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Nighttime parenting multiples ... or how to get them to sleep without CIO

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Tonight while putting my kids to sleep (read: I had fallen asleep, too ) DH took a call from a very very very stressed friend of ours, who put his wife on the speakerphone ... they were going crazy putting their ?7mo? triplets to sleep every night, apparently this is going on for several weeks now.

Have a brief thread about them, apparently the same sleep thing happening, and they tried the Ferber CIO method and it was totally unacceptable to them, so now called us for ... help.

So I'm asleep, and DH was talking to the DH about putting the babies to sleep ... and didn't know what to say.

Is it so different to AP/gently parent multiples to sleep when they're having a hard time? Am guessing that they're teething, one or two or all three, I don't know ... but this is tough.

If I would've spoken to them, not sure what I'd've said. DH tells me they're pacing the apartment with them each night and just worn out. What else to do? Put one in a carrier/sling (not sure what she uses) and the others in the stroller and walk them around the block 100 times?

Am sure she's nursing, but don't know what the situation is, not knowing how that can work with triplets, or how to get three to sleep nursing ... oy.

Am now under the impression that she's totally computer illiterate, so can't send her here.

Any advice on nighttime parenting multiples ... would be very very very grateful to take.


Any sugg
post #2 of 13
i don't know if i can be of any help at all as i only have twins, not triplets. i do have three nurslings but one is older and doesn't nurse much at all.

anyway, i just try to find a position i can sleep in and nurse two babies in. it may not be the most comfortable but when you are that tired it is amazing what you will sleep through.
post #3 of 13
And I thought I had it tough.... I have no idea what I would say to her either. If she is bf'ing them then she could always nurse one down, hand him/her off to Daddy to take care of then nurse the other two down. If she isn't nursing them then I have NO IDEA what to tell her. Nursing has always been my knock-out punch with getting my little ones to bed. Does she have Mothering Multiples? I know they address triplets in that book. Maybe some of the ideas in Nighttime Parenting or The No-Cry Sleep Solution may help her. She could also try contacting her LLL Leader. Even if there isn't a mother in her area who has nursed triplets her Leader can contact other Leaders who may know a mother who has and who would be willing to talk to her via phone. The rules get harder when you have twins and I can only imagine that there are no rules when you have triplets. I hope this family is getting sleep soon!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Nursing twins down I imagine is the same as tandem nursing any pair of babies/children down ... that DH could tell them about, since we've (oh, yeah, right, *I've*) been tandem nursing any combination of the above to sleep for the last 5 years.

"Mothering Multiples" ... is that put out by the magazine/Peggy O'Mara? Just wondering. Will dig out my own copy of "Nighttime Parenting" to see if it's helpful for multiples.

Am feeling worn out just thinking about them ...

More power to you all who've dealt with this ...
post #5 of 13
Originally Posted by merpk
"Mothering Multiples" ... is that put out by the magazine/Peggy O'Mara? Just wondering. Will dig out my own copy of "Nighttime Parenting" to see if it's helpful for multiples.
No, it's an LLL book. I, too, don't have much to offer. I put my twins to sleep in their slings and then put them down with dh's help. Could she sling 2 to sleep while her dh slings the other to sleep? Wow, I feel for this mama.
post #6 of 13
Whenever people on the street exclaim to me about how they can't imagine having twins, I always respond: "I can't imagine having TRIPLETS!" And really, I can't.

I always nursed my two to sleep until the past couple months. Now I sometimes still nurse them down, but we often take them for a walk in the stroller instead. I was finding that the nursing was often stretching into one hour or longer, and just prolonging the bedtime. In the stroller they usually fall asleep within 10 minutes, and then we transfer them into their beds. I know that this will not be the end solution (I think they'll probably outgrow the stroller by the time they're four, and in a couple months it may very well be waaay too cold outside to even try), but we try to just go with whatever works in the moment. Chances are that by the time the current solution doesn't work, there won't be a need for it anymore anyway.

When he was a little baby, Jasper would only fall asleep in the baby swing (a contraption I swore I would never use until Jasper came along). Everyone kept telling us that we had to get him to sleep a different way before he outgrew the swing. But we just decided to go with what worked at the time. And sure enough, at 5 months he suddenly was able to lie down and go to sleep (without nursing or anything!), and we quickly ditched the swing. A couple months later, he needed a new bedtime routine.

