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Although I love the idea of co-sleeping I was never able to to do it (I stayed awake or slept poorly while everyone else slept blissfully!) so I can understand your desire to have a child/baby-free bed.

My son (now 5) would always fall asleep while breastfeeding and then I'd pop him in his bed - I was lucky that he wouldn't wake up when I transferred him. My daughter (now 2) slept well when placed awake (but sleepy) and tightly swaddled in her bassinet and would drift off to sleep without crying by herself from day one. Of course she woke every two hours to feed but at least I could sleep properly while she was sleeping.

I found the book "The Contented Little Baby Book" helpful in terms of routines and how much awake/sleep time a newborn needs (I used to keep my newborn son up for hours not realising that he was over-stimulated and exhausted!) The author is rather militant with her ideas about scheduling (from day one) but for a complete baby novice, such as myself, I did find some of her ideas helful.

For me, sleep deprivation is the hardest thing about parenting, because I tend to get depressed when I lack sleep and feel extremely overwhelmed. Take heart that it WILL get better (as hard as it is to believe now!)

We've done everything wrong acc. to sleep training theories. Now she is in her own bed, going to sleep by herself, and it didn't involve any crying. Mind you, she is 22 months old, but improvements were happenign all along as she grew.
So, no, you won't set yourself up for a lifetime of trouble. And you will get the maximum sleep you can.
The only drawback: you will really miss them when they move out of your bed :-(.
And the time they stop wanting cuddles is early toddlerhood, not school age: they still think it is nice, but if it involves staying still, it has to go.
To hell with rules: you will straighten it out when you start getting bothered by it. And the later you do it, the less trouble it is (despite what they tell you)

YEs yes yes you are wonderful no matter what you do ..... i would think even though they were apart while adam was in the hospital. I think putting the close together and the swaddling woul dbe the best .. butthen again it is just MHO

I think you should relax, actually, about the sleeping thing. They are preemies, for Christ's sake! Give them a bit of a break before you start forcing them to sleep the way you think they should. As others have noted, they will sleep much better together in a crib or bassinet. Right now, everyone needs to sleep where they're happiest and teh babies need to gain weight, period. It flummoxes me that you are already worked up about them getting 'bad habits' as tiny and new as they are. They need to be next to someone, period. Also, being near you and Marko helps regulate their temperature and breathing, something preemies are notoriously bad about. Please don't ferberize them at this point, if at all. Please read up on different methods before you do ANYTHING.

Hey, there. Having JUST finished the stage you are in now with my twins, let me tell you what we did. First, avoid Babywise and the Babu Whisperer right now. They really are too young for schedules. I tried and tried so hard, even attempted CIO. I would not try it again. We had a co-sleeper next to the bed and swaddled them. So I changed them, swaddled them, then fed them in their swaddles. When they fell asleep, I put them down. As they got bigger, they were able to kick out of their swaddles. Then I changed, fed, THEN swaddled. They would rouse a bit when I was doing the swaddling, which is good practice for going to sleep awake.

I truly believe they are too immature neurologically to deal well with CIO and strict feeding schedules. Mine were much happier and thrived better when I followed their cues at that stage. No matter what you do right now, if they sleep in your room or in theirs, you won't get more sleep than they will let you have.

Soon, soon, SOON, I promise this stage will be over and before you realize it they will be waking only once at night.

I found that good daytime naps with (lights on and curtains open) and planning their daytime feedings to equal the amount of food they require in a 24 hour period helped encourage them to sleep through the night. But I didn't force the issue. Slowly, I noticed them waking only twice (bliss!) then once. Now, since about 10 weeks old for one and 11 or 12 for the other, they sleep from 10PM till 6AM.

I noticed they would eat less and less at the night time feedings and one feeding a night (one I knew would be short from past experience) I would try to soothe them to sleep w/o feeding (but I would feed if I felt they hadn't eaten well that day or if soothing didn't help). I found this slowly weaned them from their nighttime feeding. Always attempt to put them down sleepy, but don't let them CIO yet. Just try again in another five minutes. It will get better. Also, does Kate have signs of reflux? You holding her up makes her feel better if she does. I remember she would spit up on the changing table. It may be that she is physically uncomfortable lying down after eating.

BTW, we gradually moved them to their cribs by having them nap in them during the day when they were ready, then sleeping in the nursery with them for two to three weeks after the big move (probably more for my sake than theirs).

You are doing great! Hang in there. Soon, soon, soon, you will be doling out this kind of advice to a new MOTs.

Kat

Well, congratulations Tertia, if you have gotten this far! I have only skimmed your comments so I apologize if this is redundant.

