October 25, 2006,
A.S. asks from Salt Lake City, UT on October 20, 2006
Need Set a Schedule for 3 Year Old and Newborn... HELP!!!
I have a 3 year old daughter that has NEVER been on a schedule... she goes to bed whenever, eats whenever, etc... Horrible I know... Im expecting baby #2 in 5 days and really want both of my children to be on a set schedule, eat at certain time, bathe at certain time, go to bed at certain time, etc... but I have no clue at all on how I am going to do this... Im really nervous about having baby #2 cause my daughter now usually goes to bed at about eleven or midnight and sleeps in until about eleven or so in the morning, which has been my sleeping schedule for the past 9 months (since Im prego, I have tons of energy at night and love to sleep in...) But I dont know how Im going to get both of my children on a sleeping schedule so that they both go to bed early like around 8pm or 9pm at the latest.. I know that Im not going to get ANY rest unless I get them on the same schedule, since the baby will be up all hours of the night and my 3 year old is no longer into naps during the day, I just dont know when Im going to be able to sleep... and I cant really rely on my boyfriend to wake up with the baby all the time since he works 10+ hour days and is on his feet the whole work day. I dont have any family that would help me out either, Im on my own on this one. I really would just LOVE some advice, ANY advice...
A.L. answers from Provo on October 25, 2006
we'll I can tell you its really easy to get you kids on a schedule mine are 4 and almost 2 there both girls and they have bed time at 8:00 pm and they get up at 9:30 am and then eat breakfest at 9:40 am and then have lunch at 11:30 pm and then my daughter goes to school to 12:30 to 3:00pm everyday and then comes home and we have a snack at 4:00pm and then nap time at 4:30pm tell 6:00pm and so on try setting a time line for the same time every night and day you will see what I mean.A. l.
P.D. answers from Las Vegas on October 21, 2006
From my own experience! I tend toskip around but if I confuse you let me know. You are going to have to start with the 3 year old first. start buy letting her go to bed an half hour earlier than normal then the next week a half more until you reached what works for youthen by the time your baby is a few months the schedule wuill be like clock work you are going to have to get the baby on schedule but it will be so easy if you start on a schedule then nothing really changes because that's all the new baby knows it's not achedule just an everyday routine,(ecample: I was letting my oldest daughter go to bed at ten but once she started school i couldn't ever wake her in the mornig and she ws late alot for the bus so sunday came and I made dinner earlier bath time was earlier then I made story time something that was done in her bed laying down which was 9:30 that still was to early so then 9:00, didn't want to get up still so then 8:30 then finanly 7 was the best time for my daughter and my youngest was in bed by 8:45. remedmber the older one is probably going to be the hardest because as you know babies make their own scheules at the begining then as the months go you can do it and even bathe then at the sametime and in doing this. Once you have them both on a schedule you can have some mommy time. befor you go to bed.
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A.M. answers from Portland on October 22, 2006
Congratulations on your new addition coming soon!
I have always held a schedule for my children, however my sister never did with her son until about 3 years ago (when he was 3). She started with my help to get him on a schedule. Yes it was hard because he was so used to the way it was. "Repeatitive(sp) actions at least 6 times creates change"
Try talking to her, getting her familiar with the new baby coming and that live is going to be different. Tell her that all of you are going to require a schedule as to the baby is going to need it. Make a chart that shows all of the times you are going to be doing these different things. For example: you could make it look like a calendar (sorta of) that concept. Label each column to the left what would be a daily regimen: play time, clean up time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, rest time, bath time, brushing teeth, story time, bed time etc. Then on the top of these you put a time as to each of these to be completed when she does them she gets to put a sticker (you can get little smiley stickers at places like Walmart) on the chart. Then when the chart is full for the week, may be you could get her something special: like a new book, or extra play time, it doesnt always have to be something material.
We did something like this with my nephew and it worked just like we had hoped.
Now we use this same concept for daily routines: we call it chore chart. It still includes some of the previous said stuff however we have taken some of it out. It can be modified as they grow older.
This not only helps you but it helps children to learn responsibility, accountability, independence etc. Its a fabulous nurturing tool.
I have 5 boys ranging in age from 19 to 7, its been a great tool.
I hope this helps!
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H.S. answers from Spokane on October 21, 2006
Setting a schedule is the hardest to do since you are changing numerous things throughout the day as well as numerous people. Certain patterns of living has been established and now you want to change it. It is possible but be prepared for set backs. Realize that it doesn't mean it can't be done and keep doing it.
I would start with one item of the day you really need to change. Trying to tackle the whole day will be overwhelming for both you and the other people in your life. So pick either the time that you eat or the time you go to bed whichever really works for you.
Now here are some hints for each individual task you might tackle.
Form a bedtime routine. Make a chart and hang it up. For your three year old make it pictures. Things like a picture of pjs, then a picture of brushing teeth, then a book, then a bed. Whatever you want your routine before bed to be. If you want them in bed at 8 then start the routine early enough for to get thru each item and then lights out. Have your little one look at he chart and then you go do the item, come back to the chart and then go do it and so on. When you reach the bed one, tell them that now everything they needed has been done and now it is time to sleep. Tuck them in and kiss them and then leave the room. When they come out (notice I said when not if) Gently remind them that the chart says bedtime and place them back in bed. Don't let them getting out of bed get to you. Just constantly and consistently place them back in bed. After three times out of bed don't say anything to them just put them in the bed and leave the room. Promise yourself that you will try this for at least a week (7 full days.) You will see change in that time. Be also prepared for added behaviors like tantrums, hitting, acting out. Just stay with putting them back in bed and stay calm yourself.
