July 12, 2011,
A.B. asks from North Kingstown, RI on February 18, 2008
9 Month Old Twins Still Not Sleeping!!
My 9 mo. old twins are still not sleeping through the night. I have them on a schedule during the day and they go to bed at just about the same time everynight. I try to feed them a lot during the day in hopes that they will sleep better. They are put to bed groggy but mostly still awake. I also have a 2 year old who gets woken up by their crying and ends up in our bed. This happens almost every single night! I am so exhausted and cranky during the day! I feel horrible about it, but the lack of sleep is really taking it's toll on me!!
L.P. answers from Boston on March 02, 2008
Are they in the crib together? If not try that --my twins always co-bedded. If they were separated they didn't sleep at all!
M.W. answers from Bangor on February 20, 2008
My twins (now three) did not sleep through the night until they were over a year. I don't think I have any advice for you (sorry about that). I know what you mean about the lack of sleep and exhaution :) Maybe moving their afternoon nap up?
K.R. answers from Hartford on February 20, 2008
Hi A., I feel for you!! Finally when I told our pediatricain that our 6 month old twins were still not sleeping through the night, this was her suggestion. First of all, how many times are they getting up? Your situation might be different from mine. We were getting up only once about 4am for about 8 oz. (my twins always woke up together). She explained that they were waking up out of habit, not because they needed the nutrition. She also said most babies start sleeping through the night when they are between 13-15lbs (so I'll assume yours are). She suggested we wean them by decreasing the volume of formula each night be 1 oz. Therefore, we were on the 8 day plan. We found that as we decreased the amount of formula, they didn't seem to notice at all, and sure enough by the end of the 8 nights, they were sleeping through. However, I do recall them waking up a few nights after that, but all I did was go in and rub their backs and they were able to fall back to sleep on their own--I never thought that would have worked, I expected to have to get a bottle again, but with a little confidence and some tough love, my twins now sleep through (unless their sick). Good Luck, and keep putting them down when their groggy, I do believe it helps them soothe themselves to sleep.
C.F. answers from Pittsfield on February 19, 2008
Oh A., I can sure relate! I am a stay-at-home mother of 6, soon to be seven. I don't have any twins, but I can feel your pain about the no sleeping! Most of my kids were fine, but we had major issues with our fourth. My pediatrician recommended a book to me that was a lifesaver: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, MD. It's a step by step program, with some variations, for getting a good night's sleep. It worked like a charm for me, and I've since used the principles with my other kids at different points. I would highly recommend it. I was so desperate, and this was a real plan, not just little suggestions to try. Hope it helps. I know what it's like to try to function on no sleep, and it ain't pretty in my case! By the way, it's nice to hear about another mom crazy enough to have a big family! Good for you.
K.D. answers from Boston on February 20, 2008
OOps sorry - I hit reply to the wrong message!
M.G. answers from Boston on February 20, 2008
I have twins too and they are a year old. They sleep in different rooms- one is a light sleeper and one is a heavy sleeper but noisy- I put one in the guest room and one in the babies room. If you don't have the space could you put the better sleeper with your 2 year old. I also had to let one cry ALOT in the middle of the night before he learned to self soothe and sleep through. We even put him downstairs in a pack n play in the office for a few nights so he could cry and not wake the others until he learned to sleep. Twins are tough! They take 2 naps and I put them to bed at 6:30 pm and they get up at 6 or 6:30 a.m. now- I think sometimes going in earlier than you think works- Good Luck
W.C. answers from Lewiston on February 22, 2008
Hi A. and good luck! I had twins also but they are now 21 and I have the empty nest syndrome going on! Enjoy ALL you can cuz in no time it will be gone! Anyhooo,back to your request.I am not sure how you feel about cereal but when my girls were 3 months old,my doctor had me start mixing baby cereal/oatmeal in a bottle with milk,thick enough to fit through a bit bigger hole I made in the nipple on one of their bottles .Not overly runny by any means and BINGO..I was finally able to sleep from 9/10 PM till 5 am!It was heaven.
K.V. answers from Boston on February 19, 2008
Congratulations on surviving this long!! You NEED to nap during the day while the children are napping. This is vital to maintaining your health. Also, could you put the twins to bed a tad later so they are that much more tired?
Are there any family members around that could watch the children while you took a nap, even a couple times a week?
Children are a blessing!
V.S. answers from Pittsfield on February 20, 2008
When my son was young, he didn't sleep through the night until he was 13 months old and then I discovered a book call "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber and it changed everything.
I used to nurse my son to sleep every night and then put him in his crib. I would NEVER let him cry so it was just a matter of time before he woke up and I'd have to start the process all over again. What I learned from Ferber is that I had taught my son to associate the breast with falling asleep. We all wake up several times a night at certain stages in our sleep cycles. We don't remember this in the morning if everything is in order. However, if we were to wake up and someone had taken our pillow or blankets away, somehow this message would get through and we'd slowly become more wide awake and begin to look for our blankets.
So when my son would wake up, instead of falling right back to sleep, he's notice the breast wasn't there and become wide awake and need the breast to get back to sleep. It's not only the breast that causes this problem, but anything else we leave in the crib, like pacifiers or water bottles. Ferber has a method to help your child fall asleep without an associated sleep aid. You must be willing to allow your child to cry (hopefully just a little). I didn't think I could do this but luckily my son only cried for the first 5 minutes and then fell asleep. Some have not been so lucky and I don't know what I would have done if it hadn't gone so easily.
Basically you put your child in the crib awake. Make them feel secure with hugs and kisses and goodnights and then leave the room. If your child cries you must wait it out beginning with 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, you return to comfort your child but you don't pick him or her up. Just provide reassurance and talk about going to sleep and then leave the room again. After this you extend the time you stay out of the room a little more each time. I don't remember the recommended increments.
My son screamed for the first 5 minutes while my husband and I sat outside looking at our watches so we could run back in. It was awful for me. After we went back in to comfort him we left the room again and he cried for 2 minutes and then it was quiet. We snuck back in and he was asleep with his arm around Curious George. As I said, we were lucky. After that I was able to put him down without nursing him to sleep and he finally began to take longer naps in the afternoon. I would suggest getting a copy of Ferbers book. He addresses many types of sleep problems and it was fascinating reading.
Hope this helps.