I never had DD sleep in our bed, only because I was so afraid I'd roll over on her and suffocate her. As it was, I would wake up with a start in my bed, hugging a pillow, and hurl it and all the covers off the bed, in a fright that DD was at the bottom somewhere. We put her in her crib starting the second night she was home from the hospital. We live in a very old house so the bedrooms are pretty small and close together, so even when she was in her own room, my guess is that she was probably closer to us than Kate or Adam would be in their bassinets!

I was worried about starting bad habits, too, only because I had a few friends who'd just had babies before me and I got caught up in what I thought I 'should' be doing. I did loosely follow the Baby Whisperer principal of feeding the baby every three hours. She did sleep through the night (9:30p-5:30a) when she was 9 weeks old, and woke once a night occasionally until she was about 12 weeks old.

Everything will fall into place eventually. It is NORMAL for you to worry, so don't feel badly about that. You want to do everything right and that is admirable. You are doing a GREAT job. Do whatever works for your family.

Our twins (born 3 months prem) slept through the night from around 8 weeks corrected age - in their own beds. We have never let them in ours (total paranoia about rolling onto them!). We had a professional maternity nurse living in with us for a few months and her advice was not to cradle them to sleep in your arms but to put them to bed while awake or nodding off so that they get used to settling themselves. Sure they start forming habits early on - they are not manipulative at this age, but they know what they like. And of course being in a warm arm embrace is nicer than being alone in a cot. But if they get used to that, they will end up unsettled on their own and will end up having a much harder time falling asleep on their own. With 2 babies, we felt we wanted them settling on their own - or we would never get any decent sleep. Hard as it is at first, her advice was to teach them to become settled on their own as eventually this makes for a more contented and happy baby as they feel safe on their own in their own bed. Try the Baby Whisperer's controlled crying method - apparently it works. We are lucky in that we were trained by our nurse to put them to bed before they fall asleep from day one, so it was never an issue. But the more you sleep, the less tired and stressed you are, and they better you are able to cope with twins - which all helps them in the long run!

Everyone seems to have different beliefs! I guess different things work for different people. My twins are on a schedule (but this was cos they were so premature and were on one in hospital so it was easy to continue it) but they eat at almost the same time each day that you could set your watch to it and they sleep for 8 hours at night. We followed Gina Ford's COntented Little Baby Book and they are very contented little babies - hardly ever cry. If they do when we put them to bed, we sit next to them and pat them rather than pick them up. If they screech, we pick them up and walk around a bit, then put them back to bed and walk out - then come back and pat them a few minutes later. Within 10 minutes tops they are fast asleep. I guess this is the "controlled crying" thing huh? Anyway, it worked for ours from a very small age - but we would not let them cry for ages or if they are clearly very distressed. But the idea is to have them feel safe alone in their beds, which they get the more they sleep in their own beds.
Good luck.

Ditto almost exactly to what Jinx said above. After having my son and going through night time hell for a year I knew things had to be different with my twin girls. I did pretty much what Jinx described above and within a week they were sleeping like angels. Really. Not only does it allow YOU more sleep but in general my girls were happier and more content as they had a schedule, knew how to fall asleep by themselves and actually SLEPT!
I recommend putting them in one crib for the first while, figure they spent months sleeping together, why not continue?

One more thing? I started them out sleeping in their own crib (right next to my bed) from day 1 home from the hospital. I believe the sooner they learn to sleep in their beds the better! I learned with my son that it did NOT get easier with time but rather harder as there was all sorts of routines and rituals to break. Just my 2 cents since you asked. All the best and hoping sleep is yours very soon.

Hi Tertia. I apologise for just skimming most of the comments already but I thought I'd just throw my 2c in with the bunch.

I've read many placed that crying it out won't work before 6-8 months.

We had our baby in our room and part time in our bed for the first 6 months of his life. He hated sleeping with us with a passion, he likes the freedom to throw his arms around and spin around in bed (he wasn't a swaddler either, the houdini could get out of anything!). We moved him to his own room because he kept waking up due to DH's horror snoring. He sleeps like a champion, even though I used to rock him to sleep every night til he was about 10 months old!

Now, at 12 months, if he's in a mood he rarely cries longer than 5 minutes at bed time but the nights where he's really unsettled I'll always go in to him (I can't handle the crying - I'm a soft touch).

You WON'T be setting Kate and Adam up for co-sleeping right now if that's not your long term plan. They just need your comfort right now, and hey, if you're all sleeping go with it! You can't possibly spoil them yet coz they just don't get it. They have preferences now just because that's where they're most comfortable, it's not a conscious thing for them to pick your lap over their bassinet.

