Infant Routines at Our Home – Part 3

This is the final installment of a short series on infant routines. Read part 1 here, and part 2 here to catch up with us.

We Love Baby-wearing

Again, I love baby wearing. I love holding my baby close to my heart and snuggling and cuddling with them at moments throughout the day. I love the ability to be able to wear my baby’s but still have my hands free to do dishes, fold laundry, or various other household tasks. It is extremely valuable for their healthy physiological development and growth. Having contact with a parent, especially skin to skin contact is very beneficial to a baby and reduces the level of cortisol, the stress hormone.

But on the other side, I don’t wear my baby all day long. I believe it is important for baby to take most naps on their own in their own bed. But when we are out and about, at church or other events, baby will often take naps in the carrier. From an early age, I also would take along my pack-n-play to friends/family’s homes, so baby could learn how to sleep in different places and environments. This enabled us to have freedom to stay later if desired because baby could sleep nearby. But there have been numerous times when baby just wouldn’t go to sleep in his/her own bed, so I would carry them for the nap period. So there was grace to adapt as necessary even when there was confusion over baby’s needs.

Check out my review of my favorite baby wrap, for the newborn to 6 month range, the Moby Wrap carrier. Another favorite for the older infant and toddler is the Ergo Baby carrier. These are the two carriers we always have on hand. They are also wonderful to use when you are in crowded gatherings and a stroller would be too much work to maneuver, or when shopping with multiple children in tow and having your infant in a carrier gives you two hands free to hold other things.

Entertaining Themselves

I also value the importance of them learning how to entertain themselves, so from an early age, each of my children has short periods where they are laying on the ground with their own little toys and playing on their own. Since their infancy, they have always had alone time in this manner and my little ones now can entertain themselves sufficiently for much longer periods of time. We just recently assembled some fun sensory baskets for my 7 month old and she loves them. It’s so much fun to watch her touch and explore with basic household items.

Afternoon Nap Routine with Multiples

As the children grew, we would adjust the schedule so that the kids would nap at the same time. I found this essential so mommy has the option of taking a nap or spending some time to herself during rest periods. Sometimes this would require us to stretch a tired baby just a bit longer so they both could be laid down together. Often I would actually wake the baby early from their morning nap so they had sufficient awake time and were tired at the same time as the older child for an afternoon nap.

That being said, we plan on having our children nap until they are at least 5 years old, if not longer as needed (usually from 1-2:30 or 3pm each day). I believe they really need it to this period. My little girl will be a mess of tears for the rest of the day if she doesn’t have a short afternoon nap. If they ultimately do not sleep (which certainly happens at times), they can have a quiet rest time looking at books or listening to a book on tape. We have had our nearly 5 year old and 3 year old taking naps together until recently. We now have found taking rest times in separate areas of the house to be much more successful. The older kids go to sleep each night at 8:00 pm and sleep till their nite lite comes on at 8:00 am (granted they often wake up before this period, but we train them to not come out of their bedroom till 8am). These practices allow this Mommy to have a rest period in the afternoon and so focused Daddy time in the evenings. They thrive on this routine and it works very well for our family.

Sleeping Multiples in One Room

Now the question has been asked, “do you have any tips for getting multiple children to sleep well together in one room?” Ultimately, no. I have not found a secret formula for this. It certainly takes some work. We have found it helpful to use a electric fan in their bedroom to help mute any extra noise that may result from one or the other waking up in the middle of the night. We also cover the windows with a blanket to keep it dark to encourage longer sleep periods. Finally, we have found a good nighttime routine to be essential for helping them both wind down together.

Our nighttime routine includes going potty, brushing teeth, singing worship songs, and finally praying over both of them individually before giving hugs and goodnight kisses. Honestly, most nights one or both of them is up multiple times for random reasons and need resettling, but in the long run they do sleep surprisingly well together. and with the use of the Good Nite Lite and a little discipline to train them to stay in bed until the light comes on…I think it is not as scary and some would imagine.

We’d love to hear your tips and suggestions for helping little ones sleep together well…

Thus concludes our short series on what infant routines we practice at our house. We pray the Lord would give you wisdom for what method might be best for your family!

COMMENT POLICY: As this can be a controversial subject, please keep your comments considerate, otherwise they will be deleted. We do not desire any argument or debate here. We are simply seeking to help those readers who have asked.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

66 Responses to Infant Routines at Our Home – Part 3

  1. Tristan April 26, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    I’m a homeschooling mother to 7 little ones (ages 10, 7, 6, 4, 3, 1, and 3 months). That is 5 boys and 2 girls. We have 2 bedrooms for children (3 in each with the baby in a crib in mom and dad’s room). It’s always interesting to get multiple children to sleep in the same room. One thing mine enjoy is if mommy or daddy sits in the hall between bedrooms and reads a story aloud. If they get up or start being noisy then story is over. It’s a great incentive for little ones to listen and drift off to sleep. After that has happened for a while they’ve learned to lay and fall asleep so parents don’t always need to read aloud. (We just love reading aloud!)

