How do you get them both to go to sleep by yourself?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-30-2010, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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My girls are almost a year old, and I still can't take care of them without help. I was sure by now it would be easier, and it is in a lot of ways, but the sleep thing is still such a challenge for us. When they were younger, at least I could tandem nurse them to sleep, but most of the time they don't want to nurse to sleep anymore, and they can't settle down tandeming (one is pulling the other's hair, her sister retaliates by scratching her face, etc.). They seem to prefer to be walked to sleep (ie, in arms or in a carrier), but they won't let me walk them to sleep - if I'm holding them and they're sleepy, they want to nurse, yet most of the time they won't fall asleep that way anymore...

So how do you do it? How do you take care of getting both your babies to sleep on your own? My girls only fall asleep being walked by their father or the nanny or nursed and very rarely in the car.

Mama to S&H, twin girls born 4/09

Baby 3 due 2/12

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#2 of 9 Old 03-30-2010, 02:12 PM
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I'd start by nursing them down one at a time. I often set one baby up on the floor with something to play with while I nursed the other down and then got the other baby down. It depends on your sleep habits and where you'd like them to sleep. At that age, our twins were cosleeping. One was sleeping with us and one on the floor on a full sized futon mattress. I started to both night wean and move them to their own sleeping spaces at a year, so it took some juggling.

I never had help so I guess I just had no choice but to do it! Lots of trial and error to figure it out.
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#3 of 9 Old 03-30-2010, 02:31 PM
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I have almost always put my two to sleep at the same time. We co-sleep on a king size bed so I just lay down with them and tandem nurse. Usually at nap time they would fall right asleep and I can unlatch and sneak away. At bedtime they usually just nurse until sleepy and then cuddle to go to sleep. Once in a while they get off the bed and play around a bit but it's not a big deal because the room is completely baby-proofed so I just lie on the bed and rest until they are ready to hop back up and cuddle back to sleep.

Reading this over it sounds so perfect and stress-free but trust me, we have had our moments . Like for the last week as ds has decided to nurse every hour throughout the night again .

Good luck finding something that works

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#4 of 9 Old 03-31-2010, 03:52 AM
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I developed a little routine with my twins during their first year, where I would dim the lights in the family room when it got close to bedtime, put on some pretty lullaby music, and feed one at a time while the non-feeding twin sat in his/her bouncy seat. When I was finished I would just carry them both to their room and put them down in bed. They learned pretty early on to fall asleep on their own, mainly because it was not possible to rock both of them to sleep at the same time! Luckily, my DS was a great sleeper. When he was tired, he wanted to be put to bed and left alone. My DD wasn't like that at all. I think if I had to do it over again, I would put them in separate rooms. I just know my DS would have slept through the night at an early age if his sister hadn't kept waking him up!

Gayle, mom to Reagan and Ryan, 09/15/03, Cade, 12/08/05 and sweet Josiah, 05/23/10-07/16/10
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#5 of 9 Old 03-31-2010, 04:43 AM
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My twins are 16 months old. One twin sleeps in the crib and pretty much puts himeself to sleep. His twin sister and older sister co-sleep with me on a futon beside the crib. The girls need to do alot of rolling around and fussing before they fall asleep, but in general, it takes about 20 minutes of lying down with them and they are down for the night. The lights are off, talking is discouraged and definitely no walking around the room and playing in the dark. It took alot of poppin up and pulling dd2 back down on futon before she learned to stay in bed.

My twins are pretty good sleepers but with Dd1 I had to nightwean her at 1 years old and did a long drawn out bedtime routine full of cuddles and a loooong storytime to get her used to falling asleep without the boob and without being worn down by either me or dh. We stopped wearing down the twins to sleep by 9 months because Dh is not home to help with bedtime and I am just too pooped to do any babywearing these days.
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#6 of 9 Old 04-01-2010, 10:05 PM
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OK, I couldn't read your post and not answer. I actually never quite figured out a way to get both my boys to sleep by myself. My husband (or somebody) was always available to help. On the few rare occassions when it was just me, basically we'd all three end up crying ourselves to sleep. Particularly between the ages of one and two, it was brutal. The scenes you described made me laugh because I remember it well!!! I tried so many people's suggestions for routines, etc. Nothing worked. Nap time by myself was a complete nightmare. I'd put one in front of a video and lay down with the other and, inevitably, just when the first one was almost asleep, the other would come in and start jumping on the bed, playing a kazoo or something! I remember one night in particular, after giving them a soothing bath and going through my whole bedtime "routine", I was laying there, trying to read them a story, and they were literally trying to use my head to climb up on the headboard. I think that's the moment when i realized it just wasn't going to happen.

