Undoing the damage

29 Mar

so i may have broken the babies…at least with regard to sleep. it isn’t that they don’t sleep. It’s that they don’t sleep well. Or consistently. There have been a few nights (I can count them on one hand) when at least one baby – usually Cindy Lou – slept for more than five hours at a clip. I’m not unreasonable. They are infants – still newborns by some assessments – so getting up once or twice makes sense. I don’t expect twelve hour stretches (not that I would look that gift horse in the mouth…) but we need something to bend so it doesn’t break…

For close to the first two weeks we were home we all camped out downstairs with a swing and a bouncy seat and a pack n play – away from cribs and beds and other sleep associated things. Then we decided it was time to move on up. We put the wigglers together in a crib for about three weeks. Commence constant night waking. Lots of breastfeeding and supplementing and soothing. It wasn’t pretty for any of us. Usually m or I could be found asleep in the glider with one or both babies precariously sprawled across us. Then I saw the amazing lactation consultant who suggested among other things – co-sleeping so I could BF laying down with the wigglers always within arms reach. The promise of sleep was so enticing. So we gave it a try and put the wigglers between us in bed. And that is where they have spent their nights since then. Most nights they fall asleep downstairs with each of us holding one baby. Then we head upstairs whenever we are ready for bed (or wake up from a usually blissful doze on the couch). Often a wiggler will squawk to be fed once they are in bed and so begins our night. I am all for feeding hungry babies. But I am starting to think I am offering up the boob a little too often at night. Fussing that would likely be easily calmed is placated with a feeding. And I am up every two to three hours to feed someone. Nap time is an entirely different debacle. Let’s just say I have pretty much let them sleep where they want when they want. I figured a schedule would emerge when it should. Baby led napping if you will. And how is this working out you ask? Not so well. Naps are sporadic. And all over the place. And definitely not in sync with one another. Which essentially means I am holding at least one baby pretty close to all the time. Fun but exhausting. I appreciate showers and eating meals with more than one hand and even throwing in the occasional load of laundry unencumbered.

We have cribs. Two cribs actually. They are quite lovely. And we are hoping they will get some use because quite honestly we can’t share our bed much longer. We aren’t family bed people. And the wigglers are getting big. And well, I don’t want to go to bed at 7:00pm at night (perhaps I should but I don’t). So we have started trying to transition the wigglers to their room. And their cribs. But should they really CIO? It seems too harsh and they are still so little. Should we rock them to sleep and then lay them in their respective cribs (we have separated them now that magoo outweighs his sister by almost three pounds)? If we rock them how do you put one down without waking the other? Should we put down and soothe without picking up once in their cribs? Truth be told we are muddling through. The only thing we know at this point is they need sleep. And we need sleep. And we would like at least some of it to take place in a crib. Suggestions?


2 Responses to “Undoing the damage”

  1. definingfamily 6 TueUTC2011-03-29T15:55:01+00:00UTC03bUTCTue, 29 Mar 2011 15:55:01 +0000 2009 at 3:55 PM #

    No suggestions from me yet… but I remember a few fabulous puffer posts about twin sleeping. Her posts are the best at detailing what she has tried that works and doesn’t. I recall a modified CIO method that seemed to work wonders with her twins. I can’t remember how old the boys were at that time?

  2. Pufferfish 6 TueUTC2011-03-29T19:48:54+00:00UTC03bUTCTue, 29 Mar 2011 19:48:54 +0000 2009 at 7:48 PM #

    Indeed Puffer did post all about this!

    The post start here:

    I’ve heard that breaking the co-sleeping habit is hard.

    It’s all HARD. It’s hard not to be getting good sleep–both for them and for yourself. My twins were on the very small side, so we had keep feeding them in the night. For us–as it sounds like for you–it was about GETTING them to go to sleep. You sound OK with feeding them in the middle of the night, just like I was. So, it’s not about sleeping through the night–that will come. We didn’t push that, we let them go at their pace and it happened at 7 months naturally.
    But, we started the sleep training at 5 months (4 months adjusted). Our ped said we could start one month earlier, but we were traveling in Argentina (I have no idea how we did that looking back) and waited until we came back.

    You’ll have to do what you feel the most comfortable with, but for us, ultimately, we had to do CIO after nothing else worked.
    What I had to keep remembering is “what they want is you, but what they NEED is sleep”. Uninterrupted sleep is good for everyone.

    You can always PM me if you have questions–glad to help. Your story sounds very much like mine, well, not the co-sleeping part, but similar.

    Good luck. You haven’t broken them, you just have to re-train them and break some habits!

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