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Nursing all night/cosleeping - How do you do it?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
For you mamas out there that cosleep and nurse - please tell me your set up and what your nights are like??? I posted here before regarding my lack of sleep and have since gone back to full time cosleeping.

I'm trying to figure out how to change my strategy so my dh and I can get some sleep. We are still literally up EVERY HOUR and I'm afraid we are so tired that we are becoming not the parents we want to be and definitely not the spouses we want to be.

So if I can take anything from your experiences and how your nighttime set up is then maybe I can figure out how to get a bit more sleep.

I have 6 1/2 mos twin girls and a 24 mos boy. Right now mostly all 5 of us sleep in our king size. Sometimes ds and dh will sleep on single in ds room. Sometimes dh and a dd will sleep on recliner next to our king. I have one bed rail on one side of the king. Positions are usually rail, dd, me, dd, ds, dh, end of bed, floor, recliner. I'm thinking of doing a few things to rearrange. This may or may not help me get more sleep. Possibly attaching crib to side of king, or moving king against one wall, or moving single in on side of king (how do I make this level with king mattress).

Gotta run now. Thanks!
post #2 of 11
Yowza! 5 in one bed! And you're all still alive!

We have four and two beds. If we had five we'd definitely have to get yet another bed.

We have: wall; DH on single; Alicia, me, Annika, guard rail on king. Don't worry about making the single and king level unless you have a single that's like inches below the king. They won't notice. Especially if you put DH on it and yourself and babies on the king. Do you have room/financial wherewithal/etc to add a pallet/futon/small mattress for The Dom next to DH so he's not in the same bed with him?

If I were in your situation I'd be poking my eyes out about now. Try getting more space and see if that helps. I don't know about having more than two so can't help too much there but have read about a technique where one parent takes the older child and one takes the twins all night and then everyone at least sleeps sometime.

Good luck, darlin'! Six months is particularly frustrating with twins, they are getting more mobile and interested in the world and you're still as tired as you were the day you delivered, if not more so. Hang in there, it does get better, in a short while you'll even be seeing single instead of double and you will get exhausted by noon instead of 8:00 a.m.

((((((HUGS)))))))) gotta deal with screamers
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
If I were in your situation I'd be poking my eyes out about now. Try getting more space and see if that helps. I don't know about having more than two so can't help too much there but have read about a technique where one parent takes the older child and one takes the twins all night and then everyone at least sleeps sometime.

Thanks Amy for the info and laugh. I am about poking my eyes out! :LOL I'm going to see if/how we can fit a single next to the king. We were doing the method of dad takes the Dom and I take the girls. But Dominic lately very much wants mommy...so we switch but then dh can't nurse the girls (oh how we both wish he could sometimes!) so I end up with all 3!

I had to stop my previous post early...but I am also curious as to everyone's process when bedtime comes. Do you lay in bed and nurse babies to sleep and then sneak away once they are out so you can get some things done before you go to bed? Or do you just keep them with you until you are ready for bed and then you all go to bed together? I'm interested in answers that I could relate to not only my girls but my 24 mos too!

Thanks all!
post #4 of 11
We're 5 in a bed Well, I should say 5 in two beds - we have a king and a queen pushed together. Our bedtime routine for our 3 girls goes like this...

5ish - dinner
5:30 - bath, teeth
6 - out of bath, play in bedroom a bit while I sort laundry, etc
6:15 - nurse Ella
after that - put the babies (12 months) in slings (Ella goes on my back, Sadie on my front where she can nurse) say good night to Maryn
6:30ish - I go downstairs with the babies on to surf the net (like now!) and put babies to sleep
Andy stays upstairs with Maryn and reads stories
7 - lights out for Maryn
7:15ish - I come up and put the babies in the king bed and go snuggle Maryn to sleep in the queen

Some nights it works better than others
post #5 of 11
We only had 4 in our bed, but here's what we did at that age:

We have a queen size bed & instead of buying a crib, my dad built us a cosleeper for a twin mattress, let me see if I still have a picture up on my site . . . here's a couple: http://2sweetpeas.net/NewHouse.htm As you can see, we dropped our mattress & boxspring onto the floor (we had a tall 4 poster pre-kids, figured that would be too dangerous w/ little ones in bed w/ us) & then dad built a "frame" for the twin that brought it to exactly the same height & padded the walls of the cosleeper.

