Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Works for Us: Bedtime Edition

I was thinking the other night about how universal this whole mothering thing is. Sure, we all do things differently and sometimes may feel like our way is the right way (something I'm trying to stop doing- thinking that my way of doing or thinking is the best and most desirable way of doing anything), but at the end of the day no matter how we do it, if you're mothering, you're a mother.

I got to thinking about how much I love hearing about how other people do things, especially when they are parents. When I meet a new friend who happens to be a Mom or a Dad I always want to pick their brain- what's bedtime like in your house? What's dinnertime like? How old are your kids? What do they like to eat? Do you get time to yourself? Questions, questions. And then I thought that maybe some of you are the same way...which led me to want to share all of these things with you, piece by piece. I also like the idea of having all of this documented- I feel like one day when I'm old and gray I'll get a kick out of knowing what life was like, down to the minute, way back when. And maybe someone out there is a curious person like me too.

It's sometimes weird to share good things in parenting- occasionally I feel like if something is going really well, like Henry having a 5-day streak with no potty accidents- it might sound braggy if shared. And I hate that! I want to share good things, but sometimes the big world wide web has me second guessing that. Can you relate? But like anything, parenting has good days and bad days, hard things and easy things.

Bedtime for us right now, at 2 years and 11 months, and 8 weeks old, is very scheduled. Of course we try to be flexible whenever possible but it works best when we do it the way we do it every night, night after night. On the evenings we're out and about, or a weekend night, we definitely push it, but falling asleep that night and going through the next day are so much better when we adhere to our routines the night before. So here's how it goes:

Hank gets home from work around 5:15pm and at that point I usually hand over Charlie, who most likely woke up from his afternoon nap around 4pm. Hank will play with both kiddos while I make dinner, and around 5:45pm we will give Charlie a bath while dinner is finishing up. Hank usually handles most of the bathtime duties but depending on what Henry is into or how dinner is going I'll help out too. More often than not the whole family will end up in our bathroom hanging out while C is getting his bath, Henry almost always finding his way into our closet to "look for treasure" and me sitting on the bathroom counter.

After bath time Hank will hand Charlie to me, and I'll get him in his pajamas, put his Snuza on, and zip him into his wearable blanket. I'll then get cozy in our bed with him, Boppy around my waist, water on the nightstand. Hank and Henry will come over and say goodnight, and then Hank will turn on the monitor and the noise machine and then those two will go eat dinner and read, play, whatever- total Daddy and Henry time.


I spend about 15 minutes or so nursing Charlie and he will always fall asleep within that 15 minute time frame. I'll then burp him and put him in his little co-sleeper, sit there for a minute to be sure he's down, then quietly get up and leave the room (we have a baby monitor in there). This is all by 6:15pm. He's SUCH a funny baby, and will start to get really fussy if he's not in bedtime mode once 6pm rolls around. He really loves his sleep, and wants to sleep, and I've found that if we try to put him down even a little earlier (even if he's fussy) he will have a hard time going down and staying asleep. 6pm is our magic time, but if we have to push it later he's okay too. Luckily Charlie is a good sleeper, so after I put him down he will stay asleep for quite some time. Lately it's been getting later and later. First he'd wake up at 9:30pm, then 12:30, and now he's been sleeping until about 3:30am and sometimes 4. My big problem is actually going to bed early myself to take advantage of that big chunk of sleep (as I type this it's approaching 9:30pm already). But that's Charlie's bedtime routine.

Henry on the other hand can be a little more challenging depending on the day and his mood. He's a typical almost-3-year old so he can alternate between being very cooperative to not at all. So while I'm putting Charlie to bed Hank and Henry are playing, but once 6:30 rolls around we pop Henry in the tub and give him a bath, then brush his teeth and put on his pajamas. Henry is pretty much potty-trained except for nighttime and still wears diapers to sleep, but sometimes he will want to try and "go" like 4-5 times before bed. I'm sure this is just him prolonging staying up, but it's hard to discourage that when it's what we want him to be doing. So sometimes that can add on extra time to his ideal 7pm bedtime but Hank and I just try to be patient.

