Saturday, October 9, 2010

sleep training

Kara's Mom asked for our sleep training process.

I read tons of books on sleep training. There are so many extreme theories that are, in my eyes, insanely stressful for everyone concerned. My brother did the Ferber method. NEVER. I took quite a bit from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins.

So, here is our mash up theory ...

We fed them every three hours from the day they were born and we keep a log of how much they eat, what they are like, what their diapers were like (yes, we change every time we feed). For the first 6 weeks this was all we did. As they increased their feeding amount we pushed the interval to four hours if the kids were OK with it (i.e. they were quietly asleep)

When we hit six weeks the interim time between feeds is not just nap.

6am - 7am bath/ dress from 6 - 7am
7- 9am Light nap (i.e. in a bouncy chair or play pen) or play.
9-10am Feed
10 am Activity - outside if possible. At this point looking at tree's is an activity.
12 pm Feed
12 - 4 pm Deep nap (somewhere quiet and not moving (ie not running around in the stroller).
4 - 6 pm Activity. Usually I take them out in the stroller).
6 pm - Bath (or splash), bottle and book (usually the newspaper coz this is THE ONLY TIME I GET TO READ IT!!)
7.30pm Bed.

Now this is where it gets interesting
They stay in their cribs but if they cry we go to them (we take it in turns). We tell stories or read from the paper, sing a song or just put a hand on them and they go back to sleep. For about 5 mins! Sometimes they sleep for an hour, or one of them does, while the other cries.We will pick them up if they are going crazy and set them down when they show drowsy signs. We will bring them out of the bedroom if it is near 9.30pm but not before.

10pm - Big feed and bed.

From now on, if they wake up they are changed/fed and put back to bed. No fussing, eye contact etc. Since we have one baby with GERD he needs more attention at night than the other. He may sleep for up to 4 hours but that is a red letter night! Baby girl on the other hand has one feed and change about 2am and then she is down till 6am.

Here is the secret. Day napping. If they do not sleep well enough in the day we are screwed. The naps are really important. I don't care where they sleep but its calm where ever they are. Usually one of them needs a cuddle but its calm and relaxed wherever we are.

At 8 weeks we're all doing OK I think!!


  1. You sound like you are doing great!

    I just found this pediatrician blog today, The Anxious Parent. Looks interesting. He has a recent post of his sleep training advice:

  2. Are you kidding? I remember my boys at 8 weeks.... (Both had GERD) You all are doing just great! Here's hoping that all this hard work will continue to pay off :) FYI: I followed the Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Twins book as well. It made a lot of sense to me and I felt it was a good compromise between the Ferber method and some other methods.

  3. You can't see me, but I am bowing before you. Wow. What an amazing schedule. Way to go! I was NOT prepared and winged everything for, oh, the first 12 weeks or so. It's taken me SEVEN MONTHS to get my boy to sleep through the night. You rock!