Jump to content
What do you do with your toddler while settling baby to sleep?
12 replies to this topic
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:17 PM
I have an almost 3 year old DD and a DS almost 5 months.
Up until recently it been fairly easy to settle him down for his day sleeps, wrap, dummy a minute or 2 of rocking and into a swing chair so entertaining my 3 year old while I did this wasn't really a problem. But in the last few weeks he has become increasingly aware of and interested in the world around him. It takes ages to settle him, he wants to look at everything and any little noise stops him from closing his eyes. Plus the swing chair doesn't seem to keep him asleep anymore he wakes after 15-20 minutes and needs re-settling. So I seem to spend what feels like a large part of the day trying to settle him and my 3 year old is finding it very hard to occupy herself ....nor is it really fair to ask her to, she needs me too ...... but it's such a frustrating process I find I'm getting cranky with her.
There must be a better way.... any more experienced mums have any suggestions or thoughts?
Today I'm resorting to using the TV .... it's pouring with rain and she has a cold so I don't feel bad about it today but rather it didn't become a long term thing.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:22 PM
I used the TV. It was only for a short time, so I don't feel bad for it.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:25 PM
My DS turned 3 in March and my DD is now 15 months but back when she was 5 or 6 months old I had the same problem. I used the TV more than I wanted to on most occasions when I was trying to settle DD.
I have no trouble now as DS understands that DD is trying to sleep and he can't come in, but didn't understand it when she was younger. I tried puzzles and books and 'special' toys that only came out when it was sleep time for DD but more often than not he wanted me to look or play WITH him so they didn't really work for me.
Ultimately the only thing that worked was perservering until he was a bit older and had more of an understanding, but in the meantime the TV was the only thing that held his attention for long enough to let me have 10 or 15 minutes to settle DD.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:25 PM
Its going to be tuff if your baby has had 5 months of being rocked and settled...
But if you tuff it out the benefits will be great in the long run.
babies need to learn to settle themselves... they arent born with it. I never rocked either of my children I put them in their bassinette or stroller awake when they were sleepy but not over tired and let them fall asleep on their own.
I know it must seem harsh but if its impacting your life then you need to do something different.
Your baby will cry - but they cannot cry forever. I know friends who had to un-do rocking who would lay baby in the bassinette or cot; make no eyecontact but pat their stomach innitially to ease the transition.
Good luck with whatever you choose & remember what fun you can have with your toddler if you had that extra time.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:26 PM
I have a four year old DS and a five month old. When I'm putting the baby to bed, I get DS1 to watch his favourite show on TV. That seems to distract him enough most of the time. I also found that giving him something to eat can distract him for a while.
Edited by MAGS24, 23 April 2012 - 02:28 PM.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:28 PM
The TV is my long term plan at the moment. I have a 20 month old and a 5 month old and to get the baby off to sleep is getting increasingly harder, because as you said, they are more aware now, and any noise she wants to look at.
I have tried putting my DD1 to sleep first, then settle the baby, but this only works when DD1 is actually due for a sleep
For the rest, I just have the TV on, or organise afternoon tea/morning tea and DD1 in the highchair concentrating on food, while I feed DD2 off to sleep.
Hope you find your rhythym soon.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:28 PM
We do a little tv here, too. I also have a few favourite boxes of toys that only come out when baby is being settled. DD1 will happily play with her tea set in her room for at least half an hour since it only comes out a couple of times a week.
My DD2 was starting to do the awake after 15-20 minute thing, too. I started putting her down about 5 minutes earlier and she's settling within 5-10 minutes now.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:44 PM
i either used to put the twins (4years older) to bed first, then boob dd, or just put dd in the sling and let her do her own thing
i always made sure it was noisy at sleeptime so she was used to it
Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:51 PM
Another one raising my hand saying ABC Kids was an absolute life saver. When the girls were toddler / baby - if I was trying to get the baby to sleep - I would set up the toddler in front of the TV - with a snack and then do my darnest to get the baby to sleep.
Yes, I did feel guilty that I used the TV as a babysitter - but it was either that - or just have the toddler come into the room and want to play with me or her little sister.
Do what you have to do to get the baby to sleep - feed / wrap / dummy / music / it doesn't matter.
Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:00 PM
I had a play pen! Oh the shame
With lots of little toddlers at once if I had to at any time leave them alone whilst settling a baby, working in the kitchen or anything where I would be out of sight for several minutes I would put them in there with lots of toys, books and sometimes some music playing or children's TV.
They were safe and happy and I had no anxiety about being in a different part of the house.
I know there are those who will say that our children aren't animals or prisoners to be locked up and I say 'whatever'.
You do what you have to do to keep everyone safe and of course they were not in there for more than 15-30 minutes at a time.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:53 PM
For most of the time DD2 was good at going to sleep alone but on a bad day DD1 was only 2 so she didn't understand to b quiet so I sometimes went for a walk to the park and rocked the pram while DD 1 played. Sometimes I went for a drive. Sometimes I pushed DD2 in the pram in the house. It's much easier if the second child can fall asleep without too much assistance but not always possible. Have u tried music on in the room. This helped us a lot.
