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What do you do when both kids want you at exactly the same time?
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TriedAndBested · 22/09/2022 21:15

DD is five and Ds has just turned 1 and both of them are very clingy at the moment. Ds has just joined nursery and is struggling with settling in so even after he has come home in the evening he is irritable and just wants me to carry him and walk with him all the time. He won't let anyone else take him at that time

DD has never been great at entertaining herself but she also gets quite scared to be alone in a room (eg won't go to the toilet without us or to get something from her room).

Since we've had our second dh does most of the things with DD. EG gets her ready for school, puts her to bed, etc and I think she's happy with that but at times she still just wants me. I try to spend as much time with her as possible but because of the baby that still isn't a lot. Or at least it's not as much as it used to be. Sometimes she hangs on to my leg at bed time refusing to let me go and put the baby to bed and it's just heart breaking.

how do people do it?

(Also any idea on how to out two kids to bed on your own? I have rarely had to do it yet but it's always been a disaster also because neither child falls asleep without one of us being in the room. )

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Reluctantadult · 22/09/2022 21:19

Dh and I alternate print each of the kids to bed, but I'm a bit hazy on when we started that! Is that an option for you?

Putting them both to bed, so they gave staggered bedtimes? That works well here. Both at the same time has always been a recipe for mucking about!

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TriedAndBested · 22/09/2022 21:51

Yes, I don't see why dh can't put Ds to he'd except that we've never done it that way. It's worth trying though. I love doing bedtime with DD.

The problem is though when both if then want just me.

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Flangeosaurus · 22/09/2022 21:56

I put 2 kids to bed 4 nights a week by myself - DH works long shifts. They are 5 and 9mo. Sometimes I bath them together then do a story in my bed and let the big one potter about in his room while I sort the little one. Sometimes no bath and big one watches TV while I put little one to bed. Either way big one is old enough to understand he needs to be quiet ish and relatively calm, any silliness means he will be put to bed super early before the baby and I’ve only had to follow through on that threat once!

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InvincibleInvisibility · 22/09/2022 22:10

I had years of this problem (turns out both have ADHD so bad sleep is normal but didn't know it at the time).

If DH was there, until Ds2 was 9 months I prioritised putting DS1 to bed. Usually DS2 would cry indignantly until falling asleep as DH rocked him.

After 9 months I realized it really wasn't fair to DS2. So either DH did some bedtimes. Or we put DS1 to bed earlier and I spent time playing with DS2 and putting him to bed later.

When DH wasn't there it usually ended up with all 3 of us crying. As neither of them fell asleep easily (especially DS1 - he had reflux and undiagnosed ADHD) it was hellish trying to keep DS2 quiet enough for DS1 to go to sleep.

I think i sometimes resorted to putting them both to bed in my bed and moving them later.

I actually can't remember many of the bedtimes before they were 3 and 5. I think Ive wiped them from my memory as they were so bad (plus DS1 still woke 8 times a night until he was 3 and didnt sleep through until he was 7 so I was seriously sleep deprived).

If I could do it all over then I would do strict taking it in turns with DH if he was there. And if he wasnt there I would put both kids to bed with me in my bed and move them later.

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lifesnotaspectatorsport · 22/09/2022 22:15

I have a 5yo and 2yo twins, so I hear you! The twins are always fighting over who gets to be picked up/ sit on my lap etc 🤦🏻‍♀️ And the eldest often drapes himself behind me somehow until I'm just covered in children.

Re bedtime, DH and I have always taken turns to do twins or eldest, since the babies were old enough to have a set bedtime. I think they all accept that, it's just their norm. So you could definitely give that a go. Your baby may accept it more easily now than when they're a bit older.

For daytime, the biggest lesson having twins has taught me is that sometimes I just have to say no. No, I can't carry you right now, I am doing X/ helping Y. Here is your daddy. And sometimes they cry and it's ok. They have someone else there, they're safe and cared for, they're just having a moan. Don't let them dictate what you can and can't do!

I also find it helpful to remind my 5 year old if he gets jealous, that when he was the twins' age, I had to do more for him too (and he got me all to himself!). And I get him involved in helping if I can.

