You might have finally cracked bedtime with your first child, and then the new baby comes along and you’re left wondering how to manage bedtime with a toddler and a baby
But I am here to help! Below is a rough timeline you can follow should it suit your family’s needs.
Firstly, try to add some play time after dinner for your toddler. This silly time can help them let off steam and feel like they’re having some special time with you. For example, you could put on some funny music/ their favourite song and dance around while tidying dinner away.
Try to give yourself lots of time for the bedtime routine and try to stay as relaxed as you can. A consistent routine and staying calm will really help. Sometimes one of them will get upset near bedtime but be kind to yourself and know that you’re doing the best you can and are still a great parent.
· Start bathtime. Try to make sure you have everything in advance e.g. pyjamas, toys, towels, nappies etc
· Put your toddler in the bath first while you safely lay your baby on a towel on the floor. Once your toddler is in the bath and settled, you can lower your baby in. You can get your toddler involved by asking them to help you wash the baby. Try to repeat how helpful they are and how gentle they’re being.
· Get your baby out first as they only need a short bath. Dress your baby while giving your toddler a toy to play with or singing a special bath song. Once your baby is dressed, leave them safely on another towel or playmat while you get your toddler out of the bath and into their pyjamas.
· Pick up your baby and head to the toddler’s bedroom. Ask them to pick out some books while you get comfortable with baby. Having lots of pillows around is useful here to support you and your baby.
· If your baby is still content, you can cuddle them and all read together. But if baby is starting to get fussy or upset, you can begin the bedtime feed while reading to your toddler. If this is too tricky (i.e turning the book pages while reading), you can get the toddler into their bed and make up a story for them. This can be about how loved they are or can be a silly story about what they did that day.
· Once the story is finished, take the baby into their/your room and settle them down to bed. Tell your toddler you’ll be back in a second and for them to either wait in bed or give them the chance to choose an extra book to read together.
· If your baby takes a while to settle and your toddler always falls straight asleep, you could kiss your toddler goodnight first and then settle your baby after. You really can choose whatever works best for your family.
And then hopefully you can relax for the evening!
Life with multiple children really is tricky but hopefully this blog helps give you some ideas about how to at least tackle the bedtime routine.
As always, if you want or need any further help with any of your sleep goals, don’t hesitate to get in touch further.