Help!! 3-month old twins will *not* nap for me and I am going crazy! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 09-07-2010, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey mamas!
So, our babies are 11 weeks old. On the weekends, when Dad is here, they nap fine, because we can each soothe one to sleep. The weekdays, when he is at work, is another story, and it is seriously affecting their (and my) quality of life.

I've read Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Twins. I try and put them down "drowsy but awake", and it usually works for their first morning nap. But after that it's all downhill, as they won't go down in their crib if they are awake, and even when they fall asleep on me, they now wake up *so* easily when I try and transfer them. I'd say I have maybe a 5% success rate moving them once they are asleep.

Before I just sort of let them sleep on me, but now they are not on the same schedule at all, (Baby girl has transitioned into the 3 naps a day, while baby boy still catnaps on and off all day) and when one's awake they don't want to just sit still - they get antsy, or hungry, and that wakes up baby #2.

How do you get both to sleep without letting one cry themselves into hysterics? This isn't really an option either - our house is tiny and they now won't calm down if they hear the other crying.

Things I have tried: mobiles in the crib (works for 10-15 minutes, does not put them to sleep)
wearing one down in a sling (has worked but inevitably the other one needs to be picked up or tended to in some way and in trying to extricate myself first baby wakes up pissed
rocking them both in the rocking chair (used to work, not anymore, and then I'm stuck there for the nap anyway)

Any advice would be *so* appreciated!! Now, but like 4pm they are *exhausted* and sooooo fussy on weekdays. Something has to change!!

DH and I are expecting twins July 15. Holy crap wish us luck.
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#2 of 12 Old 09-07-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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It is so hard. At that age, I would put my guys in the BOB doullie and take a nice long walk. Worked great for at least one nap a day (and we went in all weather, including rain, or before it was too hot). My other naptime solution was using a swing (we only had one, but two would have been awesome!). Another good tool was using a big exercise ball. You can sit on it and bounce while holding 2 babies.

Mama to twins, my little guy, and
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#3 of 12 Old 09-07-2010, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All good suggestions! I should have added, things that put other babies to sleep that just make mine cry:

swings
bouncy seats
cars/car seats

Sometimes the stroller works, but its hit or miss....

DH and I are expecting twins July 15. Holy crap wish us luck.
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#4 of 12 Old 09-07-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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Your kids sound just like my kids. It was SO hard and SO awful trying to get them to sleep. They were hyper-alert and almost colicky and just downright sleep fighters and easy-wakers. Car seats? Screaming blue. Stroller? Screaming blue. Etc. Etc. If we put them in bed asleep, they'd wake up an instant later, shrieking, b/c they weren't in our arms anymore. It was exhausting.

The only thing that worked for our family is that I had to teach them to fall asleep in bed. We used Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution. The instant they showed signs of sleepiness, I'd cuddle them, get them ready for a nap with routine (nap song or recited story), and place them in the co-sleeper/crib. If they cried, I'd pick them up & cuddle them until they stopped crying, them place back in bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I usually tried to do one baby at a time (somehow?). Wear one on my back or in the swing for 10-15 minutes until the first baby was down.

It was easiest to start with the first nap of the day, b/c it's closest to the continuation of night sleep. And another trick I should mention is that my kids would only sleep on their bellies. Period. No back, no swaddling.

After I started using NCSS, it wasn't too long before the girls were finally getting the sleep that they needed (but fought for so long). And I was a bit saner, to boot.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#5 of 12 Old 09-08-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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My boys are only a bit older than yours, and up until about week 13-14 they would eat constantly, need to be held constantly, only nap on me, wake up as soon as I moved, etc etc. I just had to sit there all day. No joke, I found it easiest to just let them nap on my brest friend pillow, and I lean back and nap along with them because they never went for longer than an hour and a half anyway. Now that they're 15 weeks, they are eating a little better (ie, eating more efficiently and taking longer breaks between), but they're still sensitive sleepers.

If one is asleep and the other awake and frisky, I'll let the sleeping one lie there on the pillow (in football position), and lift the other one up to my shoulder to bounce, practice standing, turn him around and face outwards to practice sitting/standing. From what I can tell, it'll just take more time. 11 weeks is still really tiny. I'm commiserating with you.

Mama to twin boys born at 30 weeks. 5/21/10. 
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#6 of 12 Old 09-08-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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I didn't start getting real naps until later - probably around 5 or 6 months. Until then, I generally bounced them with my foot in those little bouncer chairs. It was the only way. Sometimes I could slowly slip away after they were deep asleep. I also agree that the first nap of the day materialized and settled in first.

