Don't laugh! (I realise plenty of women manage this all the time, sigh)
DH is off on tour in september and I'm going to be flying solo. We currently take a child a piece, and the baby gets walked (sling or buggy). The 5 year old needs lots of attention to wind down. um. any thoughts? I'd really rather not spend my whole evenging putting the kids to bed (like MASSIVE understatement there........)
I currently have 3 under 5 to get to bed (hopefully just them and not me, too). I would just make sure they get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Make sure no one is still hungry, and when it is sleepy time enjoy a group cuddle (we particularly like pretend play at this time of day) or story time or song time, what ever best suits them. They are so aware it is different without daddy, so I would just embrace that, and let them help set the routine with you.
I'm sorry I don't have any advice.
I have just the one toddler, 20 months old, who is always tough to get to bed. We'd like to have another child but the idea of having a baby and a toddler to put to sleep scares the heebie jeebies out of me.
So....no laughter from me.
No laughing here. I put a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old to bed by myself quite often. The 3 1/2 year old is hard, the one year old moderately easy. I think you have a couple of options. Option one is to do both together. What kind of attention does the 5 year old need? Does it have to be one on one? We do books and stories together, then snuggle together to sleep, but we have a family bed with all of us, anyways. This might be hard if you're trying to get them into separate beds... Option 2 would be to put one down first, so you can focus first on one, then the other. We have some nights like this. Sometimes, if they are keeping each other going, this can actually be faster. Maybe your older one could read books quietly while you get the babe to sleep, then you could give the older one 1:1 time. When my LO was tiny, I would often walk him in the sling to sleep while big girl was reading quietly. I would definitely do a trial run before your DH leaves, and see if there's any changes you can make now to make things go smoother while he's gone. There's a bit of time there to cement any changes now. Everyone does eventually sleep, though. There might be some nights where it takes hours. We have those on occasion, too. Hugs, it will all work out.
I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old. It can be tough. I just have to go with the flow and follow my intuition. Sometimes the oldest goes to sleep first, sometimes the youngest. Sometimes we all go at the same time.
We usually do yoga or play some calming music, as well as books, and talking. Sometimes it's necessary to go for a walk around the block. Sometimes I let my oldest hang out in the dining room looking at books, coloring, drawing, etc. Sometimes I let her use the computer paint program or D.J. the youtube or Itunes music while I put the other to sleep.
Sometimes I'll put the oldest to sleep and let the youngest play with blocks or stuffed animals on the floor. It's definitely not a laughing matter. I used to make their dad come in to help me with them, even with him just being there doing nothing it was usually better than him not being there, but we are not together anymore.
We also make up lots of stories and talk about how to get good dreams and what to do in the morning and how much sleep we need and all the other kids that are sleeping...that helps with my oldest.
You will get through it! Mine are now older, but when they were 1 and 4, 2 and 5, 3 and 6... when DH is out of town we have a "family bed party" even though they normally sleep in their own room in their own beds. We'd do PJs, brush teeth, and get stories, then snuggle up in the bed together. On hard nights, that meant a DVD after stories too, which helped settle the 4 year old.
I don't know how to work the walking/slinging to sleep in with that though. Will he not sleep without it? Could you plan to walk him to sleep while the older child watches something, then put the baby down and snuggle in with the older child for a story and sleep?
Book loving, editor mom to 2