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Old 09-26-2017, 03:43 AM   #1
Earthmummy07
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Default What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

DH is due to take his first overnight trip with work (thankfully only one night) but I'll be doing bedtime alone, which we usually tag team. Both littles like to nurse to sleep, but I cannot nurse them simultaneously. If DS2 is around, it prevents DS3 from settling properly, and DS3 will not sit quietly while I settle DS2.

I know there are a lot of mamas who deal with this regularly so Im hoping someone will have some tips for m
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

It was different depending on ages.
It's not ideal but I sit the toddler down with the kindle while I sit with my older boys. They struggling going to sleep alone. They want someone to sit with them. Sometimes I can sometimes I can't.

In this situation I would sit the older child down with a movie while you nursed baby, then when baby is asleep nurse the older child.

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Old 09-26-2017, 05:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

I never had help with bedtime but also didnt have any tandem nursers. Do you have a DVD player where you sleep? Maybe you could all settle in there to start and have a movie going very quietly if it would engage older 2 or get older 2 settled first and then nurse baby down?
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

Ditto the use of screens if ds2 is interested. I'd send ds1 to bed after hugs with the littles, then have ds2 watch something while I nursed ds3, then his turn.

The other option is a bedtime story while ds3 nurses, but I'm not sure ds2 would get engrossed enough. That was our other go-to for solo bedtimes...I would read and read until they held still long enough to get sleepy....but that was mostly after weaning, mostly preschool-kindergarten age and up.

If ds3 isn't hungry to nurse first, I'd probably do a swing while nursing ds2 to sleep. Basically triage whoever is the most desperate and most likely to fall asleep first. It's usually easier to entertain the older one, but I'd switch if cues look better the other way around. Sometimes I could nurse the baby earlier while the older one had a late snack of solid food, then rush to brush teeth and get him nursed before baby woke again. I'd flex on bedtime if there was a good opportunity a little early, or let it go a little late if needed.

I couldn't tandem simultaneously...always had to make them take turns to make it more tolerable for me...but that's an option if you've been in that habit.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

We don't have a screen in the bedroom, and no laptop either as that was my first thought.

I attempted getting them both down for a nap at the same time this afternoon to see if it was possible. In the end, nobody has slept yet, the toddler keeps bouncing on me and the baby, but even normal toddler fidgeting anywhere in the vacinity, or me whispering instructions (sit down, don't eat that etc) is enough to stop him falling asleep. Trying to leave baby with the 10yo= screaming from one and pure panic from the other. Trying to leave the toddler with big brother while I nurse the baby down = baby taking forever and toddler missing his nap time altogether, and as soon as I moved to go get the toddler, baby woke up again and started screaming his head off.

Pretty sure we're all going to die
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

It's hard at first. Not to be a downer. My husband is a truck driver...I'm 5 years in... It took us months to find what worked and settle into a routine. Then it got shaken up with a new baby and it took months to figure it out again.
And I've never had tandems so there is that.

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Old 09-26-2017, 08:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

In your case I think you get the ILs to help. I've done lots of overnights with a 3yo and a baby, but never a 2yo and a baby. Would BB play with S while you get T down?
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

Ok, for a fidgety toddler and a very aware baby, I'd try to get the toddler down first with the baby awake. I'd maybe try to nurse the baby while getting the toddler's teeth brushed one-handed and getting toddler into pajamas...maybe enlist the 10yo to help, but with me present while nursing the baby...nevermind that the baby gets distracted and won't fall asleep, just keep him from starving as best as he's willing....then when the toddler is 100% ready except for milkies, I'd put the baby in a swing or prop him on the other side of me, or kind of prop him in my lap while side-lying nursing with toddler? There's no great position available, but whatever awkwardness gets the job done, I'd try to nurse the toddler as best as I could even with the baby awake, then sneak off with the baby.

I'd probably push extra food and drink that evening, to make sure toddler's belly is already full, and maybe rock them together or something if he needs more settling before starting to nurse.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

I did quite a few bedtimes alone when DD was a newborn, but I can't really remember much that didn't involve nursing both. I'd nurse one side-lying whilst the other lay on/over me to nurse. Which one did what depended on who I'd thought would fall asleep first and whether I was planning to sleep too or planned to stay up. Once the side-lying one was asleep I could roll over to properly nurse the other to sleep or I could get up and take them to the other room to sleep or I could get up and take the baby downstairs. Sometimes I also had the 4 yr old snuggling me to sleep, in which case DD had to be on top and then the two of us would have to escape out of the middle of the sleeping boys.

I think naps are pretty different to bedtime, so, um, don't be too discouraged?!
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiteria View Post
Ok, for a fidgety toddler and a very aware baby, I'd try to get the toddler down first with the baby awake. I'd maybe try to nurse the baby while getting the toddler's teeth brushed one-handed and getting toddler into pajamas...maybe enlist the 10yo to help, but with me present while nursing the baby...nevermind that the baby gets distracted and won't fall asleep, just keep him from starving as best as he's willing....then when the toddler is 100% ready except for milkies, I'd put the baby in a swing or prop him on the other side of me, or kind of prop him in my lap while side-lying nursing with toddler? There's no great position available, but whatever awkwardness gets the job done, I'd try to nurse the toddler as best as I could even with the baby awake, then sneak off with the baby.

I'd probably push extra food and drink that evening, to make sure toddler's belly is already full, and maybe rock them together or something if he needs more settling before starting to nurse.
Rocking! They did both fall asleep on me in the glider last week ing maybe we could do a family movie night in the playroom. Even if I only get to nurse S for a few minutes, he might accept that if he gets to snuggle and rock instead

MIL/FIL have already offered to help, but which ever kid I hand off is going to scream and I feel like it's not fair to make them hold my screaming child
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

Family movie night!
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

It's the tandem nursing that makes it hard. I do not miss that. We usually did a soothing video and bedtime was pretty late.
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: What does bedtime look like with littles when DH is away?

I hope your night went okay

I found lowering my expectations a LOT helps. And no matter how frustrated I might feel, to take lots of very big breaths and remind myself that they *will* fall asleep eventually. At their ages they may stay up way past normal bedtime, but they *will* fall asleep eventually. I just have to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. And I repeat it over and over to myself
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