In the past weeks since we moved Bella into a toddler bed and Sophia into the crib in Bella’s room we’ve developed a routine. After dinner we give Bella a bath. Sometimes Sophia joins her. Then Dom dresses her and brushes her hair and teeth, then we all say prayers. Then I go and nurse Sophia in our room while Dom reads Bella her bedtime story (usually a chapter from Winnie the Pooh). After Bella’s story, Dom turns out the light. Then when Sophia is done I move her to the crib. She usually opens her eyes while I’m transporting her or when I put her down and then turns over and goes back to sleep with at most a little whimper.
This all works fine except for one thing. Usually Sophia is getting tired at almost the exact same time Bella is just deciding she wants to eat dinner. Now we’ve tried to feed Bella earlier. She usually has a small snack or meal after getting up from her nap between 4 and 5. Dom and I generally sit down to eat between 6 and 7 and we try to get her to eat then. But she almost always is in play mode and will hop down from her chair to run around no matter how much we cajole. Then around 7:30 or 7:45 she suddenly gets hungry and will go back to her food from dinner or will ask for something else.
Of course by 7:15 or 7:30 Sophie is already fading and by 7:45 she’s rubbing her eyes and whimpering. My tactic up till now has been to keep her up despite the fussiness so that they can go to bed at the same time. Tonight she was just so pathetic we decided to try another plan. Dom gave Isabella her bath while I put nursed Sophie and put her to bed. Then I joined Dom and Bella in our room while he dressed her and groomed her. Then we all said prayers and Bella laid down and pretended to sleep while Dom read a Pooh story. Bella didn’t pay much attention to the story, was very distracted by being in our bed and by my presence. After the story, I carried Bella in and tucked her into her bed after getting her forgotten socks out and putting them on. She confirmed that in the morning I’d be cooking oatmeal for breakfast (evidently she says this every night with Dom) and then I crossed her forehead and left. As I shut the door Sophia woke up and whimpered a bit but quieted down within a few minutes.
We’ll see if this new routine works any better. Certainly I feel much less mean allowing Sophie to go to sleep when she wants rather than keeping her awake when she’s long past cranky. I think Bella will prove to be adaptable as long as we keep enough things consistent.