October 08, 2009,
F.V. asks from Columbia, SC on October 01, 2009
6 Month Twins Waking to Eat Every 3 Hours
This has been an ongoing problem since the girls were born. THey have yet to sleep through the night. The new pediatrician said that was normal that most babies don't sleep through the night until 7-8 months. They were doing well for a while. Leola usually wakes up once maybe twice to eat betweein 8:30 at night and 8:00 in the morning. However, the other one, Lucie, wakes up almost every 3 hours now to eat. She sucks down 6-8 ounces like she is starving but she does go back to sleep. I thought maybe it was a growth spurt but she has been doing this for a week now. The doctor also said they were too young to cry themselves back to sleep and they will also end up waking each other up. Any suggestions? WE are currently working on them going to bed at a certain hour awake. They are eating cereal in the mornings, fruits and veggies around 5:00 and a little cereal in their night bottle. So I don't understand why they are still so hungry in the middle of the night. Any suggestions? Thanks F., very tired mommy
1 mom found this helpful
J.H. answers from Spartanburg on October 02, 2009
Start giving them infant cereal mixed with formula right before they go to bed. I started doing this when my babies were two weeks old and they started immediately sleeping through the night. I used rice cereal...you can make it as thin as you need to according to their age...it just holds them longer than just formula.
L.H. answers from Atlanta on October 02, 2009
F., they are also having milk during the day right? It's not clear from your email. My pediatrician said breast milk or formula BEFORE every meal until my son was 1. Cereal and fruit and veggies during the day does NOT replace breast or bottle feedings. So they should have a bottle every 4 hours or so during the day and then after the bottle you give them cereal or fruit and veggies. For some reason a lot of people think food replaces milk but it does not and should not until after they are one but even then they have at least 16 oz a day of whole milk during the day. If you ARE doing this already and the kids are growing normally and were not premature and are a good weight, I think you can start to let them cry it out for at least one feeding and then eventually both or all. Every pediatrician is different but most say 4+ months is early enough to let them cry it out if they are not hungry but my guess it that if they are not having a bottles during the day, they are very hungry at night. Hope this resolves itself for you soon. I know you must be tired!
P.H. answers from Atlanta on October 01, 2009
I know what you are going through. She is waking up because she is hungry. As she gets a little older she will start to sleep through the night and then guess what, the other one will start to wake up during the middle of the night :) My twins ate every 2 1/2 hours until they were almost 9 months, so yours sound like they are right on schedule. Give her a little time -- you're doing a great job!!!
C.G. answers from Augusta on October 01, 2009
Sorry to say that this is totally normal. I agree with your pediatrician- they are too young to sleep through the night and too young to cry it out. I would do some reading and I think you will find that sleeping through the night is developmentally appropriate for around 1 year. As a side note my 1 year old still wakes every three hours, so you are not alone. My older two were the same way and now are excellent sleepers, though so don't be discouraged.
K.N. answers from Atlanta on October 02, 2009
F. (great name for a mom of twins!),
My recommendation is Moms on Call (momsoncall.com)! Two pediatric nurses with 8 kids total (each with a set of twins) wrote a book/DVD, host a website, provide seminars (in person and on line) and/or will come to your home and they WILL get your kids to sleep through the night. We bought the book/DVD and had an in-home consultation with 'Nurse Laura' (Laura Hunter) when our twins were 3 months old - it completely changed our lives for the better (all of us, not just Mom and Dad).
My recommondation is to check out their website first (momsoncall.com) and get their book/DVD - it's available on line or you can buy it at Blue Genes (clothing store at Around Lenox shopping center). If the self-help route doesn't help, I assure you it is completely worth it to schedule an in-home consultation.
Best of luck!
J.D. answers from Atlanta on October 02, 2009
I'm sorry to agree with so many, but this is normal. My boy sucked down around 32 oz of breastmilk and formula a day, ate 3 small cereal/fruit meals, and still woke at least one time each night to nurse. When he was in a growth spurt, he would nurse 2x or more during the evenings.
Please don't believe they are not sleeping or eating or whatever "they way they need to" as you've mentioned in your "little about me" -- they know what their bodies need, even if right now you don't feel that's "convenient" to your sleeping needs. Give up the ghost for a while, you'll feel better when you don't feel like a martyr and things will change soon:)
V.T. answers from Atlanta on October 02, 2009
Goodness, I know how tired you are. My little boy didn't sleep through until 14 months, and then not every night. I only had one child, so you must be really tired! :-)
Having said that, we need to remember they are only tiny babies and their tummies are small. Some babies just can't fill up enough to make it more than a few hours before they are hungry again.
You already have them on a lot of solids for their age, so that's not the answer.
I know it's tough to hear, but there really isn't a lot you can do at this stage. At least not much that's humane. I agree with your ped that they are too young to cry it out .. that would seem cruel, especially as Leola seems to really need that milk.
Hang in there, it will get better one day .. in the mean time, try to grab whatever sleep you can and accept help from anyone who offers it.
Good luck and know you are not alone.
D.W. answers from Charleston on October 01, 2009
I suggest you pick up a copy of No Cry Sleep Solution. Not for the sleep training aspect, but for the good information on sleep that the book contains.
Some more from Pantley: http://www.asklenore.info/parenting/sleep/newborn_sleep.html
Some info from Kellymom: http://kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/sleep.html
Our babies, Ourselves: http://www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/our-babies-ourselv... (Also a great read)
This IS normal. It's not what U.S. society pushes us to believe is normal, but it is. Biologically babies are not designed to sleep a full adult night. Little tummies need lots of feedings.
J.D. answers from Charleston on October 02, 2009
Wow, I have to say as a mom with TWO sets of twins, 3 yrs and one year old that dealing with twins is different from singletons. It is all about scheduling feedings, naps, etc. Our twins were sleeping at least 6 hours straight by 4 months, so they CAN sleep through the night. And at 6 months crying will not hurt them! I think that's absolutely silly a doctor told you that. We started off feeding them every 3 1/2-4 hours even if they weren't hungry, then at night, whoever woke first, then they BOTH got fed, even if the other was sleeping. It sounds crazy to wake a sleeping baby, but with multiples it's different. You will go insane if you do not get them feeding together. By six months my twins were getting up at 8AM to eat their first feeding of the day & still ate about every four hours during the day. Pick up a copy of Baby 411. We used this book as a great guidline for all questions we had about the first year even though it's not directed at twins. They are really good at outling the sleep thing. And how it related to the feedings, etc. Of course by then we were using formula which stays in their tummy longer, so I'm not sure if you are breastfeeding, or formula feeding. No matter what you do, I wish you well. Everything will be okay! Take care!