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After we finish up all of our bathroom stuff it's reading time. Hank, Henry and I will all pile into his bed and read 4-5 books together before our "Mommy-Daddy-Henry-time" (as he calls it), which is really just a big snuggle session. He started to really ask for "snugs" every night once Charlie was born and it's so adorable to me that I can tell he really treasures this time just the three of us. So we cuddle up and talk about our day, say "I love you" a million times, then Hank and I will get up and leave (probably after about 10 minutes), turn on his sound machine and monitor, and close his door and put up the baby gate on the outside. We never stay in there while he falls asleep and never have, because I wanted him to be able to do it on his own. 9 out of 10 times bedtime is smooth sailing but every once and awhile Henry will call for us to come back in for more "Mommy-Daddy-Henry-time" or and this is where we have to get firm. It's funny though, because he still asks to get out of his bed (let's hope this lasts for a long while), so we've never had an issue with that- it's mainly just him calling for us because he wants to hang out more, needs water when he doesn't, etc. A few months back he went through a phase where he was freaked out by shadows on the wall but that passed, thankfully. He sleeps the whole night through and wakes up around 6:30am, sometimes 7 if we're lucky, but sleeps hard and rarely wakes up in the night. Our next challenge though will be losing the diapers during nighttime sleeping, so if you have any tips, let me know!


So that's how we do bedtime. Both boys are good sleepers and besides luck, I really attribute that to following a schedule from day one with Henry. Charlie is down at 6pm and Henry at 7. It was all trial and error with Henry (as it is with most first children when you have NO idea what you're doing), but once we figured out the magic time for him it was so much easier.

Does our bedtime routine look similar to yours? Is there anything special you do? Any routines you'd like to share? You know me and my questions...so do tell!

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And p.s., I'm planning on continuing this little series to talk in detail about different parts of our day, so if you have something you're curious about, let me know in the comments!


71 comments:

  1. Hi, sorry for my english. I am from europe. I read your post blog. I am shocked how easy life can be. I only have one kid. For the first three years she woke up maybe 10 times during the night. We tried everything. Nothing helped. She needs 2 hours to fall asleep and you could not leave the room. Since she is 1,5 years old she stopped sleeping during the day. It was a nightmare for the first months. But now is it a lot better. She sleeps 7.45 p.m till 5.45 a.m. in the morning. Sometimes she still wakes up during the night. But not often. You can be soooo lucky. I am so happy with my little princess. I love her so much but I don't want to go trough this again. Best regards and greetings from cologne - susi

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    1. Hi Susi! Thank you for commenting and your English is totally great, so no need to apologize. :) Anyway, I almost didn't want to post about bedtime because I felt like it's annoying to read that it's not bad over in our house, but I had to share. Not everything in our world is this easy but sleeping is one of them. I can imagine how difficult it would be to have a little one that isn't sleeping a ton but it sounds like she is doing better- yay! I am interested to see if Charlie continues to sleep like this because really, he's only 8 weeks and who knows what he will be like. Fingers crossed!

      Love to you, all the way in Cologne! <3

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  2. Ahh, this sounds so ideal! We have amazing sleepers once they're asleep (also until 7a!), but getting them to sleep is totally ridiculous. Shenanigans, forever. We call the girls double trouble at bedtime. I'm totally going to try the regimented hour before bed that you do. I think it really takes kids that long to unwind. Thanks for the fabulous post. xo

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    1. Double Trouble! I love that. Let me know how it goes! <3

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  3. Sounds very similar to our bedtime routine. We have one little guy, Eli, who is 10 months. I totally agree, having a routine and keeping it as consistent as possible (with variation, of course, on the weekend and during special events) is helpful. Eli is (mostly) great at night and has been since about 3 or so months since we established our routine. I hope that it stays that way! And that any future babes have similar, smooth routines! Love reading your blog and look forward to the series!!

