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Old 07-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Two children and bedtime and nap time

We have our second LO due in two days and have a 25 month old DD. My DH works from home, is around much of the time, and currently puts DD down for naps and bed (recently started this, partly to help the transition with the new baby!). However, there will regularly be times when I will need to put both children down for naps or bed and times when I will need to spend some time putting the baby down but will have to keep track of my DD at the same time. I know early on the newbie will be able to fall asleep even if DD is making a bunch of noise or we are not in a dark, quiet room, but within a few months if DS is like DD, he will need a lack of distractions in order to nurse well and fall asleep. I plan on nursing and/or soothing him to sleep, so I will be in the room with him as he conks out. We will not be co-sleeping at naps but may at night (though he will start the night alone until I go to bed).

What are some practical methods you mamas have found for helping keep a toddler out of trouble, happy, and not inhibiting a baby from falling asleep at the multiple sleep times per day? My DD is VERY active and, although she listens pretty well, she can't sit still long or be left alone long. She plays well by herself for short periods, but not when she is hungry, hasn't had enough attention, or is tired.

On the reverse side, assuming the baby will at times go to bed later than DD, what do I do with the baby while putting DD to bed? Currently we rock DD in a rocking chair in her dark room for 10 minutes or so to help her calm down before going into her crib.

Any BTDT would be invaluable!

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: Two children and bedtime and nap time

The SuperYard kept my 2 year old contained while I did things with the baby. It also kept the baby contained and safe for tummy time from the curious 2 year old!

The baby also had to wait some. I would always put the 2 year old to bed first, and put baby in the swing, then come back and feed baby. We had a swing in our bedroom upstairs, and a swing downstairs in the family room. All 3 of my kids slept in the swing a lot due to reflux. I know some people are "baby must sleep in a crib or cosleep" people, but all 3 kids slept best in the swing. We invested heavily in rechargeable batteries.

We also baby gated the 2 year olds room for all naps and bed because if I was feeding baby, I needed to know he was safe. We have a gate at the top of our steps that he can't open as well, as a second line of defense at night.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by luvsviola
The SuperYard kept my s year old contained while I did things with the baby. It also kept the baby contained and safe for tummy time from the curious 2 year old!

The baby also had to wait some. I would always put the 2 year old to bed first, and put baby in the swing, then come back and feed baby. We had a swing in our bedroom upstairs, and a swing downstairs in the family room. All 3 of my kids slept in the swing a lot due to reflux. I know some people are "baby must sleep in a crib or cosleep" people, but all 3 kids slept best in the swing. We invested heavily in rechargeable batteries.
So the baby wouldn't cry when put in the swing for a while? I guess I am used to DD who would cry any time she was not held or was nursing! We did use the swing a lot for DD, but only when she was asleep. She really had very, very little "happy time (I.e. not crying/fussing) during the day. Like maybe a half hour if we were lucky. Not sure what this baby will be like!

We bought a swing that plugs into the wall. Woohoo!
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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Re: Two children and bedtime and nap time

i'm due in 8 weeks and have an 18mo old right now that i always put down for a nap. he sleeps in our bed for naptime (although he can fall asleep on his own, in his crib, at night and sleep through the night no problem). i'm interested in answers on this too. we are on such a nice routine and everything is pretty predictable right now. i don't know how to get him to sleep on his own, in his crib for naps. he's kind of a light sleeper, so i want to be able to put him in his room and sleep when the newbie is here so if the baby cries, it won't wake him up. i also want to be able to get them to sleep at relatively the same times everyday. sorry to hijack, i just don't know what to do either and i'm glad someone else is in the same boat! i'm interested to read everyone's answers!
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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I have a ten week old and a 24mo old. I never thought about it I guess. I never leave my older dd alone in a room even with the safety yard because she climbs on everything . I will put baby in swing for small amounts of time. Nap time older dd goes to bed in her room first. I take baby with me and lay baby dd in her bed (toddler bed). I then lay down with baby until she falls asleep. We are now into a routine where both girls nap at about the same time. Same routine at night. I will baby wear when I need two hands to play with dd or do chores. Dd just follows me around the house as I do things.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Re: Two children and bedtime and nap time

I would always either give my oldest something that they could sit next to me and do when I was nursing, like color or look at a book or would give them a small snack and turn on a cartoon. The baby's bed was in our room, so I'd lay him down and then shut the door and we'd go about our day. When the baby gets to be around 3-4mo and starts developing a schedule I was able to just put him in the swing (awake; in our room) for his morning nap and then he would lay in the bed or bouncy seat while I put the others down for a nap and then we nurse/cosleep for the longer afternoon nap. And if for some reason the baby won't nap/fussing, we babywear.

As for the crying, there are some days when DS3 starts to cry while I'm putting the other two down for naps, but I'd rather let him fuss for a few minutes while I finish up a quick story and take the time with my older two, than dump them in their rooms and rush off. DS3's not going to remember that he had to wait, but the other two will remember mommy's constant brush-offs to tend to the baby.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Two children and bedtime and nap time

someone is going to have to get used to waiting. hopefully the baby will be a little bit more mellow and you can use a swing or bouncer to keep them occupied and then put the 2 year old down for bed first. Its only 10 minutes and thats pretty good for a bedtime routine. I think you are over thinking this. Even if the baby cries, if you know that he/she is fed, safe, etc., its not the end of the world for them to be put down and cry for a bit. But I am betting that the personality of the 2nd will be different than the first.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by doodah
someone is going to have to get used to waiting. hopefully the baby will be a little bit more mellow and you can use a swing or bouncer to keep them occupied and then put the 2 year old down for bed first. Its only 10 minutes and thats pretty good for a bedtime routine. I think you are over thinking this. Even if the baby cries, if you know that he/she is fed, safe, etc., its not the end of the world for them to be put down and cry for a bit. But I am betting that the personality of the 2nd will be different than the first.
I hope his personality is different! DD was colicky, and she would go from a whimper to screaming in seconds, and once she would get to that point, she would be really hard to calm down (sometimes it could take hours), so I always rushed to her to save my own sanity. I have a hard time envisioning what a "normal" baby is like, but what you and others are saying sounds promising!

DD's bedtime routine is longer than 10 minutes, but the part that I can't easily see the baby being a part of (the rocking in a quiet, dark room) is 10 minutes. The rest I can see the baby being a part of (book reading, nursing, etc.).
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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Re: Two children and bedtime and nap time

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So the baby wouldn't cry when put in the swing for a while?

We bought a swing that plugs into the wall. Woohoo!
Sometimes baby just had to cry. DD1 had to have some one-on-one time. You will find a delicate balance. But, you are going to ask your older child to wait a million and one times throughout the day. Not now, I'm changing the diaper. Not now, I'm feeding the baby. Not now, I'm putting the baby to sleep. You get the picture. Sometimes, baby just has to wait a minute so the older child gets some attention. I didn't leave baby to cry for hours. But when you are there by yourself, and the older child needs bathed and put to bed, baby sometimes had to fuss for a second.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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I was still rocking my dd to sleep for naps when ds was born. They are 27 months apart. I rocked her and had a bouncer in the room for him. Or, I put him in a beco on my back and rocked her.
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