Need of Sleep!! MOm of Toddler Twins.. Pls help..

Marcella - posted on 08/07/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My Boys are 2 next week and I recently changed them to their toddler beds. They never were great sleepers but lately were getting 0 hs of sleep it feels like. They wake up mulitple times during the night and come to our bed and want to sleep there and have a bottle (sippy cup with milk). It's getting worse and worse and because I'm pregnant I guess I have givin in alot and now it's getting out of hand. My nights usually now are either on the couch with one or both of them or I'm in the bed with each on one side and my husband goes for the couch. It's not rest at all. They need me next to them so they can fall asleep.
I really want to change this and not sure how.. I am from now on not giving any milk "at night" anymore and will try water, but should I just leave them in their room crying to soothe theirselves? They have a special Blankie and Paci they still use and NEED for bed, but I feel like I can't close the door and just let them cry.. or should I? If I go in, I have to lay in their beds till they fall asleep and then it starts over again in an hour or two..
Please help and would appreciate any advice!!
Marcie

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Kylie - posted on 09/09/2010

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Wow, marcella, i do commiserate with you, i almost felt like i was reading an old personal diary entry from myself!
Yes, I have been there, and im sure many many others have as well, only our situation is exasberated due to the fact that theres 2 little beings, not just 1, draining the last dregs of your energy, phew! exhausting challange ahead, but very do-able.
It will take quite a few more sleepless nights, but if ur at your tether, psych yourself up for a good old stint of "tough love", im not saying be all hitler on your kids, just adopt a firm no nonsence attitude to this bed time ritual so they know you mean business.
Theres no hard n fast rules here, twins are a different kettle of fish, but heres what worked for me:
1. choose for date & mentally prepare for it:
My husband and I chose when we were going to tackle the sleep issue on a weekend so it was less stressful then trying during a working week.
2. Start with a set bedtime. Seeting a planned routine is a great way to train your littles to know what comes next. Our twins had a set 7pm bedtime, so as a calming preparation before bed, they always had a nice warm bath with a touch of lavender milk in it to sooth them, teeth brushed and into pyjamas.
3. set the scene for slumber time: We have older children as well so we encouraged them to wind down at this hr so there was no hype in the house.
We also used dimmed lighting in the house, Tv was to a minimum, & I used to have a stereo in the twins room playing calming music softly while they drifted off to sleep. (the stereo also had a backlight so it became a handy nightlight too!)
4. do what ever is norm now, bedtime story, warm milk, kiss cuddles goodnight to everyone, into bed, sing a lullaby if u like, then you go straight out.
5. Your on double duty now: its tag team now between you and hubby. If one of the twins winges or gets out of bed, give it a minute then go to them, give a quick reassuring cuddle if you have too then just pop them straight back to bed & tell them gently but firmly "no getting out of bed, i love you, goodnight"; if it happens again then its tag team - next parents turn to do this. keep this up all night if you have too, eventually they will tire and realize theyr not getting anywhere trying to come out.
6. When you and hubby finally get yourselves into bed TOGETHER with NO KIDS, give yourselves a reassuring cuddle that this stage will be short lived and try get some precious sleep. If you happen to get a "visitor" in the middle of the night, same rules apply, ur still on duty tag team style, just pop them back into their own bed.
7. Good morning! Congrats, you tackled your first night, let your twinies know how proud your are of them for being such "big" kids and sleeping in their own beds. Some parents I know have created reward charts just for this challenge, each night their littles manage to stay in their own beds, they get a stamp or sticker on their chart.
8. Everone needs sleep, so to help you get through long nights, catch naps whenever you can during the day, if your twins have a midday nap, do it too. Or have a friend over to watch them in the day so you can catch an hr of rest, believe me, even a 10 minute nap can be a life saviour from the delerium of sleep deprivation.
9. repeat this scenario the next night and so on...dont give in and let them have their way.
10. After about a week, all should be peachy and I hope you are finally enjoying a fuller nights sleep by your husbands side. You may get an odd night where they challenge you to bring this new routine all undone, but just stick it out and repeat the process above, it will pass.
With all that said, I wish you well, take care of yourself because an unhappy mum means an unhappy household, so try plan to get out 1 day with a girlfriend for coffee or take yourself to the hairdresser for a nice pamper ( I almost snored when i did this! the hairdresser was giving me a scalp massage, it was heaven!) If someone else can watch the twins while you do this, all the better, just do this just for you, you will feel revived, smiley and actually get to look forward to seeing your littles when your done!
X ky

