Monday, January 9, 2017

New Year Changes

I used to do New Year's Resolutions... then I became a mother and realized that any changes I want to make have to factor in my child's developmental level... not necessarily a flip of the calendar.

That being said, the fact that Howard and Caroline are now one year old (I'm still having a hard time believing that), there are a few New Year changes in our house.

Naps --
 Howard and Caroline have been ushered into the one-nap-a-day routine.  They sleep until between 7-8am, and then I try to keep them awake until 11:00am... sometimes its a tad earlier, but the goal is 11:00am naptime.  Then they each sleep for between two and three hours... Howard usually closer to two or two-and-a-half hours, and Caroline closer to three or three-and-a-half hours... then no more napping until bedtime.

When the twins go down for a nice long nap at 11:00, Tracey gets to help me with some chores, and have lunch before her naptime at noon... and I usually get at LEAST an hour, sometimes more of all three children napping at the same time.  This is the holy grail of having three children under three, and I am loving it!

Bedtime --
With that change to one nap/day, bedtime was drastically moved up to 7:00pm.  That means, dinner around 5, baths around 6, twins in pajamas nursing for the last time at 7:00pm.  And then, sleeping through the night if AT ALL possible.  That means, attempting to let them settle themselves down if they wake up during the night.  Currently, once Howard is down for the night, he is sleeping like a champ all night... Caroline is in the habit of awakening around 4:00am and not settling herself back down.

Also, with both twins in bed at 7:00pm, that allows for a little special time with Tracey during the seven'o'clock hour, including relaxing drawn out bedtime stories, and then she is in bed for the night at 8:00pm.

This routine is AMAZING!  This is after a year... yes, a FULL YEAR of one or more, sometimes three babies still awake at 9 and 10 and 11 o'clock at night.  We would go through different phases, but never have Hubby and I been consistently free of children as early as 8:00pm since before the twins were born.  We still need all three sleeping through the night on a regular basis, but 2017 is off to an AMAZING start with our new bedtime routine.

Teatime --
With our new one-nap schedule for all the little ones, they are usually all awake by 2:30pm, so we have more time in the afternoon than we used to before Daddy comes home, and we start dinner and bathtime.  That created a little window for moodiness, chaos, and too little structure.  That was when I remember a friend who has afternoon teatime with her children and that idea sounded perfect.

My friend has a few children older than I do, so her teatime probably lasts longer than ours does, but teatime gives us a few minutes of quiet and calm to just settle down in the middle of the afternoon.  Tracey helps me make hot chocolate (which she gets to drink in a mug with a few marshmallows) and the twins get bottles with milk, and we sit on the floor and read a few stories while we drink tea.

... and yes, Caroline is wearing one of Howard's sleepers in this picture... it happens from time to time...

These changes are making 2017 off to a great start in our home.

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