I have a 6yo girl, 3yo boy and am expecting #3 at the end of September. Right now, our bedtime routine is that I nurse BOTH children in a glider in my bedroom, then we just rock for a bit until they fall asleep, then I carry each of them into their bedrooms.
This started when dd was a toddler and no longer co-sleeping with us. She has always been a difficult sleeper (both falling and staying asleep), so this method worked for us. We continued it with ds, bc with dd being so difficult, I didn't want him to wake her up once she was asleep.
With the new baby on the way, I would like to try to get her to fall asleep on her own. She has done it in the past, but not very often. When ds was born, I would nurse dd in her room, while dh held ds (pretty much crying the whole time), then go in and out him to bed. Once ds was a bit older, we started putting them to bed at the same time. I really have no idea what our routine will be like now with 3, but I would like my husband to be more involved in getting dd to bed-I don't think ds would go for anyone other than me, which is fine at this point.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could transition her (or both) from our current routine? I'm open to anything. Oh, also-dd is very "spirited" and thrives on routines. I am also trying to think of ways for her to hlep get herself ready in the morning once school starts. She is not a morning person-mainly bc of her sleep issues-and I would like for her to take a more active role in getting herslef ready in the morning.
I think it is time that dd become more self-sufficient when it comes to bedtime and morning routines. I know this may sound like alot for a 6yo to handle at once, but I'm more than willing to take it in small chunks.
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)
I would suggest having your husband start
a each evening for a while or whatever or on
a weekend taking DD swimming, ideally with
a friend of hers. After they're tired he should
jump in the water for more play. The idea being
to get her happy and really tired. If it can be done
over several days where your husband's with her
most of the day doing one physical activity after
Perhaps nursing followed by slow down time
with your husband, who drinks a strong cup of
coffee and then goes up with her to her bedroom.
You're coming to do whatever with her soon but in the
mean time it's read, read, read and then read some
more to her till she goes to sleep.
Maybe a trip to the library and coming home
with 30 books to read that she picked out could
start the transition.
A little tent outside to hold just dad, daughter, a
stack of books and a coffee maker for several nights
before a transition to bedroom. Some star gazing
(a welcome break from reading) might help bring
on sleep and the morning sun will push for an early
Pancake breakfasts for a while to help get them
up and going. Maybe breakfast out for a while.'
Praise for the big girl going to bed by herself.
Perhaps some painting or changes to her bedroom
so she feels it's more hers or more sleep-worthy.
"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make
for our children." ~ Tatanka Iotanka
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Why not start a new routine with books? She must be an early reader (or close to it). i know my 6yr old LOVES books and flips if he loses books at bedtime for any reason.
Our current routine w/both our kids is pjs, brush teeth, get into bed, read 3 books, then lights out. He has a little LED flashlight that he uses to look at more books, or sometimes listens to them on an MP3 player.
She may not like the change in routine at first, but that doesn't mean that it's not a good thing in the long run.
If I had a new one on the way, I would probably try and make a bigger jump with DH in charge of both kids going to bed. If will make the newborn so much easier on you. . I'd make any nursing be a late afternoon thing. I might also consider making some changes to the physical space to focus on sleep i.e. both kids have beds in the same room, comfortable place to sit for stories, music/white noise. Maybe some new sheets etc.
Start it on the days when everyone is physically tired, has a warm bath, warm drink, etc Have DH have everyone sleepy with stories and than transition to some soft music and handholding. He might have an easier time of it if you are unavailable either at the grocery store or taking a walk for the health of your pregnancy etc. I'd probably give it at least a week before I'd physically be around and then I wouldn't look back, even if the transition was a difficult.