How to get them to sleep ALL night?????

Kara - posted on 06/16/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My twin boys are 20 months and they DON'T sleep through the night. They usually go to bed around 7:30-8:00 and are up between 6:00-7:00. They take one nap a day usually around 11:30 for about 1.5-2hrs. I have black out curtains that seem to help them sleep in past 6. C is random at sleeping all night and L has slept all night less than 10 times out of his whole life. I started taking naps with them from the day they came home. I think they got used to being in bed with me. I put them to sleep in bed with me at night then move them to their cribs. L will be up by midnight crying, I hurry and get him and put him in bed with me so he doesn't wake up C. They finally were just moved upstairs (had family living with us). I have them in separate rooms right now while I try to get them sleep trained. Some how C wakes up when he hears his brother cry in the other room. I will get the boys and put them back in bed with me and they go right back to sleep and sleep more sound. My sister recommended I take the spare mattress off of the bed and lay it in the nursery. I did this last night. C slept all night even when L woke up and cried. I had to go in and calm L down. I did see on the monitor that L did sit up a couple times and laid right back down (if he was in his crib he would stand up and scream.) I do think last night was a lil better for them sleeping. Do your twins sleep all night? How did you do it? Do they share a room? Anyone just let them cry it out? PLEASE HELP ME............SLEEP DEPRIVED MOM

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Kel-Cie - posted on 06/17/2011

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James didnt sleep through night until he was almost 2. A few thing I did so that I got sleep though was this: James was waking up for a bottle and would go right back to sleep, so I started placing a bottle of milk in his crib when I went to bed, milk stays good for 4-6 hours at room temp, so he would just roll over and drink it and go back to bed. I know a bottle in bed isnt good for them, but as a mother of twins and a newborn, I was sleep deprived and willing to do whatever it took, 2nd: I kept the same routine as always, the boys had always slept together so I kept them together, Jack learned to sleep through James and James through Jack. 3rd, I never let him cry it out, ok I did once, but only cause when I went and picked him up he laughed at me and said Hi Mommy!. 4th, around this age kids start getting nitemares, so I had to distinguish what was a normal cry and what is a scared cry. 5th, whenever I took someone out of their crib I rocked them fr 5 minutes only, just to sooth them, and then put them right back in, this was often enough (after the intial 2 to 3 times where they would cry for a minute or two) and lastly, I have a 7am rule, where if its before 7am that they wake up, they get a bottle and stay in their crib, this gives me time to have a coffee, breakfast, breastfeed theLO, or if it was early enough, to go back to bed. Often the boys would fall back asleep too. They are now 25 months and sleep like champs lol, most of the time anyway

Heather - posted on 06/17/2011

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Sorry to say but, that's way better than my twins were at that age. They went to bed around 7 or 8 and were up by 4am, plus one of them was always up 2 times in between. I never went to get them right away. I always let them cry for about 5 minutes, that way I knew if they had an actual need, or were just crying because they woke up. If they fell back asleep, then great. They quickly learned to sleep through each others crying, so I never had that problem. They have always shared a room.

My best suggestion is that if you want them to stop doing it, you have to stop giving them what they want. If they start crying, let them cry for a few minutes, if they don't stop, go in and make sure they are clean and dry. Don't talk to them, but stand next to them and rub their back until they fall back to sleep. Don't pick them up, and don't take them to your room.

Gretchen - posted on 06/17/2011

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My boys are 16 months and have had sleeping issues from the beginning. I have tried letting them "cry it out" numerous times. It seems to help some (meaning they wake up less times during the night), but they still almost always wake up once or twice. They used to want to be nursed every time they woke up, but now I can usually get them back to sleep by laying them back down, giving them their pacifier, putting their blanket back on. Sometimes I think they are thirsty, so I offer them a drink of water or I will give them tylenol if I know they are teething. If they still don't go back to sleep, I will let them cry for awhile before I go back in and do it again. My boys used to wake up to each other all the time. Having them in separate rooms helped. I also really try to wear them out as much as possible every day so they are REALLY tired when they go to bed.
With my boys, I think part of their problem is that they are really active/mobile and they will literally stand up in their sleep and I don't think they have figured out that they can just lay back down again, so I go in and gently help them lay down. I purposely don't talk to them (other than a "shhh" or a "night-night" occasionally) so as not to wake them up any more, which seems to help.
I do think that kids need to learn to go to sleep on their own and that parents can sometimes hinder that (by responding to every whimper and/or coddling them too much - I'm guilty of it myself!), but I also think some babies are just naturally good sleepers and others have more difficulty with it. Don't beat yourself up or assume that YOU are doing something wrong. I have come to the realization with my boys that nothing I do is going to "fix" their sleeping issues. They will get there eventually and I will try to help them. In the meantime, I nap when they nap and/or rely on caffeine and remind myself that "the days are long, but the years are short" - things will not stay this way forever.
Good luck.