  2. Nicole April 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Wow! What a wonderful blog. So enjoying reading everything!!

  3. Andrea April 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    After all that has been said, and after three little ones I think that as you Lindsay, I function better when you know what to expect, at least have an idea :) I would like to ask you something that for me is the HARDEST part of the day. How do you handle the bedtime routine?? the bathing of three little children, reading, nursing, etc?? I have a 5y girl, a 2y boy and a 12 month baby boy. I feel like I need to be an octupus in order to manage them all to put them in bed. Specially when hubby is away! Any advice???

    • Kayla May 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      I only have one daughter, but sometimes bedtime routine is still a struggle. One thing that I have considered and do when things are crazy or if my husband will be home late is to do bath at an earlier time. If I was you I might consider doing bath for the 1 year old before naptime, unless you expect him to get really dirty before bed. I might also shower, the oldest one in the morning. The main point is not how/when you do but that it happens. Think of some other options or bounce ideas off friends/family. Good luck.

  4. Jaimi March 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Frankly, as a teacher turned SAHM, first we must give our lives to God but when we are raising our children we have to understand that there are best practices rooted in child development knowledge. That must play a part in our planning the path of how we want to raise our children. Prayer and faith is what keeps refueling our desire to parent with intention and love.

  5. Kate March 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Lindsay, thank you. You are a wonderful momma and an inspiration to so many. I’m thinking the night light would be worth a try.
    Thank you again for all of the time and energy you put into this blog. You are encouraging so many women.

  6. Kathryn March 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    I am so thankful that God didn’t make us with a cookie-cutter. Instead He made us individual and unique with different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. God has been teaching me this in my parenting journey. There is no right way to parent- there is only the right way for your family and your situation. As long as we love our kids and love God, everything else doesn’t ultimately matter! Thanks so much Lindsay for having the courage to share what works for your family. I’ve really appreciated the ideas.

  7. Rachel March 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Thanks for the “what goes on in our house”. We try to keep a routine, mainly so the kids know what to expect each day, and it helps them get in good habits for life. Our older 3 share a room, and it works really well. We have had maybe a week of transition when the new one joins them (#4 will be joining soon when he’s about 1 year). Crying babies don’t seem to wake the other kids very often. Even if one’s sick and coughing loudly, the others keep on sleeping! We start transitioning baby to the crib in our room for a few months first so that he’s used to the new sleeping arrangements (we put him in the crib for naps and the first part of the night, and then he co-sleeps the rest). Another thing we’ve found is to keep all toys out of the bedroom because: (1) it keeps the messes out where you can see them and keep them cleaned up better (2) it’s harder to deal with heart matters when kids play in their bedroom. If the kids are close by Mom, problems can be nipped in the bud and teaching moments won’t get passed by.

    The only way I’ve found to get my toddlers to sleep later in the morning is to bring them in my bed when they wake too early. My husband leaves for work at 5, so they come in and cuddle (and usually fall back to sleep) anytime after that. This is great for babies who still nurse in the morning, even if they are sleeping all night. If they are old enough to be trusted (about 3 in this house), then I just let them get up and they play quietly (they know what is allowed and not allowed and we’ve never had a problem). Our kids go to bed around 8:30 and then sleep until 8 or so.

    We also have quiet time in the afternoon when baby naps, and the other kids read or play quietly for 15-20 min. If they are quiet too long, then they get crazy in the evenings when we want them to be calming down. We put them in separate rooms for this, so if they want to nap they can.

  8. Julie March 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Anna wrote: Biblical choice to prioritize her time with the Lord and her time with her husband. >>>

    I, too, strive for this goal but I must say both my husband and I agree our children have needs that need to be met when they hav them, not when it is convient for us. Our time is 5 am breakfast daily and Friday night date night at home when little ones are sleeping at their regular time. I get my morning quiet time with God at 5:30 am, when my husband leaves for work. Am I tired, you bet! But those things are important to me so I make time for them, even if it is not the time I would naturally chose, motherhood is an extremely demanding job with very long hours. I nap daily with the little ones especially now that I am pregnant, but when I am not, we too have quiet time. I think there is more than one way to make God and your husband a priority in your life. My boys are extremely busy and if I made them nap, they would never go to. Ed before midnight.

    • Anna March 28, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      I think you have found a great way to make time for everything in a way that works for you! =)

  9. Rachel March 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Your blog is such a blessing to me. :)

    I can see your pure heart for God through these posts and it’s a beautiful thing. As a wife who seeks to keep my priorities biblical (God, Husband, then children) l I praise God for your example.

