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Can't manage to get toddler and baby to bed in eves by myself - any advice?

(20 Posts)
Smittals Thu 02-Jul-09 22:31:38

Yes, it sounds pathetic. Have DD 2.5 and DS 8wks. DD is a terrible sleeper and now added to that is having to share me with DS which is really causing lots of tantrums etc. DS gets unsettled in the eves and wants a lot of bfing before settling. So both of them are at their most needy at the same time! Have tried feeding DS while DD in bath, then reading to DD in her room while again feeding DS but it's been a nightmare and they both get hysterical. DH has been away so we resorted to getting our neighbour's daughter to 'babysit' one while I deal with the other. I feel like a total failure! So if you have any advice I would be really grateful to hear it please.

penona Thu 02-Jul-09 23:06:24

I don't have any advice on two of different ages, but I have twins and bedtimes is always a nightmare, I hate doing it alone.
Do they go to bed at the same time? Could you put DD down first, doing her usual routine while DS sits in rocker or something then him later? Or the other way around, so you get some special alone time with DD once DS gone to bed? (even if it means him going to bed a bit early)

PacificDogwood Thu 02-Jul-09 23:11:16

Sympathies, Smittals, it is horrible.
I had DS3 in a ring sling, sometimes "docked on" ie Bfing, whilst I put DS1 and 2 to bed incl bath, story and good night kisses. I hated it, but it (kind of) worked. I was lucky in that I did not have to this regularly.
The other thing that helped me was to remind myself that this phase will pass - and it has! So hang in there, it will be fine in the longrun and your kids will be none the worse for having to learn to share you!

Meglet Thu 02-Jul-09 23:19:40

I hated this when I went through it I would end up with one of them screaming in their cot / bedroom while I bathed / settled the other one. Its a horrible stage trying to juggle two bedtimes. I just had to develop temporary deafness so I could do it without going mad. Once dd was about 4 months I was able to do their bedtime story together and they had both settled down.

JackBauer Thu 02-Jul-09 23:22:08

Ugh, I remember this phase. It sounds so easy, 2 small children, one who can't even move themselves, put to bed, simples!
yeah right.
I used to bath them both every night, letting DD1 'help' wash DD2, then get her out, quick BF and dressed. Then DD2 went into a bouncy chair while I quickly got DD1 dried and dressed and I sat on the bed feeding DD2 while reading DD1 a story, tuck her up and take DD2 downstairs for more feeding adn then bed for her later.
I just had to time it right so I got 5 minutes to dress DD1 while DD2 was happy.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 02-Jul-09 23:23:03

I used to have DD napping quite late in the afternoon so that she would be happy to sit in her bouncy chair while I dealt with my older DS and read him a bedtime story, then I would feed her and put her down about 8ish.

As she got older and less needy in the evenings it became easier to deal with both of them getting to bed at the same time. I did this four nights a week for nearly a year and a half and it did get easier. Growth spurts were no fun at all though!

I have another DC now who is 8 months and Dd is only just 2 and bedtimes are the one big flash point still. Normally DH puts the older two to bed and I deal with the baby who is still BFing, but DH was away for a couple of nights there with work, and it was 9 before I got Dd settled and 10 before the baby was asleep!!

Not sure that counts as advice blush, but it helps I think knowing that you aren't alone.

Oh, and you're not a failure; don't ever think that smile

bronze Thu 02-Jul-09 23:25:37

I always put the baby down later. I'll put the others to bed and then feed the baby and put them down. As they get older and it gets easier I then just bring bedtime forward in line with the others.
Bedtimes are my most stressful times though

Meglet Thu 02-Jul-09 23:31:31

Exactly jackbauer. Putting two small children to bed sounds easy, in the same way that climbing everest sounds easy: wrap up warm, walk up big hill.

I think bedtimes can reduce the toughest parents to tears.

JackBauer Thu 02-Jul-09 23:34:15

grin at 'walk up big hill'

Also swimming channel, put on wetsuit, swim.

alarkaspree Thu 02-Jul-09 23:41:13

Oh I remember having to do this when ds was 5 weeks and dh was away for a week. It is really hard.

Tbh getting your neighbour's daughter in to help out sounds like a brilliant solution. It's possible to do this alone, but not without one/both of the children getting upset. So you have got some help so nobody has to get upset. Perfect! It doesn't mean you'll never be able to do bedtime by yourself, things change quickly with tiny children, in no time things will be easier.

alarkaspree Thu 02-Jul-09 23:42:10

JackBauer, you are not allowed to wear a wetsuit when swimming the channel.