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Brooke - posted on 06/17/2011

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Aw, Kara! I 100% feel your frustration with sleep issues! My b/b twins are 22 mos next week and it's a very rare night that both sleep through the night. About 2 months ago they started putting up a major fight to even go to sleep and we've been battling that out ever since. I work full time (as does my husband) so I've found that if they are loud enough to wake me up in the night I scoop them up (usuallly one but sometimes both) and put them in bed with me. It just seems that they fall back to sleep immediately and quite honestly I don't have the energy or will power to sit up with them while trying to get them back to sleep (while praying they don't wake up the other). I also can't stand to do "cry it out". A friend recently suggested a book by Kim West, LCSW called "Good Night, Sleep Tight". I'm part way through it and think I will be able to use this method with success. First I want to have full understanding and then I need to commit to some time awake in the middle of the night but I'm going for it. I can't do this fighting sleep and waking up in the night forever! I'll let you know how the "sleep lady" method works for us! Lots of luck to all of the sleep deprived parents out there!

Valerie - posted on 06/17/2011

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Besides for being in seperate rooms, I could swear that you were telling MY story. I have g/g twins almost 22 months old and they are doing the same that your 2 are. I feel like I am going to pull my hair out!!! Good luck to you(and to me too I guess! lol)

Alta - posted on 06/17/2011

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As Kel-Cie mentioned, a bottle of milk in the crib is a good idea. My sister did this with her son years ago and it made things so much easier. Also, E has a lot of night mares. On those nights he wakes up screaming. Those are the times when I just hold him really closely and gently rub his head and whisper to him (so he can hear a soothing familiar voice) until he calms down. Also, Gretchen makes a great point, "don't talk to them." I learned that early on the hard way. A good trick, don't even look at them in the eyes. Eye contact is a trap because mommies are suckers for those eyes and the smile. If you fall for it you'll be playing with them for an hour or two (trust me I know). I don't even change diapers. I bathe them right before bed time, put on the white noise & the soft classical music on repeat as they bathe so that they know it's time to calm down and gear into sleep mode. Once I put them to bed and turn the lights off I don't talk to them until they wake up the next morning. Well, unless E has a nightmare in which case I whisper continuously and very softly, "it's ok, it's ok" as I pace the room with him.

Alta - posted on 06/17/2011

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Kara, I understand your pain. I'm experiencing something somewhat similar. My t/b will be 22 months this month. C sleeps through the night, but E wakes up periodically. They share a room, but not beds. I recently switched them to using toddler beds, which they responded to very well, but E still wakes up. I used to bring him to bed with us, but I recently decided to just rub his back until he went to sleep. Now, if he gets loud enough to wake C, I just go in and lay him back down and cover him & he falls right back to sleep. For the past 2 weeks it's gotten even better! I hear him sit up, he'll call out one time, I wait a while and he goes back to sleep. I read in an article that naps should eliminated if they take naps during the day in order to help them sleep throughout the night. My t/b some times take 2 naps a day. One @ 11:30a for about 1.5 to 2.5hrs and again @ 4:30 or 5p for half an hour. They then go to bed for the night @ 7:30/8p until 6/7a. Lately, E only takes 1 nap (11:30) yet continues to wake up during the night, but C still takes both his naps and continues to sleep through the night. I hope this helps.

Polly - posted on 06/17/2011

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Kara, This in not going to be very easy for you to hear but I think it will help. Nanny 911 is a good show. But any way... you have trained your kids to do what they are doing. Crying is an exercise that God has designed for babies. It does not mean that you need to run in and fix it. My twins are b/g and slept in the same room till they were 6 or 7 or so with there younger brother. My twins just turned 21 in March. looking back I think that baby monitors are a curse. If you can hear a every wimpier it makes you want to run and pick them up. If you change the way you respond to the boys you could change the whole thing. telling them they are OK after you have checked diapers, Knowing when they last ate, knowing they are not constipated, etc... then let them put them selves back to sleep. It could be something else. But I 'think' it is just training them that you do not have to be there and letting them cry a bit. don't be afraid of letting them cry it is good cardio exercise. You seem to know what you can do don't be afraid to trust your gut feeling to car for those boys. My thoughts and Prayers are with you. Polly

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