Help- New bedtime routine needed for my toddlers?

Tracy - posted on 06/19/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am wondering how other twin moms put their toddlers to sleep at night without the help of someone else (my girls are 20 months and sleep in cribs in separate rooms). For the longest time I was able to put each girl to bed separately which I liked. I could leave one in another room while I read a book and rocked the other which took about 10-15 minutes (sometimes it was as short as 5 min though if I heard the other fuss). The routine was basically bath, baby signing time video while they ate a snack, book, bed. The one that stayed up later got to watch more of the DVD. But now I can't leave either of them alone without them having a meltdown. I am not sure what to do. I do not want to give up book time and snuggles but I might have to.

And one more thing... I have tried reading them books at the same time and cut out the rocking but that has not gone over well either. Perhaps I need to just try harder and practice reading with them together during the day when they are less cranky... I just don't know? Would love to hear what others do. Thanks.

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Barbara - posted on 06/27/2011

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at 20 month I just put them to bed and close the door. First one would just go to sleep, second one had meltdowns for 15 minutes first night, 10 minutes second and 5 third. Now we are almost 3 years old and bed time is go to bed...

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Nicole - posted on 06/28/2011

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my girls are going to be 15months in july. my husband and i used to sit each child next to us and read a book until they fell asleep and then we would carry them up to their room. however just like u this stopped working, and they would go down for an hour only to wake up crying. now we read them a story at 6:30 and then we have quit time where they just sit next to us on the couch and chill. at 7pm or 7:15 we carry them up to there room, put on there music and kiss each good night, and walk out. yes they scream but it went from screaming for a 1/2 hour to now only 10min. they need to learn to put them selves to sleep and self sooth. this has worked for us so far and i have been doing it for about 2 weeks now.

Choy - posted on 06/27/2011

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I used to have two nannies for my two boys...but for the past months...I am alone in putting them to bed. They are now 3yo and what I do is ask them both to join me in the bedroom and watch their favorite tv show/s. They normally tell that they will finish the tv show/s and sleep. I taught them how to pray, now they have their own prayers before going to sleep. Before, I put one pillow between them, bot now I let them wrestling each other when asleep. Love seeing them asleep and they sense twin-bonding I may say.

Jessica - posted on 06/24/2011

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Mine are 18 months, and we're in a very different situation, as they are not only in the same room, but in the same crib. As such I can't say our routine would work for you. However, at least a few earlier posts have mentioned maintaining a stable routine-and that's what I would say. Both of my girls now realize that if I'm at the changing table with one, and they're in the crib, that they have to wait their turn. This works both for bedtime and when waking up. I can even finish with one baby, and walk out of the room, putting her in the high chair with her morning milk without the other baby (still stuck in the crib waiting for her turn) flipping out. It's almost a game now, as they hear my footsteps and get excited and run around the crib. At night, we play small games, ("Where's your...ear? Belly? Show Mama...name the sign, etc), that involve both babies, which helps keep the one that's not the center of attention involved too. Making it both a fun and extremely stable routine, no matter what you pick is what will help get you by!

Alda - posted on 06/24/2011

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My girls will be 3 in August. We have bath, then dinner, then we sing and dance a bit. Then it's tooth brush time, then we go upstairs. They share a room and have been in toddler beds for around 5 months and potty trained for a month. We play in mommy and daddy's room for about 5 minutes, then go through to their room (a dimmer switch and blackout blinds were the best investment ever), where we all sit on the floor (daddy as well if he's not working). The girls either sit on our laps and we read them stories, or they just run around playing. I'll give them a 10 minute warning and then a 2 minute warning (this can last as long as you choose lol), then the buzzer goes (I just go 'bzzzzz'). They help tidy up the books and get into their beds. We say goodnight to them, switch on their musical light thingy set for 10 minutes and leave the room. Close the stairgate in their bedroom door and go downstairs. Some nights they scream or run around for a while, but they generally settle in around 10 minutes. We don't vary the routine and they know what to expect now :-). Hope this helps.

Liz - posted on 06/24/2011

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Maybe do bedtime in one of the rooms (you could always alternate each night?) and have the kid not getting put to bed just hang out in the room wiht you? And then you can go do bedtime with the 2nd in their room after.

Liz - posted on 06/24/2011

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In the beginning I would try to give the other one a job - like putting the books away and turning on the night light although that didn't last the whole song. I wouldn't put them in their crib, I'd just leave them on the floor so maybe that helps? The twin not being sung to can wander around and maybe that keeps him from getting upset. Maybe try not putting your 2nd in the crib. I have found with wake ups I used to be able to leave hte twin not being changed in their crib but now I have to take them out in order to keep them from throwing a fit.