When all else failed I patted DD2 to sleep on the lounge while DD1 talked away.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:08 PM
Emma600, my 2 are exactly the same age as yours. DD drives me bonkers when i try and get DS to sleep. Yesterday he was nearly asleep in the pram and we were off for a walk and DD looks in the pram, his eys are slightly open and she yells 'MUM! HE'S STILL AWAKE' right in his face. Omg thanks for that....He is certainly awake now.
She follows me into the nursery and talks constantly. TV works but as soon as she realises i have left the room, i can hear those damm footsteps up the stairs 'mum, where are you....'.
Just in general she is driving me batty at the moment, the baby seems so easy compared to her. I feel like all my energy is being spent on her but that is another topic alltogether.
On a positive note i have put in some hard yards in lately to get DS to fall asleep with less rocking, patting etc. It has paid dividends and i can now usually get him down before DD realises i am gone. But you need to do what is right for you, not everyone can cope with crying bub. It took about a week of persistence.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:23 PM
I had them 2 yrs apart, and then 3 yrs apart.
OP, I used the tv, I would say stay here & watch quietly I won't be long I'll be back soon. I would shut the baby's door so I could settle without being disturbed. They quickly got the message to wait for me to be free before coming to ask me for something.
However, I stopped hands on settling by 4 mths for the reason that it was taking longer & longer to pat or rock to sleep, and I couldn't be away from the other children for that long (45 mins, occasionally an hour). So I started putting to bed awake & they would fall asleep on their own. It was a lightbulb moment for me, like I suddenly gained all these extra hours in the day, it was wonderful!
2 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users
Two-year-old Quincy finished his potty training last week, and as part of his reward he was able to meet his idols.
I will never deny the fact that grief has a place when you give birth to a child who brings a set of circumstances very different to what you imagined. Because for nine months, I thought I knew my Georgie.
There was nothing Erica and Carlos wanted more than a baby.
The actor said there was "no other person" he was thinking about when he chose the name.
More than half of women who live with abusive partners experience violence during pregnancy.
A new mother was told she must flee Port Vila hospital with her baby as Cyclone Pam bore down.
There were a few signs I'm never going back to the land of maternity jeans, breast pumps and bassinets.
Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp has revealed she was forced to withdraw from a Sydney Theatre Company production because a director did not approve of her breast feeding.
Looking for a name that's a little bit different for a girl? Turn to names that have been traditionally used for males, as these celebs (or their parents) did.
Greg Hughes is "an absolute shell of a man" as he and his wife Catherine struggle to come to terms with the loss of their newborn son Riley to whooping cough.
Introverts are often misunderstood as shy, and sometimes even rude. A timid child can be difficult to build rapport with, but it's important we nurture their sensitive natures.
Sheryl Sandberg's advice
Forget foreplay. The new and improved route to intercourse is "choreplay" - it's good for your spouse, good for your house, and comes with the imprimatur of feminist du jour Sheryl Sandberg.
The first time your child learns a new skill at playtime is very exciting - for both you and your baby! Play is important to your child's development for a variety of reasons - here are some simple ideas for you to try at home.
For me, being the best mother I can be means being a mum alone, at least for now. Thinking of my friends with inadequate partners, I wonder why more people don’t choose single motherhood.
Weird poses, surprise photobombs, bizarre editing: these are the wedding photos that should have never seen the light of day.
The mother of a four-week-old Perth baby who died after contracting whooping cough says her family has been left devastated by the loss of her "gorgeous, sweet" son.
To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, we are giving away five DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!
Little Peyton Williams thought she was getting a baby sister named Charlee. But the two-year-old has had to settle for a doll dressed in pink after her baby "sister" turned out to be a boy.
We all know that having a strong immune system is the best way to stay healthy – but what can we do to help it along?
A Melbourne mum who died after the home birth of her baby pleaded with her husband to call an ambulance because she felt she was going to die, the Victorian Coroners Court has heard.
Q: My two-month-old baby doesn't like me. He's perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I've backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting to think I'm just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?
Wouldn’t it be great to get some nice feedback every now and then? After all, everyone likes to hear positive praise, particularly when it comes to parenting.
The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!
If you're looking to revive an older name, or don’t want anything near the top 1000 list, check out these rare monikers for your unique baby.
It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.
When there’s no question that milk banks are important, why don’t we have more of them in Australia?
Television personality Carrie Bickmore has given birth to her second child.
Top 5 Articles
Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.
A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.
Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.
With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!
Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".
To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!
I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.
There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.
When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.
A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.
Early last year I turned 35, and having just found out I was pregnant, I opted to have the new test for Down syndrome.
If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.
According to the Chinese zodiac, babies born in the year of the sheep are creative and enjoy spending quiet time with their own thoughts.
Pregnant women will for the first time have access to locally analysed, accurate, non-invasive pre-natal genetic testing when the first Australian clinic to offer the services opens its doors next week.
Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.
An entire family was kicked off a Cathay Pacific flight when a misbehaving toddler refused to put his seatbelt on.
A baby stolen from her mother's arms shortly after birth has been found through an astonishing coincidence.
Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.
Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.
A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.
Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.
Sign up now!
Receive a daily email from Essential Baby during April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.