Sleep, or lack of! Need help(19 Posts)
I need help, before my family implodes and we start yelling abuse to each other!
I have 10 month old twins and 2 older dds.
The twins are very bad sleepers, dtg especially is an absolute nightmare.
She only goes to sleep if I feed her and nothing else will work, no amount of jiggling rocking or stroking Nada. (she finds it hard even in the pushchair/car)
She doesn't take a bottle or a dummy, she hasn't taken to any comfort toy, she will not suck her thumb (even though she did briefly between 3-4 months the little bugger...)
The problem is this feeding to sleep business can take up to an hour, several times a night, plus I need to deal with her brother wakings as well, and you can see my nights are pretty short.
I need to find a way of getting her to sleep in another way, as we are all sleep deprived and grumpy, dd1&2 are not getting enough attention from us, and we do not exist anymore as a couple
I cannot even begin to think of anything like CC as I can't imagine how would that work with twins (don't they wake each other up??) plus I am always on my own at bed time (except sat-sun).
Or will it just go away on its own? [hopeful emoticon]
any advice is greatly appreciated
Hi Claire, sorry no first hand advice but have you tried posting on the sleep section ?
Hope it gets better soon.
Thank youPrincess, I posted stg similar in chat, might try sleep too.
I know cc is not for everyone, but we did it with one twin at nine months. It did not wake up the other twin, nor did it wake up DD1 who was in the bedroom opposite. It is horrible doing it, but honestly it only took a few days. We did it a week when my husband was on holiday. I do feel for you being on your own at bedtimes. Under those circumstances you really want something that works and not another lot of hassle - but just think if you went through the stress of doing it for a week and it worked, then bedtimes should become loads easier. I would suggest a gentle kind put down, perhaps a bit of tummy stroking, then leaving the room. Put in an ipod for 10 minutes or something, then maybe go in calm stroke, leave, and keep repeating. Obviously pick a time to do it when the baby is well. With us it took about an hour to get the baby to go to sleep, but after two or three nights, it got quicker and then she stopped waking.
My twins are now 15 months. Not every night goes well, but they do sleep through most of the time. They are also getting better at occupying themselves in the day. I only mention this because I have found the last year and a bit really really tough, but it is getting better and you don't have that long to go to reach this stage. Hang in there.
Not much time to post, but wanted yo thank you for your post toomuchpink it filled my eyes. Only someone who has been there can understsnd the demands if having twins!
Claire, I am in the same boat! Thinking of you and hope you find a solution that works for you very soon xxx
Claire I can only imagine how tough it must be. My DTs and I have this all to come. Please post your pearls of wisdom when you crack it so I can get some tips
I had trouble with one twin, I did a form of CC with him. I used a travel cot in our spare room when he did have a problem at night just in case he woke the other one. I would put him down to sleep awake after feeds etc so drowsy. I didn't do the 5/10/15 mins thing as I found after a certain point he was too upset to sleep and I found it mentally difficult not to go in. So I went in every 5 mins or so. If he sounded too upset I'd go in earlier, pick him up, cuddle, calm and then put down again. Sometimes I'd just put a hand on him to calm him or leave him a bit longer if he sounded as though he was calming down. He is fine going to sleep now, if he has a cold he wakes in the night and we need to calm him and he goes off to sleep again.
My sympathies, it is really hard work especially when you are feelng torn in trying to have time with your older children and frustrated that this twin just won't sleep. Could you rearrange the bedtime routine, baths for the older kids before you put the twins down so you aren't under as much pressure. Even for a short time if you do go for CC?
I found a Tanya Bryon book - Your Child Your Way really good, it isn't twin specific but she has some good ideas and explanations. It sounds as though your DTG needs the bottle to get to sleep if you are having to do it all the time, she needs to learn to get to sleep another way. Good luck I know how difficult it is.
I have so much sympathy/ empathy Claire as I'm in the same situation, except letting him cry does wake the other twin.
I also couldn't do the 5/10/15 minutes of cc as you 'should' by the book, my terrible sleeper would be beside himself hysterical by then, and probably have cried himself sick but blueberries opened my eyes to maybe possibly trying it another, softer way.
The other thing I find impossible is that mine are constantly ill, they get over one thing, are well for a week or so and catch something else, so i feel if i did the cc, which I'd find very traumatic, I'd be repeating it all the time after bouts of illness.
It's so hard though, so hard to know what to do and then to actually implement it when you're so tired.
Lovely to hear from toomuchpink that it gets better, and by 15 months! <counts on fingers>
Only 7 months til then for me
Good luck Claire
Dreaming, it does get better, every three months I would suddenly realise that they are now doing x or y and that it is getting easier.