  10. Amanda Wildflowers March 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    We actually LOVE the Sleepy Wrap and have found the BabyHawk invaluable assets to the babywearing collection. We do have an Ergo, but when multiple people wear it, it becomes a pain and we have a tall baby who at 8 mos old likes to be an acrobat when being worn on the back so we can only use the BabyHawk. We struggle with naps here as well. 3y old doesnt want to nap anymore but boy does Momma still need it. Its rough, but routine helps. He has “quiet time” now where he will read quietly in his bed while 8 mo old naps. Momma needs a break!

  11. kelly cogswell March 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    we have four children and they have all gone through early bird wake ups. I have not found any way to make them stay quiet, we have tried consequences, crying out, later bedtimes, books and toys in their bed, snacks in their room, so please pass on your tips that have worked. My two year old (24 mos) wakes at 6 am and makes so much noise, wont stay in his bed, is very happy and ready to start the day but really is not fit by 9 am, so its a challenge. Please pass on helpful tips

    • Alexis June 16, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      Oh this is us too! I would love some tips or suggestions!

  12. sarah March 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    thank you so much for this series, i really needed to hear it! with our first baby, i was all babywise. and with our second, i completely reacted against that and went much more on the attachment parenting side. now i am finding myself balancing between the two in a similar manner as you described, and it is good to hear from another christian mama doing similar things.

    dont let the negative comments discourage you! when i leaned more on the babywise side of things, i used to judge the AP parents. when i leaned towards AP, i judged the BW parents.

    now, by God’s grace i see that both styles, and everywhere in between, can line up with His desires for parenthood. the most important thing is to love your children and keep as much sanity in the home as possible :)

  13. Jessica March 27, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Our two kids aged 4 and 2 have shared a room for about a year now. At first we put a fan in their room, but with time they got used to each others noises and now can sleep thru any cries in the night. And even if they do wake up, they quickly go back to sleep.
    In order to settle them down at night, we play a worship cd for them. Its called Sing over me: worship and lullabies. They love lying in bed listening to it. On
    Most days we make sure the 4 yr old doesn’t sleep during quiet time so that they will be tired at bedtime. Otherwise they will want to play after bedtime.

  14. s. pipes March 27, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    lindsey, thanks so much for sharing vulnerably. reading some of the posts i see how brave that is of you. what works for you is encouraging for me to hear, even if it is different. i want a calmer home. thanks for the recommendation of the Good Nite Lite…we might have to try that. again, you share so often wonderful words of encouragement. i sincerely thank you for these routines, not schedules, you’ve shared.

  15. Erin March 27, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    This is my first time posting on your blog, but I have been reading it for over a year! I have learned so much and enjoy following you on here.
    I want to say that I am very much in agreement with your philosophy on infant routines. I am a new mom and honestly, I’m not nearly as schedule-oriented as some, but I have found the “eat, wake, sleep” schedule to be the key to helping my little girl sleep. Every child is different, but not nursing to sleep has been great in helping our little girl learn to fall asleep–which is a skill! I still swaddle her, which also helps a lot. She is 4 months old. I found the Baby Whisperer to be more practically helpful than Babywise. It also offered more explanation in looking at the problems, as opposed to a “one size fits all approach.”
    For us, balance and flexibility are key. I want to take an approach that will encourage a healthy emotional development and attachment, as well as, challenging and giving my daughter room to grow independently.
    I have heard it said that it is more important for a child to know that their parents love each other and their world is safe than to know that their parents love him or her. Of course I am not saying that children don’t need to know that they are loved (that is essential), but this idea emphasizes the importance of roots and security. It is so difficult to maintain a healthy and strong marriage after children come, but so essential for their emotional growth and sense of well-being. I think it is important for children to understand that they are coming into something that is bigger than themselves…just as we need to know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves–God’s plan.
    Anyway, thanks for your blog and all the work you put into this. I’m going to go make some deodorant :) . haha

  16. Katie March 27, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Thank-you so much for you blog! I come to it every now and then and you always have just what I need to hear! I parent very much like you. I did babywise with my first two children and tried with my new baby (now 4 months.) It worked great with my older 2. I knew what they needed when they cried. However when they had a growth spurt and needed to eat more I fed them. Following a routine does not make you a bad parent. I find it makes me a better one. When I am not getting the sleep I need, I am not a very nice person to be around. With my 3rd child it has been totaly different. She will not sleep through the night no matter what I try. I can feed her all day long or every 3 hrs and she continues to eat all night every 2 1/2-3 hrs. But this time around I know how short the new baby stage is and I am thankful for the time I have with her in the night. May God bless you for sharing from your heart what has worked for your family. And for the encouragement you give to others.

  17. Jessica March 27, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Your approach to infant routines and bed times, sounds almost exactly like mine! I am a big believer in making everyone take a rest time, and that means everyone rests for at least 2 hours in the afternoon, and we do the wake up time too! It’s been so helpful, and for now everyone seems to be thriving! :)

  18. Natasha March 27, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Thank you for sharing, Lindsay! I love your blog, but unfortunately I disagree with some of your approaches to infants in the recent posts… It seems that you have a lot of rules, and not enough grace (I see a lot of Babywise in between the lines). Babies are little people with big needs. We simply cannot afford to be selfish with them. Just think how God parents us – with A LOT of grace. We want to paint a true picture of God for our children.

