Sleep help, where do we go from here?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by parker362, May 16, 2013.

  1. parker362

    parker362 Member

    Hi Everyone,

    DH and I could use some help with our 13 week old twins. They were born at 37 weeks 4 days and since we brought them home we have always "helped" them fall asleep i.e. rocked, bopped, swung them to sleep. I think we are living to regret this now as we hold babies all day long!!! Well I do while DH is at work and then when he gets home we both hold babies!!

    They have always slept in their swings for naps (lately we have been trying their cribs again) but it seems the older they get the worse they are napping during the day. I am home alone all day while DH works and we have no help in the city.

    I have been reading a lot including starting Marc Weissbluth's book (although haven't finished it...who has time when you are holding babies day and night!!!) but can't seem to get any relief.

    Drowsy but awake?? How the heck does anyone do that? We get the babies fully asleep, never mind drowsy and the second we lay them down in their cribs they wake up. I think the swings used to help them through the natural 45 minute sleep cycle but that is no longer the case. If I manage to get them asleep and put them in their swings they wake up at 45 minutes...almost to the second!

    I thought maybe I was trying to make them sleep too much during the day (I try to follow Baby Whisperer's EASY, Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) so tried to keep them awake longer but about an hour after I started nursing them DS gets grumpy and seems to need to sleep and same for DD except at about an hour and a half after I nursed her. Right now they are nursing about every 2.5-3 hours.

    Night sleeps were better as well until recently. We used to be able to get at least 1 long stretch out of them, maybe 5 hours but now they are back to 3 hour stretches.

    From what I have read we are a bit early for sleep training still, most seem to say 4 months earliest. In the mean time we are desperate for help! I have no doubt the babies are overtired...tonight they have literally cried all night long. DS has real tears now and they break my heart! How am I ever going to sleep train them even when they are 4 months old??!!

    DH and I are both losing our minds a little. Holding babies at all times and they are so cranky!

    Does anyone have any suggestions? What were your days like when your LO's were 3 months old?

    Sorry if this is a bit of a ramble but clearly I am sleep deprived!!

  2. parker362

    parker362 Member

    I should also add that we still swaddle both as well as use white noise!
  3. 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
  4. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    With nursing I fed every 2 hours or so during the day. Around 3 months we worked on getting them to sleep without being held in swings. I let them fuss for a minute or two, gradually increasing the time I'd let them fuss- fuss, not frantic crying. Then around 4 months I worked on daytime naps happening in their cribs. Once they got that down we started with nighttime sleep. I tried to do the EASY routine but mine fell asleep better nursing down so I switched it to nursing them when they got up (if applicable- like first thing in the morning) then down for their naps. They didn't always fall asleep but a full belly ensured they were drowsy and ready to sleep when it was time.
  5. weegus

    weegus Well-Known Member

    I did EASY with my twins who were bottle fed breast milk. They were swaddled and took binkies for nap time. Their room was dark with white noise. Their schedule was text book... but they were STILL cat nappers. I always started them to sleep in their crib and when they woke after 45 minutes, I switched to the swing for the second half of their nap. They did eventually get to a longer nap on their own, but it wasn't until we switched to a 4 hour schedule instead of a 3 hour schedule.

    Now with my third son (singleton), he was nursed traditionally, hated being swaddled, and would not take a binky. He would settle beautifully with a few minutes nursing before nap time, but not enough that it would throw off my EASY schedule. He slept OK during the day but not so great at night for 10 long months.

    With my 4th, she was very similar to my third son but required more time nursing before bed. When I felt her eating slow down or stop, I unlatched her, stood rocking her in front of her bed, sang her a goodnight song, and put her in bed. If she was asleep, I gently rubbed her tummy until her eyes popped open and that was enough for her to know where she was. She would then settle right back in. I will say that when I did this, she slept much better. "Drowsy but awake" is really the way to go. But, the amount she nursed before nap threw EASY out the window... we did AESY instead. I didn't give up easily because the Baby Whisperer was in my head about starting a habit and being a human prop, but it has worked beautifully. Could be worth a try. And it's never too early to start a bedtime routine, even if it is a cuddle and a song!

    One more thing I did for her was I bought a velour crib sheet from Carter's. It is a super soft sheet and feels warmer than a cotton sheet so her bed wasn't cold when I put her in it. I really love that sheet and do think that helped! Good luck!
  6. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    They can not sleep TOO much at this age.
    I know others like the eat, activity, sleep routine but it never worked for us. I concentrated on sleeping and eating. they got activity on their own time ;) It was just one more thing for me worry about. i didn't think about it and it took care of itself at this age. Also, full tummys seem to make sleeping easier! (my LOs had to sit up 30 minutes because of acid reflux but if they fell asleep sitting up, no problem)

    Sleep is so tricky because there is no hard fast rule. Every baby is different.
    It is nearly impossible to teach an over-tired baby to self sooth. In your place, I would start by doing whatever i had to do to get them as much sleep as possible.