From the time the girls were a couple weeks old until they were over a year, we actually started the night w/ dh holding one baby in the recliner portion of our sofa downstairs. By 6 mo, I was putting the one I had w/ me in the cosleeper so I actually got a little bit of time when I could roll over if I wanted to LOL. When the baby in the cosleeper woke up I would just roll into the cosleeper & nurse her back to sleep then roll back onto big mattress. When the baby dh had woke up he'd bring her up to me & we'd put her between us on the main mattress. Once we were all in hte bed I sometimes got stuck sleeping on the crack between the 2 mattress (if the baby in the middle scooted too far onto my side while I was nursing the other one), but otherwise it worked well. Before the girls were doing ok sleeping in the cosleeper I'd start the night w/ one sleeping on my chest & when dh brought "his" up we'd trade & he'd take the sleeping one back down with him.

We don't have much of a "routine" for bedtime, but we've always just nursed them to sleep in the family room (I have it set up so I can be on my computer while they nurse here LOL) then, when we were doing the above routine, dh would pick one up & get settled w/ her in the recliner part of the sofa, then I'd take the other one upstairs with me (now that they sleep in their own room, dh just carries each of them upstairs & puts her in her bed once she's asleep).

post #6 of 11
Hi there,
I think it was at about 6 months that we decided that our king-size was not big enough for the 4 of us, and moved onto 2 king size futon matresses on the floor. This arrangement almost fills the entire bedroom! I think the more space you can get the better it is - for us anyway - the expense was worth it. It was also at about that age that we started putting the boys in bed before us in the evenings - before that they slept downstairs and we took them upstairs to bed when we were ready to go too. Our routine is something like:
5.30 supper
6.15 bath
7 ish, pjs, stories, small snack
7.30 nurse ds2 to sleep
7.45 nurse ds1 to sleep
I nurse the boys to sleep downstairs and then dh takes them up and tucks them in (not literally - they hate covers!). This works pretty well for us - but we try to be patiently flexible if the boys aren't tired when we think they ought to be....
When we all finally get to bed we sleep ds2, me, dh, ds1, and when they wake up (about 3-4 times each) dh and I swap places if required - it must look funny, but there's no one to see it, and we pretty much do it in our sleep. We adopted this practice because of that common problem of both babies snuggling up so close to me that I couldn't move!!

This sleep thing has been pretty hard - but generally has improved as they have got older (with setbacks of course) - this time last year I was sleeping in an armchair...
post #7 of 11
Our current routine, which has existed like this in some form since they started eating dinner at about 8 months I guess:

4:30ish: Dinner
5:30ish: their bath
6:00ish: my shower
6:30ish: snack and time with daddy
7:00ish: lights out, nurse to sleep

They are taking one nap a day, if that helps, right after lunch. We nurse to sleep lying down on the bed now. Until about 2 months ago I still used the EZ2 and nursed them to sleep on the love seat next to the bed, then toddled over to the bed with them on the nursing pillow and decanted them onto the mattresses. Now that those days are over I wish I had video of that. Oh well, the stories I will be able to tell at their wedding receptions one day!

Another thing I forgot to mention: we babyproofed the heck out of our bedroom, bath, closet, all adjoining. Also, we take down the Safety 1st guardrails during the day since the girls would love nothing more than to climb over them and I know they would land on the top of their heads.

As Twinthing points out, this may not result in huge amounts of sleep but it's an improvement over last year at this time (which I frankly don't remember it's that blurry!).
post #8 of 11
I have 5 in one king. I am brainstorming putting a twin in the mix.

May not need to......daddy might be getting kicked out! (Long story!)
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Morning mamas!

Thanks for everyone sharing. It helps me so much to hear how others are doing it. Last night dh and I went to a dinner where we met some other twin parents. In laws watched kiddos. We were next to a women who had twins just a few weeks younger than ours. She was very nice and as we kept talking she told us her babies sleep 12 straight HOURS A NIGHT!!! AND NAP! Dh and I couldn't stop thinking about it all night! Oh... the thought of all that sleep!! I wanted to cry as we left.

