Anonymous

Double bedtime for single parent

My husband and I are newly separated. I’m struggling with putting both toddlers to bed (1.1 and 2.4 years). I usually do one whilst the other plays with dad, and then come for the second. We didn’t sleep train our second, so it can take me 10- 25 minutes to put him down. Our first was the good sleeper, but is fussing and delaying for up to an hour after bedtime. I’m struggling. Tears and running back and forth between babies for up to an hour every evening. I have no family nearby, and can’t afford to bring a nanny or babysitter every evening. Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous
    Jan 21

    Idk if you’re ok with cosleeping but what helps me when hubby isn’t around is laying in bed with my 1 and 3 year old. I lay in between both of them and sing until they give out. Once they go to sleep I lay them in their separate beds. I wish you the best of luck in everything. You’ve got this! 🙌🏽

  • B
    Jan 21

    Get a comfy chair/couch in one room. Better sleepers. One in bed and one on couch with blanket. Read books etc to both. When first falls asleep pick up second to go to their room. If he falls asleep transfer asleep. That’s what I do when I’m alone with my two (mine and my niece) Other option to have them sleep in the same room for a bit.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 21

    Thank you for that. I actually tried this a few times, but my eldest have been sleeping through the night in her own bed since 3 months and gets too excited in this unfamiliar situation. Last time I did this, I gave up, put both in their respective beds so I can have a moment. We were all crying at the same time for few minutes before I resumed the back-and-forth routine. Maybe I should try again...?

  • Anonymous
    Jan 21

    @B do you mean put one on sofa instead of all together in bed? I’d love to put them in the same room but their routines are a bit different and the youngest still wakes 2 times a night— he still wants to nurse but I tend to offer him water and rock him Back to sleep- so I worry he’d wake his sibling...?

  • B
    Jan 21

    I’d try it in your eldest room again. It’ll take a few nights for them to get used to it. But better than what you’re doing now...

  • Anonymous
    Jan 22

    I personally would put my older good sleeper to bed first while my younger not good sleeper was in a play pin with no toys. So they would be calming down instead of getting worked up with toys and stimulation. Then after my older was asleep I’d handle the younger. It’s going to take awhile to find a system especially since your family is going through a big change. Stay strong 💪🏻 you’ll figure out what works best

  • Anonymous
    Jan 22

    2 year old should get either the door shut with a monitor or a baby gate in her doorway. She can be awake and fight sleep for an hour if she wants, but she’ll learn that bedtime is business and she’ll lay in bed when she’s ready. Maybe lay and snuggle with book and milk for both and then say goodnight to big girl and leave and lay baby down for bed.

  • Susan
    Jan 22

    Okay so my kids are almost exactly the same age, my older one is sleep trained and younger is not. When I have to do both I bring them both into my bedroom, the older is in my bed while I hold the younger and walk with her/rock her. Then I sing and hum until they both fall asleep and move them into their beds. You’re so right about them being too excited in bed together which is why I only put the older in the bed, plus she can fall asleep on her own. That’s what works for me, maybe you can give it a shot? Or you can try a similar thing in your older one’s room so they’re in their own bed if being in yours is too exciting. Best of luck!

  • B
    Jan 22

    I mean to have the younger fall asleep or relax on a chair/couch in the older ones room, then move her to her own room. Or just put both beds in one room.

  • Toni
    Jan 22

    Have you tried rain sounds in the bedroom? Or maybe a humidifier with a lavender scent? I used to put my now older kids down at the same time every night, turn the light off and shut the door. It worked like a charm. But the youngest (light sleeper) has to have a dim lamp and rain music to fall asleep/sleep through the night. If not she will end up in the hall laid out on a yoga mat & blanket by the time I wake up in the morning.

  • Dana
    Jan 23

    It has been a hard lesson for me to never put them down at the same time. I tried but genuinely ended pulling my hair out. It would take forever :) So 5:30/6:00 bathtime together. 6:30 dinner. 7pm is 1.5yo bedtime, she gets a story or two, nurses a bit, while 2.75yo watches a show (dinosaur train or something similar). 7:30ish storytime for the older one, who on a perfect day is asleep by 8:30pm. They go to sleep in the same room and amazingly don’t wake each other, unless the older one is trying to snuggle the little one. Baby wakes up twice and second time I take her into our bed. Older one usually wakes once and I get him to pee and then he gets into bed with us on the other side of me.... and we sleep pretty well until morning.

  • Cassidy
    Jan 24

    I have to put three to bed by myself 5-6 nights a week. It’s not ideal but this has been working for us (I have a 6yr old and 1.1 yr old twins that also get way to excited if not in their cribs). My 6 yr old eats dessert and “works on homework” or watches a tv while I focus on the twins. I get them ready -pjs on story what not - together then one goes in pack n play in a separate room with a few favorite items while I put baby A to sleep (which takes about 10-15 min. Then I do baby B) then I get to focus on my 6 yr old and finish homework with him and do his bedtime thing! I imagine as they get older it will change but this works for us!

  • RK
    Jan 24

    I have 3 (aged 4 and under), and my husband is often unavailable at bedtime (night classes or other commitments), so I know the struggle. The older kids we sleep trained around 8 months; one is great (such a rule-follower, and will lay in bed awake if not sleepy without trying to come out), the other still tries to come out sometimes, so we put up a gate in the doorway for that child (and leave the door open). We've gone through a few rounds of sleep training with baby - now 13 months. As much as I hate it, I've found it pretty effective and pretty quick. [Side note: I also do let baby nurse at night, and usually at some point when baby seems likely not to go back to sleep nicely, bring baby to bed with me.] Not that anyone can divine what would work best for you, but my recommendation would be to try and sleep train baby (same room or different from toddler - if same room, they'll likely train each other to sleep through their noise). Use a simple, but effective method, such as letting baby cry for 5, 10, 15 minutes at a time (with just coming in the room to reassure baby, but don't take baby out). Usually within 2-3 nights, crying is vastly reduced if not altogether gone. It will allow you to plop baby into crib while sleepy, and let everyone learn to put themselves to sleep without too much hassle or expenditure of time on your part. Since toddler is anyway sometimes laying awake for a while, it hopefully won't be too detrimental on the first night or two. Depending on the maturity of your toddler, you can ask him/her to be your "helper" to teach baby to sleep (by being quiet, and staying in bed nicely). Good luck!

  • Be
    Jan 24

    I put my baby down when feeding my toddler. Then I can spend time getting him down. Then once he asleep I get the older one ready for bed then if needed I can throw him into his bed and get to the baby. It's all balance and your doing great! Trial and error

  • Brenda
    Jan 31

    I am going through a similar situation and now I’m living alone with my three children and it is very hard getting them all to bed at the same time so that I can rest, basically I put them all in at the same time in the same room until they fall asleep it took me a while to get them to do this but after tucking them in over and over in a week it just became a habit for my 2.6 yr old my 9mo old and 7yr old. It is extremely hard and no situation is the same but I wish you the best and honestly I have let them cry to sleep, after checking everting is ok of course, but having them all down at the same time is the only thing that’ll work for me in my life they just had to adjust unfortunately.