Sympathies though - it's tough!

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UWhatNow · 22/09/2022 22:17

“Sometimes she hangs on to my leg at bed time refusing to let me go and put the baby to bed and it's just heart breaking. how do people do it?”

Stop breaking your heart and be pragmatic - sometimes tough love is called for. She won’t shatter into a thousand pieces if you say ‘no, daddy will put you to bed’. She will kick off and cry yes, but that’s what children do. It’s the parents job to rise above the emotion and make adult decisions that are for the benefit of the whole family not just to be at the mercy of the emotions of one.

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MyLovelyPen · 22/09/2022 22:18

Share a bedroom! Worked for years with mine - they got to share me at bedtime and they kept each other company at night. My youngest would still share if he could and he’s 14!

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HorribleHerstory · 22/09/2022 22:31

At risk of sounding harsh to either you in this thread, or the children at the time, I tell one of them to wait. I’m not saying they are always happy about it or that I don’t sometimes shout that I am not magic and cannot have three conversations at once. But they can’t have everything they want the minute they want it and that includes me. I cannot slice myself into three parts.

two of mine have a similar age gap and to get them to sleep I would cuddle them both on the king size bed in my room, we would read stories - long chapter books which were for the benefit of the older one not the younger but I would feed her lying down at the same time. Often I would read until one or both fell asleep and then I would transfer them to bed. I’d do the sneaky ninja thing for the baby/toddler as a nightmare sleeper and snuggle the bigger one into bed. The bigger one quite liked tiptoeing out of the room to keep the baby asleep, or I would carry them to bed. Then cross my fingers the toddler would stay asleep long enough for me to work in the evening. I would transfer her into her cot when she woke later in the evening/night (as she was still waking or feeding several times a night). Sometimes we’d do the story in the bigger ones bed, like if the toddler had had a danger nap, and then I’d just take the toddler downstairs with me to try get some work done round her and put her to bed at my bedtime.

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bluesky45 · 22/09/2022 22:32

I get both kids ready for bed - undress one and send to the toilet, undress the other and send to the toilet. Get one dressed, get the other dressed. Brush one teeth, brush the other teeth. Stories to both in a tent in one room. Send the older one to get in bed while I tuck the younger one in. Kiss, night night, love you, shut the door. Tuck the other one in, kiss, night night, love you, shut the door.
Bed time isn't too tricky because the kids don't mess about and it's quick. There's not different songs and stories and things making the routine difficult. They pick one story each and both listen to both stories. Ds1 used to have 2 stories (one picked by him and one by us) and once ds2 got to just over 1, he got to pick a book instead of us. So that's just the way it has always been.

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InvincibleInvisibility · 22/09/2022 23:01

Definitely both ready for bed at same time

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NuffSaidSam · 23/09/2022 00:19

When they both want you at the same time you prioritise whoever has the greatest need and the other one has to wait. In reality that often means that the older one has to wait so it's important to meet her need first when you can. It can also help to say to the baby so that DD can hear (even though he obviously doesn't understand) 'one minute baby, I need to do this for DD'. Let her hear him being told to wait too. Let her hear that her needs are being met first (even if the baby doesn't actually need you).

Long-term it would be good to encourage a bit of independence for both of them, look up gradual retreat and see.if you can use it to get them both settling at night without you. Empower DD to be able to go to the toilet by herself, she should really be able to at home, at 5.

For bedtime, bath them together. Then either leave DD playing while you put the baby to bed and then put DD to bed. Or read stories all together, brush teeth together and then put DD in her bed, then settle the baby, then come back to DD (but ideally work on getting her to go to sleep by herself).

Take turns with your DH at bedtime, it's not fair that she doesn't ever get you at bedtime and it's not fair that the baby never gets daddy.

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Iheartmykyndle · 23/09/2022 07:43

I think you need to be a bit tougher with DD. She must manage to go to the loo by herself at school?

