Keeping them on the same schedule

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by waitingfortwins, May 2, 2013.

  1. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    I have 3.5 mth old twins and am finding it hard to keep them on a schedule. When one wakes up from a nap the other goes down or one eats and the other eats a half hr or hr later depending on their naps. I find the only way to get them back on the same schedule is a car ride or stroller ride where they both sleep.

    Do other moms keep their twins on the same schedule? I find their awake times different which results in different nap times.
  2. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    We kept our kids on schedule mostly, but I think that was more due to our good luck with having kids who were amenable to that. I think you have to find what works for you; if you find that a schedule would work better for you, I would suggest just feeding the other when the first one gets fed, putting them both down when the first one is tired.. just keep doing that for a few weeks until they start to get the hint! Any kind of change our routine takes a few weeks to settle in though before you start tweaking it, so be patient. I think you'll find that you have a lot more time to do other things (or take a breather) once they're doing the same thing at the same time.

    Another approach would be to find one common nap time a day and then let the rest of the day be a bit more unstructured? Play around and figure out what works!
  3. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    I don't keep mine on the same schedule yet. I may move toward that as they become toddlers but for now we are pretty much still on demand, except for solids feedings. I have found that one of my girls needs more sleep than the other.
  4. Lou_1

    Lou_1 Member

    I'm having issues lately as well. It is very frustrating. They used to both sleep a lot. Now they hardly sleep during the day. I always feed them at the same time. Sometimes one will fall asleep (while nursing) and the other stays up. Then when the one that stayed up gets tired and falls asleep the one that slept first wakes up. Never ending cycle!!! Good thing is most nights they do go to sleep at the same time. And only one of my girls wakes up once to eat in the middle of the night. I really don't know how to get them napping during the day. I think i've given up and just live with it.
  5. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    Lou1- thats alot like my twins (b ang g). My DS can stay awake longer than my DD by a half hr or so. I used to keep my DD up so they both slept at the same time but then one would wake up earlier while the other kept sleeping.

    Both go down to bed st the same time- well we feed them at the same time but lately my DD has been going down an hr later bc she's overtired.
  6. Lou_1

    Lou_1 Member

    Most of their sleep during the day is while they nurse. As soon as I put them down their eyes open wide (on occasion Emilila will stay asleep but for a very short time)! I'm just going to go with the flow for now. Hopefully later on I can get them back on track. I really can't get much done during the day. I've read a few books and they always does get easier!! :)
  7. lcjackman

    lcjackman Well-Known Member

    I try really hard to keep them on the same schedule and I would say about 90% of the time it works out for us. My dd seems to need more sleep so it's generally ds that wakes up first. I always give her a few more minutes to sleep before getting her up and feeding them together. They go down for naps at the same time. I find as long as they're up within a few minutes of each other in the morning they stay pretty in sync for the rest of the day.
  8. rayceryin12

    rayceryin12 Well-Known Member

    We have for the most part kept the boys on the same schedule. I think if you work at it, it does work, just not always.
  9. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    We keep ours on the same schedule. My wife would go bonkers if they weren't. You would not have any time to yourself. Naps were the hardest to work on but after we did the CIO method, it was definitely easier. If one woke up earlier then the other we leave her in there. Most of the time she would talk to herself and eventually fall asleep again. When it was time to wake them up then we would wake both of them up whether they were sleeping or awake.
  10. Nanny88

    Nanny88 Well-Known Member

    I have always had the boys on the same schedule. If one ate so did the other one. I always lay them down for their naps at the same time and get them up at the same time. If one wakes earlier from his nap he just has to stay in his bed until his brother is ready to wake up. I have always done this so they expect it. One day this week one of the boys only slept 1.5 hours and the other slept 3 hours but I know that if I had gotten the first baby up he would have been ready to go to bed way to early. Once you get them on a schedule it is great! I wrote mine out ahead of time and then went with it. It usually takes a week or 2 of following it before they know what to expect. I started the schedule at 3 months old. This is also when I trained them to sleep in their crib(swaddled with a noise machine) This was our 3 month old schedule. I had them on a eat/play/nap schedule. I wrote this back last year when they were 3 months

