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At my breaking point...help!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have 10 month twins, and I am at my breaking point. I actually googled how to CIO twins. I would never do it, but the thought that I actually looked it up, makes me want to puke

For naps, I used to be able to nurse them, put one in a swing, one in a bouncy chair, turn on the TV and walk away. Five minutes later, they would be sleeping. This past week, it's been absolute torture, as they will not have this routine anymore and it ends up being 30-45 minutes of crying/switching off between twins to see who is more tired.

At night time, they have always woken up frequently, but it's getting to the point where I am going insane. They sleep well for the first hour, then they are up either every hour, or every 15 to 20 minutes. If it's a good night, I might have 2 hours of continuous sleep. They're not sick anymore, and they're not teething (DS has 8 teeth, and DD has 4!). I think they wake each other up (they share a crib - no room to get 2 cribs). I need to have them in the same room, because if they're in separate rooms, I won't be able to get any sleep walking back and forth between rooms)

I try to nurse them back to sleep, and will either put one in the crib, or just sleep with one baby. But, sleeping with one baby is difficult because I only have a twin bed in the nursery, and if the other wakes, then I have to carefully put the sleeping baby that was on the bed, into the crib, so that I can bring the crying/awake baby to bed to nurse. Does that make sense?? Last night, DD woke up and stayed awake for 2 hours. When I finally got her to sleep, DS woke up and I was up for a while getting him back to bed...and then the cycle continued.

I try not to wake DH because he needs to be able to function at work, and I usually try to nap during the day when the twins nap.

But, I'm going back to work in January, and this.cannot.continue. I will be a basket case.

I have no help during the day. My parents only come over (they live across town and are older) twice a week to pick up DD1 from school and stay for 40 minutes, enough time for me to make dinner. I pick up DD1 the other days.

Thoughts? How do you co-sleep with 10 month old twins who wake frequently? We coslept with DD1 when she was a baby, so I'm not opposed to it. I just don't "get it"...what size bed is a good size? what happens when they wake and don't want to go back to sleep?

H.E.L.P. Please!
post #2 of 17
i just want to say how much i know what you are feeling. my almost 9 month olds are horrible sleepers and it affects every minute of the day....doing any task is difficult on very little sleep.

my guys start out the night in their own crib. in a fit of desperation we separated them about a month ago. when theywake up i move them into a full size bed with me. i sleep in the middle, the bed is up against the wall and one of the cribs is on the other side. i sleep in between them. not very nice for my back but ah well.
post #3 of 17
poor thing. sleep deprivation was the most challenging aspect of raising twin babies for me, so my heart goes out to you.

when we were in the throws of that, someone on this board suggested the "no cry sleep solution" book. it did not make them into sleep through the night babies, but it did help A LOT. i had forgotten much of the practical sleep stuff that we practiced with our olders in my tired haze.

also, we had purchased a king size mattress (it is nothing fancy, but does the trick) and ended up putting it on the floor (no frame). i turned our master bedroom into a giant crib. babies slept with me, which meant that when they woke, i rolled from side to side to nurse and they went right back to sleep most times. this may help you, rather than having to get out of bed, pick them up, wait for them to nod off, etc. since the mattress was on the floor, i was not worried about them rolling/falling off. also, we put a basket of books and a basket of a few toys near the bed, too, so when they woke, they crawled off the bed and they would sit and look at books or play, rather than crying or wanting to leave the bedroom right away (more sleep for mama!!).

also, if your husband is not helping at night, i would ask your husband to let you sleep in on the weekends. you really need to get in as much as you can, and you should not feel guilty. twin babies is a whole different ballgame than singletons. that being said, i know how you feel about not wanting to disturb his sleep - i was the same way, but i hit a point where is was not possible to do it on my own.

as much as this stinks, try to remember that this is just a phase (hard to imagine, right? ). they will eventually be sleeping better. sometimes just knowing that it isn't forever helps.... hope that helps and keep us posted!
post #4 of 17
I am right there with you. My babes are 11 months and the last month has been sleep hell. Almost makes me wonder if there's somethign about this age.... So, things we have done. We did separate the babies, one in our room and one in the "guest room". There is a bed in each room so when the baby wakes I go in and take them out of the crib and nurse them on the bed. Usually I fall asleep until the other baby wakes and then I replace the first one in teh crib and head to the other one's room. I do get confused as to which room I'm in and which baby I have because of the lack of sleep.