    Xo Sasha

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  4. Henry looks so supercute in his big boy bed :)

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  5. what sound machine r u using? we hve simultaneous bedtime 4 baby and toddler--it's crazy!! baby wont go to bed before 20:30 or 21 neither toddler.so my hubby reads to the older one, i nurse baby to sleep. how on earth did you manage to set such early bed times??? we still eat dinner at 19:30 (hubby comes home at 18)...and how did you set your baby's naps?? i just cannot! since toddler i sloud and doesnt allow baby to sleep during the day (even when she is tired)

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    1. Hey Eva!

      I am going to paste from another comment about how the whole 6pm came about!

      I always tried from the first few weeks to differentiate between daytime and nighttime with both the boys, and with Charlie since (especially in the very beginning) they just sleep and wake every three hours or so, I would just try and get him ready for bed and implement a nighttime routine sometime around 6pm. So then as he got a little older, maybe 5-6 weeks he started really showing an inclination to want to go to sleep right at 6, I think because that's just when we did all the nighttime stuff and nursed in the dark, etc. so he knew, okay, this is nighttime and when I do my long stretch of sleep. So really I just tried to time it from the beginning so riiiiiight around 6pm we would do the "nighttime" eat/sleep routine you'd do during the day, where we'd put on his jammies, nurse in bed (I only do that at night), and have low light/the noise machine on. I feel like this organically and slowly moved him towards understanding okay, this is nighttime.

      I also commented to you below, but have you tried a sound machine? It helped SO much with Henry and is helping with C too.

      Lots of love, lady! xo

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  6. Hello Danielle,

    Also here: Sorry for the spelling and grammar errors but I is not a native speaker (I know that is wrong;-))

    First of all: what a lovely post. I absolutely love it that you are sharing this stuff, looking forward to another post in this series.
    Baby's, toddlers and parents come in different forms and shapes and have different spirits for sure. Not to mention families have different dynamics. This all makes things like dinnertime, bedtime, picking up from pre-school,… different for any of us and unfortunately often VERY challenging. So it's great that you are sharing YOUR families' bedtime story: for others to relate to, to be jealous or proud of … You shouldn't feel it is like boasting and therefore hesitate to share. If everyone would share, there would be a story out there for all of us to relate to, good or bad.
    I have two boys too, both around a year older than yours and thankfully bedtime in our house looks relatively similar to your routine. But believe me there are other things that are or have been going much less smoothly! Actually, last week, my oldest started wanting us to stay in his room until he falls asleep and otherwise makes quite a drama, which he has never ever done before! I am crossing fingers and toes that this is a phase that will pass!
    Regarding the potty training and night diaper: Dr Spock taught me that one should only start taking away the night diaper after a child has been potty trained during day time for at least 6 months and it should not be too much forced upon the child. In our experience it was at least 1 year after day time potty training that we noticed his night time diaper was dry (for 2 weeks on a row) and so we proposed him to give his diapers to the diaper fairy (yes there is a fairy for everything in our house;-)). One week later, he did so (it was really a very out of the blue decision from his side). This is like 6 months ago or so, and I think we only have had 6 accidents ever since (knock on wood).

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    1. Hey Eve!

      Thank you SO SO much for this great comment, and for the info on the diapers. Potty training has been a very slow and non pushy thing for us so it makes me feel good that this next step is just as slow- thank you for sharing. I also WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree that parents, kids, etc all have different spirits and dynamics. That's why I almost didn't want to share this because I felt like some people might not keep that in mind...but I hope they do. We're all different, all children are different, and there is no right or wrong. I probably shouldn't have even used the term "good sleeper" because what means good for one might not be that way for another. Anyway, thank you SO much for sharing and coming here to read what I write. Tons of love to you. :)

      xo

      ps loved this: "If everyone would share, there would be a story out there for all of us to relate to, good or bad. "

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  7. what kind of schedule did you use?

