Bedtime for a 20 month old with a do you do it? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-04-2010, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Please tell me.  Give details.  I need suggestions.


My 20 month old has pretty much always been read to for 10-15 minutes, then rocked to sleep while I sing to him.  He falls asleep pretty well most nights (with 15-30 minutes of rocking/holding then I can put him down and he'll stay asleep).  However, I cannot rock a newborn and 20 month old at the same time.  And even if I could figure that out, how do I then put the 20 month old down without waking him?  And what am I supposed to do when my newborn daughter is fussy and just wants to be bounced or cluster nurse (which of course only happens around 7pm...right when my son goes to sleep)? 


I am alone 3 nights a week to put my son to sleep while my husband has class and have yet to do so successfully.  It's the only thing I'm really struggling with going from 1 to 2 kids, but it's really frustrating!  My son is on a very strict (self imposed) sleep schedule, and if he's not in bed between 7-8pm he gets CRANKY and then wakes up too early the next morning.  Help!

Jennie, mama to Wyatt (3/25/09) and Emma (11/22/10) novaxnocirc.gifhomebirth.jpg
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#2 of 8 Old 12-04-2010, 06:25 PM
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I wish I had some good suggestions, but I can only empathize. My DD was 3.5 when my ds was born and it has taken a year and a half for us to get into a rhythm that doesn't include me or someone else freaking out. I am home alone for bedtime 5 out of 7 days, so I know where you are coming from. It is easier for me because my dd could learn to entertain herself while I put the baby to sleep first....and starting bedtime routine at 4:30 helps so that everything is done before they get too tired. (Dinner, bath, books, brush teeth).

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#3 of 8 Old 12-04-2010, 10:45 PM
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My son was 20 months old when my daughter was born, and we also had been previously rocking him to sleep. 

I had to transition him from rocking, to just laying next to me - which was sad in a way but it is just not possible to rock both babies to sleep, especially when they need to go to sleep at the same time.


I would lie down and nurse baby while reading books to my son. Hopefully if your daughter can nurse to sleep then you can all three lay in bed until your son is asleep.


If you need to bounce/rock etc your baby, maybe you can get your son to keep laying in bed, either quietly or looking at books. 


To make it successful for me, my daughter had to be to sleep first - which meant my son had to lay in bed for a little while without me - which has worked out great. As soon as I would get the baby down, I would come lay with him and either rub or just close my eyes. 


I hope you find something that works for you!

Katie, wife to the one, mother to Henry and Ruby.
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#4 of 8 Old 12-04-2010, 11:04 PM
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When my 2nd was born my 1st was 21 mos.  So... I UNDERSTAND!!!!!!  USE the Boppy and the Sling!  They are your friends!!!  I know you rock your oldest but I also think that will be hard... Unless you can get them both positioned on the Boppy--- this IS possible... as for laying down that may be harder... We transitioned to me laying facing the baby and nursing if she was awake while dd #1 layed over top of me and nursed on the other side and then slipped off when she fell asleep... But if DD#2 fell asleep I would just turn over and nurse #1 to sleep.  If you don't nurse #1 to sleep it may actually be easier... I would just bring baby into bed with you while you are putting #1 to sleep- we coslept so it was easy- it was my bed with plenty of room- if he's in a toddler bed or a crib it may not be possible.  Know a couple things... #1- we all get creative with 2 that close together!  #2- we are all VERY frustrated when it doesn't work out great but just keep up the good work!  #3- it WILL get better AND easier!!!! THAT I PROMISE!!!!  #4- In a few weeks the baby's routine will most likely change so if you find a groove it will most likely change and if you are having a hard time- that will most likely change too!

"This is the season of life when the days are long and the years are short"- ENJOY! ;)

WAHMama to Skylar Adrianna (age 9), Tabitha Abigail (age 7), Trinity Grace Kate (age 5) and Kaya Victoria Ruth (age 2)
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#5 of 8 Old 12-04-2010, 11:23 PM
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Let me share how things are going here.  I have a 25 month old and a 3 month old.


Before dd3 was born, I had to lay down with dd2 in her bed (she was moved to a big girl bed at 14 months because she was climbing out of her crib and getting hurt,) until she fell asleep.  Once asleep, I slipped out of the room.  This was for naps and bed for the night.