So my girls slept for an hour or so while we were out (only gone 2 hours). We got home about 9p and I nursed them. Thank God The Dom was asleep. Then we each slung a babe. Angelena fell asleep on daddy in sling about 11p but her 'no one is holding me' alarm went off when he tried to slip out of sling and lay her down. So Angelena went back in sling with daddy. Josephine was slingin on my back as I cleaned kitchen and just couldn't keep her little head from checking everything out that I was doing (her nn is nosey josie ). Went upstairs and nursed Josie to sleep in bed and handed off to dh at about 12a. Then nursed Lena to sleep and she finally went out at 12:45a. Then at 2:30a the many wakings/nursings began. SIGH!

Milkfacemama - I was trying to take from your routine and wear my girls down before bed. I will keep at this!

sweetpeas - I remember seeing pics of your cosleeper before. LOVE IT! Can your dad build us one!? :LOL I like how your dh took one babe and then you'd trade. This may work for us. For some reason we would mostly split up with one of us taking Dominic and one taking both girls. I think each of us taking a girl and Dom going with whoever he wants works better!

twinthing - you and dh being in middle of babies sounds much better. My girls squish me in too! Plus it would be nice to sleep next to dh again. We may give that a try.

Amy - I hear ya...wish I had a video of alot of things. Too bad that when we are in the middle of a moment we don't have a third hand to grab the video cam!

Angelbee - not sure what your situation is but i'm contemplating single next to king too (once we have time to move dresser out to make room)! Other option i may take is move dh and one dd to single in other room and trade girls as needed. Sometimes if mommy is out of site then they don't wake as often!! Plus good bonding time with daddy.

On a side note...I have a hard time finding parents in my area that have more of a AP style. If it wasn't for MDC and a few others I'd have no one to relate to! I wouldn't consider myself a die hard AP mom...but last night at that dinner I had a hard time listening to others doing CIO, or talking about how they prefer c sec over vaginal because just didn't want babies in them anymore, or how formula was inevitable so just by passed nursing all togehter, etc. Everytime something like this was said my dh would look at me like 'I know what you are thinking but please don't get on your soapbox' : I try not to judge. It's just hard to find mamas (especailly twinmamas) in my area that AP. I really appreciate the support I get here! Thanks again guys! Oh and I'm at work right now which explains why I can type this very long post. :
post #10 of 11
Reading this thread for some ideas.

We're sleeping with the twins in the co-sleeper (as if they slept, ha ha), me on a twin, and dh and our 2 & 4 yr old on a queen, all lined up together. It's difficult, but the hardest part is getting the twins to sleep at the same time, or getting them to sleep when it's dark, period.
post #11 of 11
OK, I am only wishing there were a good routine, but here's what we've been doing so far: (thanks for the Q, and all the great ideas!)

We generally eat dinner late... And don't do daily baths for the kids... but I'm noticing by the time the babies go to sleep it's usually around 10:30 or 11 p.m. Lately McKenna has been fussier between 8-10 p.m. and has ended up falling asleep on Daddy's lap on the recliner sofa. Then she gets moved to the Boppy pillow or the crib. Or sometimes she'll fall asleep on her own in the crib, sucking her thumb and with the mobile on. William rarely falls asleep in the crib; he needs a nipple in his mouth. So I'll nurse him in bed and usually leave him there. (My 6 yo son sleeps in his own room.)

Dh and I go to bed late, often after midnight. If I'm dog tired, I'll fall asleep nursing William in my jeans and stay there until someone wakes up. Otherwise I'll gently get up after he's zonked, like I did just a few minutes ago... Lately the babies have been waking a lot again, so dh has been sleeping on the sofa recliner again, like when they were newborns! Or if he does sleep with us, it's like this on our king bed: wall, dh, William, McKenna (once she wakes up in the middle of the night and joins us), me, edge of bed. We get spouse time when I'm able to successfully transfer William to the crib. We try that sometimes shortly before we plan to go to bed, so if he wakes it's no big deal since we're still awake anyway. I do love to snuggle up to my dh rather than the babies, LOL. And I manage to compress some vein in my armpit when I nurse on the left side; the whole arm goes to sleep and it feels like I'm having a heart attack or something, LOL.

From about 2 1/2 months til 4 months, they were sleeping all night, from 7 hours up to sometimes 11 hours straight!!! What the heck happened? All of a sudden after an apparent growth spurt at 4 months, they want to wake and nurse every couple of hours. Is it teething? Or is it the colder winter weather? I'm tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrreeeeeedddd again. I do notice that if we are out and they fall asleep in their car seats, we will leave them there and often they'll sleep longer in there. They used to sleep in those quite a bit, actually.
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