Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

Sleeping with Twins

on February 18, 2012

Sleep.

We all need it. It’s the fuel that drives us forward. Sleeping gives our bodies and minds a chance to recharge and reset. You’re screwed if you don’t get enough sleep.

Enter Twins.

We’re all screwed.

Nah, it’s not that bad.

Let’s start from the beginning.

The first two nights of having twins in our lives were horrible. Anton and I did not sleep, at all, for the first night. The second night we both got scattered sleep. It was crazy. After those first couple of nights we managed. Our angels were up throughout the night as you would expect most newborns to be up. Every couple or few hours to have a change and a feed. We knew this was how it was going to be and had already accepted that we were going to new-parent zombies for a while. Keeping these expectations in mind we were pleasantly surprised.

By the time the girls were three months old they were sleeping through the night. Any time that they happened to wake up all it took was a quick pat on the back and replacing a soother and they were good to go. It didn’t take long for Anton and I to get back into the habit of having a full nights sleep (meaning between five and eight hours). It was nice. We quickly learned that a small dose of Orajel and/or Infant Tylenol was a lifesaver for what may or may not have been teething.

It was like this for a good three or four months and then… something changed…

We decided to try the girls on a somewhat different schedule (Broken Schedule). And they started waking up in the night. And couldn’t seem to be calmed or soothed unless they wound up back in our arms which usually ended up back in our big bed. It wasn’t working for us. I love my babies, but co-sleeping is not for me.

So I bought some books:

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins In my opinion… garbage. There wasn’t much that focused on twins. It seemed to be the original version of the book but with a paragraph about twins every once in a while. I found a lot of what was said to be common sense, or something I’d already figured out. Possibly would have been a better read if I had read it while pregnant, before the girls were around.

Bed Timing Meh. Not worth the money I paid for it. Not a horrible read; will probably come in handy as their sleep patterns change throughout growth spurts and different developmental states.

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems Haven’t gotten all the way through this one yet, but it seems alright. From my previous bit of research I did while pregnant, I had a feeling I was going to agree with what Dr. Ferber had to say. We use the controlled crying method, which Dr. Ferber stands behind, and it has worked out really well for us.

I was rash. I shouldn’t have bought any books. That’s what a library is for! But, I was fed up with things not working the way I wanted them to (I know, I know…) and I was bound and determined to make things work. And in the process, try to figure out how “baby sleep” works. The great kicker is.. after I bought my books and started reading them, the girls went back to sleeping through the night. I feel a bit like I never even gave the girls a chance to work it out. I dismissed the idea that Anton and I could do it on our own.

Which is ridiculous; because we can. And considering how little I got out of the books, we did. It turns out; the girls weren’t sleeping through the night because we had

A) messed with their schedule. DON’T MESS WITH THE SCHEDULE!

and B) they were both cutting a new tooth.

Why aren’t these things obvious in the heat of the moment? Why is hindsight 20/20?

Mommy’s Tips for a Better Bedtime

  • Small Additions during the Day.

No naps after 5pm. Lots of exercise (tummytime) during the day.

  • Small Additions at Bedtime.

Baby Einstein Lullaby Classics on repeat (all night). heater up to 19°c during the night. soothers (and stand-by soothers). lowered voices and dimmed/minimal lighting.

  • Bedtime Routine.

Ours is: Short walk (five minutes for the dog to pee), bath time (one baby at a time. daddy with one, mommy with the other), quiet play time-NO LOUD PLAY (rolling around the floor while mommy and daddy finish making bottles and get a couple of glasses of water; no more than five minutes), bottles, cuddle time (5-10min. minimal interaction), down in their cribs (we do separate cribs)

It’s not “Crying It Out”. I would highly recommend it. We do fifteen minute intervals. Because we implemented this type of sleep training, we didn’t need to go in and soothe our babies at all tonight. Or the night before. Make sure your support system is going to help you. It’s hard to go at it alone. It helps to be able to tag out and take a breather.

  • MOST IMPORTANT TIP!

It can be a painful ride, but your little ones need to learn to self-soothe. Try your best to put them down while they’re drowsy; not after they’ve fallen asleep. We cheat sometimes. If they fall asleep in our arms, we don’t wake them up just to put them down. But we do try to put them down before they fall asleep.

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2 responses to “Sleeping with Twins

  1. Great post on sleep! so cute!!

  2. […] on my original post, Sleeping with Twins, I’ll start out by recapping on my “Mommy’s Tips for a Better Bedtime”. […]

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