Sorry if this offers no help to you, but honestly just sleep when you can. You know it'll get better but even though this feels like the hardest thing in the world at the moment, I felt it was the easiest part of parenting to this point in time.

xo

Tertia, I can't possibly read through 111 comments so maybe I am repeating what someone else said. I let my son sleep in bed with us and never regretted it. He was an easy baby for the most part, but just didn't want to sleep in his own bed in his own room. At a certain point, I thought, who could blame him? I don't like to sleep alone--why should he? He was so very tiny, in a great big crib, in a great big room, all by himself. It just didn't seem right. At about one year old, when I felt he had developed a bit more "mass," I started putting him to sleep in his own crib and I don't remember that there was much of a problem, certainly not the horrible transition that all the anti-baby-in-bed folks talk about. Maybe I just got lucky.

Just my opinion, but I would do whatever works to get you all a restful night's sleep. If that means sharing a bed with them right now, then don't worry about it. Do what you always do--cast your net for advice and opinions and then make your own decision. It will be the right one. Good luck.

I have three children. The first would only go to sleep in our arms, and would scream the place down if he woke up in the night to find himself more than a few inches away from us. He accordingly spent most of hsi first year in our bed, moving into his own bed and room when he was 11 months old; favourite position throughout his time in bed with us- feet on Daddy's face, head firmly pushed into crook of my neck.

The second, less than two yers later, would only sleep well if laid fully awake in her cot in the corner of our room and left to get on with it. This we only discovered after three months- before that we thought she was just a cranky sleeper.

The thir spent most of her first year in our room, but in her own cot, more for practical reasons than anything else (cold house, croupy baby, two toddlers to wake up if put in room with them).

I'm not sure it matters what you do ultimately as long as you can get them sleeping in their own beds as they get out of babyhood (ie by the age of two or so). When they become more active they tend to sleep better anyway. We have had unbroken nights since the littlest one turned two, and they certainly don't creep into our bed any more unless they're sick.

I think the best option is not to make any hard and fast rules about anything- do what works for you, and change it as you go along if it stops working for you.

hey tertia! i have no real assvice for you! i know what has worked for me doesnt nessecarily mean it will work for you. and i just have 2 singletons. my daughter slept with us until she was 6 months old then she slept in her bed in her room after we rocked her to sleep until she was about 1. my son slept with us for 2 months and then into his bed he went after rocking him to sleep. i think it was around 6 months when we started putting him in his bed awake, hoping he would just fall asleep. he did eventually. i know this is a hard time and i cant imagine how difficult it is for you with 2. but they are yours. and whatever you choose to do will be the best for you and your family. i think you are doing a fabulous job, and dont doubt yourself! you rock girl!

Haven't read other comments, but I've had sleep issues, too. My son is now nearly 5 months and I still won't let him cry it out - although I let him cry for a few minutes before I go in. From what I've been reading, anything under 6 months is too little for the cry it out method - because babies haven't formed that object permanence concept and don't realise you're coming back. There are other settling techniques you could try instead - swaddling, patting, rocking, playing music, etc.

As for taking them into your bed - the earlier you break them from the habit, the easier it will be later on. However, I also believe you do whatever works, to get you through to the next day. I saw my pediatrician who said because my DS is waking (six) times per night, probably to seek comfort from me, then having him in my bed is just making the attachment work. Yet I still do it because sometimes that's the only way I can get any sleep.

Your instincts say that they're too young for the CIO method too, so I would go with that.

The good news: your body adjusts. Truly. At the beginning, I thought I was going mad with 6 hours sleep per night. Now (don't be discouraged) I am getting far less, but it's far easier. I just don't think about it; my body is FINE. You will cope and it will get easier - just do whatever you have to to get through these early months.

The only way (Ithought) to get some sleep when my son was very little was either keep him in bed with me or in the bassinette right next to our bed. I continued on with this foolishness until he was six months old and then I finally Ferberized him. If I had to do this all over again I would have Ferberized him MUCH SOONER, like after a few weeks or something. Everyone told me "do what feels right to you" and I felt like it was cruel to let my little baby cry but in retrospect I was a complete mess and needed to get some real sleep. Hang in there Tertia!

I don't have time to scan through your 116 comments, but I'll leave my own and risk repeating what others may have said.
Firstly, we started Peanut in our own bed because, as you've found, it's the only way to get some sleep yourself. Sleep for yourself is the most important thing right now behind sleep for A and K. We had a darling hand-made heirloom cradle whose mattress was apparently stuffed with rusty nails and broken glass because Peanut wanted no part of it.
After, oh, say 3 months old or so, we started putting Peanut in her crib in her room when we could. Once she would allow that (took maybe a month?) we started putting her to bed for the night there. She would wake around 1-2 a.m., and end up in our bed for the rest of the night.

She's 12 months now, and waits until about 5:00 to wake and demand to join us in our bed. This works for us - it gives us grown-up marital bed time, and allows us to sleep later in the morning all snuggled up cozy with Peanut. Some mornings she even wants to go back to her crib after the 5:00 feed, and we get the bed back to ourselves.