I'm on my own with the kids most nights. DD4 is largely self sufficient - she does her own wash or has a shower and gets her PJ's on while I sort DD2. If it's bath night they go in together. They each pick a story and I read while they have their milk. Teeth and then they go off to bed - key thing is that both of them go to sleep independently. It's nicer when DH is there though and we take it in turns with each kid so they both get time with each of us. Poor DH is very much the not favoured option for both of them but we stick with the turn taking because I'm not doing everything!

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TriedAndBested · 23/09/2022 11:39

NuffSaidSam · 23/09/2022 00:19

When they both want you at the same time you prioritise whoever has the greatest need and the other one has to wait. In reality that often means that the older one has to wait so it's important to meet her need first when you can. It can also help to say to the baby so that DD can hear (even though he obviously doesn't understand) 'one minute baby, I need to do this for DD'. Let her hear him being told to wait too. Let her hear that her needs are being met first (even if the baby doesn't actually need you).

Long-term it would be good to encourage a bit of independence for both of them, look up gradual retreat and see.if you can use it to get them both settling at night without you. Empower DD to be able to go to the toilet by herself, she should really be able to at home, at 5.

For bedtime, bath them together. Then either leave DD playing while you put the baby to bed and then put DD to bed. Or read stories all together, brush teeth together and then put DD in her bed, then settle the baby, then come back to DD (but ideally work on getting her to go to sleep by herself).

Take turns with your DH at bedtime, it's not fair that she doesn't ever get you at bedtime and it's not fair that the baby never gets daddy.

Yes she used to be quite independent but she's always got frightened easilY. then her grandmother visited and followed her everywhere around and since then she's lost that independence again. She's just so used to having someone around her 24/7. I'm now insisting that she goes to the toilet on her own again or to a different room to fetch things and it's getting better.

The baby has just joined nursery so is incredibly upset when he comes home, unsettled and clingy. I'm hoping that soon both of them will be a bit more relaxed again and a bit more independent.

I need something now though. I'll talk to dh about alternating bed times but it's quite difficult to settle the little one. Since he's joined nursery he'll only fall asleep on me or while lying in my bed (and I transfer him into his cot when he's asleep) and dh has got chronic health issues that mean he can't do it that way.

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TriedAndBested · 23/09/2022 11:40

Iheartmykyndle · 23/09/2022 07:43

I think you need to be a bit tougher with DD. She must manage to go to the loo by herself at school?

I'm on my own with the kids most nights. DD4 is largely self sufficient - she does her own wash or has a shower and gets her PJ's on while I sort DD2. If it's bath night they go in together. They each pick a story and I read while they have their milk. Teeth and then they go off to bed - key thing is that both of them go to sleep independently. It's nicer when DH is there though and we take it in turns with each kid so they both get time with each of us. Poor DH is very much the not favoured option for both of them but we stick with the turn taking because I'm not doing everything!

Yes that's the key I guess. If both of either of them could fall asleep on their own then it wouldn't he so difficult but neither can. The younger one can't even fall asleep in his cot at the moment.

I know I need to work on that but don't have the nerve or energy at the moment to be honest.

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girlmom21 · 23/09/2022 11:42

You just have to pick your favourite.

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TriedAndBested · 23/09/2022 11:43

girlmom21 · 23/09/2022 11:42

You just have to pick your favourite.

Haha. True. The favourite is whoever isn't screaming at me at the moment... :-)

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ADialgaAteMyDog · 23/09/2022 11:54

This brings back memories! I have a video of DP coming back from the pub at 11.30 and both kids are still up and delighted to see him as I couldn't do bedtime solo!
My colleague just said, get everyone in one bed and then move them. Or let the big one have a "treat" like TV/iPad while you do the little one. It is sooo hard but definitely gets easier.

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Jules912 · 23/09/2022 12:54

Have to do this quite often as DH frequently isn't home from work for bedtime, when DD was tiny carried her in the sling or put on playmat while getting DS ( then 3) into bed. Once she got a bit older and couldn't be trusted to stay where left took her up first while DS tidied up a bit ( not very well but kept him quite) then did his bedtime. Luckily DD usually settled quickly ( even if she didn't stay asleep), but when she wouldn't I resorted to sticking the tv on for DS.

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