Why won't they just sleep?!

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Lexieade, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    I just joined this forum because at 12am I'm desperately searching the internet for any advice, hints, clues, owners manuals, or maybe just a distraction from the babies still wide awake. I have 13 month old boy/girl twins. I'm a single mom living with my parents (I'm 25.) I had the babies going to bed when they were six months old and they'd sleep through the night. They'd each get a bottle a little cuddle, theyd fall asleep in my arms and I'd put them in their cribs. They'd sleep from about 9pm til 530-6ish am. I'm in the Air National Guard and had to go away for training for almost 6 months. It was horrible, I left when they were 6 months and got home 3 days before their 1 year. My parents had them while I was away. Now in order to get them to sleep you have to rock them in the chair. The babies don't self soothe at all. And lately it's like they don't want to sleep at all. Carter is the good sleeper, for the most part after giving him a bottle/rocking him (bad habit my parents got them both HOOKED on) he will fall asleep for the night around 8-9pm and stay asleep until 930am. (As long as his sister doesn't wake him up). Some nights though he just refuses to sleep, he cries when he sees me head to the rocking chair and he fights it. I just know it's not gonna happen and give up and decide to try with Sophie. Sophie is a hoooorrible sleeper at night. When she does eventually get to sleep, after bottle+rocking, she wakes up a ridiculous amount of times through the night. Usually you can just run in the room(and you have to be quick, her and Carter share a room) pop her binky back in her mouth and rub her blanket on her face and she'll pass right back out. But sometimes she stands up and you know at that point gotta pick her up, try another bottle and youre in for 1-4 hrs of fun. Last night though she woke up every 20 minutes (literally) crying. I'd run in there and she'd still have her eyes closed but was crying. Had to do the binky+blanket trick repeatedly. I am EXHAUSTED. Tonight they REFUSE to sleep. Sophie literally keeps shaking her self awake or pulling her hair as she falls asleep. Carter is just laughing nonstop.
    -insert 20 min break where both babies finally fell asleep-
    I don't know what to do. I can't keep doing this every night. I am so tired, as all twin parents know. But I'm starting to resent the babies and that is something i NEVER want to do. I love them with all my heart and wouldnt trade my life for anything. I tried the ferber method with Sophie, as Carter was having one of his "I'm not gonna sleep I'd rather play" nights, and I couldn't stand it. After her crying for an hour, and me popping in every so often to rub her back, give her a few go to sleep i love yous and leave the room, I couldnt do it. I was crying hysterically everytime I left the room. Couldn't stand to hear her cry. After the hour I picked her up, rocked her and she fell asleep in seconds. Either way I wouldn't be able to do the ferber method because they share a room and Carter needs to sleep too, her crying will never rock him to sleep. This is an extremely long post, I'm sorry but I'm just lost. My parents criticize everything I do. I feel like a complete failure. I need help. Please.
  2. mom2gc

    mom2gc Well-Known Member

    A big hug for you! I know how you feel as I have been there for almost 2 years and finally I consulted a sleep trainer. I just wish that I did this sooner.

    Consistency is very important and you will have to find a method that works for you to teach your kids to self-sooth. Your parents will have to do what you are doing when they are looking after the kids. I am sure that other members will give you lots of advice that you can use.

    The method that the sleep trainer used did involve a little bit of crying but not for hours. This was the first thing I asked her as I am also not able to do the crying for hours method. They were sleep trained in the same room. If you are interested you can mail me and I will explain what we did/still do if need be.
  3. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    :hug: :hug: Ditto what mom2gc said, what is essential: consistency, it really doesn't matter what works, it's that you need to do the same thing every night for a week, sometimes two weeks so that they know you mean business. Your parents will also need to do the same thing.

    I too think that maybe, a sleep trainer would be good for you especially if you are having difficulties on being on the same page as your parents. I haven't personally used one but I do frequent this website and she seems to have quite a bit of success: www.babysleepsite.com

    I also use Dr Weissbluth's book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child book as a bible almost, for me it has been a resource to grab when I'm stuck.