    • Jenny March 27, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Calling another mom ‘selfish’ for putting her own needs – and ultimately the good of her marriage – first so that she can be the best parent possible is hardly charitable. Try to read this from the perspective of one Christian mama sharing with others what works for their family, and don’t see ‘babywise boogeymen’ anytime you read the words ‘schedule’ or ‘routine.’ That’s assuming a lot…

    • Tara March 27, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      It’s a very harsh and hurtful thing to tell a mother she is not parenting with grace. I am amazed that you are a reader of this blog and still feel confident in making this condemning statement. It makes me sad that a (wonderful, loving) mother cannot simply share with her readers what her family does without being judged in this way.

      I love hearing how other mothers handle the challenges of child-rearing…if my heart tells me that a certain practice or method isn’t right for me and my child, I don’t do it, but I still appreciate other mothers being open and vulnerable in this area; it helps me a lot as a new mom.

      • Marci March 28, 2012 at 2:30 am #

        In fairness Jenny and Tara:
        The mom you’re referring to (Natasha) didn’t say that Lindsay had no grace. She said she felt she needed more. And she didn’t accuse Lindsay of being selfish – her placement of that word suggests that she’s making a general statement, not that she’s actually saying that Lindsay herself is selfish.

        I think we need to extend some grace to individuals who love Lindsay’s blog, may not agree with her here, and grapple with finding the right words to say to express disagreement. It is not an easy task. And you’re responses read into Natasha’s reply more than she actually stated. Sometimes it’s so important to give our brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt – as none of us is Jesus, this is what we must constantly do if we’re going to be kind in our responses to each other.

        Lastly, I must say – Lindsay is very brave for tackling this topic! So we should all extend some grace to her as well.

        • Tara March 28, 2012 at 5:06 am #

          That is very true, it is not easy to find words to express disagreement! And you are right, a big part of grace is giving others the benefit of the doubt. Natasha wrote a very gracious reply and it is clear that she was only expressing her heart-felt convictions, not judging Lindsay in any way. I’ve realized that, more than reacting to her specific comment, I was reacting to the sentiment of “if you don’t parent according to this certain philosophy, you are not showing your children God’s grace and love” which is a statement I’ve seen thrown around a LOT. And I do still think that is one of the most hurtful things you can say to a Christian mother. It’s a lot different than saying “I believe this is the best way to parent”…it’s saying “this is the way God wants us to parent, and if you don’t do it this way, you are mis-representing Christ to your children”. (i.e. you’re completely failing as a Christian parent)

          Again, I see now this is NOT what was being said here, it’s something I’ve seen stated much more explicitly elsewhere…I apologize for ascribing negative intentions to this commenter, it was undeserved and just shows I need to step away from the mom blogs, it might be making me too sensitive! =)

    • Anna March 27, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      It is important for us as followers of Christ to remember that although we are grateful recipients of God’s unconditional love, the Scripture is clear that we are born in sin. Over and over again God shows Himself to be a God of not only love, but of firm discipline as well. These are not mutually exclusive.

      Many of us as adults are comforted by routine, and the stability provided by knowing what to expect on a daily basis, and I believe infants can be comforted by routine as well. It is not my intent to try to change your mind or influence your parenting style, as Lindsay mentioned there is grace for both methods.

      God is our ultimate authority, and He has given fathers and mothers the authority to make the decisions for their individual family, and it is up to the rest of us as brothers and sisters in Christ to support and encourage one another in parenting, and offer advice if someone asks for it (as many of Lindsay’s readers had asked her).

    • Natasha March 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      OK, after re-reading my own comment, I can see that it sounds worse than I intended. Lindsay, I’m sorry if I hurt you. Granted, I don’t know you personally, but I’m sure you are a wonderful mom. It’s great that you are sharing the wisdom of routines that work for your family. What I MEANT to say is that while I appreciate you trying to describe a balanced approach to parenting, I PERCEIVE it to be more on a strict side. We each should do what works for us, but I believe we are to meet our babies’ needs as best as we can, and give them as much grace and unconditional love as we can.
      Anna, I agree that firm discipline is absolutely necessary. It comes into play when the child’s behavior is SINFUL. Behaviors that are simply inconvenient to us (like children waking up too early in the morning) don’t fall into that category.

      • Anna March 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

        Thankyou Natasha for clarifying what you meant, I can tell you meant it to be taken with love. I want to clarify myself (I may have worded it poorly) that I didn’t mean discipline in the form of punishment, (obviously punishment of any type for an infant is useless) I meant the word discipline to be interpreted more like “discipling,” in the form of boundaries and routine. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he shall not depart from it.” I hope that makes sense.