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    1. I just took the boys' lead and watched when they got tired, and went from there! <3

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  8. I love reading about the different methods you use with your boys. I think you are such a wonderful mother and will definitely be archiving these posts for reference when I have kids! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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    1. Aww thank you so much! That means a lot to me. <3

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  9. i am terrible at routines and bedtime is no different, which means i have terrible sleepers. i swear the only routine i actually enforce is dinner.
    i always respect the mamas and the papas who get it together and keep it together and train little sleepers.

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    1. Thanks Rachel! We all do it our own way and I love that- I feel like whatever works, ya know?

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  10. My son is a few months younger than Henry, so I always love reading your posts because it really helps to hear a different perspective. We have a similar routine except my husband works nights and bedtime is always "mommy" time. My little one is a very good sleeper but his new 5 month old sister is not so much as good of a sleeper as he is. I will try the bath then dinner approach. I am not sure why I never thought of that before, but that would help us all!

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    1. Ooh I am glad you could get something from this! Let me know if it works for you! <3

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  11. Did you always put Charlie to bed at that time since birth? Or something you gradually moved to? I also have an almost 3 year old with a very structured bedtime who is an excellent sleeper and am constantly thinking about how I will incorporate our baby on the way into our nighttime routine, so thank you so much for this post, I love love love it!

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    1. I always tried from the first few weeks to differentiate between daytime and nighttime with both the boys, and with Charlie since (especially in the very beginning) they just sleep and wake every three hours or so, I would just try and get him ready for bed and implement a nighttime routine sometime around 6pm. So then as he got a little older, maybe 5-6 weeks he started really showing an inclination to want to go to sleep right at 6, I think because that's just when we did all the nighttime stuff and nursed in the dark, etc. so he knew, okay, this is nighttime and when I do my long stretch of sleep. I hope this makes sense! :)

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  12. Wow, I'm impressed you have a schedule for your 8 week old already. My youngest is about 9 weeks (older one is 2 1/2) and he is all over the place. Sleeps anywhere with no evening routine. Maybe it's time for that? We got good about my first son's routine around 4 months, I think, right before we did sleep training. And now he is very regimented at night and has always slept great! I am terrified my second won't be as good a sleeper ... and that establishing a routine with him will be less of a priority as we are just trying to stay sane juggling two during the witching hour.

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    1. same here! i just CANT impose a routine when my older is always present, playing and making noise thus interfereeing with the baby's sleep:(

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    2. I felt the same way- and I got super nervous before I had Charlie, thinking how would this little one ever get any peace and quiet...but I've been pleasantly surprised. We just implement quiet time later in the night, and it's a good way for Henry to wind down too and it does help. We also use a white noise machine in the room with Charlie and it totally drowns out outside noise from Henry!

      Eva, that might be a good option for you - maybe try a sound machine in your youngest's room?

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  13. pS is Charlie fully asleep after the nursing session or does the burping wake him up a little bit so he is groggy when you put him down and he then goes to sleep on his own? If you do nurse him to sleep what age do you stop this? I read to never nurse your baby to sleep so they learn to fall asleep on their own so with my oldest I always burped him, put his pjs on AFTER his last feeding so he'd wke up a bit and fall asleep on his own, I am convinced this is why he's a good sleeper and never needed to be fed or rocked to sleep, so I'm curious your philosophy on this too since you also have good sleepers?

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    1. i ALWAYS nursed to sleep and my son BY HIMSELF decided at 2 years old he didn't want to nurse anymore and started sleeping through the night by himself.
      i never used any form of sleep training.
      so he grew out of it himself. children/babies all have this capability without us interefereing and being phobic they will never learn to sleep on their own.
      the same with potty training.he desided one night and never again has had his diapers on, day or night.he was 2.

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    2. Hi Lauren! I should have included this in the post. I do not put him down when he is fully asleep, because when I burp him it wakes him up a little, even if he's already almost asleep. So I would say when I put him down he's more groggy than anything, then moves around a little and gets comfy, then eventually falls asleep. I agree with you about this- I do think doing this set Henry up for good sleeping success and I hope it's the same for Charlie! <3

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    3. Hey Eva!

