Well I guess the title says it all. I am really starting to loose steam here. My girls are such sweet babies and I think our biggest issue is sleep. They are still up to nurse constantly - like every 2-3 hrs. They are well established on solids and weigh 20 lbs so I do not feel as though it is a hunger issue. I can't sleep through their nursing and so when you multiple that times two, I am being woken up 5-8 times a night. On top of that they are terrible with naps. I will spend 45 minutes rocking one and then get that one asleep, start on the next one and by the time the second one is asleep the first one is back up. They nap twice a day plus bedtime so spending 4+ hrs a day rocking babies for them to sleep crappy is really getting to me. I've tried a consistent routine, consistent times to go down, shhing, patting, etc. I am starting to feel like letting them cry is my only option and I really do not want to do that. My husband is also beyond over it and we fight constantly about letting them cry... b/c he thinks that we've tried everything else. In all of this I have a poor, neglected three year old who has learned to fetch her own snacks, food, and play by herself.
I don't really know what the point of my post is, really other than to vent. I feel so very alone in all of this twin thing and trying my hardest to be AP. Most of my IRL friends are not AP and so I can't vent to them b/c the advice will be to let them cry. And now my hubby and I are fighting so much about it bc he thinks I am being ridiculous (his words)
Today I really hate having twins though. I feel like I should be more together than this by this point.
Poor thing. Let those babies cry if you have to. I know this site is all about AP but so what, none of us are shh'ing, rocking and singing those babies to sleep with you! Do what is best for you. Try letting them skip one of those daytime naps so that they can get more quality sleep at night.
Are they comfort nursing in the middle of the night? Increase their solids so that they're not nursing so often. I don't know. My twins are only 4 months so I have my own questions but even so, I'd try giving them more food and skipping that afternoon nap.
As far as rocking them to sleep - that's a comfort thing. Lay down with them at naptime and pretend to close your eyes. It worked with my Teen so many moons ago. She'd see me resting and eventually stop playing and lie down beside me and go to sleep. As soon as she was sleeping - I was out of there! I'd also tell her before I'd lay down that it was "time for bed/nap" so there was no confusion about the routine. It took some time to get it down but we did it. I was a single parent BTW.
You're not losing it. You're a mom and a wife and a woman. We all have our breaking points - don't let this be yours. Good luck and come back and talk it out. That's what an online community is for.
I can completely relate to your situation... seriously, every word that you wrote! I've also struggled with nighttime nursing and nap issues with my twin girls (13 months) and I have an older child (4 years) that I've felt like I'm neglecting. Once I figured out that when they were napping twice a day, I was putting babies down to sleep 42 times a week (including bedtime) and they were fighting it every time... it's enough to drive anyone mad! I also would have one take so long to get down to sleep that the other would wake up before I was even done, which gave me no quality time with my son at all, nor downtime to get things done, relax, etc. It was so frustrating.
The thing that helped me reclaim some sanity was dropping them down to one nap a day. I don't know if you would work for you, but it was a lifesaver for me. Instead of taking two short naps a day, now they take one longer nap around midday. I did it right around their first birthday and it took about a week of crankiness for them to make the transition, but it was worth it. They go down for their naps and bedtime MUCH faster now because they are more tired. And with them taking longer naps I have longer chunks of time with my son. Plus, I only have to put them down to sleep 28 times a week :)
I think conventional sleep advice is that you shouldn't drop down to one nap until 18 months, but my pediatrician (who is very AP and progressive) said that it's OK to do it sooner and that the most important thing is whether they're getting the right total amount of sleep and not how it's distributed.
Again, you can take this advice or leave it, but I thought I would mention what worked for me. I don't have any advice on the nighttime stuff though... I'm in the same boat as you there.
Twins are tough. Caring for twins while taking care of another child is tough. Caring for twins and another child is even tougher when you're trying to do AP... especially when you don't have support from friends and your spouse. I can relate to that too, which is why it's nice to check in here and have a place where I can feel "normal" for the way that I parent. It's especially hard to come by like-minded moms of multiples. Come vent anytime... venting is totally OK in my book!
Repeat after me: "I'm doing the best I can." It's my new parenting mantra as a MoM.
Mom to son M (11/06), and twin daughters L & A (6/10).
When my boys' naps are all out of sync, I will get us all in the car and drive somewhere. Hopefully that will get them to sleep at somewhat the same time, without me having to physically put them to sleep. Even though gas is $4/gallon, I'll let the car idle in the parking lot while I eat some drive thru and the boys sleep. It's worth it to me. Shrug.
Can you wear both at the same time? Front and back? That may help. Or at least put one on your back, then you can hold the other in front for rocking, and you can get them both sleepy at the same time.
I also lie down with my boys, that way I get some horizontal time. If one is sleepy and the other not, I will side-lie nurse the sleepy one, and let the other one crawl around the bed. We have a sidecarred crib, so he can play with some toys that we have there for a little while, until either he gets sleepy/ready to nurse too, or the sleeping one can detach and allow me to be with the wakey one.
