Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

Sleeping with Twins Part 2

on January 1, 2013

Following on my original post, Sleeping with Twins, I’ll start out by recapping on my “Mommy’s Tips for a Better Bedtime”. These tips apply for anyone under the age of one that you’re trying to sleep train. I wrote them when our girls were eight months old. A lot of the tips still apply afterwards but with slight changes (ex. running/walking/crawling instead of tummytime).

Mommy’s Tips for a Better Bedtime

  • Small Things during the Day.

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

  • Small Things 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.

This stuff works!! I am pretty happy to say that in the 10 months since I wrote the original post, our girls slept through the night 95% of the time. The 5% they didn’t was usually related to teething (molars suck!). Since our girls sleep through the night most of time, we decided it was time for the next step: removing crib rails.

Reading Instructions

Our cribs are of the convertible variety so there’s no switching to toddler beds, just removing one of the side rails off of the cribs. The girls and I started by reading our instructions, then grabbed our Allan Keys (thanks IKEA!) and got straight to work. They were extremely helpful and no one swallowed any of the small pieces (although I did have a good scare for about ten minutes when I couldn’t find a piece).

We are still within the first 24 hours of having the side rails off and I think we could be doing a lot                IKEA’s so easy, toddlers can do it!        worse! I took the rails off before Shula and Maretta’s afternoon nap. It was as one would expect: horrible. Thanks to the bit of reading I’d done, I was prepared with one of the baby gates at their bedroom door so they couldn’t get but they were all over their room, out of their beds after about 30 seconds. At the end of the designated two-hour nap period the only thing that had been accomplished was the t-shirt bin being spread around their room. Bedtime went a little better, and easier since Anton was home with me. It took an hour and five “replacement” trips to the bedroom before Maretta fell asleep. Shula fell asleep one poop and two trips later. I was expecting A LOT worse; some of the horror stories I’d read online about 20-40 trips back to the bedroom to put them back in their bed.

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This mornings’ nap was.. okay. Shula fell asleep after an hour and four “replacement” trips. I think Maretta was close, but the phone rang and Jimmie went bounding around the house (including the girls’ room) which disturbed Maretta. Shula seemed to be sleeping pretty lightly so I thought “one’s better than neither!” and brought Maretta into the living room with me. We are in the midst of the afternoon nap and it’s mostly quiet except for the occasional peep. I learned pretty long ago that if they’re awake and quiet, you leave them alone!                                    What happens when toddlers don’t nap!

We’ll see how things go. Just like most of the other “training” we’ve done, it takes consistency and time. If things don’t go back to an easy bedtime in a week or two we’ll probably put the rails back on and hold off for a couple of months. There’s no rush, right?

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