      I wouldn't say this is sleep training at all (unsure if that's what you meant), I just put them down at the same time every night. I think it's definitely different for everyone- hence the "what works for us" title. :)

      xo
      Dani

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  14. we were definitely hardcore about keeping a schedule with our first son. but when our second was born we eased up a bit and just started going with the flow of that particular day. now that our kids are three and six, we have to tag team bedtime. my husband wrangles our oldest, while i take care of the younger one.

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    1. I am positive it will be the same way in our house once C is bigger, especially when we have more kids! So so crazy to think about. I also love the term "wrangle" when referring to kids. ha!

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  15. I love how your routine is so family oriented, and everyone is involved, and especially the fact that Henry gets his "mommy-daddy" time. So precious!

    With my husband and I both working full time jobs, our night time routine is a little later than most. We get off work about 5:30pm, and we are SO lucky that our jobs are so close, and that our schedules are in sync, so we carpool to and from work everyday, and get a little bit of extra "us time" before picking up our 20 month old (Caige) from grandma's house. We usually get there about (depending on traffic or if we need to run to the grocery store) 6:15 pm, and hang out for a little bit. My mom update's us on his day, how his potty habits have been, what he's eaten, if he's had a bath that day, etc. We're home anytime between 6:30-7:00pm, and that's when either myself or my husband will start making dinner. Depending on what we eat, we're all usually eating around before 7:30pm (at the latest), and we all eat together (not always at the kitchen table, most nights we'll throw a blanket on the living room floor and let Caige sneak bites from our plates because it's sometimes easier to get him to try new things if mommy and daddy are already eating it). Around 8:00 is when we try to get him to wind down. We'll usually watch a movie together as a family or read him as many books as he need until he starts the almighty "eye-rub" or gets super snugly. Caige definitely loves his bedtime, so we'll ask him if he's ready for bed, and if he is he will run over to the kitchen gate and wait for his sippy cup of milk. He's usually in bed anytime between 8-9:30pm, just depending on how is nap times go during the day. We've eased up on this time frame quite a bit, since I'm pregnant with our second and am due to in about 2 weeks or so, so I am sure that having another little bundle of joy will skew things a bit as far as our routine goes, but I'm sure we'll get a handle on it once we settle into that adjustment!

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    1. April I loved reading all about your routine- so fascinating to me. I also totally relate to the "eye rub" ...we use that sign too to know it's time for lights out! <3 Sending you happy birthing wishes!

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  16. I'm curious about when YOU eat dinner if Hank and Henry eat while you put Henry down. It sounds like you go straight to Henry's nightly routine from there. Or do you sneak in a quick dinner before your time with Henry?

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    1. SUCH a good question and when I reread that I was thinking I should have included that info! haha! Someone just asked me on FB too. I usually eat at 4pm like an old lady because I will typically try to go to the gym once Henry is down, if I missed in the morning and if I wait until later I will feel gross while running or lifting or whatever. Once Charlie is sleeping through the night fully I will go back to working out regularly in the morning, but right now I eat early and then just hang out while Hank and Henry eat. We typically all eat together, and I look forward to going back to that..but for right now I'm a 4pm-er. <3

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  17. I loved loved loved this post, Dani! It was fun to read :) Ryan has a 7-7:15 bedtime also and you got me thinking that maybe we are putting Henry down too late because I think he has been a bit overtired the past few nights. Going to try a 6:30 bedtime tonight and see how it goes!

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    1. Thanks friend! Let me know how it goes with Henry! I always felt like 6pm seemed insane but my Mom said my sis and I were the same way.

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  18. thats wonderful that your little one is sleeping so well already at only eight weeks. my son is 21 months and sleeps from about 830/9pm-730/8am with a good two-hour nap in the afternoon. but when he was eight weeks old, i was lucky if he slept more then three hours at a stretch, let alone nine! can you talk about how you started the routine from the beginning? that's something we really struggled with establishing. i felt like we just went on an eat-sleep routine that he created each day. i'm sure a lot of my issues had to do with being a nervous new mother. did henry sleep this well this early? we're in negotiations regarding number 2 right now and i am already worried about loss of sleep again.