For naps, I nurse them down separately. One plays on the floor (or cries ) while I put the other down. I've also started getting more strict. When I lay with them on the bed, they either nurse or they go in the crib. The bed is not for playing. It's too hard trying to put them (and dd1- 4 yo) down on my own to handle a truly extended time.

In the morning I give both babies and dd1 to dh while he showers, gets dressed and has breakfast. This buys me a blissful hour of sleep by myself. He doesn't do diapers or feeding, so it doesn't reduce my workload, but it makes the work easier to handle.

When we only had one crib, I used to do like you and sleep with one while the other was in the crib. When the crib babe woke, that one would come out and the other would go in. A big bed is essential. Otherwise, I'd drop it to the floor so I wouldn't have to worry about them falling out. I've even slept with them on the floor, when desperate.

I've never figured out how to cosleep with both, but they've gotten used to the movement and usually stay awake for transfers now. Just know that when you're up at midnight, 1am, 2am etc. I'm up with you as well. You are not alone.

Hopefully this is a stage and they'll grow out of it because I too am at the end of my rope.
post #5 of 17
Hugs to you mamas! My twins are 3 1/2 years old and they are still terrible sleepers. It's much better than it was several years ago, but they still wake up every night.

I love co-sleeping, but I SO regret not having some kind of routine/structure to getting them asleep. I regret not teaching them how to go to sleep without me. Unfortunately, many things got (and still get) sacrificed because of the lack of sleep- including things I'll never get back. I sacrificed so much thinking that when they got older I would have that time back, and now that has cost me significantly.

Just want to offer up support to do what feels right for you. Sometimes I feel as moms we sacrifice ourselves, partners, etc. to attachment parent. One of my twins said to me the other morning after waking up next to me, "Mommy, how come me not sleeping in me bed? Cause me love you mommy!"
post #6 of 17
You might not be able to make this work, but I swaddled mine at 10 months still. It helped with the squirming.
If nursing isn't working, there is also the rocking chair while patting a rhythm on their diaper or back. I used that sometimes, too.

Good luck.
post #7 of 17
Honestly, I would put DH in the twin bed and take the twins to your bed. Put one on each side and nurse them when they need to. Then you can cuddle and comfort then when they wake up without always nursing. That is what we ended up doing. Made my nights easier and DH was able to sleep enough to function at work. He works with machines and has a long commute, so it really was a safety issue for him to get solid sleep.

10 months was when separation anxiety really started to hit. Maybe they just need the reassurance of having you nearby right now.

Why are you sure they are not teething? They teethe on and off pretty much constantly until they get their 1st four molars. Then there is a respite until the 2nd set of four molars come in.

When mine wake up frequently, it tends to be one of three reasons: 1) teething 2) sick 3) need reassurance that I'm still nearby (and 4 is if they get cold).
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post
Honestly, I would put DH in the twin bed and take the twins to your bed. Put one on each side and nurse them when they need to.
I second this. With 4 month olds DH has removed himself to the couch here. I get so much more sleep this way than trying to transfer back and forth to the crib. hugs!!!!
post #9 of 17
10 months is such a crappy time for sleep. bottom line. and you have 2. double crappy!

it's kind of a blur to me, but i think at that time i was still sleeping with both of them most of the night, with DH in another room. one on either side to facilitate nursing back to sleep as needed. the arrangement let everyone sleep as much as possible. i started them in their cribs for the night, but that's usually how we ended up.