Nete - posted on 09/02/2010

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We solved it like this... got rid of our bed frame .. now have a queen madras next to our king on the floor, I start bedtime at 6 in our bed... playing, reading books, brushing teeth, getting in to PJ's.. Sprout TV has kipper on from 7 to 7.12 as soon as that show is over its betty bed time ...off to their own room and beds - they help close the door and turn off the light .. taking turns...so we do it twice...they get one song each...always the same song, that I made up (that incl. that our dog is waiting downstairs for his dinner ..w a hungry belly in the last verse :-).. and a bottle of milk, god night and I love you's with kisses ...I tell them I will check in on them in 10 minutes...and I always do.. (always do what you say or they will remember) after 10 minutes I check at that point they always want a top off on the bottles ...I get it and thats it, god night and I love you...you know mummy will get come get you later... around 11 pm -midnight, our son who is a toddler bed will come with his blanket ... he gets a new nappie and a fresh bottle and falls back a sleep on our bed... when I go to bed, I get my daughter who is still in her crib ...and bring her into the big bed, change her and give her a bottle...shes back to sleep in seconds... they sleep on the queen next to us and everyone is happy to about 6 am ....it so worth it....and as I have mentioned here before...-- If you look at the animal kingdom...No mothers leaves their young to sleep separated from themselves,.. its really only humans that have that ''creasy idea'' and one most wonder if its natural and if in fact our kids protest, because they are the ones that by instinct, have it right...

-- This way they get a taste of their own, but at no point are the rejected or excluded from the security they crave, I believe the fact that they know, I will come get them no matter what...has solved the frenzy together with the routine and I got a tell you--getting good sleep... is so much better than my bed frame !! or the couch ... best of luck N

Rachel - posted on 09/03/2010

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I understand that in the animal kingdom mothers don't make their children sleep in a separate area, but we are not animals. We are humans. Do you remember sleeping in your parents bed all through your childhood? Do you want to have a habit of your 5-6-7-8-9-10 year olds crawling into your bed with you, really? It is a responsible thing to do to TEACH them how to depend on themselves for that sleepy time comfort. It does seem mean for the first two days or so of crying it out, I agree. I was so heartbroken when we started it at 7months. But within two days, literally, they were silent and sleeping on their own and loving it.

I personally don't understand why people seem to think sleeping in the same bed as their child is the "best" thing to do. It's actually making the process of growing up harder, because SOMETIME down the line you will HAVE TO STOP sharing a bed with your growing child.

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Jordan - posted on 05/18/2013

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I know your pain! My twins are nearly two and im in my second trimester and they have never slept through the night. The odd night perhaps one will only wake up once but that's once in a blue moon. I have given into them for the past 6 months, sleeping with them and being awake majority of the night, now that its time to distance myself from their rooms (trying to establish new sleep habits of me just being in room while they sleep) I find them waking eachother up more in the night when im not in there, ive heard separating them might not be good for their development as theyre very close and have always been together but im running out of ideas! ive tried music and they've been in the bedtime routine (bath,bottle and one show and then bed) but always need me in there through out the night and when they fall asleep. they share a room so to just let them cry seems like a bad idea to me. any other ideas? separation I suppose?