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    1. hi Jesse!

      I'm just going to paste my answer from an above comment, then add more below it!

      I always tried from the first few weeks to differentiate between daytime and nighttime with both the boys, and with Charlie since (especially in the very beginning) they just sleep and wake every three hours or so, I would just try and get him ready for bed and implement a nighttime routine sometime around 6pm. So then as he got a little older, maybe 5-6 weeks he started really showing an inclination to want to go to sleep right at 6, I think because that's just when we did all the nighttime stuff and nursed in the dark, etc. so he knew, okay, this is nighttime and when I do my long stretch of sleep. I hope this makes sense! :)

      And to add on, I know what you mean about the eat/sleep routine. We do that too, but like I said in the pasted part I just tried to time it from the beginning so riiiiiight around 6pm we would do the "nighttime" eat/sleep, where we'd put on his jammies, nurse in bed (I only do that at night), and have low light/the noise machine on. I feel like this organically and slowly moved him towards understanding okay, this is nighttime. And it was successful with both boys.

      How exciting you're talking about number two- I bet you will find it so surprising how much easier it is because we know at least a LITTLE more of what we're doing! ;)

      Hope this helps! <3

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  19. I loved reading this! It is interesting to see what works for other people, like you said. My little Ingrid is turning 3 in a couple of weeks and my baby Lars is 6 months old, so our kids are pretty darn close in age.. and their bedtimes are the same as yours! We're really big on routine and consistency, too, but unfortunately, our kids are not as good at sleeping as yours are. Well, Ingrid is doing pretty well these days, but it was a hard road to get there. And Lars was a colicky newborn who had a super hard time sleeping, so he is still dealing with some of the difficulty sleeping that many post colicky babies do. I am really looking forward to the time where I can sleep for more than a few hours at a time, ha ha. But it'll come... and they're so worth it! xo

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  20. i'm so excited about this post! and even more excited about learning more about tidbits of your day. i'm totally one of those people that want to know what EVERYONE else is doing but feel so stalker-ish asking about other peoples routines and so on. SO i'm super happy that you're sharing.

    my two-and-a-half year old goes to bed anytime between eight and nine but closer to eight most nights. he's currently trying to phase out naps and i am completely unprepared for that so i'm trying my hardest every day to get him to nap. some days though, he's been sleeping in until 10am or so and when he does that, a nap just isn't feasible. i think he's just growing though, as he's been waking up more frequently at night complaining of his legs hurting. growing pains, i think.

    we've also got a three-month-old and she's not currently on a strict schedule. she co-sleeps with us and wakes up pretty much whenever i wake up and then will take a mid-morning nap and an afternoon nap, and typically goes to bed for the night with me, usually around 10ish. it's not the most ideal but seeing as how she's co-sleeping, she doesn't sleep well alone just yet. and i'm not quite ready to start sleep training so we'll just go with the flow!

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  21. Henry is so cute in his big boy bed :)
    We just had twin girls (they came home from hospital in August) and so although they are 4 months old they are actually only developmentally, and size wise about 8 weeks old (corrected age) we also have a 3 and a 4 year old. Our daytimes are completely different with the twin girls, but our nighttimes, even with their cluster feeding sessions in the afternoons are exactly the same, very routined and we have always had a strong routine for all 4 of them. It kinda goes like this:
    I get home around 5:30 (my husband is a stay at home dad and I'm just returning to work after maternity leave) and I will entertain the kids while Simon finishes up making dinner. Poppy and Ruby probably would of started their fussy time around 4pm so we just go with whatever needs to be done.
    After dinner, usually around 6-6:30 we divide and concur - One of us starts doing the babies bedtime routine and the other showers or baths the big kids together. They usually have a bit of playtime in their bedroom in pjs while one parent helps the other sort babies out and then have stories and bedtime (we try to have them in bed going to sleep by 7pm). Then we finish up the girls, by then they are usually all changed/bathed/medications done and at least one almost fed. We try to have them down in bed around 7:30 so that we have an hour together of peace and quiet before I hit the hay.
    I go to bed super early, 8:30pm-9pm and Simon stays up to do a dreamfeed around 11pm. I then get up whenever Poppy wakes, which is usually around 4:30-6am (runy thankfully will be happy to wait until 7:30am), giving me a long sleep to tackle the work day. Simon sleeps in until just before 8am when I need to leave the house.