Stephanie - posted on 06/24/2011

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I have been struggling with this also... I do have a comfy pack n play set up in another room that I alternate one sleeping in every night. They used to sleep in the same room..we will eventually get back to that. So, I am thinking I will have to put one down after reading a book and milk and let her cry in the other room while I tend to the other. If they are both in the same room while establishing the bedtime routine I am thinking they will just stare at each other and cry. thoughts?

Stephanie - posted on 06/24/2011

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Liz- When you are rocking one by the crib what do you do with the other on? That is part of my issue- one will stand din her crib and scream while I put the other one down.

Liz - posted on 06/24/2011

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My 2 year old boys share a room so I don't know if this will work for you...but we have a bedtime routine that takes less than half an hour. On a bath night after dinner we do baths and then get them into their PJs. Then it's vitamins, teeth brushing, and then we let them pick out a book each. They either sit on the carpet story-time style while I read a book or they both sit on my lap. It doesn't always work well - some nights they have more attention than others. And in the beginning they NEVER sat still - it took months to get them into the mode to be able to behave for a story, but it was worth the perseverance. Then after story it's time for bed. We have them turn their nightlight on (they take turns) and I take one at a time (if I'm alone) and stand by their crib holding them while singing their bedtime song (we do twinkle twinkle) before putting them in their cribs and saying goodnight. We started this routine when they were 1 (we did most of it stating at 4 months, except instead of a story I would nurse them, but I stopped that at 1). We have never rocked our kids to sleep though so that was never an issue.

[deleted account]

Thanks for sharing ladies. It is always helpful to hear what others do. After hearing from you I am thinking that if they were in the same room it might be a bit easier. Ironically I thought it would be harder because they would keep each other up. In any case we are not about to make that big of a change until they get their toddler beds or they ask to sleep in the same room.



For the last 2 nights I have changed things up a bit. It is bath, snack & milk, brush teeth, read a book to one of the girls in her room while the other reads a book on the floor in the same room (they still hate sharing my lap while reading a book most of the time) then bedtime without rocking for the one that got the book. Once the first one is in bed I read a book to her sister, rock her, then put her to bed. I am going to slowly (and sadly) reduce rocking time until we have no more snuggle time though.



The one that doesn't get rocking did fuss a bit but even if I am in the room and holding her she fusses. She has been doing this about 2 weeks now. She is simply fighting bedtime. I know she is tired and is just a typical toddler who wants to stay up. Luckily the last 2 nights she was done crying by the time I was done reading with her sister which could not have been more than 5 minutes. So that is a good sign.



Things are definitely better, but I still wouldn't mind to hear from others who put twins to bed solo if you have anything interesting and helpful to add. Thanks.

Stacie - posted on 06/21/2011

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my boys are 2 1/2 they sleep in the same room but in toddler beds and i put them to bed my self most of the nights during the week. our routine is brush teeth and then straight to bed where they lay down and i read them both a book and then i tuck them in and give kisses and leave the room. before we started this routine i would pat their backs till they were a sleep. so i would pick the one that was going to give me more problems about going to bed and get him almost a sleep and then move on to his brother. sometimes i would have to go back and forth for awhile but they would finally go to sleep which it actually helped with the transition to not patting their back any more. yes i still have to go in the room and they them back down from time to time but it only takes15 min.s tops to get both boys asleep now.

Kim - posted on 06/20/2011

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Sorry! I misread lol I just realized the quicker we made our bedtime routine the better it was for all of us. :)

[deleted account]

Oh I don't rock them to sleep. We just cuddle for a few minutes, maybe 3-5 then I put them to bed awake. They have been "self soothing" since they were really little. But I agree it is might be time to stop the rocking and cuddling. I will also start to work on reading books together and see if that can help.

Kim - posted on 06/20/2011

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I gave up on trying to rock my boys to sleep a LONG time ago. They are 18 months old now, and still in the same room but separate cribs. Probably since they were 4-5 months old we have been able to put them in their crib, read them a story together, and give kisses and walk out the door. I know it may be difficult for you to do, but as my sister always told me, babies/toddlers can't cry blood. You might want to get them out of the habit of being rocked to sleep, they really need to learn to self sooth. I don't even have the same routine every night anymore. They get baths every other night, sometimes we go outside after dinner and sometimes we just hang out and play and read. I just know when they get tired it's time for bed and they go to bed. You may have to go through several nights of trial and error to figure out what works for you and your girls.

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