in hindsight, i was reliant on nursing them to sleep for too long. i should have gently taught them to fall asleep another way earlier on, for sure. i'm not talking CIO, but like... when they were that age, i remember not even believing that babies could possibly fall asleep with just cuddling... because mine did NOT! it worked well for a long time for sure, and with no help from my DH either, i was hesitant to ditch something that was so reliable. but then i wouldn't want to night wean at 10mos necessarily. it's a sticky situation.

i ended up night weaning (and completely weaning, it was last to go) my boys at 15 months. it was surprisingly not traumatic for anyone involved, and they started to sleep through IMMEDIATELY after. it was like a switch flipped. they needed to learn to fall asleep without nursing. i didn't believe it until it happened to me.

to give you a sense of hope... they are going to be 2 in january and they sleep really well, in their own beds (twin mattresses on the floor) all night. there is a light at the end of the tunnel. just don't be afraid to move on from a technique that isn't working because you're afraid that nothing else will work. that is the biggest baby sleep lesson i have learned, for sure!

and have you considered baby-proofing their room and putting a big mattress on the floor instead of the cribs? then, when they wake, you can just go lay with them? i wish i would have done that way sooner, too... the cribs are really a pain... so much easier to go in and lay with them, then you can sneak out (or just stay passed out, as the case may be!).

feel good. you'll figure it out. 10mos is the worst time ever for sleep. you'll get through it. the first year with twins is so so so so so hard, and the lack of sleep thing is a major part of it. the second year, things start to get so much easier! you are doing great!!!!!
post #10 of 17
Mine are 10 months, too. I just returned to work part-time a couple of weeks ago.

The past month has been rough, but we are making progress. Here's my story.

We moved them into their own room when they were about 5 months. They make enough sleep noises that DH and I weren't sleeping well. I think that us being awake made it more likely that they would be awake.

I sleep with a monitor. When one would wake, I would go nurse her. I would then get the other up to nurse. I figured my chances were better to get a bit more sleep if I pushed them to keep a similar schedule. Somewhere around 7 months old, I changed this and noticed that one of them would sleep for a nice long time if not woken. Then I started sleeping light and rushing over to grab one at the first noise so that her sister would stay asleep.

Somewhere along the way in this process, we thought that maybe the baby who was getting up to nurse was just doing it out of habit, not out of need for sustenance. When the fussing would start, DH would go comfort her. She has done pretty well with this. If she won't calm down, he brings her to me. If the other baby wakes and both are crying, I take one. Last night, the one I had did not even request to nurse.

I felt bad for DH, since he was working and not getting a full nights sleep. But he assured me that in order for me to function at work, I was going to have to get more sleep, so he was willing to get less for a while.

We are both tired, but it hasn't been too bad. And the babies are getting better. They both sleep through the night about half of the time.
post #11 of 17
I second the "no cry sleep solution". It makes things so much easier. You should prepare for a few sleepless nights, but after that, it gets much easier.
post #12 of 17
Mine are two now and I remember hitting 10/11 months and totally FREAKING that this was not doable anymore

I think it was largely because I expected they would be settling down on the hourly feeding round the clock....and it was just the same

I started trying to make more time for me without physical contact with them in the day time (a walk round the block, shower where i'd switch off...whatever helps you feel fresh) and that really helped.

We co sleep without my dh in a king sized bed (after we reconciled at 5 months he has been welcome there for other than sleeping ) and like mamaof5boys I do wish i'd set more boundaries earlier on (but still not sure how i'd do it )

At around 22 months, so just recently, i decided to do more cuddles in the night and would b'feed them *before* bedtime, and then cuddle them until they slept (singing, soothing noises, patting backs etc) so although there were some tears i'm now only feeding them 2-3 times a night each max.

it will pass and you're doing great mama
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your support, Mamas. I really, really need(ed) it.

Last week was a little better. I was able to continue my routine of putting one in a swing, and one in the bouncy chair. I can only do this for naps. Night time is a completely different story, as neither baby will take to DH.

I tried the No Cry Sleep Solution with my DD1, and did not have a lot of success with it...but I'll try it again.

We've been sleeping more (twins and I) on the twin bed, and I have been able to get 2 hours of consecutive sleep. DH and I will buy a double bed very, very soon.