    Mine our 3 months(1 month adjusted age)I would try to feed the on at 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm, and then do 2 night feedings when the 1st one wakes. I have started sleeping the twins in the cribs last Tuesday. They have done great! Previously they were only sleeping in their swings. I do let them cry some but it is not the full CIO I do more of a fussy it out. If they are full out crying for more them 5 minutes I will go it and get them. Change them, reswaddle them, give them a passy, etc. If they will not go back to sleep I bring them out and they finish their nap in the swing or bouncy seat. I do not feed them except for at their assigned feeding times otherwise they are not hungry enough to eat. If they start crying before I get there in the morning their mom puts them in their swings and they swing until I get them out to feed them at 9am. They fuss but go back to sleep.

    I'd structure the day something like this(all feedings are 4-4.5 oz):

    5-6am they wake on their own and are given a bottle then straight back to bed. This is still a night feeding. When one wakes they other one is woken up and both are fed. Sometime they are moved to their swings if they don't want to go back to sleep but we are trying to keep them in their bed for sleeping
    9am wake for the morning and get bottle,
    9:30 change diaper and put on daytime clothes. Play on floor, in bouncy seat or I hold them while and hold toys up etc. I will read them book while they are playing. Sometimes I read them kids books and sometime I just read out loud from my chapter book.
    10am naptime I have been taking them on a walk around this time and they sleep in the stroller. I get my exercise and they sleep most of the time we are out. I have been going on a power walk for a hour then I push the stroller inside the house and they finish their nap in the stroller while I fix their bottles and wait for them to wake. It want them to be able to nap in their stroller if they need to when we are out. If it is raining they go down for a nap in their crib at 10-10:30.
    12 wake up and get bottle
    12:30 play time same as at 9:30
    1:30 naptime this one is always in their crib
    3-4 When they wake on their own I feed them a bottle
    4-7 play time
    8 bath taken a bath seems to make them tired and sleep better at night
    8:30 bottle
    9 bed for the night
  11. lcjackman

    lcjackman Well-Known Member

    So I have a question... for those that leave the twin that wakes up first in bed, do you leave him/her there even if they're crying or do they not cry? My ds is usually up first but he cries til I go in.
  12. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    It depends on how far into the nap they are. We have 2 hour naps. If one wakes up 30 min into their nap and starts crying we leave her in there. Eventually, they just fall asleep, usually takes 5-10 min. If they slept for an hour and a half then we might wake up both of them early from their nap. This will also depend on their crying. Most of the time if they wake early they're just fussing and not crying so we ignore them. We did use the CIO method so we follow the same principle for naps. As for worrying that the crying would wake up the other baby, we're lucky, we don't have that problem. Either of our babies seem to be able to sleep through any fussing or crying.
  13. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    At 3 months, we followed a schedule almost exactly like Nanny88 described. The one difference was we did not do motion (swings, cars, stroller) sleep. DS did not sleep well in motion. He would appear to sleep well but then would behave as if he hadn't had a nap.

    Do not wake a sleeping baby does not apply to twins. If it is time to eat i wake who ever was sleeping. After the day starts feeding is the only part of the schedule you can absolutely control.
    If you can get them up in the morning at the same time this will help. Also the first nap is REALLY important at this age. EARLIER then you can imagine. I use to feel like it was marathon to get them up feed them and get them back down for their first nap.

    ^^ Yes this worked for us also!

