July 14, 2010

progress on the sleep front

As you all know, I've been working on getting the boys on a schedule and to help them fall asleep for naps and at night on their own without being held or rocked. This schedule thing is still throwing me off. I still have so many questions. But before I get into all of those questions, we do have some great progress on the falling asleep front.


Right now (at 10:02 am) Isaiah is asleep in the spare room in his play pen and Julian is still fussing in his crib in the bedroom. However, I just put them down maybe 10 minutes ago. Isaiah fell right to sleep. He was awake when I laid him down, not really even drowsy. Isaiah usually does great falling asleep for naps. I swaddle him up, give him a paci and rock him for a minute with a cloth over his eyes. This typically is Isaiah's sleepy time routine and it works. I usually only have to help him once and he'll go right to sleep after that. However, he doesn't sleep as long as Julian. 

Julian on the other hand, always fights nap time and I need to help him a couple times before he falls asleep. He gets really pissed off and starts screaming (no tears, just yelling) so I let him get through his 5 minutes and help him get settled back down. Sometimes he likes to be picked up, swaddled and rocked. Sometimes he doesn't want to be wrapped up or even held. However, once I finally get him to sleep, he is passed out and sleeps for long periods. 

So, now on to the questions:

  • When one wakes up earlier from a nap, do I wake the other one up or let him sleep? I feel like I usually let Julian sleep because he falls asleep later than Isaiah. 
  • I'm trying to keep a schedule of the boys eating every three hours. 9am, 12, 3pm, 6pm...etc. However, it's really hard to judge when they last ate because when we do cereal, they don't drink a lot of milk afterward until right before their nap. Then that pushes the last time they technically ate back farther. Does that make sense? Those of you who have twins on solids, do they drink much after they eat? 
  • They usually take a long afternoon nap and I think it's my fault they sleep so long. Because they have that later bottle, I let them sleep until one wakes up in the afternoon, sometimes they sleep for 2-2 1/2 hrs. I hate waking them up because I feel like they're sleeping that long because they're tired. Should I wake them up in the afternoon too and then they probably have another nap later?
  • Anybody have any tips or tricks to keeping the schedule? I'm really trying but feel like I'm doing something different everyday. I feel bad keeping a super rigid schedule. Maybe I'M not ready for this LOL!
And, I'll leave you with the dudes...staying up way past their bedtime.



5 comments:

  1. Your first Q- most of the time I wake the other up. Sometimes I do let the other sleep until I finish feeding the first one- but I never let the second twin go longer than 30 minutes. Otherwise they'd be so off we wouldn't be able to get back on track.

    2nd Q- We haven't started solids yet- but from what I've read, I have read to give a bottle first before the solids. That might make it easier to figure out the timing.

    3rd Q- my twins have a super long afternoon nap when they don't get good naps in before that because they are overtired. I would look at your naps before that and tweak them a little and see if that shortens the afternoon nap.

    4th Q- For my schedule, I've found that if I give myself a 30 min window either way for any part, I can get back on track easily for the rest of the day. But more than 30 minutes and the whole day is off. So I would feed them early 30 minutes or let them nap 30 min longer- but not 45. However, to help your babies get in tune with a shedule, you need to be a little more exact at first to help them get it. After awhile you can be more flexible and they will still be intune with the general schedule. Does that make sense?

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  2. first question - i used to slightly stagger my boys if they did not wake up at the same time. jude would wake first normally so i'd change, feed, and snuggle him for a few minutes and then wake up eli (if he didn't wake up on his own, which he normally did). but no more than a half hour apart because then you have no down time! of course, eli then stayed up slightly longer which allowed me to cuddle him a little bit too before putting him down.

    second question - when i started the boys on solids i'd do bottles/nurse after cereal/baby food because they weren't really big eaters and they would not take solids if i gave them milk first. i would call my 4 hours at when i started feeding them the solids since they ate quickly. (the nicu put us on a 4 hour schedule before discharging, made my life much easier) but i stopped being really strict on clock-watching at about 7 months because eli and jude were a little more flexible. it was more like, "okay, they just woke up from their nap, we'll eat some food, play for about an hour, then sleep again." i'm a fan of routines vs. schedules, especially if your friends/family are less than understanding. :)

    third question - when we started sleep training (7 months) eli and jude were sleeping 12 hours at night (7 pm to 7 am) with three 1.5-2 hr naps throughout the day. but remember that every baby is different and your boys will probably change how many naps/when/how long throughout the next few months. we now only take one nap in the late morning. (18 months)

    fourth question - basically what i said earlier, try to worry less about what the clock says. once i stopped stressing about "omg, it's 4 pm! they have to eat!" things got a lot easier. we had a routine nailed down pretty quickly and the boys were then easier to deal with because i was more able to recognize their cues and respond accordingly. but seriously, once you find a routine/schedule that works for you it gets so much easier. : )

    good luck! you can email me if you have more questions (we'll be back from vacation tomorrow)!

    --Alex
    http://twolittlehornes.blogspot.com

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  3. Thank you guys for the help. I really do think if I can get some kind of schedule nailed down and feel more confident about it, I'll feel a little more in control of my days! Plus I hope once we get going the boys will be able to sleep longer at night. We're still waking up a couple times every night. Even if we could reduce this to once I'd be happy. We've been just letting them sleep individually but I may try tonight to wake the other up to eat at night if one does. Just so I don't have to wake up so many times at night like I've been doing. Even though it's getting kind of hard to feed two babies at once in the middle of the night.

    Eventually I'll figure all of this out. Eventually....

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  4. Hey girl, we are in the same boat only with one little guy..... can not imagine the chaos of two... here is what I've figured out... I was keeping our little man awake for too long.... ever since changing our schedule he is a much happier less fussy baby. He is awake for no more then 2 hours during the day pretty much eat, play, sleep 1.5 to 2 hours and repeat

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  5. When our girls were at almsot the exact same age as your boys are right now we started sleep training them. At their 5 month check our doctor said they no longer needed to eat every 3 hours. So - we decided to stop waking them to eat. And, like you, we put them down (awake) and let them fall asleep on their own. It took a few nights and days of doing that, but since that time they have slept straight through for 11-12 hours. At about 6.5 months I really wanted a more rigid nap schedule. So - I started putting them down at 9 or 9:30a and when one baby woke I would then wake the other. And, then I'd put them down around 2:30p for another nap. It was kind of like if they were awake longer than 3.5 hours during the day it was time to nap. I have one babe who is not the best napper. I have struggled with her for awhile now and so this week I finally am only putting her down for one longer afternoon nap. My other babe still needs a boost in the morning so I put her down for an hour in the early morning. We are on day #4 of this and it's going OK. I need to give it more time. My ultimate goal is for them both to take a longer afternoon nap. My point is - that even though I stuck to a rigid schedule of putting them both down (awake) for naps ... they do have different sleeping needs. I feel like I have one who is a "sleeper". She loves to sleep and she sleeps on cue. And the other babe needs less sleep. It's FRUSTRATING to say the least, but I would say try to get them on the same schedule for as long as possible. I was hoping it would last until they were 12 months, but my girls didn't make it. I will continue 2 naps for my sleeper and cut down to 1 for my lively babe! :) Some kiddos take 2 naps til they are 2. All babes are different. But as you are just starting this process I would suggest you try to get them into the same groove. You will soon see if it works for them. Oh - and once we started sleep training them I no longer rocked them or picked them up after we initially put them down. This is a very personal decision, but I am on my own 99.9% of the time and so I needed them to fall asleep without my assistance or I would be rocking soneone all the time. I think it helped them learn to soothe themselves. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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