      • Sara March 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

        Natasha, you also talked about selfishness. That can be taken personally.

    • Anna March 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      But to be fair Rachal, Lindsay went out of her way to clarify that this is just what works for her family, and she emphasized that she respects anyone who chooses attachment parenting for their child, do you really think its fair to use the word selfish so strongly? I know some mothers that have learned to function on 5-6 hours of sleep per day and make it work, and I know others who simply fall apart without adequate rest. Let’s remember that it is each individual family’s choice how to parent, and its obvious that Lindsay loves and values her children very much, but makes a Biblical choice to prioritize her time with the Lord and her time with her husband. That is a goal I strive for personally, though I fail often.

    • Laura March 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Wow! I actually didn’t see it that way at all. I felt that she had an incredibly balanced approach. She believes in routine, but she doesn’t seem too strict. As a mother of 3 children, almost exactly the same ages as Lindsay’s, I couldn’t agree with her more. I mean, maybe if you have children that are spread out in age, her approach may not make sense, but if you have them so close together as she and I have, this type of routine is crucial. I think that she actually has a lot of grace in her parenting from what I have read, and I appreciate these posts so much!

      • Beth March 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

        I too thought Lindsay has a very balanced approach. If you think she’s strict I won’t even mention what I do, and I don’t consider myself strict. While I see both sides having friends on both sides of the camp, I have come to humble myself and not judge either way. I used to think scheduling was the way to go bc it worked so well for us, but it doesn’t for all and I realize that. The thing that does bother me is if people from either side claim that one way is more biblical and the other less. Or that somehow parents who do schedule are not showing their children all the grace they need. Lets be careful to not ascribe a parenting style to God to make our case. It could be argued either way and I don’t think is a healthy use of our time. There are arguments for each side and I don’t think that was the purpose for this series. Whatever way works best for each family in their unique situation that allows them to be the most God honoring is how that family should approach things. You can’t point fingers and claim you know better in any families personal situation. Lets be encouraging to each other ladies in each of our own different life circumstances, styles, and theories. God created us all different, so it is only natural we would all approach things a little differently!!

    • Laura March 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

      True, being happy, rested and fulfilled is not always possible with small children. I sure do understand that.. I had 3 kids in 3 1/2 years, and I don’t expect it to be. However, my daughter has to have a rest time in her room each day too. The reason being, if she doesn’t she is a MESS at the end of the day if she doesn’t get that rest. I personally do it, because I know she needs it. I feel that it would be UNFAIR to her to not have it, since on the days she does not have it, she feels awful at the end of the day. My son, when he outgrows his nap, my not need that. EVERYONE CHILD IS DIFFERENT, and only a mother can know what her child needs.

    • Jenn March 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

      I would have agreed with you 2 years ago. My hubby and I were complete attachment parenting parents. Our now 4 year old was carried around and comforted to bed every nap and bed time and we woke frequently through the night. I don’t think I slept more than an hour a night for the first 3 years. When our third came along, we tried the same approach, but it did not work. He had reflux and a hernia that required surgery and became used to being carried everywhere in an upright position. He literally could not fall asleep until after I nursed him for 45 minutes and then WALKED around for another half hour and if I were fortunate when I laid him down he would not wake up and have to start all over. We did that for 3 months until I was screaming at my babies every day, all day from severe sleep deprivation. We started letting our baby at 10 months cry it out. He is now 19 months and sleeps better than our 4 year old. I can lay him in bed and he goes right to sleep. We STILL have to stay nearby for our 4 year old for him to fall asleep. However, since we moved them in to the same room our 4 year old has started to actually sleep THROUGH the whole night! Which is a huge praise the Lord. Somehow they both comfort each other. Both of our children are so sweet and know they are loved very much. They get plenty of attention through the day and if necessary at night. But we do have a rule of kids in their own bed until 6 a.m.
      I understand we want to be a true picture of the grace of God for our children, but we have to remember we aren’t God. We will never do it perfectly, and to think we can is to make an idol for them (in my opinion). If you have more than 2 children, how can you divide yourself to give them your complete attention that they don’t feel you are being selfish, favoring a sibling or making them self-absorbed. I have read babywise and really hated the book, because I felt they were too regimented. I don’t see that with Lindsay. She has been very flexible with her baby’s needs. I am delivering my 4th child tomorrow and will again do what I think is best for my child, somewhere a mixture between cio and attachment. With a 17 year old, 4 year old, 19 month old and a newborn something has to give and with my health and age (almost 40) I need to get the rest and keep the sanity I have to be a good Mom. God has grace for us too and works through us despite our imperfections. God never lets us go, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like he is right there all the time.

