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About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Trish

    August 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I’ll be checking back for comments from others. I have one on the way and an almost 2 year old. We’ve been trying to simplify the bedtime routine for Kid 1 so that the baby’s arrival isn’t so bad. From sept-may, I’m solo on bedtime about half the time. It’s not a problem with one kid, but I expect I’ll have to either plop kid 2 in a bouncy chair a lot, and/or plop kid 1 in front of Baby Einstein a lot.

  • Sara M

    August 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    My husband works nights, so I’ve always had the night routine to myself. I integrated my boys night routines when my youngest could sit unsupported in the bath, so around (trying to remember) 7 or 8ish months.? I would bathe both, then drain the water but keep toys in for the oldest and he would play while I got the baby dried off and dressed and put him in his crib to play. Then I got the oldest out, dressed and we would all rock together. My oldest would go to bed, then I would breastfeed or give a bottle (if he was done with the boob)to the baby and then he went down. I then had about an hour to myself! Now that they are 4 and 2, everything is done together (bath, dressed, brush teeth, books, rock) then the youngest goes down first and the oldest gets one more book before he goes to bed. Now I have 2 hours of free time! We’ll see how that routine goes to hell next spring when #3 gets here.

  • professormama

    August 6, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Our kids are 6 and 2, and at first the infant went to bed later, and we explained that babies are kind of crazy and don’t understand bedtime yet.  As soon as we got the baby settled into a bedtime routine we always put her to bed first, because she was the baby, and then put the (then) 4 year old to bed. When the younger one hit 18 months we got bunk beds for the kids and she moved out of mama and dadd’s room and into the bottom bunk. This ushered in the era of bedtime at the same time, and oh is it easier! We read books to them together, then teeth brushing together and then into bed. They’re tucked in by 8 (no later than 8:30 usually) and it has been great for the last 6 months. They sleep until 7 or so, and don’t wake each other up, yet.

  • Em

    August 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I’m so glad someone asked this question! I have a 2.5 y.o. and 10 month old, and my husband and I still do their bedtimes separately. My older child occasionally demands to go to bed in the same room as the baby, and while we’ve tried it to see if it works, usually both kids end up too excited by the novelty of it to settle down…and then we have to drag the older one back to his bedroom for the usual separate bedtime. I’m very interested to hear how others have handled this…

  • JCF

    August 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I think the original questioner’s bedtime routine sounds good, considering the ages of the kids. My guess is that when they baby is around a year, it will start getting easier to streamline bedtime, at least based on my experience.

    We have a 3.5yo, a 2.5yo, and a 12mo. We do baths and jammies all together, and then the older two use the potty and brush teeth. Up until last week, I took the baby in our room to nurse him and then put him down in a Pack and Play (in our room). My husband would tell the older two stories in their room, and then after lights out, sit in the chair in there while they fall asleep. We only sit in the room because they tend to get wild and jump around together if they’re alone in there. We hope that before too long, we won’t need to do this for them to settle down in a reasonable amount of time. It usually takes about 30 minutes, which is sometimes annoying, but we will read or play games on our phones/Kindle/iPad.

    Our new bedtime routine is attempting to have the baby join the big-kid bedtime (we have a two bedroom place, so all three kids have beds in that room). Now, after I nurse the baby, he goes in the crib awake and falls asleep in the room with everyone else. He is fighting it, mostly because he’s always had a hard time falling asleep, but it seems to be getting better.

    We have an alarm clock for the kids’ room called the Onaroo (we bought it from Amazon). It glows with a soft yellow light all night (about the brightness of a night light), and at a designated (by us) time in the morning, the light turns green to let the kids know they can get out of bed. Before we got it a month or so ago, they were getting up around 5am. Now that we’ve told them they can’t get out of bed until the green light goes off, they stay in bed until 6:45 (hallelujah!). I highly recommend it, especially if you have siblings sharing a room and waking each other up too early. The only reason they’re allowed to get up earlier is to go potty, since they’re in underwear at night, but then they have to go back to bed.