I will keep you all posted.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for listening to me, and giving me some helpful advice. I can't talk to friends IRL, because all they tell me to do is let the twins CIO, and I refuse to.
post #14 of 17
this book has helped me so much with sleep issues "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Twins" by Marc Weissbluth. I don't know how I would have survived without it!
Here is some of the philosophy of the book:
Babies will not sleep well when they are sleep deprived (not getting enough sleep). It's a vicious cycle kind of thing. Also, babies go to sleep easier when they are just starting to get tired, not when they are overtired and showing signs of it like being cranky/fussy. I would say that your babies are probably at an age where if they've been up for 3-4 hrs, then it's time for a nap. Some signs of drowsiness are not keeping eye contact, less movement or interacting, glassy eyed stare. If you catch them when they are in this stage they go to sleep a lot easier. Also creating a routine helps. Oh, and the author calls it sleep training. I am not an avid fan of the book, but it gave me some ideas that have helped me so much.
I feel your pain! My singletons were not the best sleepers. (In fact I have a 2 yo that still sleeps with me and wakes at night.) My twins are #7/8 and I did cosleeping with my others and realized that wasn't going to work with twins. They are 4 mths old now and sleep pretty well at night most of the time, and fairly well during the day too, and we don't cosleep. I just used those simple ideas in my own way. It has taken some time, and a tiny bit of crying occassionally, but they are much better sleepers than any of my other kids have been.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Update - Well, the twins are 11 months now, and I am still at my breaking point.  Sigh.


We moved DD1's double bed into the babies room.  The first night was great - we "slept" through the night (with many night wakings, but I was always able to nurse them back to sleep).  But, lately, my DD2 will wake up and stay up.  For hours.  And, to make matters worse, she won't let me rock her in the rocking chair, sit her on my lap in the chair.  I have to walk her.  And, walk her for hours.  She was up almost 3 hours last night.  And that's when I just start babbling...saying things I just don't mean - like, how I hate her and that I don't love her.  My tone is mean and angry, and I am aware of this, but I am just so sleep deprived and tired at this point.  I feel horrible even as I say them.mecry.gifShe woke up DS, then at 230am, I had 2 crying babies.  DH took DD2,but she just kept crying (the twins do not take to DH at night).  I finally got DS to sleep, and stayed up for a couple more hours with DD2, until she finally fell asleep. 


I've tried the Pantley book (not working).  I'm just griping and whining.  I just needed to vent.  Tonight's a different night.  Hopefully it's better than what I've had. 


Will keep you posted. 

post #16 of 17

Do you wear your DD when she can't sleep?  I found that with all 3 of mine when they were that age to around 18 mos, when they got overtired they just wanted me to walk them around.  Same as you are talking about. 


BUT when I tied them into the mei tai they were in effect swaddled and couldn't fight me as much.  They tried, but were snug against me.  I could then rock them or bounce on the ball (if I had energy for that, depending how late it was!) and within 10-15 minutes they'd stop crying and start drifting off to sleep.  The mei tai was great because when they'd fallen asleep I could just lie down on the bed, untie it, and they'd be asleep on it.  Slings & wraps wouldn't work to put them down easily like that.  The mei tai was our go-to thing when all else failed.  And the great thing about it?  Once they got used to that happening, my DH started stepping in and doing it, too.  So I got a break from constantly holding a baby!  Yes, they fought that at first and wanted me, but you know what?  They got used to it. 


I highly recommend trying wearing them down to sleep when they're overtired like that, and also incorporating your DH more, even if they don't like it.  They're never going to like it if they don't get used to it, and it's obviously not good for your health (emotional or physical) to be the only one dealing with this. 

post #17 of 17

oh, one of mine did that around that age.  sucks!


what i eventually did was childproof the guest room and if he woke up... fine.  i just let him play and do whatever and i just went to sleep in there with him....


i also may or may not have put on a movie in the middle of the night when the poop hit the fan and i thought i was going to die from lack of sleep!  not a popular thought, but there you go.

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