    • Kristal March 28, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      Anna I don’t think it’s selfish to expect our children to have rest periods. My child doesn’t stay in her bed till a certain time in the morning (at this point I can’t expect that otherwise the door would be broken by her wanting out), but she does have a strict 7pm bedtime and I do expect her to stay in her room from 1-3 for a nap. My child is 2 year old and NEEDS rest. I think a lot of children would stay up if we let them, because they naturally want to explore and spend time with the people they love. However, if I allowed that I would have an over-tired toddler and a very unorganized house. Believe me I know, we’ve had instances where nap time was interrupted and once 5:30 rolled around we were in meltdown city. Nap-times are times for me to clean, have lunch, and recoup. As for bedtimes, from 7pm-10pm is my alone time with my husband. We both look forward to it nightly and it’s been a blessing to our marriage to have that time to enjoy adult conversation and relax together.

      • Anna March 28, 2012 at 9:26 am #

        Kristal- thanks for sharing your tips and your routine! I agree with your post, I also do not believe it is selfish for children to rest periods or have a flexible schedule. I was responding with concern to another post that contained the word “selfish” but that post has since been removed. I think my parenting style would fall similiarly to yours and Lindsays!

  19. Hannah @ Treasuring It Up March 27, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Lindsay! You sound very similar to me: loving and practical scheduling with room for flexibility :-) I cannot agree more with a nap/quiet time in the afternoon! It certainly gives this mommy some much-needed downtime.

    As far as having multiple children in the same room, I agree with other moms – start early and teach them discipline in how they behave once awake. For instance, don’t start singing and jumping on the bed at 6 am. Be patient, be in prayer, it will work out!

  20. BeccaM March 27, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Again, it is so good to read Godly, balanced advice on how to balance multiple children’s schedules! I am a mom of one, so far, but I am absorbing tips from other moms on the logistics of how to parent multiple children!

    I also love babywearing! It was a real sanity saver for me the first few months, when it was sometimes hard to get stuff done around the house. I used my homemade Moby until about 5 -6 months old, then switched to a Mei Tai style until about 1 year old, when I bought the Boba baby carrier (a lot like the Ergo, only a little bit longer in the back). I wish I had bought it sooner- I love it! We just used it in the airports while flying across country and back, and it was great. So comfy, for back or front carry. I also thought I’d mention that I made my own Maya style sling and that’s great now for having the little guy help me cook during his fussy teething afternoons.

  21. Kristal March 27, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    Thank you for all your tips, it’s so great to read what other moms of multiples do. I do have another question though, I love your idea of training your children to not come out till their nightlight comes on in the morning. I’m having such a hard time with our 2 year old. She wakes very early (and this doesn’t change if we put her to bed early or later) around 6:15am. We’ve tried blacking out her windows. We also put a childproof thing on the inside of her door so she can’t keep getting out. But she just sits in her room and cries (loudly). It only seems to exasperate the crying when I go in their and tell her it’s still sleeping time. Do you feel comfortable giving me advice (or anyone else reading this)? Should we just let her cry it out till her expected wake up time? Thanks, I appreciate any words of wisdom on this! :)

    • Sue March 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

      Some kids wake earlier than others. My kids wake up around 7 every morning, but I’ve heard of some kids that wake up at 6 or even earlier! I don’t think there’s much you can do to change that at this point. I’d encourage you to get up with her at that time, and if that’s not enough sleep for you, maybe you could go to bed earlier or try to get a nap during her nap time.

    • Lindsay March 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

      Kristal, I believe it is possible with prayer and discipline to help train your kiddos to sleep for longer periods of time. We had to decide upon some level of consequence that had to be given to the child so they learned the importance of obedience in this area. Pray about it and discuss with your husband what might be best for you. Each morning looks a bit different at our home, but we certainly would encourage you to train them to wait quietly or go back to sleep or gradually stretch the wake up period by 15 minute intervals each morning (that is what they recommend with the Good Nite Lite I was referring to). I certainly can understand the challenge of training a 2 year old in this manner but with perseverance they will learn.

    • Amber March 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      I have 2 little ones (4 years and 8 months) and both have gone through stages of waking up very early. My only advice is this: if your child is well rested and ready to get up early, make sure you are ready to get up early too! If at all possible go to bed earlier so you are ready when your babe has had enough sleep. I am a morning person anyway, but have made it a habit to get up around 5:30 am so I have some time to breath, read, pray (maybe put on some coffee) before the kids are up. Hope you can adjust and enjoy the sweet times with your daughter even if the day starts earlier than you’d like!

    • Rachal March 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      Your child needs your time, love and comfort. Do not sacrifice her needs for your own convenience. Letting children cry it out is damaging.

      • Beth March 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

        Wow really??

  22. Autumn March 27, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    My best advice for having siblings share a room is to start as early as you can, so they get used to each other’s sounds. With my boys, we put them in a room together as soon as my 2nd son was sleeping through the night, around 3 months old and my 1st son was 1.5 years old. For the first few weeks it was a bit rough because one would wake the other up probably once a night. But soon they got to the point of being able to ignore the other’s sounds, and now at 4 and 5 they are *awesome* sleepers. They can sleep through just about anything, even the loud bang of a book falling on our hardwood floor from the top bunk, just next to my youngest son’s head!