    It kinda full on at the moment!

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  22. I'm not a parent, but I'm just curious: I know a lot of kids and babies have bath time every evening. Is this really necessary? I wonder when that kind of routine developed in society, because before running water that likely would not have happened. It's interesting!

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    1. here in italy it is encouraged for babys to have a bath once a WEEK! not more because too often can destroy baby's sensible upper skin layer..at least that's what doctors say here

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  23. I can so relate with you on how important keeping a bedtime routine is. My kiddos are eleven months apart and sleep training literally saved my sanity. I learned the hard way with my daughter ( who is 2 1/2) because I didn't sleep train her until right before my son was born. Pushing through and sticking with routine makes EVERYONE happier! I love reading posts like this :) and Charlie is soooo adorable and not helping with my fight against baby fever! ;)

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  24. I love the peace of bedtime. My boy's are 19 months and 4 years. It is hectic. Most nights I have to grab a quick glass of wine and light a candle while they bathe. They love that. It's not always perfect. Especially as of late. My oldest will be five in a few short months. He has been resisting his 7:30 bedtime. I've pushed it back to 8:30 and it seems to be going well. (Its been three days ha!)

    *** As far as night time wetting. My son has been potty trained from 2.5 years however he still wears a pull up. I started to feel pressure to ditch the pull ups. I tried to have him pee at night etc but, we couldn't perfect it and with a new baby any additional lack of sleep isn't ideal. Our pediatrician asked me " Can your son hear the frustration in your voice, can he feel your tiredness?" "Can you be smiling in the morning rested and ready to play with two boys?" Sometimes we need to Wait" SO TRUE. He is getting closer but, this works for us now. When ever I worry I remember "Natures time" You can't rush the season...fall will come and then Winter but, in it's time. Corny but, true!

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    1. I also love the peace of bedtime and love that you do a candle and glass of wine. And thank you so much for the second half of your comment. We have taken potty training SO slow and it's worked so well...so it's a great reminder to just let it happen. Thanks you :)

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  25. Love this piece. I am a stickler for schedule at my house too. I agree that things seem to go better when we stick to a timeline (despite the fact that in my independent adult life I've never been much for following a routine). The tough part for me is letting go enough to compromise bedtime when necessary. I have so much fear surrounding messing up V's good sleep habits!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks lady! Yes, I felt the same way with H but it's so funny because with Charlie I'm like, eh, no big deal! I find that we go out a lot more with him and just let him fall asleep on me. It's been okay so far.

      xoxo

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  26. Thanks for sharing this! Maybe someone has already mentioned this because I don't have time to read every comment right now, but what do you do, say on weekends, when you're invited to go to someone's house, out to dinner, etc? Babysitter? Try to take the kids with you?
    My 7 mos old has had a bedtime routine since 2 mos and it's worked great! I'm nervous to try taking her with us places (mainly someone else's house) and trying to get her to fall asleep there while we stay later. She will inevitably wake up when we get in the car to leave or once we're home. I don't want to mess her up!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Meredith!

