How do you get your infant twins to sleep? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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They are 8 months chronological (5+ adjusted) I'm obviously not interested in CIO, which is the "easy" answer I have gotten elsewhere. But I'm struggling with how to get them both to sleep at the same time without any crying. Unfortunately they don't nurse (I am pumping for them full-time) so nursing them to sleep isn't an option.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#2 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 08:53 AM
 
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We have two large wicker baskets suspended from a "T" frame to create two flat swings. The twins (5+ months) take their naps there or in the stroller. Unfotunately, they rarely nap together meaning no naps--ever--for mama.

That said, some kids really struggle for naps. DS#1 (4 yo now) refused for his first 13 months to take a single nap inside. It was the stroller or a very tired, awake and cranky baby.

Good luck!
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#3 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 09:22 AM
 
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Mine never slept together. At that age I did "divide and concoquer." I had a PNP in my room, and the crib in their room. I would take whoever was more tired and get her down in 1 crib, then work on the other. That meant many days I had a baby awake all day long because by the time #2 was ready to nap #1 was almost up, but at least the babies were rested (even if I wasn't )

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#4 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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I would put in a cd of soft comfort music and pat their backs or rub their ears till they fell asleep now when it's bed time I turn on the cd and they both just lay down and go to sleep. I never did CIO with them my family thought it was nuts not to CIO but I found a method that works for us. One of my friends used the book the no cry sleep solution and loves it I don't know all of the details on what she uses. We also have an aquarium in the boys room and they love to look at the fish and sometimes they will sing to them till they fall asleep.
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#5 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twin monkeys
they love to look at the fish and sometimes they will sing to them till they fall asleep.
That is so cute! I was just looking at the no-cry sleep solution book on Amazon - I'm going to see if my library has it. I read the Weissbluth book and found it valuable for the info on sleep cycles and timing of naps and bedtimes, but not for methods for putting them to sleep, since he's OK with CIO. I will admit there are times when I wish I was OK with CIO myself, because it sure sounds less time-consuming, but I can't do that to my sweeties or to myself.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#6 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 06:41 PM
 
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I just looked at your kids adjusted age do you have a portable swing? or two can you try it for naps at the same time? I could never do CIO but they do love to sing and be sung to I think that is why the CD works so well for my little guys. Do you have them sleeping togehter or apart? I know that I let mine sleep together till they hit about 8 mo then they would wake each other up but before that time they would just hum and do little baby babbles to each other.
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#7 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 10:13 PM
 
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No real help, even as toddlers, anytime I was struggling w/ the challenges of nursing toddler twins & dh would suggest weaning, one of my arguments against weaning was "how would we ever get them to sleep at night?" LOL.

BUT . . . I did figure out for naps that they would fall asleep in their portable swings during my shower, and stay asleep as long as the shower (or other white noise) continued. So that would be my only suggestion, would be to incorporate white noise.
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#8 of 25 Old 09-03-2006, 10:16 PM
 
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We always give them some big extra warm bottles at that time, which usually does the trick, but if it doesn't, we do sometimes resort to a quiet short road trip. That almost always works. Unfortunately we haven't really figured out any ways of getting them to put themselves to sleep. I'm thinking we might check out the NCSS ourselves.
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#9 of 25 Old 09-04-2006, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The swings are hit or miss these days. Used to be a sure thing, but now I have to make sure nothing else is going on in the room or they pay too much attention to whatever it is. I had them sleeping together in one crib up until about a month ago when they started waking a lot at night. I walked in on one waking and found Kate turned 45 degrees and Lilly kicking her in the head in her sleep. Somehow that just didn't seem conducive to slumber so we put together the 2nd crib. They do sleep longer at night now - it's just the process of getting each one to sleep when my husband isn't here (which is every night except Saturday and Sunday - he gets home from work at 8pm the earliest) that I find daunting. Some nights I get lucky and one or both of them falls asleep during that last bottle (in Boppies on my bed). Some nights, not so much.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#10 of 25 Old 09-07-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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The only non-nursing way I was able to get them down at that age was to go on a stroller walk or car ride. But if I moved them they woke up, so that only worked for naps.

During the winter (when it was too cold to leave them nap outside), I would actually put the stroller in the kitchen and rock it back and forth with the kitchen fan turned on for white noise.

At night, we "walked/carried" them to sleep till they were about a year old.

Good luck, sleep issues have been the hardest thing for me about having twins, hands down, so I related.
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#11 of 25 Old 09-09-2006, 12:36 AM
 
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First of all can I say that amazes me..."full time pumping". I can't even imagine adding that to my plate. I am in awe! you are already such an amazing mother.

I just posted a very similiar question...how to get them to self soothe. I am going crazy putting them to bed at night. They are excellent nappers and sleepers once they are down; and nursing them to sleep never works for me. They pop their eyes open as soon as I move, sometimes never even shut them at all.

At 4.5 months I have a fan going all night for white noise, I also swaddle them with one arm out. These two things seem to work for them, to keep them sleeping longer. They do sleep in the same crib in my room.