Hope some of this helps you! If not, just know that it will get better!
I have been there! I so understand what you are going through. I'm sorry that your husband is not being supportive right now. When mine were that age, they were starting to not nurse to sleep anymore, so it was difficult. Routine for us was key because they knew what was coming next. Both of my boys were high needs in their own way and I was alone a lot. R would take a pacy and go down on his own and D would take 45 minutes of rocking to got to sleep, which left me with 15 minutes of "down time" to throw a load of laundry in, pee, take a shower before it all started again. We read the "no cry sleep solution" and then adapted it to our and our kids' needs. We started with bed time because DH was usually home. He would take R into anothe room, cuddle him, relax him and put him to bed and he would just drift off. Divide and conquer. D did not go so willingly. I would nurse him and if he didn't fall asleep I would put him in his crib. We did the pick-up/put down method, when he cried I'd pick him up until he calmed down never leaving the side of his crib then put him back as soon as he was calm. I NEVER left the room until he was sleeping and sometimes it would take up to an hour for him to settle, but as time went by it got easier. I also waited with naps until I was sure that they were tired before I put them down. If I put them down too early, it was almost impossible and then they got overtired and I'd lose the window. I also vaguely remember leaning over D's crib with my boob in his mouth nursing him to sleep because if I tried to move him he would wake up, so it was a way to get him to fall asleep in his own crib. 4 years later, they both go to sleep in their own beds and on their own. Persistance is key, I know it's hard because right now you can't see an end. Can you ask a neighbour or a church member to come in a few hours a week to give you a chance to catch up on your sleep?
: wife to James, MoM to R and D (Aug 2007) and E (Nov 2009) and Y (April 2012)
wow, that's rough. whew, let's see. i do not try to put my girls down for naps unless i KNOW they are ready and will go right down. that usually means isla will go down once a day and ruby will nap attached to my boob or in a swing/bouncer. does your 3yo still nap? if we are not out and about, our day looks like this: babies up at 630a nurse in bed as long as possible, 3yo up at 730, downstairs by 8, babies nurse again then breakfast for 3 yo, sometimes babies will nap while nursing sometimes they won't but i never try to put them down before noon, at noon it's lunch for 3yo then nap/quiet time, if isla is not already down i get her nursed and in crib asap as she is the one that is easiest to put down and then put ruby in bed with me to nap/nurse-sometimes she falls asleep sometimes not and on those not days i will get her to nap in a swing or via bouncing which usually involves about 10 minutes of complaining before passing out and then i have triple nap nirvana for around 45 min. ummm, not sure that helps but it's what works over here. only one big nap and i do not enforce it which saves my sanity plus the toddler has to have nap/quiet time every day. sigh, it's really tough before they develop a real schedule but it'll happen!
as far as our night routine, they have separate cribs because like you i cannot sleep through nursing. we wait til they are dead tired around 10-11 and they go to bed relatively easy (with some complaining at times and usually multiple tries). i nurse baby/ies down and dh tries to put them down in their cribs. if they complain too long (+5min) back down to nurse and do it over. once they are both out, i run upstairs and hop into bed asap. when someone wakes it is dh's job to get them to me to nurse- i DO NOT step foot out of bed to get anyone. then either he or i returns them to the crib. if i ever let either of them stay in bed with us it's an all night buffet and i regret it. ok, sorry for the novel. again not sure any of this helps but sometimes it is nice to hear what works for others. i find that getting out of the house for the majority of the day regularly saves my sanity. i have a close ap friend with a toddler and twin girls just weeks younger than mine so we get together quite often-i tell her misery loves company! wish you lived closer, you could join our club!
I also transitioned my twins to one nap at 9 months. Two naps were too short and not synced up. Although I swore I would never be one of the mothers who had their kids in a super rigid routine, I now have a pretty solid system of get up (about 7/;30), eat breakfast, play, eat snack, nap (about 11:00) lunch after nap (around 1), play, snack, supper, play/bath, books, bed.
I found that transitioning them off nursing to sleep was key to getting them to sleep longer. With DD1 I had the time and patience to nap with her, spend an hour putting her to sleep if necessary. I don't have that time now. The babies fuss, but I was at the breaking point with spending so much time nursing them to sleep then getting up just to have another baby start fussing. I kind of did the pantley thing I think. Let them nurse, then pull off and let fuss for a bit. Soothe with patting, rubbing back, singing, shushing. The first few nights were not great but I or DH was right there and I needed my sanity so it had to happen.
The routine helps keep them in sync for sleeping/napping. It's kind of crappy, we don't have as much flexibility to just go out when we want to like we had with dd1, but hey, I have usually 2 hours in the afternoon without babies and then a few hours (usually) at night before I go sleep with the babies.
I think we're going to try and transition them to their own bed soon. That should be an adventure.
Montessori teacher working part time and trying to keep up with the kiddos. DD1 (June 08) DS1 (June 10) DD2 (June 10)