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bed/nap routine with twins?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from LowellwTwins. Show LowellwTwins's posts

    bed/nap routine with twins?

    I've been doing tons of reading on bed/nap routines for babies, but no one seems to offer advice on how to physically handle getting two babies down when you are by yourself (which I am for both nap time and bed time). The nursery and rocker are on the second floor, but we spend most of the day in a play space on the first floor. 

    What do I do with one baby why I'm supposedly "cuddling and rocking" the other one? I'm really struggling with this. Just moving from one floor to the next with the two is tough: making sure one is in a safe spot, run up with the other, ditto on the safe spot, run down to get the second. As soon as they are in their cribs they both start crying loudly.

    The babes are about 6 months old and I'm desperate to get a better nap and sleep schedule going. I do lay on the floor and read books to both of them at once, but the soothing part is tough once they are in their cribs. 

    How do other people handle this routine solo?
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    I did a quick search on Amazon on the logistics of raising twins instead of sleep theory books, and there are quite a few you might be interested in.  Juggling Twins, for instance.  Take a look at the reviews and see if that (or another one like it) is more what you're looking for than the sleep-specific books have been.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    We never really did the cuddling/rocking before naps.  I mean, they got LOTS of cuddling at other times, so they weren't deprived of that closeness, they just didn't get a concentrated amount before naptime.  They got bottles simultaneously in their bouncy seats or propped in boppies and then quick hugs and kisses and down for nap.

    There were usually two of us for bedtime, so that was different--each of us gave a bottle while holding one of them and then hugs and kisses and down for bed.  BUT if it was just one of us, the routine was the same as nap.

    It's not easy b/c we're brought up with images of rocking and cuddling before bedtime, and these idyllic images of bedtime with one baby. With twins, it's just not possible if you're doing it on your own.  You can't beat yourself up about it.  It just is what it is.  Spend their awake time cuddling as much as is reasonable (as you know, you can't do it EVERY SECOND), and just go from there.  I promise you they'll be fine.  And you'll be less stressed from trying to meet an unrealistic expectation.

    We spent most of the day downstairs and the kids were only in their room for sleeping (this is still true at 2 yrs. 9 months) like you.  Do you have a pack 'n' play or similar that you can keep downstairs for "containment" when you need it?  Are you able to carry both babies upstairs at the same time yet?  If not, you could put one in the p 'n' p while you bring the other up.  Put one down and then go get the other and put him/her down.  You could also move pre-sleep bottles upstairs to their room if that would be easier logistically.

    Hang in there.  It will get easier.  I think 6 months was a point where I took a breather and thought "this is so much better than a few months ago."  If they aren't already, they'll be sitting on their own soon and maybe starting to hold their own bottles, and that will help immensely--you could hold both while they're holding their bottles if you really wanted to.

    Good luck.  It's hard to do it with two people, and like, triplely hard to do it on your own.  Give yourself a big pat on the back that you're doing it and give yourself permission not to live up to the images of singleton moms.  Your babies will be happy and well-adjusted if you are happy and not-so-stressed.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    That's great whole life advice, Daisy; I loved your post.  So many times we are miserable and stressed because we have idealistic images of how life (marriage, career, kids, etc.) should be and assume is for "everyone else."  But, we lose sight of the fact that we are other people's "other people" - no one has anything down perfectly, and we all struggle with every facet of our lives.  Adjusting our expectations of ourselves to be realistic will make us happier even if nothing about our circumstances actually changes.  And, of course, multiples are going to require more adjustment to your expectations of what you are able to do and how things "should" be than they'd need to be if you just had one baby or if you had help at the more critical times in the day/routine.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    The other thing is:  have you tried any sleep training yet?  You might want to pick up "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Weissbluth.  (He has a twins book too that I've never read but have heard from others MOTs that the regular book is better and the twins book doesn't really have much different in it.)  Ferber is also good, but I don't know the names of his books. 

    When you put them down, how long do they cry for?  Do you try to go to them immediately?  What happens if you don't rush to get right to them?  Sometimes babies will fuss for a few minutes but it doesn't escalate and then they'll fall asleep on their own w/o any intervention.  Sometimes intervening ends up preventing them from sleeping.  The goal is (usually) to be able to put them down and have them fall asleep on their own without needing you there.  Weissbluth and Ferber will go in to the physiology of sleep and why this is important (for reasons other than your sanity and overall mental health).  Their messages are generally the same and their methods are similar but different.  I found the Ferber's method just p*ssed off my kids and that Weissbluth worked better for us, but other people have great success with Ferber, so it's really about what works for you and your kids.  I will add that we never had a problem getting the kids down--they just fell asleep w/o fussing, BUT we had horrible problems with night waking and they wouldn't wake up at the same time, so each of them waking 3 or 4 times a night separately was a MAJOR problem for us.  We finally decided to sleep train around 7 or 8 months b/c we just didn't have any other option. 

