We just had #3 and bedtime is getting a little more challenging. Our old routine was my rocking/nursing with DD (6) and DS (3). Then, I would carry each one-asleep-into their beds. This all was taking place around 9pm. Now add DD2 into the mix...She isn't ready for sleep until about 9:30-10pm, at which point I hand her off to DH and begin the routine with the bigger kids. But DD1 is in school and she really needs to be in bed before that. Plus, I have to hand DD2 off asleep, or else she cries for me and makes it hard for the other kids to sleep, obviously.
I'm trying to work on a new routine for the older kids. I would *LOVE* if DD1 would fall asleep on her own, but I don't think we're there yet. Last night, we tried something new-I nursed DD1 and she went to her room to read with DH, while I then nursed DD2 and read to DS. DH then took DD2 and I nursed DS and put him down (did you get all that?!?!) This did not work, at all. Not only did it make my routine much longer, but both DD1 and DS got back up and had to be soothed back to sleep. It took until about 11:30 for everyone to be happily sleeping in their beds. I know nothing will be a quick fix-we might try again tonight. I'm just wondering how do you all get your kids to bed? I am ready for a change and maybe for DH to take a more active role. I also would like to try to move the routine up earlier, like say, 8pm. This way, if it take awhile, the kids are still getting the sleep they need.
Danielle, bf'ing, cd'ing, bw'ing, ap'ing, SAHM to DD Avery (12-1-04) DS Linus (10-31-07) and DD Nilah (9-17-11)
always and forever remembering (6-9-10)
Does your DD1 really need to nurse at bedtime? Maybe you guys could nurse earlier in the evening, then your DH could read to your two older children while you put the baby to bed. Then you could come back to nurse your DS while your DH finish up bedtime with your older daughter.
That may not work since your DD2 goes to bed later. You could also nurse your DD1 earlier, then have your DH watch the baby while you nursed DS to sleep, then went in to help DD1 fall asleep. Or if they are in the same room maybe she could fall asleep while you nurse with him. If it was me, I think I would want to work toward encouraging both your DD1 and DS to fall asleep without nursing (not to wean, just to move nursing up earlier in the routine, like after bath or something).
I hope some of this advice is helpful. I only have one DD (almost 3), and she weaned 8 months ago, so I can't really relate. I do know from my sisters, that audio books can be a great way to transition older children into going to sleep on their own, if you were wanting to try that with your older daughter. Good luck.