Amy - posted on 09/14/2010

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Hi, sorry there are so many tired moms out there, especially pregnant moms. I would like to start by saying that research is proving that babies that are left too long to cry it out, are turning into adults with stress issues. I am not a "hippy" with some crazy ideas. It is published info from Drs and Scientists. OK, that aside, all babies cry, and we all do our best. Please find a routine. Stay with that routine, don't be sweet talked, or quilted into changing. I have tried the same thing that Lori did with several children, multiples and singletons. Oddly enough, your baby in utero will learn the routine also. Especially if you play music. Another thing I have found helpful is once you go into the bedroom, they can not leave. No, potty breaks etc. Stay with them until they are asleep. If you sleep in the bed with them, then you'll have to get out of bed and that might wake them. You can sing, read... whatever works just stay in the room and do it every night. Even if one night it works and the next night they go wild. One thing I used to do with Autistic children is set a timer, and say I'm leaving but I'll be back when it makes this sound (make it ding) Leave for 30 sec. When they hear that and realize you are coming back when they hear it, you can set it for longer times. What works more then anything else is consistency. Don't give in, show them that you love them and it will work. If they "need" to cry, that is normal. Reassure them that mommy and daddy are here for them. If you or anyone else lives in DFW and needs help, I would love to help. Especially if you are pregnant. Take care everyone!

Jennifer - posted on 09/14/2010

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Hi Marcie,
I gave up on sleep a while ago. I just decided I could sleep when I could sleep. I have a 3 and a half year old daughter and 8 months old twins, ... who are still not sleeping through the night. Actually, none of my children sleep much. The Doctor says, "its just part of their personalities", as their father and I are also high energy people. I will say, however, I do sympathize with you. About once a week I feel the stress of it all and have to remember to sit back, relax, take a deep breath ... and this too shall pass. I am exactly like Nete ... I do whatever works, which is a small bed next to our King bed. The twins sleep with me and my daughter occasionally still sleeps in our room in the bed on the floor next to us; sometimes she sneaks in bed too. The boys wake up 2 and 3 times a night ... sometimes both, sometimes at different times. ... I start bed time at 7pm and we seem to all get to sleep about 11pm. I've made it "fun" with books and stories, multiple bottles (yes, water for my daugher) and whatever else works on any given night. I, unfortunately, work from home and do not put my kids in day care which leaves the only time I can work after they all go to bed. So, I lay with them til they fall asleep, get up ... get my work done, lay down about 2am just in time for one of the twins to have his first "midnight snack", get us all back to bed, and get back up at 6am to start the day all over.
I know a lot of people don't agree with my parenting methods. I don't believe in "self-soothing" ... I think leaving a baby to cry unattended is unhealthy and may cause trust or security issues down the line. I, like Nete, slept in my mother's bed until about 9 ... on and off. Today, I am a secure, indepenedent and very successful. I guess what I'm trying to say is ... do what you feel is right for your children. Do what your instincts tell you. You know them and their personalities. Are they crying because they know how to push your buttons? Or, are they crying because they really feel they need you? There are too many "experts" who have read too many books and no one knows your child like you. If you don't want to let them cry, then don't. If you feel you need to control the situation better try a few different things until you find one that works. Just remember they are only 2. ... I personally feel many people have unrealistic expectations of their children. The best advice I can give is ... again only you know them ... put yourself in their shoes ... what would you want?
My daughter has several different "cries". I react differently to each of them. If its a whine cry, I ignore her until she's over it. If its a "hurt" cry, I hold her til she feels better. Period. No Ferber, No Spock, just good ol mommy instinct. Just remember in the middle of it all, take care of you and your new baby to be. Do whatever gives you the least amount of stress and don't take into consideration other people's opinions of what is right or wrong for you.
One more note, ... for every argument that says babies need to self-soothe, and we should let them cry until they "learn" ... I promise you there is an "argument" for just the opposite. Again, I can't stress it enough ... Do what gives you the least amount of stress ... that is the only way you can care for your babies.