    My LOs needed different amounts of sleep also. I tried to put DS (who needed more) down first every time. They were together at night but i separated them for naps so he could have extra nap time. (sometimes 30 minutes, but even 15 minutes was helpful). I would adjust their next nap time as a compromise between the two wake up times.
    Also, as they got a little older about every 10 days i would toss the schedule out for one day for DS. As soon as he looked sleepy i'd put him back to bed. I kept DD on the normal schedule. It made for a crappy day but then i would have a rested baby again. :)

    This is the age when they need to start learning to self-sooth. Self-soothing will mean that they can fall asleep without your assistance AND it means they can go back to sleep in the middle of the night without your assistance. So, better sleep for you and for them!
    They won't learn to self sooth without your help. The basic rule is to put them down sleepy but awake so they can learn to be in their beds and fall asleep. You gradually reduce how sleepy they are when you lay them down, until many months from now you go your bed/nap time routine (swaddle, book, backrub, etc.), put them in their beds, say 9t-9t and walk away.
    If you haven't read, 'Healthy Sleep Habit, Happy Child' by Marc Weissbluth, get it! I have no doubt that this book changed our life for the better. You need information to know what your child needs, many of the signals our babies give us are confusing. Rested kids are so much fun and tired kids just aren't fun.

    Figuring out what works best for your LOs is a constant challenge and what they need will continually change as they get older. It is so worth the effort!
    I found this forum a great place to get good advice and also help me look ahead to what was coming up next for my kiddos.
    I am glad this tread was started!
  14. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    It sounds like that is working for you!

    We did something a little different -
    In the morning the rule is we do not go in until X time no matter what. Well, of course i would go if the crying was hysterical, or painful. I think that has only happened once. they know we don't come until 7 and usually play happily or fuss just a little. Many times they go back to sleep. Some how they know when it is 7:00. 7:01 their tone changes to 'hey, get in here, it is time!'.

    For naps we separated them to allow for the extra sleep DS needs. I will leave them in their beds at nap time if they wake to early. Often they will go back to sleep after a little fussing.
  15. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    Amy- when did you start CIO or sleep training? My twins are 3.5 months and I've been slowly working on the day naps but not so much on the bedtime routine. Right this minute both are going through some growth spurt or clingyness type behavior but I am getting tired trying to put them down to nap..Like today I ended up nursing to sleep/drowsy- put DD in swing and DS in crib and both DD cried hysterically for 15 minutes before falling asleep (way over tired) and DS cried and fussed but eventually calmed down. I don't really like them crying for more than 10 min at a time and if they are hysterical- in the crib- then I get them but not so much in the swing.

    It can take me anywhere between 10 min per kid to 30 min per kid to soothe to sleepy state if I don't catch them at the sleepy state but the fatigue/overtired state. My babies nap way too short and this is recent- I believe a few weeks ago I could get an hour or two out of both of them but then my DD would have 45 or 50 min naps while DS still had over an hour and then he too started having 45 and 50 min naps. Now I'm surprised if they reach the 30 min mark! Why the change?

    Is this short nap in relation to their night sleep b/c that is changing too. DS was sleeping through the night (7 pm till 6 am) with no feed while DD woke up once to feed. Now DS is waking up once or twice to feed and DD is waking up 3 or 4x to feed (two of those times are within 30 min to an hour of putting her down).

    I know there is a four month sleep regression but they are going through a growth spurt as they are ravenous and hungry all the time. I'm resorting to nursing and wearing and using a paci to put them down and no longer really trying to put them in the crib during the day (as I was working on a month or so ago).
  16. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Now is the perfect time to start sleep training.
    I don't remember the age when i first did CIO. I started with check and console and only switched to CIO when I knew they could self sooth but were reverting back to relying on me to sooth them or when waking had become a bad habit.
    My DS did very well with check and console for a long time. But i stopped it fairly early with my DD b/c she is so social. Consoling her just served to wake her up.
    what works is different for every baby. I do believe every baby eventually benefits from CIO but the timing when it is best applied is different for every baby. Only you can figure that out.
    Also, CIO works best and takes a shorter time if the child is well rested, knows how to self sooth and all previous night and nap attention has been given with awareness of not making baby dependent on mom/dad to return to sleep.