    I also think you know where issues lie, you just need to come up with a plan and stick to it. Perhaps someone to work with you and give you support like a sleep trainer, is what you need rather than reading a book which takes time AND you need support which it doesn't seem you have. There are so many ways you can get through this but most of all you need to be consistent.

    Please come back and vent here whenever you like! We're here to listen and help as much as we can. :hug: AND [​IMG] to TS!
  4. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    :grouphug: Momma!
    I agree with the previous posters. Consistency is key, whatever sleep method you do use-you and your parents have to be on the same page.
    I did like Ann Douglas's Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler. She does go over common sleep issues for children, what could be behind them and how to correct them.

    :welcome: to TS! I hope better nights of sleep come soon for you and your children!
  5. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Thank you all. I would love to get a sleep trainer and looked some up. $650 just for an over the phone consultation. I can't afford peace and quiet! I had Sophie asleep at 7, was rocking Carter, had him asleep and at one point Sophie woke up. I heard my dad go in the nursery thinking he was doing the binky/ blanket trick and maybe holding her, he turned tv on and left the room. Yes when I went away for training they put a tv in the nursery. Well at the time I didn't know the tv was on so I open to door to put carter down, tv is on, Sophie is standing up watching it, cries when she sees me. Woke Carter up. I immediately went right to the rocking chair with him, he fell back asleep, ran in put him down grabbed Sophie turned tv off and here we are two hours later in mommys room. She's wide awake. Fun night ahead of me. Thank you for the replies, knowing I'm not absolutely alone helps.
  6. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Just kidding. They are both wide awake now. Yay.
  7. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is the gal we used: http://www.cheekychops.ca/ Her basic package (which is what we did with our girls) is $275. You don't have to live in the same area - we're in different provinces and worked over the phone & email. I know that's still a lot of money but it's really worth it. I especially appreciated the follow up support to ask questions & get clarification. And it really helped me keep consistent also.
  8. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member


    I had a similar sleep situation when my twins were 10 months old. They started literally waking up every 20-30 minutes all.night.long. It went on for a few weeks until I felt like my sanity was in jeopardy. No matter what I did, it did not help. They were waking up and they wanted me. Our schedule was:

    7:00 bed
    7:20 babies wake up crying
    7:21 mommy soothes them back to sleep
    7:50 repeat

    I hated the idea of crying it out, but also knew at the point we were at, we ALL needed sleep. We were desperate and I knew it was on the verge of preventing me from being the kind of mom I wanted to be. I decided, as hard as it as for me, to let them cry it out upon their first wake up after putting them to bed. I decided I would not go in there and pat/shush/rock/hold them back to sleep when they woke up that first time, but I would go in there subsequent times.

    The first night I cried when they cried, but they only cried for 20ish minutes and then fell back asleep. The next time they woke up, and it was actually a few hours later instead of the previous 20 minutes, I went in there to soothe. It made them feel better, but really, it made *me* feel better when I was feeling really bad about the crying. As the nights went on, their wake ups continued to decrease as did their crying. Finally within a week, they were back to waking up only once or twice at night (usually 1:00 a.m. And 4:00 a.m.), which was fine with me. I enjoyed my late night cuddle sessions, I just couldn't do it every 20 minutes x 2!

    Just like I did, you will find something that works for you and for them. :hug: I am sorry things are stressful with your parents, that certainly doesn't help things.
  9. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Thanks. I just put them in their cribs. They are both crying hysterically and my dad is constantly putting me down for it.
  10. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Accidental double post idk how to delete
  11. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    They cried for 15-20 mins. I went up after twenty to check on them. Sophie, the tough one, was asleep! Carter was crying coughing and gagging. He has a cold as do I. I gave him some meds( I know a lot of people are against meds for this young but he's been gagging from coughing so hard) some milk and he fell asleep in my arms. Sophie started crying after sleeping for 40 mins. Her eyes were closed but she was crying. I put her binky in and blanket against her face but she wasn't quieting down. I don't know if it was a nightmare or what but i picked her up and she quieted down after two mins. So far they are still asleep. I know I shouldn't pick them up but my dad was just stressing me out about it.
  12. 3under2!

