back in at the first sound of upset reassuring and resettling before leaving again. Bedtime takes a hour from start to finish now.

at 2.8 your eldest is starting to understand what bed time is and why. Would he respond to reward charts or if he lays nicely he can have a story whilst you bf baby? I reiterate to dd she doesn't have to sleep but she does need to lay quietly and relax because she would wake ds as they share and that works for now.

it's hard but it does get better!!!! dd has only recently started sleeping through and up until now had either fed to sleep, rubbed to sleep or rocked.

Mrsantithetic Tue 11-Aug-15 20:05:57

is he getting any one to one time with you?

Etak15 Tue 11-Aug-15 20:17:00

I've been in this situation x3 with the dc's it's hard with the small gap & feeling torn, I found it easier for the toddler to have a double bed, then to do the usual routine but lie in bed with them baby in the middle can feed away as they like, and you can read story, have a chat nice special time with toddler and stay with him till he goes to sleep. I still do this with my 3 yr old (after doing stories with older two in their room then they go to sleep on there own).
He is probs feeling a bit pushed out esp if he is in nursery and he might be feeling like he hasn't got much time with you, this would be a nice way to spend time together and also gradually getting him in to a bedtime routine without it feeling like your battling with them at every step!

LovelyWeatherForDucks Tue 11-Aug-15 21:35:45

Thanks all - especially for the sympathy, I feel a little better! Yes, one to one time with DS1 is tricky on nursery days - he was at home with me all day yesterday and bedtime was easier that day (mainly as DS2 was snoozing but he was calmer). It's just the constant battles of 'no' and 'more' that I find tough. I've been really upset ever since - I shouted (which I never do!) because he wanted 'different cup' for his milk despite all his cups being in front of him, he burst into tears 'mummy not shout at me!' and I felt so awful. Much of bedtime is done in my bed anyway, PJs, teeth, bit of ipad while I feed DS, then books and chat in his bed. I think I'm going to make a visual aid for the bedtime routine to try and make it a bit less chaotic! DH back far too late to help, though he has only just gone back to work and does the weekends and one weekday when he works at home. I'm torn between indulging DS1 as his little world has changer, or cracking down on discipline to help firm up his boundaries etc which might make him feel more secure. Argh it's so tough!

Yukky Wed 12-Aug-15 13:00:33

Just be consistent and he'll adjust. Lots of love and cuddles and talking about him to him (IYSWIM) rather than letting him get away with stuff. Be firm but fair.

His world has changed yes, and now he needs your guidance to get used to the way things are now.

You'll get there!

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