      We totally push it in that case. I will just have Charlie fall asleep on me and we let Henry stay up. Or for example when we go to Phoenix (which is often), we will leave once Hank is home from work and C will sleep on the 2 hour drive, then Henry will just stay up and not go to sleep until like 10pm sometimes. I don't stress about it though because I feel like that's why we HAVE the routine- it allows us room to bend a little because we always have it to fall back into. As far as your 7 month old, maybe you could just do your nighttime routine there in a way, and have her sleep on you in a wrap or something? Or maybe even bring a pack n play. With Henry we were always going somewhere and up until about 6 months would just bring the little co-sleeper with us, and then when he was out of it around 6 months we practiced the pack n play at home for awhile then just brought that. I would do most of our nighttime routine then put him down in a back bedroom at a friend's house or wherever we were and hang out. :) Hope this helps! xoxo

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    2. That makes sense and along the lines of what I was thinking! Thanks for the ideas and affirmation, Danielle! :) PS your sons are so cute! and I'm not just saying that...they totally are!

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  27. Danielle-
    This post could not have come at a better time for me, so thank you!!
    I am due next month and have a 2 year old. I have been really strict about bed times and naps with my first son and he is a great sleeper. There are lots of things that make me nervous about being the SAHM of two boys but I think that disrupting bedtime routine with my eldest has been the aspect I have thought about the most. I went so far as to google, "bedtime routine with newborn and toddler."
    Not many great results... ;) So thanks so so much for sharing! I totally appreciate it and its posts like these that keep me reading! I also have to say I am so happy that you have kept up the blog and have not just become an "instagram" blogger. It has made me so sad that many of the blogs I used to love have fallen out of actually writing and sharing information.
    Thanks again!
    Melissa

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  28. I love this post and I am so glad you plan to do more! We are already talking about having another baby and even though it's very exciting, a lot of things are nerve-wracking when I think about doing them with TWO babies... do you and Hank get time alone with each other/to yourselves these days? How do you grocery shop, or do anything involving getting both kids in/out of the car? Is it ever hard on Henry when the baby is nursing, like if he wants you to play with him but you are in the middle of a marathon nursing session? How do you manage to be up and active with Henry after waking up in the night with Charlie? These are the things that give me cold sweats =P

    ReplyDelete
  29. No babies for me (yet), but I have chatted with my mom about what she did for me, and she kept to a pretty strict routine. When I got older, I liked to stay up later and later-- it was really hard for me to turn off my brain and fall asleep, but I would read quietly, or if worse came to worse, cuddle with my 'rents for a bit.

    One thing that my mom and I did until I was in high school was host read-aloud sessions with each other. She's a librarian and book lover, so I was her guinea pig for storytimes and sundry. I really enjoyed that one-on-one time with her, where I could just sit with her, draw, and listen to a story, from picture books to novels. I know that even if I might not be as strict with a routine as my mom was, I'll definitely be making read-aloud time a special thing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Danielle, I love this post (and the rest of your blog too!) most especially because I'm a couple months away from welcoming baby #2 with an almost-2-year-old. It's so interesting and reassuring to read about how you and Hank are adjusting to life with two kids. I'm trying not to panic! And it reassures me that you still seem able to spend good time with Henry. My son was a pretty lousy sleeper for the few months so I'm just crossing my fingers that the second time around might be a little smoother in that department. As for future blog posts you mention at the end, do you have any lessons learned from early nursing with a toddler around? I'm a bit scared for that. And how do you exercise during Henry's nap? Is Charlie sleeping then too and you have a treadmill at home? Kudos to you for that, I'm trying to wrap my brain around getting back to exercise too ;-). Do you nurse Charlie right before? That was always such a challenge for me (timing nursing to exercise) the first time around. Enough rambling, thanks Danielle, you seem like a great mom!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love that you've touched on the matter of sleeping because I find it is something so big in the lives of parents yet so very difficult to obtain if not handled correctly. our bedtime routine is very similar except for the fact that we do the reading in our bed. he likes it when I read him poems in English and when his dad reads bedtime stories in Greek. once we enter his bedroom, everything is quiet and dark with a little red light on in the corner. he knocks up 12 hours a night. i expect a change when he stops wearing nappies and when we finally move him to a big bed but I am hoping it will be short-lived.

    ReplyDelete
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