    I love the sensory basket idea! I’m bookmarking that for when our baby is old enough. What a great idea!

    • Lindsay March 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

      Yes! This is great advice Autumn. How quickly I have forgotten this myself but it was very similar for us. We waited till our son was 1 year before moving him in with his sister, but I definitely think we will be moving the baby in sooner this time around.

  23. nicole March 27, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    I’ve got 5 children. I’ve done babywise. i dont anymore. Life’s too short. childhood doesnt last- scrap the schedules and enjoy your babies.

    • Mrs. M March 27, 2012 at 7:05 am #

      I agree with you Nicole. I have 6, the oldest 18..the youngest 5 months. Although I can see how some families prefer schedules, I think in the long run if your babies/young children co-sleep, nurse on demand,and don’t follow schedules they still grow up to be well adjusted children and adults and we moms and dad have thriving marriages.

    • Ali K. March 27, 2012 at 8:35 am #

      Exactly. Babywise method assumes that the children should not be an interruption to the parents life and instead the baby should adapt to the parents’ schedules. I think Babywise view is very self-centered. The baby’s care and needs should be the focus for the parents. Sure, you may not get much “me” time at first, you may not get much sleep, and you may not get romantic dates with hubby, but that is what parenting as all about during those first couple years – the baby!

      If parents aren’t ready to change their lives for their kids, they shouldn’t have them.

      • Rachal March 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

        You’re exactly right. If you are “forced” to use neglectful and abusive tactics to “cope” such as letting your child “cry it out”, you should not have children/ or stop having them.

        • Laura March 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

          Girls, please go back and read the other posts if you haven’t already. Lindsay is VERY clear that she does is not a “babywise follower.” I totally agree that babywise is too strict, and I think Lindsay does too.

    • laura March 27, 2012 at 9:19 am #

      It is too bad that Lindsey did not put up her disclaimer on part 3. But if I understand correctly the point of her writing here is to encourage moms with what worked for them, and not taking hard stances on one of the two popular parenting “methods”. Not knowing her personally, but having followed her for awhile now on here, I am sure that she is a mom that loves her kids more than anything, and desires to do things in their kids and their whole family’s best interest. Forgive me if I’m misinterpreting someone, but to make blanket statements about the heart and motives of parents who choose Babywise-like scheduling is unkind and very discouraging. I am sure it is an extreme minority who schedule for selfish and unloving reasons. We should, at the request of Lindsey in her previous posts, keep our comments as encouraging discussion and not argumentative statements.

      Biblically speaking, if we are to reflect the Father and His parenting, He makes it clear that we as His children are NOT the center of everything, BUT He also loves us and demonstrated that He loves us by dying for us, by sacrificing Himself for us. Therefore I personally believe you can do both. I believe it has even been noted in one of the first two posts that their are plenty of healthy and successful kids who were raised on both “methods”.

      Bottom line. We all love our children. We want wants best for them. These infant months are so short in the scheme of things and they are difficult in so many ways. I just want to encourage everyone here to prayerfully seek out what your family needs, and to love like Jesus loves by His grace (because it is abundant!), and then be at peace and trust Him with the rest. He loves us and our babies more than we can imagine and He has not left us alone!

      Thank you for letting me share :) . I hope it was received with love!

    • Lindsay March 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      I shared our flexible routine for the express purpose to encourage mom’s that there are certainly different workable options to choose from in your parenting choices. I personally lean towards a more scheduled approach because it fits with my personality and we all thrive best when mommy is rested and productive. I am striving to be a faithful and gracious mother that is dependent upon the grace and wisdom of God in all my parenting decisions and with the consultation of my husband we are pursuing these routines by His grace. I am so grateful that with the framework of a flexible routine, I am able to help serve my husband, love my children, run my household well, serve within our church, and continue to maintain this blog. I want to encourage all you lovely ladies that whatever method helps you and your family delight more in the glory of our great God and King then that is the best method for your family. We want our children to understand that above all, our mission on this earth is to bring glory to God. Our life doesn’t revolve around our children. It revolves around the gospel. It revolves around making His name known. We adopt certain routines because it helps keep us all rested, happy, and able to serve together in fulfilling His Great Commission. We are a team on a mission. But we are certainly enjoying every moment of the journey as well!

      • Mrs. Graham Gardens March 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

        Lindsay,

        You are so gracious. I love your perspectives.

    • Rachal March 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      AMEN!!!

      • Rachal March 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

        This was meant as a reply to Nicole’s comment above. Enjoy your children, don’t treat them as interruptions.