If my husband couldn't be there, I'd ask somebody to come over and help. If I could just have my attention on one at a time, it all came together relatively easily. Fortunately, I had a pretty wide circle of support.

Sorry...I know you wanted to hear solutions. I just never found any. Eventually it got easier for us, little by little. And I lived to tell about it! But, even now at almost 4yo, bedtime is still a heck of a lot easier when Daddy is here to help. Hang in there, mama!

Amy â Unschooling my twin boys, born April 2006 (12 weeks early at 2 lbs each). Astrology for Parenting -- helping parents attain authentic and respectful relationships with their children and families.
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#7 of 9 Old 04-02-2010, 06:24 PM
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I did several things out of necesity:
1. Put 1 in the swing and nurse or walk the other to sleep. Then if the first was still awake, nurse or walk to sleep.
2. Drive them to sleep. (only did this a couple times).
3. nurse them together. I had 1 lay in front of me and one on top of me. By 1 I could lay on my back and they could lay their heads on my stomach to nurse, or lay on a pillow next to me. If anyone scratches or pinches, they are immediately set on the floor for a few minutes. Then they get another chance. (This I started VERY early. I highly recommend it!! It will only take 2-3 times of getting set on the floor, that they figure out how to keep their hands to themselves.)
4. Hire help for bedtime. I hired a doula to help when the twins were 5 months old and dh was gone for a week. I also hired a babysitter to help when they were older, on occasion. Later, we sometimes had our babysitter come in to put the boys to bed for us (kids sometime will be easier for someone other than mom and dad!).
5. Walk them to sleep in the stroller.

At a year, you could start to wean them from nursing to sleep by setting up a nice bedtime routine that doesn't end in nursing. It will take a bit of work, but it could be helpful for you.

Courtney wife to geek.gif and mom to 4 boys: chicken3.gif   . I need caffix.gif !
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!
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#8 of 9 Old 04-03-2010, 04:52 PM
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it might sound horrible, but as a single mom, i've had to figure this out again and again over the past 20 months. by the time mine were just turning 1, i would put on a video (goodnight gorilla or goodnight moon), brush teeth while watching the dvd, then bring them upstairs (one at a time while they were still being carried, now we got up the stairs together) to shoghi's room. i put them both in his crib, read a few stories, have the boys say goodnight to eachother, then carry max to his crib in the other room.

i had to transition from cosleeping to cribs when they were about 8 months old, and they both weaned from nursing at 11 months. we did go through that whole sleep training thing.

i have a little routine that i consistently do for each of them, and they go to sleep on their own (there was more attention from me at bedtime when they were 1 - it's much simpler now, for the most part).

i find that major consistency that signals to them that it is time to sleep is critical. they know the nighttime videos, and we still watch the same ones, every night.

i used to have to bounce on the yoga ball to get each of them to sleep while the other played or sat in his crib.

good luck finding the right thing for your family - i'm confident you can find a routine you can do on your own!

celeste terra, single wohm to twin toddler boys max and shoghi. bamboo village press
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#9 of 9 Old 04-06-2010, 03:35 PM
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With my older two it always worked to switch to nursing, then getting ready for bed, then a book, prayers, and then I'd put them to bed sleepy/awake with lullaby music. They both slept great.

So, hopefully I will do that with the twins as well. I'll nurse them, then we'll get ready for bed, and then I'll put them down, awake.

I found that when I got away from nursing them to sleep and instead nursed them when they woke up (like from naps and in the am) they went to sleep better, without nursing, and slept better too. But we don't co-sleep.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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