I tried several times while pg to try to get her to go to bed on her own.  I tried using Supernanny style methods where you basically just keep putting them back in bed without saying a word.  Being pg made that impossible, I simply did not have the energy.  Once dd3 was born, I struggled for 2 months with having to force the 2 year old to wait until DD3 was asleep before I could get DD2 to bed.  Thankfully DD3 has been a mellow baby, in all the ways DD2 never was.  She's one that I can, for the most part, set down in a swing or cradle or playpen for a short time without her getting upset, so if I couldn't get her down for a nap before DD2 just lost it, I could at least let her rest for a bit while I worked on DD2.  And, if I had her asleep and DD2 was being difficult, I would then switch off, letting DD2 play while I rocked with DD3.  And yeah, there were many days that I spent most of the day just switching off between the two trying to get or keep one down for their naps.  Thankfully at night, I had a 15 year old to help out those nights that DH was in class.


However, when my now 25month old had her second birthday, everything changed for the better.  Not because she turned 2, but because she received her first lovey.  We watch tv in our house, lots of Playhouse Disney on in the background while doing playdough or while I am nursing the baby and need to keep DD2 occupied, etc.  And Mickey Mouse has become her FAVORITE character ever.  That lent itself to lots of Mickcy Mouse gifts, including a super cute stuffed "rag style" Mickey.  Basically just a super simple, slightly abstract stuffed animal Mickey.  She immediately became attached.


Within 2 days, DD2 was going to sleep on her own, in her own bed, without anyone laying with her, without even having to return her to bed once!  It was as if Mickey took our place in reassuring her that it was ok to be in bed alone.  Or rather that with Mickey, she didn't feel alone.


Also, we have developed a great routine that I think helps as well.  It took a while to get to something comfortable, without creating a dependance on something else.



SO, we start around 7 or 7:30.  I change DD3 diaper and into "jammies," and swaddler her.  I nurse her while DD2 gets to watch DVR'd Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Special Agent Oso.  Sometimes she wants me to read to her while I nurse but that's tough because she tends to want to climb on top of DD3.  Once I am done nursing DD3, I lay her down in her cradle.  Then DD2 and I go around and pick up and clean up the playroom and family room, DD1 (the teen) is in charge of the kitchen/dining area.  Then I change DD2 diaper, and get her into jammies.  She gives DD1 and DH (if he's home) a kiss, then we go upstairs and brush teeth.  I brush mine while she does hers, then I take my turn brushing her teeth again.  Then we go get her do-dah (paci) from it's special spot, she only uses it when sleeping.  Then she climbs into bed, I give her Mickey and her other new lovie Raeanna Pink Bear (Raeanna is DD2's name, the bear is a pink beanie baby bear.)  Then she snuggles into her warm comforter and also a quilt DH's grandmother made herI give her a kiss, tell her night night and to stay in bed, and she tells me night (which ends up sounding very much like "DIE" in her language :D )  And she rolls over and goes to sleep.


Naps are actually done exactly the same way. 

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#6 of 8 Old 12-05-2010, 02:51 AM
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It's such a tough job to put two to bed when you're alone. hug.gif


Could you nurse your newborn to sleep while your ds watches a video for a few minutes? Then maybe slip away from the newborn to put your ds to sleep?


The other advice I was given was to give up on a particular bed time and put kids to bed when they are tired - it takes 20 min instead of an hour.

"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton

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#7 of 8 Old 12-05-2010, 01:00 PM
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Well, 20 mo old is going to have to adjust to not being rocked.  I'd do similar to what you are doing already, but slightly modified.  

Sit on 20 mo old's bed.  Hold the baby (and nurse or whatever).  Read the book.  Turn of the light.  Sit and sing but don't rock toddler.  Then leave.  

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#8 of 8 Old 12-05-2010, 03:16 PM
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One thing I've been working on, and it's been gradual for sure, so it might not be an overnight thing but I'm hoping DS will go to sleep in his room without me needing to be in there with him by the time the next babe arrives(May), is laying next to his toddler bed at night while playing on my cell phone while he holds his pillow and has his sippy cup of water. He is usually out in about 30 minutes. My next step is to move farther away from the bed gradually until I'm out of the room. I'm hoping this will be a smooth transition. Is your son still BFing? Mine gave it up at about a month ago, and has transitioned pretty well. I was gonna say you could just nurse them both, but if he's not nursing that could be tough. I wish I had some better advice, but the only time my son was rocked to sleep was when he was nursing. After weaning I tried to rock him to sleep and he wouldn't have it! I'm hoping to have this all figured out by the time the next babe arrives! :)

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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