I work to keep them on the same schedule. We get up together, play together and sleep together. I make a little extra noise when the first one gets up to wake the second one. If the nap is way too short I sit and rock the first one until the second one wakes up naturally.) On the flip side, when going down for naps, I rock the one which is less tired and then put him to sleep a little after the tired one. And of course they have the same bed time. It is the bed time that they really like to fight. I just moved a swing up into the room and will begin trying swinging the fussy one to sleep. Maybe it will take me out of the loop a little?

I think I am really lucky that they have similiar sleep needs.

I am thinking of you pumping away. That is really impressive!

I love trees , I love to eat :, I love my boys (4/2006), my dh of 9 yrs; and my (due 2/11)
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#12 of 25 Old 09-09-2006, 02:28 PM
 
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My twins are 5 months. I do nurse them but you could bottle feed and still do what I usually do. I change their diaper, nurse them (this is done one baby at a time - all of it), then put the baby in a pouch w/his binky and then walk him around until he drifts off to sleep. Once I'm confident he's sound asleep, I slip the pouch off over my head & lay the baby down in it in the Amby Bed (which is a hammock thing). I have a pic here. Sometimes I do this with the Mei Tai instead, but it's harder to slip off w/o waking the baby b/c of all the untying. During all of this, I have the other baby somewhere else - hopefully being entertained by his big sisters (or better yet, daddy, when he's home). Sometimes you can't help but let one of them cry a little while you get the other to sleep. I'd never advocate CIO, but I don't see how w/twins you can escape *some* crying, kwim? You just can't meet both their needs all the time every time, as hard as that is.

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#13 of 25 Old 09-09-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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love_homebirthing - I just had to say it: look at you, all lovely with such lovely children! such a beautiful family! wonderful pictures. and I have got to get one of those hammock things.
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#14 of 25 Old 09-09-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderinggypsy
love_homebirthing - I just had to say it: look at you, all lovely with such lovely children! such a beautiful family! wonderful pictures. and I have got to get one of those hammock things.
Thank you! The Amby beds are great. I'm glad we ended up getting them even though they were pricey. They'll give you a twin discount (10% I think) if you order two, which we did. They'll definitely outlast a traditional bassinet as far as weight goes and they seem much comfier for the babies. We keep them in the family room so they can nap near the rest of us.

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#15 of 25 Old 09-10-2006, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pasqueflower
First of all can I say that amazes me..."full time pumping". I can't even imagine adding that to my plate. I am in awe! you are already such an amazing mother.
Thank you so much for those kind words! I always feel sad about EPing because nursing never worked out when they got home from the NICU, and I feel funny on MDC sometimes thinking people just don't understand, KWIM? So thanks for making my day.

Somehow this week things got easier with them. I think they are getting used to having a little bedtime routine with Mommy. We go upstairs and one hangs out in the crib watching the mobile or aquarium while I change the other into her jammies. I talk to them about all the fun we had today, and then we go into my room, which I have set up with Boppies on the bed and the lights really low. I sing to them while I give them their (extra-warm) milk bottles,and usually one or both drifts off.

Twice this week Lilly fell asleep on my bed, and Katie not quite so much, so I put her in her crib and kissed her and after about 2 minutes of fidgeting (without a sound) she fell asleep. I am so proud!! And I think I may actually survive this whole thing!!

Still working on the naps, though. I think I should probably use the swing more than I do, if only just to get them into the routine of napping at the right time, and then work on getting them in the crib.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#16 of 25 Old 09-11-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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The one sure thing that has worked for us with our girls (5 months old, 3 months adjusted) is to stick to night routine, make wake up time at night as boring as possible, keep daylight as bright as possible and nap them in a room that's not so quiet.

At night, I nurse one at a time while my husband has the other in a carrier. We trade off as they get fussy/drift off... after 2-3 rounds each, we lay them down in their bed, totally dark room with a bit of soft music.

I think the day and night differences play a big factor as does making night wake up boring. We failed to do this with my first daughter and she ended up never really "learning" how to sleep - even at 2 she still thinks 3:00am is prime play time.

Ours don't cry when laid down, both will rustle a few minutes and maybe suck their fingers. They usually drift off under 10 minutes and sleep from 8pm - 2am (wake to eat) - 8am.
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#17 of 25 Old 09-11-2006, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh, last night was a backslide. They went down OK at 7-7:30ish, but woke up at 12:15, at which time we fed them both. Then at 4, up again, but not hungrily crying - just fussing, but for a long time. I soothed Lilly fairly easily (a surprise as she's been harder lately) but Kate was up until 5:15 or so at which point I gave in and fed her, and while I was feeding her Lilly woke up sounding hungry. Ack! Now I feel like I should've just fed them both at 4 and I could've been asleep in 20 minutes rather than 2 hours.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#18 of 25 Old 09-12-2006, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll just keep talking to myself here. Last night was a total 360 degree turnaround. Right to sleep at 7:30, as usual for lately. And then Lilly woke up once a bit before midnight, then slept through to 6am. At 6am I heard her babble a few times, so I went to the bathroom and braced myself for the onslaught that never came! She went back to sleep until 7:45. Kate slept from bedtime and I don't know when she woke up because she was silent until I walked in to get Lilly! These babies never cease to amaze and confound me. But everyone is happy as could be this morning, that's for sure.

