Help night weaning twins - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-08-2011, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

I have 16mo twin girls who wake up to nurse all night.  Between the two of them, I am not getting more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night. If I could just easily nurse them back to sleep I wouldn't bother changing anything,  but sometimes I can't even nurse them to sleep--they will just be up for hours, nursing and fidgeting. I am really at the end of my rope, and since nursing them whenever they want is not resulting in a good nights sleep, I'm ready to night wean.  I did this with my older daughter at about the same age and it went like a dream.  I used the Dr. Jay Gordon method (although I stretched it out to a week or two at each stage).  I really was amazed how well it went.  It didn't stop her waking up at night, but she would go right back to sleep with a little back rub.  However, I'm at a bit of a loss on how to adapt this to use with twins.  http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

We usually all sleep together on mattresses shoved together on the floor, but in preparation for weaning I have moved one dd into another room with dh, and one dd is in the big room with me and my other daughter.  Right now I just go back and forth between the two rooms and nurse each one as she wakes up.  If they both wake up I haul them into one bed or the other or out into the living room to tandem nurse.  I am wondering how I will go through the cuddling/comforting process to get one back to sleep once the other baby wakes up.  I don't think I can do it to both of them at once and my dh doesn't think he can comfort them (they go bananas at night to get to me).

Does anyone have any ideas? I think I will buy a couple of bottles to incorporate into the cuddling stage.

Has anyone used this method, or any other to successfully night wean their twins?

Thanks a lot for reading, and any suggestions you might have.

Teri

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Old 10-09-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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im going to watch this thread since i have also gotten to the point where i feel i need more sleep and they can sleep longer stretches if i help them learn, but yeah the twins thing has be befuddled as to how.

 

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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Ok, let me see if I remember what we did. I know that R night weaned very easily and quickly and wasn't so bothered by my stopping to nurse in the middle of the night and D was quite annoyed that I changed the rules on him.

 

I nursed them for bed and then if they woke up past 10 pm, DH would give them a bottle of milk. Gradually we put less milk and more water and after two weeks it was all just water. It was hard for a while because one would just take a pacifyer and go back to sleep and one got mad that we were changing the rules on him. We never co-slept and had a bed and a pack'n'play set up in the guest room, so DH would take them in there. It was very hard for me not to go in and rescue, but I knew it was for the best for all of us to get longer stretches of sleep. They were never left alone to CIO, and DH was there the whole time they were awake. We also incorporated the No Cry Sleep Solution and that also helped gettting him back to sleep on his own. It took about two weeks of not sleeping and then things settled down and they got used to water bottles. After about three weeks, DH would go in, give them a bottle of water and leave the room, they would settle themselves. It is definately worth it in the end even though it is hard while you are in it. They started sleeping through the night at about 27 months just before I gave birth to my third. Now at four they have sippy cups with water in their beds and they drink them as needed during the night. If your little guys are not great sleepers, maybe do them one at a time?


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Old 10-10-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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i have been starting with little steps, like always offering a list of other things before the breast. 

binky

soft strokes to head or back

arm around them

 

then breast

 

the hardest part for us and a i assume most twins is how much i can let one fuss as they figure it out without waking and working the other one up too much. both mine tend to get whiny as i am holding off giving a boob, rarely ever crying, but just fussing and whining a bunch, if i had one i would take that as a sign they just need me there and offering some comfort as they work thru their new routine. but with a twin just inches away i feel like i give in the the path of least resistance really fast so that they other one one is not woke up. of course the "POLR" is a boob straight into the mouth, fail.


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Old 10-10-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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We used the same method at about 14-15 months.  They were already in their own beds in their own room together, so DH and I would either one or both go in and comfort them.  It really was a two parent job.  I agree that sometimes even DH alone can be better at doing the trick, as he doesn't smell like milk!   

We reduced the night feedings first - from 3 to 2 to 1 before completely night weaning.  That way we didn't have to substitute milk in bottles b/c they were getting most milk & all food during the day.  When we night weaned fully we had sippy cups of water in bed with the girls, but we didn't offer it as a substitute for the breast.  It was just there for whenever they might have wanted it.