So, my general advice would be not to worry about finding a solution that will work in the long run, and just try anything until they find something that works. Maybe the car. Maybe the stroller. Maybe swings (we have a little tikes baby swing hanging from our ceiling that will still put my boys to sleep occassionally). Maybe slings. Maybe nursing. Maybe all lying down together in one big bed and singing. . .

Another idea is to try starting the whole bedtime routine an hour earlier, as overtired babies are very hard to get to sleep.

post #7 of 13
Could you try to PM DaryLLL? She works alot with MOMs. I know she has helped out aolt of moms here too
Also, there are a few moms here with triplets. There was a thread here. I'll check if I can find it.
I also wanted to say, even if you don't know this woman well, don't be shy. Go there, help her a tnight time if she will let you. They need all the xtra hands they can. Especially if there is 3 children teething or sick! Call her often. Ask her alot of ?'s if you can. You can't help if you don't know. Cook her some food.
Get her the help she needs.
post #8 of 13
post #9 of 13
If it's teething that's bothering them - maybe try baby tylonal or motrin. Or gripe water or resuce remedy - I know I've read someone talking about some sort of teething tablets.

I agree also - do whatever works - if one baby is happy sleeping in the swing - do that. I STILL break out the swing on really bad nights esp when dh is away for work. I also can't imagine triplets. At least with twins - you have 2 breasts and 2 arms.
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by lexbeach
my general advice would be not to worry about finding a solution that will work in the long run, and just try anything until they find something that works.

At seven months old the whole ritual of going to sleep is a good thing to start. They should keep whatever is working for them and try new stuff to make the rest of it work. My routine has always been: bathe, read/nurse, sing, lights out. If she can create some sort of sleep-time ritual that does not include nursing each baby to sleep I think that it will help in the long run AND the short run. If it is fussiness due to teething or something else than it will pass fairly quickly, but the sleep routine is GOLD.

I did nurse my singleton and my twins to sleep for a very long time, but with triplets I just can't see that working. My babies would wake up OFTEN when the nipple would slip out of their mouth (with triplets you would have to switch to get everyone to sleep -- which, of course, means mamma never gets to sleep).

CIO and No-CIO sleep solutions are all about sleep associations. If she can create acceptable sleep associations for her triplets, which will take some work and time, it should make for many years of pleasurable sleep for the entire family. I don't think it willl be easy, but it is possible.

For me, the first year or year and a half with my twins were hell sleep-wise, I can only imagine that triplets will lengthen that phase. I agree that you should offer any help you can to her. Thank goodness they had the sense to call for help! And thank goodness they have someone as sensitive as you to look towards.

Good luck!
post #11 of 13
This would be a big plus for the family bed in my mind!

I had nursing twins and a two yo to put down. We had a full size mattress on the floor next to our bed. Two things really worked for me. One, you have to BREATHE like you are sleeping, keep your eyes closed. Babies tune into your breathing and go to sleep! I swear. Try it!

And then, here' s a picture for ya. By that time I was so freaking tired I'd just LAY there, both 'milkies' exposed and wait til they wore themselves out. I was often asleep before them, and alothough I missed my 'adult' time, I needed the sleep! No one was crying or upset, I was right there. THey'd crawl and roll, and find a way to touch me and each other, nurse, and only if one was getting up did I open my eyes and quietly tell them it was nighttime, time to sleep now, and they'd snuggle back in.

With trips, you'd have to only be nursing two at a time, so she'd have to use whatever methods she usually uses to get the third one to snuggle in. Maybe daddy could have special time to snuggle with one in another room?

Poor babies and poor parents! I always thought twins was a bad joke, and then I had them! HOw the heck can you ever do for two, what is so hard to do for one! And three!!! Or more!
post #12 of 13
I'm 26, and my triplet sisters are now 23.

My mom didn't BF, it wasn't that common then, but, I'm pretty sure that she let the babies sleep together, that way they comforted eachother.

I'll ask her and come back.

post #13 of 13
Any update, Trin?

We still struggle every night with getting down two babies and a toddler...
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