Mama to twin boys, Oct-'09 and baby girl, Apri-'12!

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#7 of 12 Old 09-08-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

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#8 of 12 Old 09-08-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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really, the only thing that worked for me was popping them both in the stroller and taking a long walk. i even bundled them up in cooler weather and did walks then, too... then, once they fell asleep i could wheel the stroller into the house and they would usually stay asleep. it was good for me, too... the fresh air and the exercise...

one of my boys hated the car, so while it would have worked for one, not so much for the other. the stroller was usually good though. sometimes i put the screamier one in the ergo and pushed the other....
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#9 of 12 Old 09-08-2010, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh. Well at least I'm not alone!
I've been trying to finagle wearing one on my back. I just got a woven wrap....That might make trying the NCSS feasible....
oh! baby girl's awake. right on schedule -asleep for 5 minutes.

DH and I are expecting twins July 15. Holy crap wish us luck.
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#10 of 12 Old 09-10-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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At that age my boys were doing great for naps and I could usually keep them about 15 mins apart so it gave me time to put the sleepier one down first, then the other. Gosh that was a nice 4 weeks while it lasted . . . until it all fell apart two weeks ago . Why is it that when things are running smoothly babies feel the need to switch things up to remind us who is in charge?

Anyway, just commiserating. My boys wouldn't fall asleep in the car, stroller, swing, bouncy, etc then or now. Lately I've been putting them in "Woombie" wraps, nursing them to sleep, and then transferring them both into the bed. It's a freaking miracle when it works, but usually one wakes and I have to pop him in the ergo to put him to sleep again (with eyes covered, otherwise it doesn't work - I should invest in a little baby eye cover ). They used to take 2 hour naps, now the longest is 45 mins, but usually more like 20. Then they wake up still tired and cranky.

NCSS sounds like it might be a good strategy, although I must admit I can't imagine doing that with two. Sounds exhausting!

Sorry to turn this into my own personal vent

Amy
mama to big brother Mason (Jan '05) and the littles, Adam and Holden (May '10)
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#11 of 12 Old 09-10-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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It's tricky! My twins are 7 months now. I've found the advice in the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Twins books to be helpful (both books give basically the same methods/advice, but the latter is obviously more geared towards multiples). I used the sleep methods given in the former book when my singletons were babies; the author seems to be pretty accurate about sleep patterns, IME. (Note:The author does offer CIO as one method but gives ideas for other methods that do not involve CIO.)

In the morning, watch for the first signs of drowsiness; generally speaking, you should see this within the first 2 hours they wake up. Don't let them get overly tired, but put them down once you see the first signs of drowsiness within those 2 hours. I nurse them before going to sleep for their naps (sometimes they fall asleep when nursing, but often they do not, esp. now that they are a few months older). The morning nap will probably materialize first, and then the afternoon nap. It can be tricky when one gets up a lot earlier than the other from the morning nap, b/c then the afternoon naps may not be coordinated. However, I generally do not wake the twin who is still sleeping when the other twin wakes up. I let them sleep as long as they need to sleep. After they are both up from the morning nap, follow the same general rule of looking for signs of drowsiness within the 2-hour time frame, and put them down before they get overly tired.

If you try to put them down for their naps and one or both twins is noncompliant, my advice is to pick them up, take a walk or do something that you find relaxing, and try again later that day. I've found that consistently trying and putting them down at the same times during the day is really helpful. With all 4, I have seen a similar nap pattern emerge during the day. HTH!

ETA: 11 weeks is still pretty young for consistent napping. 14-16 weeks will probably be easier!
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#12 of 12 Old 09-10-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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At that age, mine weren't napping either. The only way I could get a decent nap out of them was to lay down with them. I did that until they were 6 months old and it helped all of us remain sane. I'd nurse them both then put one on each side of me in the crook of my arm. The babies would basically be on their side cradled by my arm. If they were cranky (as dd would fall asleep easily while ds would fight) I'd use my hand to bounce them by holding their butt and bouncing gently until they fell asleep. As long as I was with them, they'd sleep for 1.5 to 2 hours. It is really hard at that stage. It did take me 6 months to get them down alone and for me too, the stroller, bouncy seat, swing, etc. never worked. Aaarrrgh.

J A with DD1 7/06, lost twins 9/08
DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
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