Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bedtime with Two

Darren was away at a work conference last weekend and I had my first full weekend of solo parenting since Ophelia was born. We had a great weekend, a balance of relaxing at home and getting out to have meals and fun with friends.

Sebby got his face painted for the first time!
 He had fun looking at his doggy face in the mirror. 
Right after having it done he fell asleep in the carrier on my back so it was a bit smudged but he still thought it was awesome.

Sebby practiced wearing underwear & using the potty while we were at home.
He decided it was important to teach giraffe about the potty too. 
Wish I got a picture of giraffe in his underwear!

I learned a few things over the weekend but most importantly, I gained confidence at handling bedtime on my own with a toddler and a baby.

I'd had to do bedtime with the two of them a few times in the past but it was usually stressful, often involving both kids crying and waking each other up. Last weekend gave me a chance to have three consecutive nights to work out a strategy for tackling bedtimes solo just in time for Darren's busiest month at work (he'll be out many evenings at bedtime).

As I chatted with my friend about it the other day, we agreed that starting early and with  plenty of time is probably the most important principle when it comes to solo parenting bedtimes. 

Last Friday I did baths at 3pm. After the kids were dressed in pjs we chatted on skype my sister in law then around 5pm we ate a meal I'd previously prepared. It was great! We had time to read books and play and clean up before bed. No one was stressed or rushed or crying. Sebby got to bed by 7pm and Ophelia shortly after. 

Since then, I've noted that bedtime almost always goes smoothly if there is lots of time to spare.

Since it sometimes takes awhile to get Ophelia settled in bed, I find it works best if I get both kids completely ready for bed at the same time then nurse Ophelia while I pray and sing with Sebby. That way she doesn't get overtired and once Sebby is asleep, I can focus on putting her down and not worry about what Sebby is up to or leaving him playing on the iPad for 40 minutes. 

After having done it a few times, I no longer worry about handling bedtime on my own.