Evening Routine with 2 kiddos — The Bump
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Evening Routine with 2 kiddos

I go back to work in 4 weeks and I'm a bit worried about our evening routine. Right now I've been working on getting both boys in bed by no later than 8:30 at the latest but prior to T being born I always had M in bed by 8 but its been a struggle since we are still working on getting T on some sort of schedule as well. Never fails T will want to eat right when I'm in the middle of M's bath or story. To throw in another kink is DH's travel schedule. When DH is gone I feel like I'm running ragged to get them in bed at a decient time.

Any advice or how you juggle a 2 yr bed/bath and 2 month old would be awesome! Thanks!

Re: Evening Routine with 2 kiddos

  • I think with two kids you have to learn to let some things go and simplify as much as you can.  L doesn't get a bath every night.  I used to cook really nice dinners every night.  Now I make whatever I can throw in the oven and not have to think about so that I can get other things done.  DH and I split up the bed time chores.  I handle P and he handles L.  It's not perfect be we manage.  It gets better when the baby is sleeping and eating on a schedule.  Don't beat yourself up over trying to get them both to be happy at the same time.  It's not likely to happen most of the time.  So just deal with one thing at a time.
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  • I will admit to evenings when M fell asleep on the floor in J's room while I nursed him.  I would just lay out her nap mat and read her a story or sing a song with the lights low while I fed the baby.  Sometimes I would pick her up and put her to bed, sometimes, she would sleep on the floor.  Also, locking baby gates on both their bedroom doors is key for my sanity.  
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  • At that age Ethan would nap around 6 or so. I could feed Graham and throw him in the bathtub at that point. Once Ethan got up I would read stories to both and then put G in bed. His bedtime routine isn't too time consuming. Ethan would usually go to bed around 9 or 9:30. 

    Once E gave up the third nap his bedtime was much earlier than Gs. I would have G watch his DVD player or sit on my bed to watch a show while I nursed and put Ethan to bed. 

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  • I've now been back to work for about a week and a half. We haven't really established a routine for Sam yet. He still sleeps in our room in a basinett and I figure we'll do an actual routine after we move him to his room around 4 months. That is what we did with James too.

    But what we do is bring Sam in the room with us as we do our nightly routine. We are trying not to split up in possible  so if one is out fora night it won't throw things off. We have Sam in the bouncy seat while we do PJs, brush teeth, build blocks, read books, etc. If he gets hungry, I feed him in the room while we do these things. I try to knock out the stuff like require the most help from me (like PJs and brushing teeth) right away, in case Sam gets hungry. Then pop James into bed and take the baby out. Then I usually feed Sam, swaddle him, and he falls asleep in my arms or swing. When I go to bed, I bring Sam with me.

     I think once Sam sleeps on his own, we'll do it the same, but then leave James' room and do a short routine with Sam and then put him to bed. I'll try to do books at the end of James and the start of Sams.

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  • Honestly, I couldn't get us into a good routine until AFTER I went back to work.  I think the combo of a regular dailly routine, plus daycare wearing out Sophie, plus just the fact that I HAD to do it, made it happen.  My kids don't get a bath every night- usually every other night, sometimes we even skip 2 nights :o)  When DH is home, he takes Sophie and I take Gavin, but if it's just me, I do story time with them together and then leave Gavin to play quietly in his room while I put Sophie to bed.  Then I come back and do prayers w/ Gavin and say goodnight.  We just recently started putting them to bed at 7:30 which means starting bedtime at 7 pm.  I was so reluctant to do this b/c it means that we really only get 2 hours with the kids in the evening before bed!  But honestly, we are about a month into it and both DH and I are so glad we did it.  We turn off our phones/computers for those 2 hours and really focus on the kids.  Our mornings go so much smoother now- Gavin is not as cranky.  Plus, it is so nice to be able to go downstairs and have a glass of wine and watch tv w/ DH in the eveninings.  When we were putting them to bed at 8-8:30, by the time we were finished, I was exhausted and basically just cleaned up and went to bed.  So anyway, don't stress about it too much- it will work itself out and the more you try to force it, the harder it will become.

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  • I still sometimes struggle with the bedtime routine when DH is gone. The early days are sooo hard. For the first few months, I just had to go by whose needs took priority. Bedtime became significantly easier once they were able to take a bath together and after DS started eating solids.
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