Newly separated - how to do bedtime with 2 kids?

My husband and I just separated and so the kids (2 yo girl and 4 yo boy) will now be put down by one of us each night. What we used to do was, after the bath they would take together, each of us would take a kid (we would switch kids each night), read that kid 2 books, them sit with him/her until they fell asleep. We had aspirations of reading, kissing goodnight, and leaving the room to have them fall asleep on their own but that never happened. My question is, how do i do bedtime? They've had a big change so i don't want to suddenly implement the fall asleep on your own method. They don't want to sleep in the same bed (even though they've both been ending up in my bed or my husband's bed most nights). When my husband would be away during bedtime before, i would have my son watch a show while i put my daughter down, but that was only once in awhile, not every night. I tried having him look at books while i put her to bed instead of watching a show, but after 5-10 minutes, he's looking in her room trying to get my attention, which doesn't help with getting her to sleep. Any ideas?

  • Mama C
    Jan 07

    I am sorry to hear your family is going threw a rough patch. Is carrying your daughter to her room after she falls asleep an option? You can have them both fall asleep in one room, maybe pull out sleeping bags to make it fun if they don't want to share a bed. Or you can carry her to bed once they are both asleep? You may want too try getting your son involved in getting your daughter to sleep. Tell him it's a very important job and make him feel like a big boy, by having him lay out her pajamas and pick out her book" sing her a song and tuck her in bed while you help. That way you can read to them together, and once she is mostly asleep you can tuck him in bed. You also might not want to rush them out of your room, it can be a huge comfort for them during this transition then you can make bedtime a group affair. You can also consider placing a CD player in the room and put in a book on tape. This can be comforting and help promote reading Skills. Good luck mama, you got this!

  • Sara
    Jan 08

    I highly recommend separate bedtimes for different age kids which it sounds like you're doing. Our kids are 4.5 and 1.5 and we always put the 1.5 year old down first. My older one knows that she is special and gets to stay up later than her sister but that part of that privilege means making sure she does not disturb the parent who is putting her sister down. Often my husband has to do bedtime on his own because I'm working late and he just makes it really clear with my older one that she has to stay downstairs while her sister goes to bed or she will lose her privilege of staying up late. My second piece of advice is that a little TV is totally fine. If your son needs to watch a 15 or 30 minute show while you're putting your little one down, I don't see a problem with that. You don't need to feel bad about it. Use the tools at your disposal! Finally, we try to combine book reading when possible. When my kids are cooperating we try to have 1 person read to both of them at the same time. My older one has no problem sitting through the baby book but sometimes my little one gets bored at the big kid book and she just wanders away to play on her own. I just think it's easier to only have to do 1 book reading session (and I'm about to have a third child so trying to streamline things as much as possible).

  • Ali
    Jan 14

    My husband does shift work so I am on my own at bedtime often. Mine are 3 and 5.5 and I put them to bed at the same time because I prefer a 30 min. Bedtime routine to a 60 min. Routine We read one or two books, then I tuck them each in and sit between their rooms where they can both see me. If this wasn’t an option maybe switch rooms each night or switch rooms every 5 min.? Maybe they could help come up with a solution. Stick with it and they will adjust in a week or two.