 

Good luck.  Sleep will help you to function so much better!!! 


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Old 10-10-2011, 08:08 PM
 
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was wondering if there was any issue with having my 9.5 month olds drink water thru the night? i assume at this age it should be ok and they will still get their calories durng the day and maybe even help them not rely on night feeds to fuel them. or is there an issue im not thinking of?  they very much like water from bottle or cup or anything, so thats not an issue.


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Old 10-11-2011, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the replies!

I have started like you suggested, Shuli, with just one baby.  I am doing what seems to be the best sleeper first.

My oldest daughter also started sleeping through the night at about 2 years, so I am not expecting these guys to do that right away, I just want to not be nursing all night.

We've been at it for three nights now, and so far so good.  I am still nursing both to sleep, but then when the one in the big room wakes up I am just nursing her until the flow stops and then holding and rubbing her back while we lie in bed.  the first night she cried off and on for an hour and a half, but since that one time, she hasn't cried for more than 30 seconds.  It is sometimes hard to judge when to take her off the breast, because I don't want to take her off while the milk is still flowing, but I also don't want to wait too long and let her fall asleep. 

And then when the other baby wakes up I just go in the other room and nurse her to sleep.

I will post again next time there are developments.

Thanks!

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Old 10-15-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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as far as i know, its best recommended that you wait until a year to change any nighttime feeding routines...perhaps its just a bit too early?
 

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Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

i have been starting with little steps, like always offering a list of other things before the breast. 

binky

soft strokes to head or back

arm around them

 

then breast

 

the hardest part for us and a i assume most twins is how much i can let one fuss as they figure it out without waking and working the other one up too much. both mine tend to get whiny as i am holding off giving a boob, rarely ever crying, but just fussing and whining a bunch, if i had one i would take that as a sign they just need me there and offering some comfort as they work thru their new routine. but with a twin just inches away i feel like i give in the the path of least resistance really fast so that they other one one is not woke up. of course the "POLR" is a boob straight into the mouth, fail.



 


becky.
mama to m (3/96), o (8/07), p (5/09) and our twins: r (2/14/11) and l (2/15/11) 

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Old 10-15-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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Where are you getting the one year thing, I'm curious? Either way wen I mean taking small steps I really mean it, we have a loose goal of having them in their own room by their 1st birthday in 2.5 months. Hopefully by that time we would be down to 1 or 2 feeding a night (including one around 11pm when I go to bed and maybe one in the very early morning when dad gets up for work). So I don't feel like I'm rushing, I do feel like I would be a more fun mom if I got kicked less all night.💤

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Old 10-16-2011, 11:41 PM
 
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We nightweaned, but MUCH later, like 2 1/2, so I used to tell them....Milk is going Night, Night.  They started sleeping on my arms then (and still like that).  I think the key is figuring out what will replace the breast for comfort.

 

Sarah

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Old 10-30-2011, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, OP here.

I have been too exhausted to post, because this is HORRIBLE!!!!

I couldn't ever even have imagined how awful night weaning was going to be.

We have ended up trying to do both girls at once, because they would both wake up anyway and I couldn't nurse one and not the other.

With my older daughter this was such a smooth and natural process and I guess I expected something similar, just logistically more difficult because of twins.

But we are just up all night. They cry and scream and hit and scratch and kick, and then when they eventually do fall asleep in our arms (rocking or walking) we can't put them down or they immediately wake up screaming.  So it is this hours long process of getting them to sleep, then sitting in the bed with them on us, then scootching down in bed, then rolling them off, and finally lying down before starting the whole thing over again.  

Got to go--crying three yo this time.

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Old 10-31-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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Oy! I'm sorry it's so hard for you. When we were doing it we actually had to move the heavier/longer sleeper into the guest room for a few weeks while his brother figured it out. Is that an option for you? Then you don't have two crying babies to deal with. Granted it wasn't all smooth sailing and there about two weeks of sleepless nights, but mostly he was just mad that we changed the rules on him, so he was crying mostly about that, not about not nursing. They were 18 months and I was pregnant and I just couldn't anymore, so we really didn't have much of a choice :-) It was really tough going in the beginning, but we managed.


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