Dr.Sue (@TheKidsDoctor) offered some of her expertise during our #SesameSleep Twitter party. You had questions, she has the answers.
@joelledolcebebe asked – It’s so hard to get my little one to sleep on a nice schedule with older siblings in the house. How do u change bad habits for all of them and get sleep?
Having a bedtime schedule for both the younger and older kids helps. I would enjoy family dinner time and some activities together after dinner. Then separate the younger kids from the older ones. You might have older kids doing homework or independent reading (really depends on how much older they are) in a different area of the house while you take younger kids off for baths and bedtime stories. Even if their bedtimes are only an hour apart, this will give you time alone with both sets of kids and age appropriate activities with each. Once the younger kids have had stories, prayers and are tucked in for the night you can now spend time with the older ones.
I often found this a good time to do any review of spelling or homework they wanted me to look over etc. and plan for the next day with them. Then we would enjoy “older versions” of bedtime stories when they would read to me. Very relaxing, (must admit I sometimes found myself lulling to sleep while they read), and then I would read to them. It was a way to keep us both involved in reading aloud and I enjoyed most of the Harry Potter books this way. They too liked saying prayers together, a hug and kiss and then to bed. Try to limit computer or TV for older kids prior to bed as this seems to disrupt sleep.
With that schedule I felt like both sets of kids had parent time, and you can also alternate Mom and Dad doing this routine depending on parent schedules etc. Divide and conquer seemed to work well in our home.
For more sleep related Q&A with Dr.Sue, be sure to check out how our Twitter Party went which includes the most common sleep-related questions moms had.
If you have any questions for Dr. Sue, be sure to check out Kid’s Doctor Radio which airs every Sunday between 7:30am-8:30am central time on 103.7 Lite FM CBS Radio Dallas and the Kid’s Doctor web site.