[deleted account]

It's been a long time since my boys were little (they will be 13 on Saturday) but according to the SuperNanny, it is good to direct them back to bed quietly and calmly. The first time, tell them it's time for bed/sleeping, the next time just say bed, next time don't say anything. She has directed many parents to do this as long as it takes, but they will finally get it. It is important to be consistant or you will undo your progress. I'm not an expert, but if you watch some episodes of SuperNanny, you will see this seems to work!

Good luck!
Bonnie Spruin

Liz - posted on 09/09/2010

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We switched our b/g twins to their toddler beds when they were 21 months old. I was also pregnant at the time. One thing we started doing was giving them a bath every night with the Aveeno baby bedtime bath. It really seems to soothe them at night, and after their bath they get their bottles. then once they're done drinking them, they go down to bed for the night. The roughest part still is them going down for naps during the day. They are 27 months now, and I also have a two month old son.

Nina - posted on 09/07/2010

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I just put my 1 1/2 year old twin girls ( 2 in Oct) in their big girl beds last week and I will say the first week will be hard, have you tried a movie before they go to bed, I have a TV and VHS player in their room and I put a movie on for them. It also cuts down the noise of my 8 year old who goes to bed shortly after they do or have you tried putting them to bed an hour after the used to go to bed? and as long as you're ok with it, it is ok to let them cry. I also just started sippy cup at bed time too, and one of my girls did want it and I let her cry it out. if they are tried they will fall a sleep. and you are not in this alone ask you DH to help I mean you are pregnant. good luck!!!

Shayna - posted on 09/07/2010

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Wow! I can't believe they stayed in a crib that long.. My trouble makers are about the same age as yours, just had their 2nd bday..
Had to move them to a toddler bed so long ago, they could climb out of the crib so easily..
Anyway.. You just have to be a stickler.. Think about it, if you are getting no sleep now.. what sleep are you missing out on by doing a little extra work..
Remember when they were newborns.. You and hour man were probably on shifts who gets up with them between what hours.. You need to go back to that..
Only this time, it's .. if they get out of bed.. put them back.. if they get out of bed, put them back..
Whoever is "on duty" gets a make shift bed outside the twins bedroom.. If they so much as crack the door.. parent has to put them back immediately.. Resist the urge to cuddle.. Do all your cuddling during bedtime routine, and in the morning when they are supposed to get out of bed. If you allow it in the middle of the night, You will NEVER get any sleep.. and I hope for your sake you get caught up a little bit before the new one comes..
Best Wishes!

Nete - posted on 09/05/2010

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Well actually certainly yes... I did in deed, after I grew out of my crib that was next to my parents bed, I slept in the middle, I would have to check w my mom to find out to about what age...4 or 5 sounds about right, I remember it, so I couldn't have been that young... and guess what; turned out, strong and independent! completely at peace and resting in whom I am, in contrary to a lot of people I know... -- and I have never once come home, with a request for anything, after I moved out... completely well rounded and quite happy, I might add.
Human--Animals-- Mammals? By philosophy is that not simply sounds ie. words our species, uses to define our own communication amongst each other, to pin point, by our choosing, whom we are referring to? Yet we lack the ability to understand the sounds and communication that other species uses to pinpoint and define theirs and ours ... who is to say they don't have an ''animal'' like word used for us .. .. give it a thought ;o)

Lori - posted on 09/03/2010

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Also I wanted to add that having them sleep together as the other woman stated is a great idea!! I did that too and they sleep so good that way. :)