    Another idea is to hire someone for the short term to help you for an hour or two at bedtime if you need help/emotional support during sleep training, but that's not really a long-term solution.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    sleep training would be very helfpul i think. we just put our twins in their cribs, read a story, and say night-night and leave the room - have done that since about 4.5 months old. def. try it. i am a firm believer that if you wait too long, you miss your window and it only gets harder. i had both weissbluth and ferber (the book is called "solve your child's sleep problems") and found them to be kind of the same, though i thought ferber's method and writing was a little easier to understand. if you're not into sleep training and you want to rock your children to sleep/soothe them/etc., then i guess just hang in there - it WILL get easier as they are able to sit up and entertain themsleves a little bit more - which should happen very soon! but my personal opinion is you're only helping your children when you give them the tools to fall asleep on their own w/o "soothing." (i know that's controversial!) and, having twins makes it a lot more necessary to subscribe to this style of parenting, in my opinion. GL! :)
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    I remember when my twins were 14 months old and a neighbor came over with her 2 year old. She said to me at one point "how do you get them to sleep? I'm still rocking her at nap and at night."
    I had to tell her I never rocked them because I couldn't. We too, were downstairs all day and only up for sleeping.  Put one in a pack & play, take the other one up and put in crib. Go get p&p baby and take up to crib. Sing a lullaby - say night night and give a kiss.
    The thing I liked about Weissbluth at 6 months was the schedules he gave for awake time.  If he said 2 hours of wakefulness I didn't go over that. It made it easier for me to catch the sleepiness wave and get them down.
    And I miss those days soooo much. They are 2 1/2 now - ask to go to the potty as a delay tactic - won't stay in their beds, run around the nursery, sometimes grab my leg and beg me to stay and tell another story.  I'm so ashamed of my bedtime routine which has devolved into up to an hour and a half between, pajamas, toothbrushing, stories, potty trips etc.
    Hang in there!
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    I don't have many practical recommendations for you but I will agree with others that there is not much rocking/snuggling before bed with twins as there is with a singleton.  It's just not logistically possible. 

    I almost always have had a second person around for nap/bed time but when I don't I will carry both upstairs together (a little easier at 15 months when they can sort of hold on) and put them in their cribs and tell them I love them out the way out the door.  I've only just started napping them in the same room.  Before this the twins didn't nap at the same time.  The PNP downstairs if key for safe, if not happy, containment.

    I am a CIO girl.  I give people a solid 15-30 mins of crying before going in (I have a video monitor so I can confirm they are not in danger) and even then it's very rare for me to take people out of the room.  I will pick the up for a very quick soothing and then try to put them down again. 

    I hardly remember what nap time was like when they were 6 months old but you should stop stressing over not having the "perfect" rocking/snuggling sleep routine, they know you love them and will eventually get the sleep thing down. 

    Like Daisy said it does continue to get easier.
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from LowellwTwins. Show LowellwTwins's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    Thanks ladies. Once again you have provided the most practical advice and brought me back to reality. The books really do preach an idealistic approach and I have to remember doing what is best for our family is just fine.

    Maybe my bigger problem is with the actual sleep training part. I keep attempting the Ferber/CIO approach, but the part I'm having trouble with is the soothing. I have no problem letting them cry, but they just escalate and escalate and get themselves (and each other) more upset. When I go in for a few minutes I am unable to sooth them. Does that really work for people when they're all ramped up? Is there something I'm missing with these methods?

    Luckily both are almost sleeping thru the night. It's naps and getting to sleep we're still struggling with. I thought consistency with getting them in their cribs for sleep was going to help, but maybe not.
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: bed/nap routine with twins?

    What I found with going in at prescribed intervals (a la Ferber) was that it just got the kids MORE upset and they would ramp up the crying/screaming each time I left and it just made things worse.  When I did total extinction (not going in at all per Weissbluth), they still cried/screamed, but it didn't continuously escalate and they would eventually go (back) to sleep. 

    So...if you're up for it, I'd recommend going the Weissbluth route if Ferber isn't working.  My sense with the Ferber method is that they learn that you'll come back EVENTUALLY no matter how many times you leave so there's a "reward" to keep screaming and crying.  If you just don't go in, they'll learn after a few days that there's no reward.  Ferber works great for some people, but if it doesn't, then Weissbluth might be a good alternative.

    Before going the Weissbluth route, make sure there's not an extenuating circumstance like teething or earache or coming down with a cold, etc.  If there is, make sure they are getting plenty of pain meds so that's not a factor or hold off with the sleep training until whatever is going on resolves.