How do you occupy your other children while helping your baby get to sleep?
Explain to your children in simple terms that baby needs your help to sleep. Explain that once the baby is asleep, Mummy will have time to spend with them.
They may like to try and ‘settle’ their doll or put on a video, audiobook or soft music to dance or sing to during this time.
Some families have a special Quiet Time Box that comes out during baby's settling times. These are filled with special activities meant to occupy your other child like special stickers, cars, puzzles, felt pictures, picture books. You could even save the Doll House, people and furniture for these special times. These are all put away when you come back to them after settling baby. Either way, this is a great time for your children to learn Independent Play.
If you’re SUPER organised you could have a different Quiet Time Box for each day of the week! Each box could have 2 books, a puzzle, and 3-4 activities.
Once the baby is settled, thank the child for letting you attend to the baby undisturbed and give them some quality time one on one with them to reward their efforts.
Giving the child some special attention after the event will encourage them to help in a similar manner next time. This helps to reduce jealousy. They may even start looking for baby's tired signs, excited to play by themselves and have some special one to one time with you.
Remain flexible and creative as you may need different strategies to keep your older child occupied and happy.
Sometimes it might help to have another person entertain the older child while you settle the baby. Once your baby is in a good routine the older child will not be so demanding of your attention as you will not be leaving him to attend to the younger one.
Give lots of positive reinforcement and attention to the older child when baby is asleep and try not to keep telling the older child to keep quiet because of the baby. Play quiet one-on-one games such as puzzles, reading and art during baby’s down time. Make morning tea together or snuggle on the sofa watching raindrops race down the window.
Want a list of ideas to put into a "Quiet Time" box? Click here.
What would you put in a box?