That is just what worked for us. We got all the warnings about how if we let her in our bed for a moment she'll be demanding to sleep with us when she's 4yrs old. I figured we'd cross that bridge if and when we came to it. We didn't start letting her cry it out until about 6 months. At that age the difference between crying because she was angry and crying because she really needed something (such as a cuddle) was more obvious. We learned which cries meant she was just fussing to sleep, and which meant that she had gotten herself all worked-up and wasn't going to sleep.

You have to figure out, through trial and error often, what works for you and your family. As long as something is safe and working for you and your family, go with it. Don't let anyone pressure you into feeling badly about your choices just because different things worked for them. I've found the more we tried to force things (like bedtime) to be a certain way, the more trouble we had. Go with the flow, and A and K will let you know if it's working or not.

This is just the way it is right now. The good news is they adjust to sleeping in their own beds sooner or later. The key is sooner than later. After the second month things will calm down a bit. Our second daughter was a holy terror for the first two weeks. Screaming all night and sleeping all day. As soon as she started sleeping more during the night I moved her into the next room over so that I wouldn't constantly hear every little breathing noise she made because, quite frankly, she was fine. Good luck, it's just a bitch right now. I can't imagine two. I do have a girlfriend that kept her two together in a crib in her room. She said that they comforted each other.

Twins run in my family, and my various relatives with twins would put them in one bassinette together. They say they just sleep better that way.

I also intended for my son (now 15 months) to sleep in his bassinet and then crib, but he hated the bassinet and would sleep there for only 10-15 minutes at a time. He ended up in our bed until he was about 5 months old, and then we moved him into his crib. I read a whole lot of "sleep" books looking for an "answer" that probably wasn't there, but here's the best advice I can give (based on my experience, friends' experiences, and books): if you want to do the cry-it-out thing, most "experts" seem to recommend waiting until 3+ months, the whole checking every few minutes (ferber) thing didn't work for our son, who just got more upset when he saw me, and if you keep the babies in your bed for a while because you can get even a little, precious sleep, just move them before they're 6 or so months old, and wave 1 of separation anxiety rolls in. HAve fun, and remember that this won't last forever, although I know it might seem like it when you're pacing at 3 a.m.

And congratulations.

We just co-slept with them both. Occationally we'd put one in a basinet and then take the other to bed. Then repeat with the other one. Eventually we just kept them both in our bed, though.

I too was a victim of the, get one baby back to bed and an hour later the other one was up. I wouldn't have gotten any sleep if we didn't have the girls in our bed.

Wait wait wait, I just saw someone recomended CIO at 3 months. It wasn't my cup of tea, but I've never read anything that suggests it before 6 months.

My favorite sleep book by far (and I did read Ferber's book too) was Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution. It saved my sanity. LOVE that book.

And yet another comment.

I just read that someone said the sooner you break them of the habit of sleeping in your bed, the easier it will be. I have tons of friends who co-sleep and that's rarely the case.

A. slept with us until she moved into her crib at 8 months (we noticed she slept better there, so there she stayed). B. slept with us on and off until 15 months. Then all of a sudden we noticed she slept for longer periods of time in her crib, so there she went. My niece co-slept until she was just shy of 2. My sister bought her a toddler bed expecting it to take months before the baby would sleep in it. Turns out she moved into the bed the day they set it up with no problems. I have similar stories from most of my co-sleeping friends.

It's just that often people don't know any way to gently wean the child into their own bed which is sometimes needed. Some kids are thrilled at the idea of their own bed. Some kids just need you to work with them. Either way, it doesn't have to be traumatic or difficult at all.

Okay, now I'm going to stop reading comments before I feel compelled to post again. :-)

Since I didn't make it throug all 112 comments, forgive me if I am repeating someboyd else. I am a twin and my mother has told me that my sister and I didn't sleep a wink for the first 6 weeks until she put us in the same cribe together (in our own room) and we didn't have a problem from that night on. We she separated us she put our cribs up against each other, and then finally in their own separate places. Obviously, every baby is different, but I just thought I would throw that out there. Good luck.

The c.i.o. (cry it out) methos is really meant for babies who are neurologically capable of soothing themselves to sleep. This isn't until they are 5-6 mos old. I kept the bassinet in my room. I probably did half and half (in my arms/bassinet). I never let him sleep in the bed with me as I couldn't get a real restful sleep that way. He really liked sleeping on his tummy on my chest. When I felt like I was going to fall asleep - I put him in the bassinet. He outgrew the cradle at 3 mos and we started putting him the crib. Putting him in there for all naps has helped him learn that it is a place for sleeping. He starting sleeping through the night at 2 mos. Stopped at 3 mos and started again at 4 mos. He sleeps 8pm-7am and we couldn't be happier!! I wish that for you - soon!

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