    On nights when my husband works late (fairly frequently), I would let the older two watch an episode of “Wonder Pets” or something while I put the baby down, and then I would put them down after he’s asleep. When we only had two kids, I felt like I could handle bedtime without TV, but once we went to three I needed to keep the older two from getting into trouble together while I’m occupied with the baby.

  • Julie

    August 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I have a 2.5 yo and a 5 month old, and am solo about half the evenings lately. On solo nights, 2 yo gets a bath and 5mo either gets a bath at the same time or sits in the infant/toddler rocker/bouncer while I bathe oldest, brush teeth, get PJs on. Then we all sit in bed for bedtime stories – I may end up nursing while doing this if the little one is really cranky, but generally try to avoid it. Then if 2yo wants a lullaby, they both sit on my lap in the rocking chair while we rock and sing songs or listen to the lullabye CD. Then I tuck 2 yo in and take 5 mo downstairs to rock and nurse until he falls alseep. 2yo has no problem with me saying “I’m taking baby brother to put him to bed now.” Infant is still kind of crazy on sleep routine – he may fall asleep and stay down for a while, or may be restless. If he falls asleep he goes in the downstairs bassinet or swing until I go upstais, then into the cosleeper, and generally ends up getting a dream feed before I fall asleep.

    I have no idea what I’m going to do in a month or two when I try to transition 5 mo to at least starting the night out solo in the crib.

  • Megan

    August 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I have a 7 year old and a 15 month old and my husband works nights.  Neither of my boys really ‘got’ bedtime til about 6 months.  That was when i could put them down drowsy, awake, or all the way asleep, and they would pretty much go to sleep and stay asleep in their cribs.  Up until then my older son’s bedtime routine consisted of a lot of baby fussing/crying/bouncing along with his big kid stuff.  It was tough, but luckily my big boy is amazing and patient and understanding.  By about 6 months i was putting baby down around 7, and big kid down around 8.  Having a 6 year difference though makes it much easier.  I can leave 7 y.o. in shower while i get baby dressed.  7 y.o. gets his own jammies on and goes downstairs to start his night time show.  Etc.  NO IDEA how i could  have done it with a toddler.  EVERY NIGHT.  Go Mammas!    
    Now that #2 is more of a toddler, they actually take showers together!  They play naked in big brothers room and get their jammies on, but then when big kid starts his show, I take little kid upstairs for his story and bottle.  Then big kid gets his books and snuggles. So each one gets a little Mamma Love on their own, which i like a lot!  Makes for a busy night, but by 8:30 i have the night to myself.  Big fan of early bedtimes!

  • Allie

    August 16, 2011 at 2:26 am

    We have a 3 year old girl and 6 month old boy and have a pretty decent routine, for now. We get our daughter ready for bed (brush teeth and hair, potty, jammies) and then she starts winding down time. She has to stay in her room but she can do whatever she wants . She has three tickets she can use in case she needs to come out, but for the most part, she stays in her room. Once she’s settled, I nurse my son, get him ready for bed then put him down. Usually, I have 20-30 minutes to do anything I want before, I do bedtime with my daughter. We read a few books and I sit with her until she falls asleep. We started this a few months ago and it works really well to help juggle bedtime, whether I’m home alone, or not.

  • hyzen

    August 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    We have a 3 year old and a 10 month old. I often have to do bedtime alone, so I generally ask my 3 year old to go potty and get her jammies on by herself (though I do help a bit if needed) while I get the baby changed for bed. Then I let my daughter pick 1 – 3 books (the number of books depends on how quickly she did her jammies and potty, which translates into how much time we have left for reading before bed). We all do story time together in her room, then her lights go off, I tuck her in, and I take the baby to nurse one last time before putting him to bed in his crib. Pretty easy, although we’ve been through some rough patches where it was harder. We also do showers in the morning instead of a bath at night, so that doesn’t factor into the equation here.