    3under2! Well-Known Member

    Lots of hugs! :hug: :hug: :hug: What a tough situation!

    It's probably hard to 'lay down the law' with your parents, especially if they were your twins' primary caretakers for 6 whole months, but since you are the mommy and you are back in charge now, it would probably be in your best interest to figure out how you want to do things and then tell your parents, i.e., no more TV, no more rocking, etc etc. Be nice about it of course, with proper gratitude, but you will be paying for this for several years down the road at bedtime if you don't change it now, so it will pay to get your parents on board with whatever method you choose.
  13. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    :welcome: to TS!

    If they are sick I'm more lenient. I just try to muddle through until they are better. If that's TV or sleeping in your bed or on the couch, whatever. :hug:

    However, you have a problem that most of us don't. Your parents and you aren't on the same page and they are actively subverting you. I know they probably had their way of doing things while you were gone and that's ok, but now you are home and you are the parent. You need to come up with a plan, be it CIO or patting and shushing, whatever you decide, and they need to support you or get out of the way so you can do it.

    I did not do full-blown CIO at first- at 4 months mine were doing something similar so I started with 2 min intervals where I'd go in, reassure them, and leave. Usually it took about 10 min for them to fall asleep. Later we did do CIO when they were waking out of habit, but that was much harder. If you decide to do something you have to stick with it for a while. Otherwise you are teaching the kids to cry longer for you- and that is not the goal. :)

    I wish you the best of luck as being a single parent living with your parents has got to be all kinds of not fun. :girl_devil:
  14. lianyla

    lianyla Well-Known Member

    Get your parents some ear plugs and some for yourself. I'd go hard core here. They're plenty old. They don't need milk anymore at night. You are going to lose your dang mind if you keep this up and it's not good for them either.

    I would shut the door at 6pm and open it again at 6 am. It's going to take time and it won't be fun but in a week.. You'll be in heaven!

    I'm sorry. Your story sounds MISERABLE. I need my sleep or I become a nutcase!! I wish you the best in whatever you decide :) Good luck!!
  15. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Thanks everyone. The kids usually go for a nap around 12, I had hopes of moving their nap an hour later but Sophie was falling asleep in the playpen at 1130 so I put her in her crib she fell right asleep no fuss no crying but I didn't want carter to wake her so I put him in the packnplay downstairs he fussed for a bit but then fell asleep. Sophie slept for about 45 mins then woke up crying. After failed attempts she wouldn't go back to sleep. She was visibly tired but I could just tell she was done. And carter woke up right after her. So gave them lunch and we played for about two hours. They started laying down in the playpen about cuddling their blankets so I put them down for another nap at 3. Unusual time for them to go down for a nap but I'm not goin to deny them sleep. After 15 mins of crying, peace and quiet. It 345 now and I'm hoping for a decent nap. This CIO stuff is hard. I literally had to turn the monitor off and go outside. I turned it on every few minutes just to hear and the crying got quieter and less and less. We'll see how tonight goes. The major problem at bedtime is my dad. He tries to say the crying is hurting them this isn't right he wants no part in this etc etc. but thank you all for the support and advise. I searched the forum to read old posts by others doin CIO tbh seeing other people having a tough time with it helped me. Just wish they would have updated their posts saying whether or not it worked!