It's weird because their naps were all screwy yesterday due to an unsuccessful trip to Kiddie Kandids at BRU. By the time they could take us (along with my friends 2 y.o.) we had 3 kids missing naps and melting down and no one got pictures! It was evil! Other than that, the only thing different is that they ended up taking a late nap and I ran out of time to give them any solids, which I have been doing around 5:30. So they had breastmilk at 5, then at bedtime maybe they were hungrier and had more of that milk to hold them over? Who knows. I think I'll play with that idea a bit today.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#19 of 25 Old 09-12-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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Don't you just love how babies change the rules on you CONSTANTLY! I hope they keep up this new habit for you.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#20 of 25 Old 09-15-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Although I nursed, I didn't nurse them to sleep I put them in their crib awake. Having twins and taking care of 2 older children, I came to the conclusion that they needed to fall asleep on their own and it worked. I read happy baby healthy sleep habbits, author Weisbluth (Great book) talks about babies natural sleep rhythms, I took from it what worked for me and my family and also used background noise (ocean waves) when I put them down and by 10 mos. they napped on their own and slept through the night. They woke up between 5:30 and 6 am. The whole family was happy.
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#21 of 25 Old 09-15-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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Hi...not a mom of twins but I care for my 9mo and a 7mo and thought I'd chime in on what works for me! I put one of them on my back in the Ergo, cradle the other, and bounce them to sleep on a medicine ball. Then I put down the one that I am holding and sometimes take the other out of the Ergo. Works like a charm *most* of the time. When it doesn't...we go for walks. Really, really long walks!

Hope that helps!
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#22 of 25 Old 09-21-2006, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had to share this update. Things at bedtime have gotten pretty good. I am still doing the bottles in Boppies on my bed. Usually one or both of them fall asleep while finishing the bottle, and I either move them both to their cribs, or leave the sleeping one and rock the other, or just put her down if she's really drowsy. The past 2 nights, Lilly conked out in my room and Kate was the one I put down drowsy but awake. Last night she just went to sleep and I was thrilled.

Tonight, my Dad happened to be here with me and stuck around after I put them to bed. We were sitting in the LR with the monitor, which was all quiet for 10 minutes or so. Then it switched on (I keep it on voice-activated) and I was like "oh shit, there she goes..." but it wasn't crying. It sounded like a little giggle. Then again, and then it was unmistakable. Giggling and crinkly sounds, for a good minute or so. I mean hysterical laughter, the kind I only hear when I am tickling her. I was baffled and laughing myself!

Turns out I left a toy in the crib. I swear I took it out but I guess not. It's just a little bumblebee thing with crinkly wings, and she never finds it that fascinating in the light of day. When I went to check on her I took it out, because I didn't want her to roll over and wake herself up. But now I'm second-guessing - should I put it back so if she wakes in the middle of the night she can entertain herself?! WWYD?

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#23 of 25 Old 09-26-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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thats great that they are napping better. my 3 yr old twins are in their rooms playing right now, i think it was easier getting them to bed as infants!!! i have a 4month old right now and when he falls asleep i take his toys and put them on the other end of the crib. I NEVER would have done this with any of my other children but with my 4th baby i put one of those crib mirrored toys things that tie onto the crib. i put him down awake and he looks at it, rolls over, fusses a bit and falls asleep. its also great for morning time when he wakes up because he is entertained in there and doesnt insist that i get him out right away....MORE SLEEP FOR ME!!
Its amazing that it took me 4 children to finally figure nap times out.

with the twins i also remember lots of patting. i would lay them down in the crib together and pat both their backs at the same time..........back braking work, literally!! But it worked.

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch way.....hospital. C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#24 of 25 Old 09-26-2006, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hehe, I hear ya on the back-breaking work! I have BTDT, too.

I did end up putting the toy back in, and in the morning, before I heard a peep out of her, I heard "crinkle crinkle crinkle" and then a bunch of happy sounds. So sweet! I gave her sister a crinkly toy, too, and they definitely seem happy with them.

I think they must know that everyone has told me that 6 months is when they get easier. They will be 6 months adjusted tomorrow, and have definitely become a lot more manageable suddenly. Or maybe it's because I borrowed The No Cry Sleep Solution from the library last week. Perhaps they absorbed it by osmosis? I certainly haven't had a chance to actually read it!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#25 of 25 Old 09-27-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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So glad to hear things are looking up for you. Yea on the crinkle toy if that keeps them happy go for it girl! Mine have been getting up at 11:00 stupid neighbors dog who won't stop barking, My other neighbor said why don't we just take all 3 kids over at 2:00 am when the dog wakes them up again and say you deal with them we are going back to bed. I just told her but if she will let her dog bark it out what do you think she would do with our kids? she just said Ohh your right no CIO for any of us.
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