  24. Jennifer March 27, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    When we moved our older two into a room together (they have bunk beds) they had trouble falling asleep because they wanted to talk and be silly together. We instituted “giggle time”. We keep a timer in their room that we set for 7 min after all the goodnights are said. They are allowed to chat and giggle for that time (no yelling or getting wild, and they have to stay in bed), but after the timer beeps there is no more talking and it is time for sleeping. We had to train that pretty strictly for 2-3 nights in the beginning, and it has worked perfectly ever since. It has been 1 1/2 years now and they LOVE being roommates!

    It is easier now that they are not napping (just having a quiet time in the afternoon) because they are more sleepy at bedtime.

    • Deb March 27, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      Jennifer, I LOVE the idea of giggle time! My sisters and I always shared a room growing up and I remember giggling and being silly with them every night. I’m sure once my boys are a little older we’ll need to do something to limit that so they get some sleep. We’ll definitely use the timer for that. Great idea:)

  25. Sue March 27, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    How do you train them to stay in their rooms until 8am? I know the first thing my kids want to do in the morning is come see me- and then go to the bathroom, grab a snack, and something to drink.

    • Lindsay March 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      Sue, you have to decide upon some consequence in helping train them to be obedient in following your instructions. The nite lite certainly helps and we also have a few books and toys in their room that they can play with if they wake up before the nite lite comes on. They are also free to go to the bathroom but have to return to their bedroom afterwards.

  26. Kristy March 27, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    We have our daughters sharing a room. They started at about 2 1/2 and 4 1/2, when we were ready to move baby brother out of our bedroom at night. After two years it is better. They shared a double bed for a time and putting them each in their own bed made a huge difference in them letting the other sleep and is well worth the floor space we gave up!

    We have been very clear on the consequences if they bother each other. At the beginning we assumed the oldest was causing the trouble, but after being gifted a video monitor, we were able to get to the bottom of it. We don’t use it anymore, but it was helpful for awhile to sort out disputes.

    We do ‘nap’ separate. I use nap loosely, as my oldest is six, but everyone gets quiet time in the afternoon. I make a little pallet in the hall for the 4 year old and I get time to exercise, complete projects or even rest.

  27. Jaimi Erickson March 27, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    I didn’t wear my babies that much just so they learned that they were separate from me when we were in our safe environment at home. My daughter still wishes she could be held all day long! For me, patience has been key in adjusting to the second baby. It has taken almost a full year to get both kiddos on the same nap and bedtime schedule. I don’t force naps or force my infant to stay awake until breast feeding is being weened. It really is so dependent on each child and each family. We are now in a pretty good place except my daughter is still adjusting to not nursing at night and having to cry it out a bit. Nothing is easy with infants except the love we have for them. A true blessing and joy that requires patience and persistence.

  28. Heather March 27, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    I second the nap time! My kids are almost 4 and 19 months, and they typically go down for a nap around 1 and sleep until 3. I think that even once they are older, I will still have an afternoon rest time, even for just an hour of quiet. I think the kids need it, and I know that I definitely need it! When I was younger I worked at a summer camp during the summers and we always had rest time after lunch. For everyone from the primaries (6-8 year olds) all the way up to the teens. They didn’t have to sleep, but they did have to be on their bunks and be quiet. Plus, most of the counselors were so exhausted we all collapsed and tried to sleep for that time :-)

  29. Sarah M March 27, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Thank you for the thoughtful posts on this topic. I find we are very similar in the way we parent, perhaps our personalities are similar, too :)
    My husband and I have found the one thing we are very ‘strict’ on (or rather, put the highest priority on) is our sleep and rest, and so that is one thing our household has always ‘done really well’. There are some things that each family is just not willing to budge on, and that was ours. I am very prone to long post-partum depression, and sleep deprivation just escalates it. We found that our children went along with it very well as infants, minus one or two days of crying during the night (no wet diapers, had been fed, just wanted to be awake!) for a bit before ultimately developing excellent sleep habits. Our children are now 5 and 3 and still thrive on the same sleep routine. They get a rest time for 2 1/2 hours each afternoon (no, they don’t nap anymore, but they are expected to be in their rooms playing, reading, or resting quietly for the whole time minus trips to the bathroom) and it is beneficial to the whole family. They also have a bedtime of 7-7, and we expect the same things as you do. It has worked really well for our family, especially in the way of ensuring that mom & dad get at least 2-3 hours of “free time” every night alone together!
    Sarah M

  30. Amber March 27, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    *LOVE* the sensory basket! Totally making one for my 5 monther today. :-) thanks!

  31. Tara March 27, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    For two years our family of 6 lived in a two bedroom home. Our three boys (ages 3~5~8) shared a small bedroom with very little problems. We were very firm from the beginning about our bedtime rules. Once the bedtime routine was done, (hugs, kisses, prayers, last minute stories and drinks of water, etc.) there was to be no talking or getting out of bed for any reason except an emergency.

    **A small tip that really helped us was running a box fan in their room. The white noise keeps the other children from waking up if another child is coughing, or cries out in their sleep, or gets sick in the middle of the night.**