    Gah they woke up at 4. I just popped in rebinkyed kissed and left. They are getting quieter again. How do people do this. Im losing my mind! A husband would be handy right now to give me a damn break
  16. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

  17. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    I'll reply more later, cleaning to distract myself, put them down 30 mins ago, they screamed bloody murder for 10 minutes but now they are asleep. I know Sophie will wake up and I know she'll wake up Carter. Do I go in or just let them cry themselves back to sleep? Also we have a lullaby cd playing in there all night
  18. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    K they both just woke up screaming

    20 mins still screaming. This is horrible.
  19. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    Lexie be strong, you can do this... if you've decided CIO is for you, then you need to be consistent and do the same thing every night. I wouldn't go in if they wake after 20 minutes, no more going in to soothe, otherwise they know that if they cry long enough that you will go in. Turn the monitor off, go outside, or have a shower.. Just remember, you need to be strong otherwise as PP said, all this crying they've just done, is for nothing and you will still be in this position tomorrow night. Look at your goal and stick to it... think of it as something at work if you have to...

    But most of all remember, sleep is just as healthy for them as healthy food is... if they're not sleeping well at night, it's going to affect their behaviour and development. I second all the suggestions you've had here so far...

    And come back and vent whenever we are here to listen... Keep strong..
  20. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    They fell back asleep after 40 mins of straight screaming. Absolute screaming. I'm dreading that they are going to wake up. Everytime one makes a noise my heart drops. I think about having to put them to sleep all day. It terrifies me. I'm probably overreacting ATM because of all the screaming but damn this is hard. I realized I hear them screaming in my head I have the monitor next to me and from it all I hear is the lullaby cd but in my head I hear the screaming. I swear I'm losing it. I can't say it enough but thank you everyone for every single post. When I read something new on here it refreshes me, reassures me what I'm doing is right.
  21. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    I was this exact same way, and could have written every word of this many days/nights. The stress and panic that would come over me was awful. I could hear the constant screaming in my ears all the time. It took me months to actually be able to sleep through the night, even after the kids finally stopped waking because I always swore I could hear them screaming and my heart would start racing - through my closed door, fan on, no monitor! My ears were trained to hear the littlest peeps, I developed super sonic hearing! But I promise if you stick with it, it will get easier. A week from now, you'll look back and feel so much better, even though at the moment it feels like the worst thing in the world.
  22. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    I know you are really struggling and feeling overwhelmed, and I totally get it!

    Maybe you could tell us a bit about what your schedule is like with the babies during the day. Maybe there are some clues there that would help.

    Also, you said you have white noise - do you have blackout curtains? How about lovies or a small stuffed animal? Any chance they are teething (which always made my kids WAY worse in the sleep department).

    Our kids got hooked on rocking to sleep, too, and it was hard to break (long story as to how it happened, and I won't go into it). Before we did CIO, we gradually got them used to not rocking before bed. First, we made the last thing we did reading a few books, instead of a bottle, and then we would rock until they were half asleep, then just hold them for a few minutes, then put them down. Next we would just hold them, no rocking. Eventually, we tried to hold them until drowsy but awake, which didn't work so well, so at that point we did a modified CIO. It was very, very hard, and we didn't like it, but after 9 months of no sleep, we were desperate. We would go in at increasing intervals, pat and hug them, tell them that we loved them, and give them the paci back, but NOT pick them up. It took a bit, but it eventually worked.

    My parents, like yours, cannot stand to hear them cry, but thankfully we don't live with them! That makes things so, so hard. Maybe your parents need to go on vacation for a week or two.... :unsure:

