Bedtime with one child? That can be stressful! Bedtime with two children? It’s a handful! I’ll be honest, we’ve had a lot of trial and error with our bedtime routine, but I think we finally found something that works for us (for now!). Our Bedtime Routine consists of me assisting my babies to sleep (because they’re not this little forever!) and a whole lot of time management. If you’re hoping for the answer’s on how to get your baby to sleep on their own without assistance, you’re out of luck here. I can however direct you to check out Taking Cara Babies’ Sleep Programs. But, if you’re just looking for a way to balance putting multiple children to sleep, this is your guide!
Putting Two Children To Bed (In The Same Room)
Usually before bed, I like to give the kids a somewhat light stack to make sure that their tummy’s are filled. Sometimes we will eat fun things like chips or a cookie while watching a movie, but most of the time we like to eat some yogurt! It’s healthy and has just enough in it to keep them from being hungry throughout the night.
I’ll admit it, sometimes throughout the chaos of the day I forget to add this to our routine, but Atlas often reminds me. He really enjoys brushing his teeth since he got a new tooth brush! You know, those electric ones with the really cool spider-man on it?! Ever since before he even turned one, Atlas has been a huge fan of brushing his teeth so its never been hard to incorporate it into our routine. Axel, on the other hand, has only two teeth right now and doesn’t care much for tooth brushing. He just likes to chew on the toothbrush. Once he gets more teeth, I’ll be a little more persistent on how he brushes.
Diapers and PJ’s
We have no specific order in how we do this, I just take whichever child is not preoccupied by toys first and change them. Sometimes there is simplicity in the mess we call home!
Both Atlas and Axel drink milk at bedtime. After the boys are changed, I will let them play a little bit longer while I prepare Axel’s formula in his bottle and Atlas’ milk in his weighted straw cup. I know this kind of goes against the whole brushing teeth thing, but we aren’t trying to be perfect here, we’re trying to instill tooth brushing habits!
Putting The Youngest Down First.
Axel goes to sleep first, simply because he still needs me to be there keeping an eye on him. Well, that and because if I leave him be for more than a minute he screams bloody murder! I usually have to help him get to sleep so I wrap him a blanket, swaddle with arms out, and sit on the yoga ball. I will feed him his bottle and then since he uses a pacifier, I give him that while I rock him to sleep.
And Then The Oldest.
While I am tending to Axel, Atlas will either lay in bed and watch a movie or read a book, or play with toys in the living room until it is his turn to go to bed. On days that he doesn’t nap during the day, he will just drink his milk and fall asleep on his own instantly! No fuss for mom!
Other days, once Axel is sleeping, I will close the movie or ask Atlas to come back to bed and drink his milk and we will lay together until he falls asleep. He always likes to have his Hedgehog and a special blanket with him for comfort. I try to be diligent about reminding him that once he is asleep I will be leaving the room. If he happens to wake up and I’m not there, at least he has a reminder of where I am so he doesn’t panic.
Now that the kids are finally asleep, it is time for my bedtime routine! It is a really simple one so I will just list the things I tend to do here for you:
- Usually I like to eat a snack, or my own dinner if I was too busy running after the kids to eat my own food earlier.
- Wash the dishes or do some other household chores.
- Sit down by myself for an hour or two and work on my blog/instagram/Pinterest
- Put Electronics away and spend time on my relationship for a bit
- Go To Sleep
Occasionally during this time I will practice some form of physical self-care. Putting on a face mask and teeth whitening are my absolute favourite things to do because I can multi-task. But sometimes I like to stretch or do a little workout as well!
What If They Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night?
Currently, I am not too worried about going and snuggling them if they wake up. Atlas usually sleeps through the whole night, or if he does wake up, he’s just forgotten that I don’t sleep next to him anymore so he is pretty easy to help go back to sleep. I remind him that mommy is here when he needs me, give him a little snuggle and am on my way.
When Axel wakes up, it is a little more difficult. We live in a basement apartment so I try and be as courteous as I can. However, if I have done everything I can to ensure all his needs are met, I need to let him cry it out a bit. There are nights where Axel will scream and I will soothe him. Then the moment I put him down he is right back up screaming again. For hours on end. It can get exhausting! In this case, I will lay him down, try and get some rest and go back in the room after 20 minutes if he hasn’t stopped crying. Generally, since he’s already extremely tired and he realizes that he won’t get picked up at his immediate call, he happily snuggles into me and falls asleep.
I know this isn’t the perfect routine, but I’m not a perfect mom. We do what we need to do to help our littles thrive. As parents, our days can be exhausting and we want to get our kids to bed as soon as possible. I used to follow an extremely strict routine, but as time went on, it proved to be very difficult to follow. I had to ease up on myself. While following my children’s cues, I have a better understanding of their tells that they are tired and it makes things run a lot smoother. When it comes down to it, they usually get tired around the same time frame everyday anyways (6:30pm-8:00pm). So, those days where they want to stay up a little later are few and far between.
How do you put your children to bed? Do you help them, or let them sleep on their own? What do you do once they’re finally sleeping? Let me know in the comments below!