Now for you. Realize that if you put them to bed earlier they will get up earlier, so you have to get yourself on a new schedule too. You need to go to bed earlier so you aren't cutting down your sleep time too.
Set a time for meals, make it and then give it 30 minutes to sit there. If your child does not eat don't worry. At the next meal time present food again and she will eat. The trick is to not give in in between the meals. Even if she acts like it is killing her. Once you get that establish then she will be fine. I would also recommend setting a meal or snack every three to three and a half hours. Breakfast at 8 lunch at 11:30, snack at 2:30-3:00 and then dinner at 6. Kids eat better on this type of schedule. Also plan not only your meals but your snacks too. You are more likely to do it if it is planned. Again write it down. Post it on your fridge or on the cabinet door. Stick to your schedule even when out and about. If you eat lunch at 11:30 either pack a lunch to eat at 11:30 or eat at a restaurant at that time.
Sorry this is a book. I will answer any questions that you have. You will definitely find that it will be so much easier when you get this going.
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A.F. answers from Portland on October 21, 2006
I have a four year old son and from day one I put him on a schedule the best I could ( cause we all know that your up every few hours with a new born) anyways to this day Noah is still on a great schedule and I love it and would not change anything I did for the next one. As for your daughter your going to first off stop letting her sleep in that late in the day get her up early wich means both of your sleeping schedules are going to have to change. From there just always have dinner at the same time every night then after dinner do bath and then have a quiet time of reading books before bed. As for the boyfriend he is going to have to start helping out a little more cause your not super mom and cant do it all once you have two kids. Since your daughter does not take naps setting up a routine should be pretty simple just make sure you follow through every night and do things around the same time. It might take a week or so for her to really take hold on it but in the end your going to enjoy it a whole lot more.. I wish you luck.
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K.C. answers from Las Vegas on October 22, 2006
My one-year-old girl also stays up late and sleeps late, and I think that's perfectly okay because it works for us. If I had her in bed at 7 she'd never see her daddy.
Schedules are all well and good if they work for you, but it seems to me that a lot of people work very hard to force unnatural schedules only to find that they're constantly having to reinforce it over and over.
So I'd say relax. If the timing is bad for you, try to shift it, but if the timing works for you, does it really matter when your kids sleep as long as they get enough?
I really wonder how much of the scheduling people do is so they can watch TV kid-free, more than what's good for the kids themselves.
Besides, it doesn't matter what time your older kid goes to bed...the new one is going to keep you up all day and night anyway, so I'd say find the timing that works best for everyone and don't fight battles on multiple fronts. :)
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S.M. answers from Salt Lake City on October 24, 2006
GO BUY BABYWISE 1. I used it to put my newborn on a schedule from the start and it takes the guess work out of whats wrong or why they might be crying. I let my son sleep in his crib from the day we brought him home, and I never brought him to bed with us. He's 14 months now and when it's bedtime at 9pm. I lie him in his crib and he goes to sleep and never usually makes a peep. He's even pointed to his crib on occasion to say "hey I want to go to bed" I'm still surprised by this. The trick is not to become the thing your baby needs to fall asleep. You have to let them learn to fall asleep on their own without you. The 3 hour feeding schedule from the time they are born will help you set their schedule and during the day always wake them up when it's time for them to eat, but at night let them wake up on their own. My son was sleeping through the night by week 11. Some argue that this book is a mean method, however, I found the techniques in it very useful but you have to keep common sense in the equation. A book is never going to have all the answers and ultimately you guide how things go. My brother and his wife used it for both their daughters and they've had the same results.
As for your 3yr old, my only advice is that you stick with a routine you both can live with. I use 6-7 for dinner, 7-8pm as bath time, and then from 8pm - 9pm, quieter play or books until they go to bed. I use the hours only as a guide which is why bath time gets an hour. The trick to a schedule is just to keep with it. However, a friend of mine, has children who are obviously more morning people than night owls. She puts hers to bed by 7:30-8pm which shifts their schedule by a couple hours. Mine sleeps till 8:30am while hers are up by 6am.
S.F. answers from Salt Lake City on October 21, 2006
Try setting it up to where you do the same things every night before bed. Like bath, read a story, brush teeth, etc. That usually helps.
As for getting her to bed earlier, you could start by waking her up earlier in the day. Start getting ready for bed earlier too. It might take a few weeks, but it will be worth it.
D.G. answers from Portland on October 21, 2006
I think it will be easier than you think to set a schedule. you will just ease into it. You can slowly move your daughter bedtime earlier. Try 15 minutes earlier a night each night. A newborn can never be put on a real schedule untile they are a few weeks old anyhow so you can just slowly incorporate it with both children. So really be more concerened with the older childs sleep schedule at first and work on scaling that back until she is going to bed when you want her to. the baby will just fall into the schedule you set for your daughter as it getss older and more able to adapt to a schedule. Good luck.