    Hang in there and keep at it!! :grouphug:
  23. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Well it's 11:22 and they've been asleep since 9:25. I'm tiptoeing around, just dreading that they are going to wake up. Who could have thought two little innocent beautiful sleeping babies could terrify someone so badly. It's really good to know im not alone feeling like this. I took a shower and as soon as I turned the water on I heard screaming. I turned the water off and it stopped. All in my head.
  24. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    :hug: you are doing great and so are they right now. ;)
  25. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Thank yoooou. I just want to go cuddle them and tell them im sorry. I was gonna check on them but I'm not gonna even attempt it, if I woke them it would suck.
  26. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Well the kids wake up anywhere around 830-930, usually Sophie first then Carter. They got bottles and we play and such. They get breakfast shortly after that. By this time I turn tv on so I can drink my coffee and clean up. I know shame shame on me. They get tired around 1130. I'm trying to push this nap back until after lunch, around 1230,1ish. But the past few days they've been going to sleep before lunch around 12 and sleep 2-3 hrs. Then they get lunch we play a loooooot. Around 4-5 I take them for a walk if they had a short nap they take another during this. Then we play some more they get dinner around 6. Then baths then bottles, we relax and just play quietly then 8pm in their cribs. I used to give them bottles one by one while rocking them and put them to bed by rocking. I know it's a kinda crazy unscheduled day but I'm still getting back into the rhythm of taking care of my kids again. My parents had no schedule and I got back a little over a month ago.
  27. 3under2!

    3under2! Well-Known Member

    :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

    Sorry you are in such a tough situation!!! I'm not judging on the CIO, I know a lot of parents swear by it, but I could never stomach it. If you decide to change your method, I did a modified version of No Cry Sleep Solution (although with my singleton) and it was successful. It's a several week project, but my daughter was STTN at the end of it. Just to put the thought out there.

    Try not to let your parents get you down. Every time my mom comes to visit (my family is up in NY) I seriously feel like it's high school all over again (I'm 23)-I can't imagine living at home again! It must suck. We are all here for you though- come vent and complain as much as you want.
  28. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Thank you. I love this Website haha. Could you explain what you did a little more?
  29. 3under2!

    3under2! Well-Known Member

    Well, she was about 10 months old, a bit younger than your kids so I don't know how that would change things. I was also combining it with transitioning to crib (we coslept until I got pregnant lol) so it was different all around I guess. I did my bedtime routine with her (singing a few songs while sitting together on a chair) and then gave her hugs and kisses and put her in her crib. Then I wouldn't take her out again for the rest of the night, but I would still come in and comfort her, patting her back or whatever till she calmed down, and sit with her till she fell back asleep. She'd cry, but I felt less bad about it because I was in the room with her. It was absolute HELL (I was in the first trimester with my twins, remember) and I dreaded night time because I dreaded that whole process each night, but after 2-3 weeks, it just worked. One night she slept through the night, and it just kept on going (till it got messed up, but that's a whole other story lol). I think once she learned that there was nothing to get up for, she trained herself to stop getting up, if that makes any sense.

    I have no idea if any of that helped you lol, it might just be worth it to get the book or take it out of the library and see if you can get any ideas from it that would work for you.
  30. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member


    I remember dreading nightfall, instead of scary monsters coming out at dark, my non sleeping twins did!

    Keep it up, you are doing great!
  31. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    Been thinking of you all day, Lexie, (my day, your night before lol)... How did it all go?
  32. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    It went good. After their second fit of crying they slept from 925-610. About 2-3 hours earlier than when they normally get up but they didnt cry once between that time. Sophie woke up with a swollen eye though. I dont know if it's from crying or from hitting it, broke my heart when I saw it.
  33. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    8.5 hours is pretty great I'd say! Were you able to sleep at all?
  34. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    That's great! :hug:
  35. Lexieade

    Lexieade Active Member

    Actually no lol I woke up NONSTOP.
Similar Threads Forum Date
Why won't he stay asleep!? The Toddler Years(1-3) Sep 24, 2011
She's sick and won't sleep The Toddler Years(1-3) Apr 11, 2011
they share a room, and one won't sleep! The Toddler Years(1-3) Jan 25, 2011
up from 4:00am-6:00am, why won't he SLEEP! The First Year Dec 20, 2010
Won't sleep in big kids beds The Toddler Years(1-3) Oct 28, 2010

Share This Page