    Personally, I would not attempt CIO until i could lay baby down sleepy but awake and have them fall asleep without too much fuss.
    Also, if you decide to do CIO, it only works if you are consistent. It is very hard on mom/dad to listen to baby cry! Harder than i could imagine it would be. I am not saying don't do it.. i am saying if/when you do it, be firm with yourself and set yourself and baby up for success. (teach them to self-sooth first)

    If i had to guess what is going on with your LOs i would guess they have a sleep deficit. i know, how did they get that when they were sleeping fine and nothing changed, right!?! Sleep at this age is tricky and missing 5, 10 minutes can put them behind. Growth spurts, developmental leaps, and teeth can all cause missed sleep. In my experience once they are having multiple problems sleeping it is mostly because of a sleep deficit (regardless of the original cause). You can't do anything about teeth, development, etc. (except maybe tylenol for teeth) but you can help with sleep.
    The ridiculous part is that when babies are over tired they sleep LESS! And the cycle begins. Some signs that might indicate an over tired baby are:
    -shortened naps
    -disturbed night sleep
    -trouble falling asleep
    -early waking (my personal favorite- hear sarcasm)
    -of course, crabbiness
    -over excited, 'wired' behavior (another favorite.. i only recognize this after the fact)

    What you can do:
    -give them every opportunity to sleep. for now, naps have to happen before they are tired. At this age i put them back to bed after no more than 2 hours. I felt like all i did was put them back to sleep. If they are over tired and 2 hours isn't working try 1.5 hours. For the first nap 1 hour might be better. I also did a lot of baby wearing. Right now, anything goes to get them sleeping. It is exhausting especially when they need you to hold/nurse/sooth them. the goal is to make the effort now so you can move to the next thing...
    -teach them to self-sooth so they fall asleep on their own and can return to sleep if they wake too early. Put them down sleepy but awake. this is easier once they are rested so you may have to work to get them caught up first before trying this.
    -read 'healthy sleep habits, happy child' by Marc Weissbluth, so you know where they are developmentally on sleep patterns and can predict the next stage. (Remember, if they were premature to consider adjusted age)

    between 3 to 4 months the morning nap develops (between 9 & 10am). Watch and concentrate on this nap. I remember this as being a rough time for us as well. I was always second guessing myself to try to get them to this time frame or go with the cues and put them down earlier. The good news is a more reliable morning nap is in your future.

    They didn't get over-tired over night and you won't fix it over night but you can fix it.

    here is an interesting fact - only well rested babies yawn when they are tired. so if you see yawning you are going the right direction!
  17. lcjackman

    lcjackman Well-Known Member

    Ok I'm liking this thread! Mine are nearly 4 months old and were having great (great=long!) naps until a couple of weeks ago. Their naps have gone from a couple of hours to an hour and sometimes only about 50 mins. They are however sleeping 12 hours at night with only 1 night feeding max for ds. They go down for all naps and at night easily but it seems to me that their naps should be longer? I have pkayed around with the length of awake time but it doesn't seem to make a difference.
  18. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Sleep always gets a little rocky during transition periods.
    Before 3 to 4 months babies sleep when they are tired. At about this time biology begins to tell them WHEN to sleep. The first nap to develop is the morning nap. Watch for them to be sleepy around 9 or 10am. The same way that it is easier for you to sleep at night, it is easier for a baby to sleep within this 9:00 to 10 window.

    Amazing to me.. all over the world babies between the ages of 4 to 12 months are sleeping at approx. 9am.!!
    --don't forget to use adjusted age if your LOs were preemie.

    At this age, for short naps, you always try to put them down earlier rather than later, UNLESS (this is what makes sleep so interesting and frustrating) they are ready biologically to establish the morning nap (9:00). So if you have tried adjusting the awake times, try aiming for that 9 to 10 window. some things you might do to help reach this window:
    -wake them at 7 so they are tired at 9:00
    -gradually stretch their awake time until you reach 9:00

    Somethings that might help get them on the morning nap schedule:
    - morning light will help set their internal clocks
    - fresh air in the morning might help you keep them up until the 9 window and help them sleep better once they go to sleep.

    all of the above comes from HSHHC by Wiessbluth (i am sure people get sick of hearing about him from me) But he is my go to guy for sleep.. i still refer to his book.
  19. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    i check my book for the age to start CIO. Weissbluth says not before 4 months.

