You’re a mother of 2, 3 or more kids? Toddlers don’t let you cope with the newborn? Find out how to put several kids to bed. Here are a few recommendations for multi-child families with kids of different age.
Take Care Of Child’s Rest Before Birth
The first thing that can be done to ensure heavenly infant’s sleep even at the stage of pregnancy is to teach the older child to fall asleep on their own. Older kids should sleep in separate beds, ideally in their own room. It’s better to have different rooms for the newborn baby and their older siblings. This way, they will have enough space for games, and feel free to make noise or sleep peacefully without being disturbed by the needs of the baby.
Offer your older children to participate in designing and arrangement of the baby nursery. If you do not have time to organize separate space for kids before giving birth, it is better not to do it right after the baby appears in the house.
When the period of getting used to a new family member is over, it will be much easier to do this without provoking jealousy.
White Noise Is The Best Lullaby
When the baby only falls asleep or wakes up too early, loud noises, conversations, and noisy games played by older children can prevent him from falling asleep again. White noise (washing machine, shower, fan, TV/radio in the background) in the apartment might prolong the infant’s sleep.
Noise can be turned on all night if it does not bother you. Mind the safety rules: the distance from the sound source to the child’s head should be at least a meter, and the noise volume should not be above 50 dB (it applies to overall sound volume – for instance, the sound of heavy rain outside also counts).
Children sleep well hearing the sound of a washing machine running or hairdryer (at the distance). You can bring the baby to the bathroom, turn on the shower and let him calm down and doze off, and then carry her back to bed.
By the way, this trick also helps to put several kids to bed in the night time – white noise works like a magic wand for people of all ages.
There’s Enough Space For All
Live in a small apartment and can’t afford separate rooms for several kids? You can put the baby in the cradle and go to the kitchen or on the balcony while the older children are playing in their room. A stroller can temporarily become a cozy sleeping place for a baby if the older siblings are getting too loud.
Do Not Rush To Rock Your Baby
Often, babies fall asleep after feeding, so sounds or unpleasant sensations in their stomach wake them up. Do not rush to take the infant in your arms to rock.
A child can fall asleep again in a couple of minutes if not disturbed. Newborns often make sounds in their sleep,
open their eyes slightly, fidget in the crib, and dodge, but this does not mean that they are ready to wake up.
Feed In The Bed
In the first weeks after coming home from the maternity hospital, it is important for the infant to stay in conditions similar to those in the womb: swaddling, slight rocking, noise. Avoid using too bright light – install nightlights in the nursery. Make sure the baby is not disturbed by harsh sounds, uncomfortable clothing, thirst, heat or cold. Eliminate the causes of discomfort – and the kid will fall asleep more easily.
Children get used to the conditions in which they fall asleep. If you are breastfeeding and then you want to put
the baby in the crib, wait for him to fall soundly asleep. If the child eats from a bottle, you can try to feed him immediately in the cradle/crib. Slightly raise the mattress at the head to prevent posseting.
What to do with the older kids at this time? Offer them to read bedtime stories or play some calm games. While you’re putting your baby to the sleep, the siblings should also start preparing for a good night’s rest.
Let Your Older Children Participate
Although the baby gets used to parents’ voices first and other voices might worry the infant, it won’t hurt to make your children acquainted. Offer your older kid to sing a lullaby for the little sister, or make a feet massage for the brother. Also, you can ask older kids to cradle the baby while you’re having a shower. Let your kids stay involved! It has the following benefits:
- Instead of getting jealous and feeling like an outcast, .older kids will realize their importance in family life;
- It promotes closer family bonds;
- It teaches older kids responsibility and care of others;
- While performing bedtime rituals for their little sibling, older kids also calm down and relax, which promotes faster and deeper sleep. This way, you can put several kids to bed one by one, without stress.
Do Not Make Sleep In Motion A Habit
Combining schedules of children of different ages can be difficult. If the baby has to go to sleep, and the older one needs to be taken to school, you can put the baby in the stroller, car seat, or master the sling. Make sure that sleeping in motion happens periodically and does not last long. Otherwise, the baby will always fall asleep when being moved and on a walk. All in all, babies should sleep all night in their bed – that’s the best form of rest.
You’re a parent who deals with such situations all the time? If you know how to put several kids to bed, share your secrets! I’m sure, other moms will appreciate this!
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