Monday, February 21, 2011

Sleep training twins...again.. help me decide what to do please!

Looks like the sleep training is going to have to resume. They are doing OK but each of them wakes in the night and Mimi won't settle till she gets fed again, usually at midnight.

So, what the f**k do I do now?

When I read other blogs and they have sleeping through the night babies I wonder why I am so weak, that I don't go the whole hog and do the night screaming thing. My neighbour told me she let her kid cry for 2 hours one night, then 30 mins the next and voila! sleeping through the night. I let my guys cry from 10 -  20 mins then in I go. They go back to sleep if the binky is replaced, or they repositioned.

Should I let them cry it out 'old style'?


  1. Hi EB -- I don't have any great advice on this since Liam co-slept (and still does). But, I like the books by Elizabeth Pantley, because she gives a lot of different options and ways to help children learn to fall asleep and helps parents use an evidence-based approach (keeping track, basically) to figure out what what works and make adjustments. Hope it gets better soon, no sleep is the worst especially when you're also working full time! Sending love,

  2. I am in the same boat. Every time someone gets sick, we have to start all over again. And my son still wakes to feed TWICE nightly, at 7.5 months. I am at my wits end here. We'll share on Thursday. xxoo

  3. De-lurking. I don't have twins, but 3 kids. I don't know if I just got lucky with them sleeping, or what. At 6 months, they are big enough to not require a night feeding (this told to me by my ped. Two out of the three were pacifier kids. At about 6 months, they awoke and needed to be plugged. I went into the room, gave them the paci, and walked out. Usually, they were good until morning, sometimes I would have to do it a couple of times. I never spoke to them, or turned on any lights. If they were standing, I would lay them down with their plug. This worked. Good luck.

  4. You asked for opinions. My opinion is you should not let them cry it out. You go in when they cry because that's a mother's instinct, to meet the needs of their child. If they cry during the day, you go to them. But at night they don't get that same privilege? I also recommend The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I have a 7 year old, a 5 year old, and a 13 month old. My older two woke at night to nurse until they were at least 18 months old. My youngest still wakes at least once to nurse. However, there have been nights where she sleeps through. Good luck! Is there a local La Leche League chapter in your area? That's always a great place to get advice and support.

  5. Here with some a$$vice. We went back and forth on this a lot. One of the boys seemed to sleep better through the night earlier than the other, so we sleep trained him first. Yes, it was hard. I think we waited until he was 8 months old. We did let him cry it out, and after the 1st few days, he slept through the night like a dream. But Oh, those first 3 days....

    With his twin, he seemed to need more attention during the night, and had trouble napping during the day. We gave in to his demands (either sleeping with us or getting a bottle) until he was well over a year old. We then sleep trained him both at night and to sleep in a crib during the day. And that WAS TERRIBLE. Truly. He screamed for 2 hours at a time at night and the first day didn't have nap at all he was crying so much. By day three, however, it was soooo much better. He was sleeping in his crib with almost no fussing and sleeping through the night.

    What helped me is that I reminded myself that they were not hungry, they were mad. A mad baby I can live with, but not a deprived baby.

    We had to "retrain" after sickness or teething, but the refresher course was much quicker. Just one night of some crying it out.

    Now that they are 19 months old, we still have to go in for paci popping occasionally. Sometimes we even **gasp** take them out of their crib and give them a hug and a pat and can place them back in and cover them with a blanket. Between the two of them, I'd say 1x/night we go in to give them a paci. Usually before 11pm.

    I also learned a trick about teething/random pain waking my kids up. If they woke up and couldn't seem to go back to sleep well, I would give them a dose of tylenol and rub just a bit of oragel on their gums. I would try not to give a bottle, but sometimes I needed to. After 30 minutes of quiet time, I could usually put them back to bed. You may wonder why this is such a revelation? Because, it took me forever to figure out that they may have a pain and that it took the Tylenol 30 min to kick in. Thus, I would wonder why the child wasn't sleeping, give him a paci. No good. Give him a bottle. No good. Change him. No good. Rock with him. No good. 1.5 hours later, give him tylenol. Wait 30 min. Then he went to sleep. Now I skip some of the earlier stuff.

    I know that this sounds unhelpful coming from the "other side," but it will get better. If you do decide to do sleep training (CIO), your kids won't hate you. (I was always amazed that they were happy to see me the next morning...) And the worst part of sleep training was the first 2 days (the 3rd day you would see noticeable improvement). Start on a Friday night. Good luck!!

  6. What worked really well for me was a Ferber-type method. Instead of let the crying go on and on, I would go in after 5 mins, lay her back down, rub her back and sing for no more than a minute, then walk out. Repeat after 10 mins. Repeat after 15 mins (then keep it at 15 mins after that). The idea being that you show them you're there, they are not abandoned, but that the night is time for sleep, not eating, playing, rocking, etc. This starts with the initial bedtime, as well as the wakings during the night. I had gotten in the bad habit of nursing her to sleep, so I switched to a routine of nursing, THEN brushing teeth, book, song and lay her down tired but awake.

    The first night I had to go in 4 times. The next few nights 1-2 times, and by the 5th night, I didn't have to go in at all. She now goes into the crib awake, cries for about 10 seconds, and then lays down and goes to sleep. Same if she wakes in the middle of the night, she might cry for less than a minute, then go right back down by herself. Most nights she doesn't cry at all.

    Of course, now she has 2 ear infections, a runny nose and a cough, so all bets are off, and when she wakes, I hold and rock her and give her tylenol as needed. But hopefully the past month of bliss will return fairly quickly once she feels better.

  7. It sounds like everyone who has done the sleep training CIO method says it works by day 3 or so. I've never done it and I guess I just don't have faith enough to risk it. I fear that my baby would just cry himself sick, purple-faced, gagging and snotty everysinglenight for all of eternity. And there I'd be - with a baby freaked out at bedtime, me all uptight and sleep deprived after listening to him scream night after night and still no sleeping baby. That's my fear: I'd screw it up worse. So, when he wakes, I only go get him if he cries or stands up. Then I speak few words, kiss him, rock him and put him back in the crib (or bring him to bed with me). I choose those options over facing my fear. I guess the bottom line is that you have decide what you want most and what price you are willing to pay. Sleep is a fantastic reward - for both you and the kids, if you can manage the cost of getting there.