    Also some pointers to help sooth
    - encourage sucking
    - rhythmic rocking motion
    - swaddling
    - massage
  20. waitingfortwins

    waitingfortwins Well-Known Member

    Thanks Amy for your advice! I'm still a bit confused about CIO and self soothe. If I start putting them down sleepy but awake they always cry! so isn't that CIO? I mean i don't let them cry for an hour but 12 min at the most. I also know that if they are over tired I shouldn't try self soothing until they are more well rested. And I'm having a hard time with the twin situation- I soothe one to sleep and let them cry/fuss it out then I soothe the other to sleep but when I put them down to cry/fuss it out they wake up the other twin!

    BTW I am reading Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I also read his Your Fussy Baby book. He really promotes an earlier bedtime but it seems with my LO's- my DS likes going to bed at 7ish and my DD could go to bed later like around 8. I'm actually having a really really hard time before bedtime- the 4-7 block.

    They eat at 4 or sometimes 5 and for some reason I have a hard time putting them down- I sometimes do a stroller ride or ergo them but it isn't always conducive to our living arrangements currently (dinner is "served" around this time via the Grandparents). Dr. Weissbluth basically says that if they don't sleep during the block to bump their bedtime earlier- but that would mean they would go to bed at 5 or 530..or sometimes 6 and I just feel that's too early. We did try a 630 bedtime but it really didn't have much difference IMHO. But then again I only did it for one day.
  21. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

  22. lcjackman

    lcjackman Well-Known Member

    Awesome, thanks daisies. I've had HSHHC since my four year old was born (best gift ever) but she was a rockstar sleeper and did exactly what the book said she'd do exactly when it said she'd do it! These 2 are doing great too in the grand scheme of things!
    1 person likes this.
  23. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I would put them down at 5:30 or 6:00. It's not forever.
  24. dab_20

    dab_20 Member

    I find the best way to get them on the same schedule is to kind of force it. I always feed my twins at the same time, if one is sleeping I will wake the other up to feed. Sometimes it's a struggle if one is sleepy and not hungry but I just change her and get her awake to eat. If they weren't on the same feeding schedule I would go insane. lol
    Their naps are the same probably about 70% of the time. If one is taking a nap and the other is awake, it's fine with me, it's a good opportunity for some one on one time with them. I find if they feed at the same time and go to bed at night at the same time, the rest of the schedule just kind of falls into place.
  25. eroltoksoy

    eroltoksoy New Member

    Cheers ladies and gents

    We have 8 month boys. We try to keep schedule of both. We feed bathe and sleep them simultaneously. Some how everything keeps working except waking time because mostly one of them wakes up earlier than the other one. If it is too early after we put them to bed we try to re-sleep early one again. Actually my wife tries to spend some quality time with each one separately but it is really hard and sometimes even impossible. What I wanted to know is how you put them to sleep? Because if we just put them to their beds they keep each other awake by crying or talking ( no ofcourse they are not talking at 8 months old they just imitate some words unconsciously ) so we have to keep them in our laps and sing them lullabies to comfort them before half-sleep and then put to bed. But it is very hard because then my wife cant sleep them on her own she alwas needs some one for the other twin. We also fear that they will never go to sleep on their own in their beds and always need us to keep them in our arms before going to sleep. So I am curious about how you mange to sleep them seperately. FYI: they have one common room and two seperate beds not far away.