Lori - posted on 09/03/2010

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Marcie,
I found that with my identical twin daughters I had the same problem. I was not pregnant but I felt exhausted and beside myself. I totally know what you are going through and just to let you know you are not the only one. I use to watch the tv series about The Nanny. I found the best technique for me was to put them into bed turn the lights low or off and a nightlight on and sit in between the beds and softly rub their heads and sing twinkle, twinkle softly. Eventually they would be off to sleep, although it took getting use to and TOTAL quiet or a soft fan. Use about a half hour to wind them down by reading to them or listening to some soft music (baby lulaby's) you can find cd's at the store. NO PLAYING JUST RELAXING. It will help you too. Don't get stressed out. They can feel your stress...almost smell it! It sounds crazy but it was true for my girls. Good luck and write me back if you need anymore info. I have tons of it!! My girls are now nine and go right to bed with no problems. :) There is hope. Keep smiling and breathe!!!!

Danielle - posted on 09/02/2010

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oh i am not happy to know you all are not getting sleep, but thrilled to hear others in our situation. my boys are 26 months and i am 7 months pregnant. i have never been able to put them down without being in the room til they areboth asleep b/c my one son gets so emotional if i leave, even after just a minute, he throws up all over his cirb, floor, mattress etc. my other boy would just go to sleep easier but i don't think its worth putting my "a" son through the trauma. he has sensory issues and i usually wind up holding him til he falls asleep and then putting him in his crib. for their entire 2nd year, they would both wind up in bed with us for the whole night and i would wind up playing referee for the 2 of them, making sure everyone was off the other one and safely breathing etc. now its rarer for both to wind up in bed with me before 5 am, but usually one will. however, i still have not had a single nights sleep through the night since they were home from the hospital. its been over 2 years, i feel your pain. i never thought i could survive on such lack of sleep, and now being prego, and not being able to find a position, plus having one son who needs to be on top of me to sleep and another that needs to hold my hand makes me go crazy some nights. i'm delirious from lack of sleep.
as for your routine now, do they wake eachother up when they cry? do either of them throw up when they cry? if not, i would try reading the sleeping through the night books, start by letting them cry 1 minute, then 2 etc. building up to more time before you go in and soothe them, it should re-assure them you are there with also allowing them to know you will not just come running every second. i could never do that b/c of my sons throwing up thing, but it seemed the gentlest way to me to get them adjusted to fealling back to sleep on their own. i'll find the name of the books i read and post them in the morning.
i just keep reminding myself this is all temporary and they will not be going off to college and still wantiing to crawl into bed with mommy, and then i will miss these days, so i try to stay in the moment and realize it is hard but will come to an end at some point and i will miss it. i dont know if that would help you or not, but when i feel i am going mental, which is usually at least one daily, i remind myself how short this part of their lives are and try to enjoy all the amazing parts and just deal with the no sleep thing.

Ashley - posted on 08/30/2010

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Mama, I am having the same issues. I am 6 months pregnant and we moved to a new house a few months ago. We decided they were big enough to sleep in their own bed so we started 'em in their room at nap and they did great. So bedtime didn't seem like it would be that bad. Well, ugh. They are still nursing so I will lay in the bed and nurse them to sleep. Sometimes they will sleep for hours, but the last month they have been waking up after an hour or 2 and come to our bed and then they want to nurse all night long. We have tried the cups with water and they don't care. they still get up. Good luck cause I know you will need it.

Marcella - posted on 08/08/2010

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Hi Heather, wow that sounds just like us! Well I guess there's comfort in knowing there's more people out there experiencing the same... Last night the younger one was screaming for milk and I just gave him water, he was sleeping in our bed and my husband on the couch with the other one. Talk about sleep deprivation.. Good luck to you Heather and thanks for responding.. I'll let you know if I find a cure!! haha

Heather - posted on 08/08/2010

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In all honesty I am kind of there right now too. Not quite to that extreme, but my twin girls are 2 1/2 and they are waking up 3 or 4 times a night and coming to our room. If we try to take them back to bed they scream and wake the other one up... Our bed isn't big enough for all of us so either one of us ends up on the couch with a girl and the other in bed with a girl or we take turns taking them back to bed... I'm so tired!!!

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