sleep deprived mom of twins

  • I need some MAJOR help.  I have a set of 9 month old twins, hanna and ethan, and neither of them are sleeping through the night.  They are both getting up 2 to 3 times a night.  Here is how our night goes, and if you have any suggestions PLEASE help.  At 3 we have a nap until 4 or 430.  530 we eat dinner.  play until 7 have bed time snack.  baths at 8 and with a bottle after and we try to have them in bed around 9.  It dont bother me to hold a kid until they go to sleep for the night, I can work on putting them to bed awake after I can get them to sleep through the night.  Right now, they are getting up at 12, 2, and 5.  I change them, they eat 2-6 ounces, and usually go right back to sleep.  It is a 20 minute process, but when you got two it is never ending.  One gets up, you put em back down, and as SOON as you start dozing off, the other gets up.  I get around 3 hours of sleep a night, and I am SO tired of being tired.  I have a fan running in the room next to them for noise.  The doctor said let them cry themselves back to sleep, but my problem is, their bedrooms are 5 feet apart.  I am afraid once one finally cries themselves to sleep, the other one will wake it back up with their cries.  A never ending battle.  Any advice is helpful, and I am willing to try just about anything!  Thanks

  • First, I would try to make the nap earlier in the afternoon, around 1 pm, after a meal. Start waking them up after an hour. Bathing with lavender will help them get sleepy, but move bath time to 6:30/7:00 pm and have them in bed by 8 pm, after their bottles. For 9 month old babies, a 9 pm bedtime is too late. Make sure their room is not bright, with only a dim night light on. Don't play with them after their bath because this will only provoke a rise in energy levels. Try shuting the fan off. I know ambient noise helps some infants, but maybe your twins dislike this. Hope this helps!

  • Babies are a creature of habit. They are simply used to getting up at night to snack and be held. Unless your pediatrician feels like they need to eat in the middle of the night, the average 9 month old baby does not need to eat in the middle of the night...it is simply what they are used to. Talk to your pediatrician to get her approval first, but my advice is to try and eliminate feeding them in the middle of the night.

    Come up with a plan first....when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, go in his room and pick him up. Tell him that you love him and that it is night time. You can rock him for a few minutes, but don't feed him. Then place him back in his bed and leave the room. This will undoubtedly make him mad, but let him cry for 5 minutes or so. Then re-enter his room and do the exact same thing again.

    Don't get me wrong..this will be a LONG NIGHT and it will not be fun. But believe me, after a few nights like this...it WILL work. I have done this with all of my children and after a few nights, they are sleeping through the night.

    Make sure you talk to your pediatrician first to get her opinion. Good Luck and please let us know how it works....

  • Well, out of pure desperation.  I tried a new technique last night and I was sort of impressed but wanted everyone elses opinion.  I bathed, bottle, and put them in their crib exactly at 9, when they were just starting to get tired.  After 30 minutes of crying, me not going in their rooms once, they crashed.  Hanna slept til 5 (that was GREAT), but ethan was still up at 12, 3 and 5.  I read that once you teach a kid that they can go to bed without you holding them, they will fall back asleep on their own when they wake up in the middle of the night.  My question....is a half hour good for the first night?  My Pedi said 40 minutes then go in and get them, but I want REAL moms opinions.  Even if you discourage my ways, please let me know.  I plan on trying this for about a week, then updating you guys again.  ( Wish I could update you eveyday, but I dont have the time!!)

  • Ok as a mother of Twins I know EXACTLY what you are going through. Mine are 5 now but I remember getting up to take care of one, getting that one to sleep, then the other one would wake up and we would start the process all over again. You really should try moving up the bedtime to about 8, but do it at 30 min intervals. Like one week you start going to bed at 830 instead of 9. They will cry and be upset but they could be waking up because they are OVER tired. I found that out with mine. They dont sleep well and get up 20 times a night if they dont get enough sleep.  I also agree about a warm bath with lavender. ( it also works wonders on mine, we still use it to this day ). DONT play with them before bed it gets them wound tighter then yo-yos, and do what you feel is right on time wise if you think 30 mins is enough then it's enough. Only you know your children, you know their crys when they have had enough then they have had enough. Try some soft music or relaxation noise in the background, and try massages, sometimes they will fall asleep after just a few mins of having their backs rub. Hope this helps.

  • I think 30 minutes is just fine. As mothers, we all have a threshold of how much crying we can stand before we just have to pick them up. I think 30 minutes is great and you will be surprised how fast they get used to going to sleep with out you. When Ethan wakes up, go in his room and hold him for a few minutes and then put him back to bed....just like you did at 9. He WILL cry but eventually he will fall asleep and within days he should be sleeping and soothing himself. I usually can only go about 15 minutes before I have to go in there...so I think it is whatever you feel comfortable with.

  • I agree with your strategy, and think 30 mins is a limit. My wife and I often break down before that, but that's what we do, and you will be impressed how quickly this will bring about change! Sweet dreams!

  • OK, I know I said I would wait a week before I let you guys know how it went, but I am SO EXCITED...I just couldnt wait.  Like I said the first night it took 30 min and ethan still got up three times and hanna once.  The second night, took 10 min and BOTH slept all night!!  Third night, took 5 min and again, both slept all night!!  After that it has been three minutes MAX for them to fall asleep...and both are sleeping all night.  I never believed in this strategy, always thought that it was the parents job to put them to sleep, but now I see that this way is much easier!!  I am no longer "babying" them to get them to fall asleep, it is better for all three of us!!!!  Thanks for all your help guys!!

  • I am so glad that it worked for you!!!!! It is amazing how good you feel when you can get a good night's sleep..and you and the babies are probably having much nicer days now. I was amazed when I tried this method and realized how well it worked! Congrats on your bedtime success!!!!

  • The difference of having sleep is crucial for your stress levels, I've found. It's great that you have a working strategy, but take it when you can get it, and don't be surprised if you have to make some more adjustments in the near future... everytime we think we have found the key to a good night's sleep for all, our babies throw us a curve and completely change their habits!

  • Update, the twins are still sleeping thru the night, with the occasional wake up due to not burping before bedtime.  I see what you mean about the curve.  They now get up at 7 am and nap from 1-3 then bed at 8.  It is a lot easier schedule, but I love it.  Thanks everyone for your input!

  • -BACON-

    WHAT EXACTLY WAS YOUR TECHNIQUE? MY SON IS 9 MONTHS AND WAKES UP 2-3 TIMES A NIGHT. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY ADVICE. THANKS!

  • my twins are about to be four months old in a few days and i still struggle with sleep.  i read your post and i don't feel so alone.  i don't think anyone with one baby understands what parents with multiples go through.  i honestly have no advice because i bathe the boys around 8pm, give them a bottle, and soon after have them in bed around 9pm.  sometimes they'll stay asleep until 1am, sometimes 3, and sometimes even 5am (of course, only one baby). one of the babies (or both depending on who knows) sleeps for 1-2 hours all night long.  it's really unpredictable so when you figure it out, let me know.  i'd love to just sleep a good six hours straight. 

  • my girls are going to be 4 months on the 29th and i am totally with you on this. My girls get dinner and a bottle around 8 then a bath and then are in bed by 9 930. but they only sleep until 4am. And then are up again at 7. Do your twins sleep in the same crib???