    Than k you all for support in advance.
  26. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    They kind of just get used to the other one. Even now at 5, my kids can sleep through major noisy issues with their sibling (still same room, separate beds).
  27. paperclippy

    paperclippy Well-Known Member

    Okay, I have schedule questions and I figure this thread already has so much good info it is the right place to post. Our girls are 12 weeks, 3 weeks adjusted. They're just starting to sleep longer at night (4.5 hours the other night! Amazing!). My husband and I are both home with them right now but I go back to work in a couple weeks (then he will stay home with them full time). We feed on demand, and our schedule is really different from day to day depending on when they get hungry and how long they sleep at night. I'm wondering about how to get them onto a schedule so that when I go back to work we have something regular to work with. I'd like to be able to feed before I leave for work and feed when I get home, and pump twice at work (plus breastfeed overnight, though they seem to sleep better if they take a bottle of breastmilk instead).

    In any case I'm wondering when they are likely to be okay with being on a schedule. Also wondering when daytime sleep stops being sleep and starts being "naps" -- right now we leave them up if they're awake and put them down if they're falling asleep instead of having scheduled nap times.
  28. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Hooray for 4.5 hours!!

    Our NICU had our LOs on a 3 hour feeding schedule and we didn't changed it, except to begin letting them wake us at night.
    I would recommend a chart. writing down who does what when, will help you figure out patterns and will help you make small adjustments that will make keeping them on the same schedule easier. It is also makes it easier for the working parent to step in when they get home.

    The first nap to develop is the morning nap at around 3 to 4 months adjusted age so you have a while to go before you start to see consolidated day sleep. the night sleep should get better and better though.

    If you haven't read 'healthy sleep habits, happy child' by marc weissbluth i highly recommend it.. preferably before they are 12 weeks (adjusted). It made our life so much better!

    Again, hooray for 4.5 hours..
    isn't it amazing what a little extra sleep can do for your perspective!
  29. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    Yep, we followed the NICU three hour schedule and then pushed to 3.5 and 4 at the direction of our ped as they got older.

    Ditto the chart suggestion. It will help you recognize routines so that you can become more deliberate with timing. I'd also go ahead and feed the second baby when the first demands (to try to sync things up).

    4.5 hours is awesome! Woo!
  30. paperclippy

    paperclippy Well-Known Member

    They came home on a 3 hour schedule from the NICU, but that went out the window when they started growth spurting and wanted to eat more frequently. The last couple of nights haven't been as successful and they've been really fussy in between feeds -- we had been trying out medicine for reflux for them but didn't think it was helping so we stopped it, but I started it up again today in case it's what made the difference in their sleep.

    Anyway, we do have a chart, but basically all I get from it is that they want to eat at different times every day. Sometimes they get hungry early so we feed them early and sometimes they go longer at night, so their feeding times rotate 1-2 hours every day from the previous day. Then they do things like how at 5:00 this morning Allison nursed for 27 minutes (a new record) and Cecilia gave up after 4 minutes. Then of course Cecilia was hungry an hour later and Allison was totally asleep.

    Thanks for the book recommendation, I'll definitely check it out!
  31. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    My DS's ONLY symptom of reflux is disturbed sleep and unwillingness to drink large (normal) amounts. He never did a lot of throwing up.
    Also, a note about reflux meds.. most Dr. start with Zantac but they don't tell you that Zantac is very dependent on weight. Surprise babies grow fast and therefore need constant does adjustments for Zantac. :headbang:
    we ended up on omeprazole (aka prilosec) because with his symptoms by the time i realized it wasn't working we were 4 days into miserable.

    It sounds like you are doing everything right. you will figure it out. It will get easier.
  32. paperclippy

    paperclippy Well-Known Member

    Well, we gave them the zantac yesterday and last night they went 4.5 hours and 4 hours between feedings, so I guess that must have been the problem? We'll see what happens over the next few days I guess. They've been totally asleep most of this morning too except when they're hungry.
  33. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Ahhh, sleeping babies are happy babies!
    It looks very hopeful that you have found the problem! Keep us posted!

    .. make sure to see my previous post about Zantac and weight gain... I am still mad at my Doc for not telling me how sensitive to weight it is!
    Hopefully advance warning will save your little ones the pain.
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