Each family’s bedtime will be unique to their needs. But when you have 2 under 2, bedtime can be an especial struggle! Especially if you find yourself doing bedtime alone.
My husband works for farmers in the fall, helping harvest crops until the wee hours of the morning. After Jasper was born (just a month before harvest), I’d sporadically wonder… how am I going to do bedtime once I’m on my own at night?!
Just do what works for you
There’s no judgement.
When you’ve spent the whole day caring for a toddler and an infant, you’re exhausted by bedtime! And if you have any extra struggles, like a colicky baby + clingy toddler, you just struggle through it and figure out what works.
My Mama Confession:
My toddler watched movies on repeat in my bed to fall asleep for the first 2ish months after her brother was born. I hated it, but, with a colicky newborn and the toddler screaming bloody murder if I left her line of sight… it’s just what worked.
It was my personal choice not to make her cry it out; so, we just did what worked at the time knowing that it wouldn’t last forever.
The first months with a toddler and a newborn can be HARD
I lived in survival mode. But newborns grow and change fast, every 2 weeks I’d realize that it’d gotten easier!
As my children grew and changed and adapted to life, I started changing our habits. I shifted us from survival mode, into more intentional habits.
I am NOT a bedtime expert
I’m not a sleep expert, but I know what works for my kids. Consistency is key for us, no matter what our routine is, if we do the same thing every night, they know that it means bedtime.
As mama, you know what works best for your kids! Listen to what your mama gut is telling you.
My current bedtime routine
When we’re in a good schedule, bedtime happens around 8pm. We brush teeth, get fresh diapers and pajamas on, and head to bed.
My toddler sleeps on a twin sized bed on the floor, so for bedtime I lay with her. She has her blanket and comfort items and snuggles up to me on one side, and I usually have Jasper on my other arm nursing to sleep.
If she has trouble settling down, we’ll read a story and then I play lullabies on my phone. But usually, I just lay with her and she settles down to sleep. I like that I’m able to relax, and often read a book on my phone until she’s asleep enough for me to sneak out and go lay Jasper down.
It’s not perfect, but it works
I think I’ve had this thought about every bedtime routine we’ve ever had. And we’ve had a few since bedtime routines do change over time. There’s always something I think could or should be different.
Extend grace towards yourself.
The thing is, bedtime has the potential to be such a special bonding time. I love to end my days on a good note instead of stressed or fighting the kids to sleep (although trust me, that happens sometimes too).
Choose how you end your day
You’re tired, your kids are tired. Bedtime is either the worst time of day, or the best!
When you get past survival mode and can be more deliberate: Choose to make it the best.
Put on some soothing music and diffuse some lavender oil for relaxation leading up to bedtime. Spend some time playing on the floor with your kids! We love laid back playtime before bed.
If mama is tense and stressed, babies will act up. If mama is soothing and relaxed, babies will go to sleep! Body language and tone of voice says so much… be deliberate!