getting kids on a schedule all alone!?

I really need to get my three kids on a schedule, they are 5years, 13 months and 20 days. I would like to get them on a schedule so they are all napping and going to bed at least around the same time and eating around the same time. I feel like I never sit down until about 2 in the morning, get about 15 minutes of sleep and then have to wake up to nurse the youngest again. as a matter of fact, that's what i'm doing right now! Help! any sugguestions are welcome. My husband is working third shift right now, so he sleeps all day and works all night. I feel like a single mom. There is no possible way to change shifts for him, and i can't afford to hire anyone...what can i do?

Update:

also, we are living with my grandparents right now cause our house is being remodled. My grandma gets upset and cries when they cry, and my grandpa gets my son out of the playpen and puts him on the floor so he's into everything. if i am behind closed doors with the kids and they are crying, because they don't want to go to bed, my grandparents will come in and cause them to get even more upset. I feel like i'm fighting a losing battle here. and don't even get me started about my grandparents guvung their opinion and advice about EVERYTHING i do!!! I am going to lose my mind.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    First of all, the five year old is old enough to be on a schedule. Put her to bed at the same time every night, and try to get her up around the same time. She doesn't necessarily need a nap, but you could get her to do a quite activity while your toddler is napping.

    I know it sounds impossible, but try to connect with other mommies. Go to a play group. It will help to have some support and some friends for your kiddos.

    Purchase a comfortable baby carrier for the littlest one. I use a Moby wrap. (Wraps are very comfy) Babies love being held, and she will cry less, and be easier to keep track of.

    If you can, breastfeed. It's harder in the short run, but then you wont have to deal with making formula or washing bottles etc. If you go to sleep with your newborn, she will be able to latch on and nurse without either of you waking up that way.

    Focus on priorities and let other things go. Don't start anything new. You can work on scrapbooking, cooking, hobbies or whatever in a few months, when your newborn is less demanding.

    If grandparents offer to help, let them! I know it sounds a little scary, but hey, they've been through it before. Most grandparents miss when their children were babies and will jump at the chance to babysit. If nothing else, have them take the older two to the park, so you can nap with your newborn.

    Hang on for the ride! I know it doesn't feel like it, but it will be over fast. Take lots of pictures. The days are long and the weeks are short!

  • 1 decade ago

    First of all I'll be bookmarking your question because I'm pretty much in your same boat! My daughter is 3 1/2 and my son just turned two. They aren't on schedules either, they've stopped taking naps, don't ever want to eat when and what I give them, and aren't potty trained.

    Despite all that my biggest suggestions would be just to talk to other mom's in your area or even consult a local daycare and see if you can get a copy of the schedule they use at their school. Maybe even try to get your 5 year old in a preschool just a couple hours a day to give you a little break, churches ususally have much less expensive programs. There's also a lot of good websites out there that I've just started combing through. Good luck and know you are NOT alone, even at 2am, thousands of us mom's are awake then too, unfortunately.

    Source(s): www.familyfun.go.com www.babycenter.com
  • 1 decade ago

    I know how you feel i only have 2 but my husband was on a weird shift when i had my kids. First question is does your 5 year old have a set time for bed? If she doesn't then that's the first thing you have to do. Lets say you put her to bed at 8 pm well your goal for your 13 month old would be 8:30 to 9pm and then your next one for 9:30 to 10 pm. Start by after dinner making sure that there isn't a TV on and they do quiet activities like color or your 5 year old can read to your 13 month old then you do bath and jammie time for each of them then a bed time routine like for your 5 year old it could be a book or a song something quick but consistent. then your 13 month old same thing until you get down to the little one which maybe a little harder try turning the lights off and rocking the baby while feeding him/her. just when he/she starts to get dozy put him/her in bed. That's what i did with my guys it took about a week but it was really worth it now they sleep like a charm no problems! ~~ Best of luck to you!!!

    Source(s): mom of 2
  • 1 decade ago

    First agree with your grandparents that the house needs to be settled by a certain hour. Then choose dinner, bath and bedtimes.

    If you can get the 5 year old on track the other two should be easy. Do sit down and explain to the child that this is going to be standard proceedure.

    As far as granpa fetching junior out of the playpen, buy a baby gate, clear the room of anything hazardous, or that he may be a hazard to, and let grandpa know that if junior is on the loose then the gate needs to be in place.

    Serve breakfast; lunch, snack and dinner at set times. Post the hours and the daily menu on the fridge. If grandma feels the urge to feed them, she needs to follow the menu.

    Whenever the 13 month old naps is naptime. The 5 year old may need an option for quiet time.

    Do an online search for free preschool activities and print out connect the dots, or sequencing, or coloring pages. If the child is not going to sleep ask grandma or grandpa to sit with the child and help/supervise the lesson. If you want an activity involving glue then get a plate and a paintbrush and put the glue on the plate and let them use the paintbrush to apply it. Saves on a huge mess.

    Purchase a kiddie pool. Explain that they are not allowed to play in the water without adult supervision, ever. Drain the pool after each use.

    After naps let the kids play in the water. Between the sun and the water this activity can be quite draining. Make sure they're outside and active after naps. Take them for a walk, or to the park, or let them play in the kiddie pool, or the sandbox. I used to clip long sheets of paper to the fence and let them paint. Outside. Let the effects of sun and fresh air do their part. You wear them out.

    Say, naps end at 2 and from 2 to 4:30 they're outside. Dinner at 5, bath at 6, bedtime at 7. It's not too much to expect small children to sleep 12 hours at night. They need that rest.

    However you decide this is going to go, all adults need to be on board. I HIghly recommend using the curriculum sites for activities for your 5 year old. Part of not having to displine is simply you directing the use of their time.

    My kids liked big boxes. You can go to the local appliance store and bring home a refrigerator and washing machine box. You can attach them with brad clips, cut out windows and doors, and even let the oldest paint the "castle". It's amazing how this will occupy them.

    Hang in there, count the days till you get your house back, and aim to have the routine set by then. Then when you do home, it's a piece of cake.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You don't need to change your husbands work. It's all about you and how bad you want it. Pick a time that's good for them and you then make them lay down for a nap. They will fight you from a couple days to a couple of weeks but if you stick it out it's so well worth it. Everything you do with kids is all about consistancy. Once you start don't give in to them no matter what. They will test you but you have to put your foot down everytime. My son was never on a schedule either but I wasn't having any time for me. So I started feeding him, taking naps, bedtime, bathtime and anything else you wanna through in there at the same time everyday. It took him about 2 weeks or so with no giving in and now it's perfect. He knows what to expect and when to expect it. It helps them to have a sense of what's gonna happen next in turn helps them not to be so irrate all the time.

  • 1 decade ago

    i can see why you feel at breaking point. i really think you need to sit down with your grandparents and let them know how your feeling and that they aren't helping the situation. they probably don't realise that you are feeling this way. once you get back into your own house things will start to settle down. i wish you luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    this is your job. treat it as one.

    i had three kids and didn't have a problem. you are the parent you set the rules.

    you put them on a schedule and then stick to it.

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