    Do Whatever, works:
    -swings if they work
    -have you tried the Moby wrap or other carrier? (my personal lifesaver!)
    -some people have luck going in to sooth them just before the 45 minute mark and sushing, patting baby back to sleep.
    -put them back down for a nap ONE HOUR after waking (for now, never more than 1.5 hours awake time)... i know that sounds crazy but by the time they are showing signs of being tired you have missed the window!

    my problem when they got overtired is their naps got short and the entire schedule went to hello. They were ready to sleep again before it was time to eat and then hungry again before they were suppose to wake up!!! It is a huge juggling act. I wish I had a schedule that would allow for those variables. The only thing i can tell you is make their sleep your number one priority, with keeping them on the same schedule a close second.

    Can you and DH trade off night shift? Having a longer block of sleep time made a big difference for me.

    Once they are less tired you can start working on sleeping in the crib and self-soothing. Start with the easier of the two babies and put him/her down when s/he is almost asleep. I remember this goal as being daunting. I just took it in small steps. In the beginning, if i thought they were any little bit tired, i rocked them completely to sleep and saved the sooth-yourself practice for the days (moments) when I felt they were ready to do it. Gradually you decrease how sleepy they are when you lie them down. I did one baby at a time and made that baby's sleep my priority.

    Another thought - perhaps they are dependent on motion for sleep. Not every baby will have this dependency but maybe others who have experience with this can give you some advice about how to break the habit. My thought is to put them in the swing and once they are sleeping well, stop the motion. turn it back on around the 45 minute mark and then back off again once they are through the first cycle. Gradually decreasing how long much motion they need to stay asleep.

    Take one issue at a time and don't be afraid to back up and start again if you see sleep is going the 'wrong direction'.

    You CAN do this!
  7. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    I tried to add to my post and by the time i got back to post it wouldn't let me -
    so this is continued from previous post.

    first step -
    IMHO the best plan for now is to put them down sooner for naps. They need 14+ hours of sleep per day so if they can only sleep 45 minutes for naps and are waking at night they need LOTS of naps.

    They didn't get behind over night and they won't catch up over night. Keep working at it.
    You CAN do this!
  8. parker362

    parker362 Member

    Thanks everyone!

    Ok so I guess my plan for now is to try to get them to sleep earlier. I suspect I am waiting too long as well. I wish I could nurse them to sleep but that doesn't seem to work with my babes. They both always have big burps and spit up after nursing so if I lay them down the gas just wakes them up.

    I have tried wearing them in a baby bjornn but mostly DD likes it because she is close to me and has so much to look around at! LOL I don't have a moby wrap but maybe time to look into it as I have heard lots talk about it. Daisies, were you nursing? Did you find wearing them in the Moby caused issues with blocked ducts? I just find any time I have held the babies on one side too long or in the baby bjornn it causes my ducts issues.

    Also question about the pacifier, DS sometimes falls asleep with it in his mouth still sucking. As soon as it pops out he wakes. Does this mean when he is still sucking he isn't really sleeping or is he??
  9. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Definitely try the Moby. It is much more snuggly than the bjorn and you can hold them more at an angle.. better for sleeping.

    In regards to the pacifier - they can suck and sleep at the same time. He probably looses it in deep sleep and then as he moves into lighter sleep in the sleep cycle he looks for it to sooth himself OR he is just uncoordinated and looses it while sucking.
    :headbang: It is a pain to always be putting it back. I remember wondering if there was ever going to be an end to that and wishing they would hurry up and figure out how to get it back in their mouths themselves. Before they could even learn put it into their mouths with their hands they learned to wiggle over and grab it with their mouths (while swaddled!). :clapping: lol . They didn't always succeed but that decreased my replacement duties.
    Until then i just kept replacing it. I didn't touch them or say anything and they would go back to sleep. DS (my big paci dropper) stayed in our room a little longer so i could return it without really waking up.

    For the gas you might try boppies to prop them after feeding. both of my LOs had acid reflux and became painful if laid down too soon after eating. Put in the back of your head that if their spitting up or discomfort seems to be worse to talk to your doctor about possible acid reflux. Although many, many babies spit up and never have pain.

    I was nursing but only like 50% of the time. I never made a full supply. I have not heard that baby wearing could be related to blocked ducts. It was not the case for me. (there was a period when i wore ds about 3 to 4 hours a day.) that would be a good question for the breastfeeding and pumping forum.. you might get more responses if you post there.

    Glad you are asking questions! Finding out what worked for other moms really helped me figure out what would work for my babies. You know your babies best. Trust your instincts.
  10. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I nursed Annabelle and used the Moby- it doesn't compress your breasts so it might fit you better.
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