I recently reached out to my Facebook friends for help with my present dilemma. The evening routine I've had has been a routine for a long time, but B has never gone down well.
I finally hit a breaking point prompting my plea for help; I was trying to keep the house calm and quiet so Josh could sleep after we got back from Disney on Ice. I knew B was excited but I wasn't prepared to deal with Paige being up past midnight. She was over tired and refusing to sleep and B was being... It was just a really rough night, I ended up sleeping on the floor with Paige which lead to a crabby Mama in the morning.
So I asked my FB friends for help and advise and had a wonderful response, great ideas and an out pour of support.
Last night I tried a new-ish routine. It was our same routine but I turned off the tv (normally used as background noise) as soon as I finished cleaning the kitchen. We cleaned up the downstairs and went upstairs to play. Normally I would fold laundry or do something while the girls played before bath, but this time I hung out with them in their playroom and read silly stories to them as they played, it was fun. The girls took a bath together but this time I pulled Paige out sooner and let B play by herself for little longer. Once the girls were both in pj's, we brushed teeth (have I mentioned Paige still doesn't have teeth?) and headed to their room. I made a cozy little spot next to Brenna's bed using comfy blankets and a pillow and B and I nuggled and read, Paige played with other books right next to us. *Paige nursed to sleep while B was reading to me then promptly woke up as soon as I set her down. So Brenna and I nuggled and read and even read a book to Paige. We discussed the day and prayed on the floor (normally this is done once she's in bed), we sang for a little bit and that was it.
Sure enough when it was time for me to leave she was sad and cried forever! She was up past midnight again. Paige nursed down in my bed around 10:30 or so.
Tonight I tweaked it just a little. First, I cut out her nap! I still turned off the tv after I cleaned the kitchen. We played for 30 minutes (downstairs this time), then she got a bagel and some milk. Cleaned up downstairs toys then headed up, straightened up the playroom and picked up their room. We do baths every other night so it was straight to pj's, brushed teeth, then off to the girl's room. Brenna read to me while I nursed Paige, who didn't got to sleep. We read one story nuggled in the spot then I tried laying them both in Paige's crib for the long story (I was hoping P would actually lay and listen), Paige wasn't a fan although she did remain quiet for the duration. Brenna did try to get me to stay longer and longer but I told her she had to go to sleep on her own if she wanted her sticker in the morning.
That's another thing I added, right before we headed up stairs Brenna mentioned she wanted an Ariel doll. I suggested we do a sticker chart and if she could go to sleep without a fight for two weeks I would buy her an Ariel doll.
So Paige and I came down stairs, within 15 minutes Paige nursed down and is still asleep on the chase. While I was typing this, Brenna rolled and knocked the remote to Paige's music player off her bed and the "thump" and the music woke her up. Lucky Josh came home right around the same time so he was able to help kinda defuse the situation before it became a big blow up.
Josh and I have decided to stick with this routine for week then reevaluate.