So, even easier then!

MrsPickles Fri 03-Jul-09 00:06:45

I was wondering why it was so difficult to get children to sleep in attic rooms as opposed to other rooms in the house when I first read the title [can't spell eaves]

Neighbour's daughter sounds great idea while DH is away, definitely keep going with her! I hope she likes heights.

CyradisTheSeer Fri 03-Jul-09 00:14:58

Message withdrawn

OmicronPersei8 Fri 03-Jul-09 00:17:03

I remember one night running from one room to the other, the toddler and baby taking turns to have a screaming bout without me as I desperately tried to give DD the chance to fall asleep without screaming baby to distract her. I did it all - feeding while sitting on the bathroom floor, on DD's bed. It is just hard work.

Some days I'd wait til DH came home - even if it was past 9pm - to put DD to bed. And I've just remembered putting a DVD for her to watch in the hope she'd drop off. a neighbour sounds like a more reasonable option!

Now they are 3 and 1 they sleep in the same room, same bedtime routine and all is calm. DD still likes someone to sit with her til she falls asleep, but to be honest once I've put DS down 100 times (when he stands up in the cot)DD has already gone to sleep - she's better at falling asleep for it, strangely enough.

This too will pass....

CarpePerDiems Fri 03-Jul-09 02:02:41

Don't feel bad about using a sitter to help, or about struggling with this, it can be hard!

Best advice I can offer is to use the sitter to look after the baby and concentrate on getting DD into a really solid routine. Once she's used to it, pay the sitter to be on hand while you get used to helping DD through the new routine with the baby, that way you can hand the baby over to sitter if it's all falling apart until you're comfortable with how it's going.

When all else fails just repeat "this too will come to pass" until you believe it...

Smittals Fri 03-Jul-09 13:15:04

Thanks everyone, I feel a lot better for knowing that other people find it hard too! Was quite prepared for a bit of 'well, haven't you tried to get them both in a routine by now'. Will try out your ideas whilst muttering 'this too will pass'... smile I love them both dearly and it kills me when they are all stressed out and miserable.

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jul-09 13:18:38

Get a sling. Something like a pouch/ring sling in a cool fabric. Stick DS in it, latch him on and deal with your dd whilst he gets on with it.

The alternative is to deal with you DD first. The baby can wait.

Jojay Fri 03-Jul-09 13:23:14

I plonk my toddler in front of whatever his current favourite V programme is, while I put DS2 to bed.

If Ds1 won't stay put I give him a bowl of grapes or crisps to eat but tell him he can only have them if he sits on the sofa.

Alestorm Fri 03-Jul-09 13:35:17

Pretty much same as Jojay here - i put them both in the bath together (ds 2.5 and dd 17 weeks) then get dd into pj's while ds is playing, leave her on the bed for a minute while i get ds dry and into pj's then we go downstairs, ds chooses a film to watch, they both have milk (I'm tandem nursing) and then i take dd upstairs, put her to bed, come downstairs, have a half an hour playing with ds then put him to bed.

And to think, I was never going to have tv before bedtime! hmm Also, when dd was 3 weeks old and ds was just 2, i read something on here which helped a lot - "It doesn't hurt them to exercise their lungs for 5 minutes," so while it isn't very pleasant to hear them getting stressed out and unhappy, it won't kill them and you shouldn't feel bad about it. With ds i was horrendously PFB and was convinced that if he was left to cry he'd be brain damaged forever hmm - dd has to wait a little bit sometimes and is a much more contented, happy little soul than ds ever was. Whether the two are connected I wouldn't like to say, but things do get easier when the baby's past that awful first 12 weeks and you get your head sorted. smile You sound like you're doing a great job!

Umlellala Mon 06-Jul-09 21:21:32

At 8 weeks I used to have dd lying next to me in our big bed while I fed baby (didn't really put him down for evenings though - occasionally). Was ok - though getting to that point (milk, pyjamas, bath, teeth) sometimes a flash point. Used a ring sling too - was amazing.

Now like Jojay, my toddler sits in front of iplayer while I feed 11mth ds to sleep upstairs. Mostly works. Yes, my ds has prob been left to cry more than dd (always responded to within 10secs grin) - and he is way smilier, but also way whingier than dd ever was (wails in buggy/car/if he doesn't get what he wants). Does my head in and I do have angsty moments that it's due to me not responding to him as I did dd... but am sure it's fine in the grand scheme of things, and just due to different children...

By the way, of course it;s hard. You are learning all about your tiny baby and how he fits in to your routine. It does get easier with practise, honest. Congrats on your baby!!

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