In terms of getting DTS to settle himself I played it by ear, the aim was to get him to settle but I followed my instincts and feelings to get there. I've found as they get older colds etc don't effect them and their sleeping as much.
I feel your pain! My DTS slept from about 8 months but DTD was still waking at 12 months. I was on my knees and told myself that at a year old, she was old enough to do CC. I also thought that she wasn't needing the feed, she was just used to the comfort of the breast in the night. I still fed her as normal at bedtime but only quite a short feed and then put her down. When she woke in the night I just offered her water and put her down again. We put DTS in a different room for a couple of nights but DTD quickly adapted, think you just need to stick with it. You don't need to be too hard, just try whatever you're comfortable with.
They WILL sleep and you will get to enjoy life again as a couple . As everyone has said, only twin mums know what you're going through but there is light at the end of the tunnel - honestly!
Also sending best wishes. DT2 is a terribLle sleeper but I don't have other children to cope with.
He went through a stage of comfort feeding frequently at night and for long periods at about 15 months. It was damaging our sleep even more than normal and breastfeeding relationship so one evening when he was demanding food at about 9 (after being fed to sleep intil 745) DH amd I took turns just holding him until he went back to sleep. We did 15mins each - and it took 45 miins. That night he slept better and evenings got gradually better. He was also happier the next day so I had no regrets. Then we found that he slept better at night with DH so he goes into our bed when he wakes at about 330 and I sleep the rest of the night in the spare room. Its not ideal but our priority at the moment is sleep.
We are now night weaning DT1 (19 months). DH went to him and has offered milk in a bottle which we will gradually withdraw. DT2 has been ill and will be MUCH harder to sort. However, I think he is old enough and we all need better sleep.
I think you reach a point where better sleep means that a few days of crying is worth it (and I hate CC and CIO). The question is whether it will work though? And unless you have a child who screams you don't understand why its so hard to deal with. Like some other posters' DTs, DT2 is hysterical after a few seconds so will never calm down on his own. I think our only option is to sit with him in the spare room and its going to have to be a joint effort between DH and me.
I'm sorry I don't have an easy solution - but hope it helps to know you're not alone.
I am not a twin mum but just wanted to ask if you have checked if there are any ear issues. My DD2 would not sleep and it all came down to resolving glue ear. I do hope that this gets better soon as this must be so incredibly difficult.
So glad my post was some help Clairestravellingcircus. I've also found only other twin mums know what it is like. Can make me feel a bit isolated from people with singletons sometimes. My friend with twins and a toddler had trouble with their sleeping past the age of one, but I was round the other day and they are 19 months and share a bedroom with their older sister and pretty much sleep for 11/12 hours in a row. Course having posted last week, my dts were shockers last night. I am hoping it is down to illness. Something else which is a total nightmare with two of 'em.
Don't mention the word illness tome!
Dtg has a terrible, not bad enough to warrant meds accordi g to gp, but she coughs until she vomits nearly everynight . Her sleep iseven worse than usual, and now sleepswith me every night feeding on and off for hours until she finally goes to sleep around 3. Of course her brother kicks off at 5-5.30.
It does help to know I'm not alone, the only friend with twins I know in rl has 4 year old boys. Well beyond baby days.
I find myself looking at mums of singletons breezing through with their slings and tiny pushchairs with envy.
Can you tell I'm having another bad night?
Eeek. So stressful when they are ill. If the cough does not clear up in another few days I would go back. The other morning I put one twin down to nap earlier than the other, because she tends to need more sleep, and suddenly I was down to one toddler and one baby and it felt so light and breezey. This is what other people have all the time!!!! And they think it is hard going sometimes. It is extremely tough.
Do you have any help? Family? Volunteer?
It took forever but I eventually got a Homestart volunteer. Is it worth asking your health visitor? I know two twin mums who also have older children and they both got one too.
Hi Claire - just wanted to see how you are. Not sure I can be any help but wanted to reiterate that DT2 was a dreadful sleeper (waking 2 hourly and then comfort feeding forever). Its still a bit up and down but he now generally wakes twice in the night and feeds back to sleep within 15-20 mins (he sleeps with DH after 2nd waking). I guess that would be bliss for you now - so just wanted to offer it as a ray of hope. However, I also know that there are times you don't want to go to bed because the night will be so awful and one more week is too far away, let alone a few months.
I hope you can come up with a plan to manage the situation (even if you can't solve it) - the worst bits for me were when I felt helpless.
Best wishes for a better night
Hello DW123 and Toomuch pink
thanks for your concern, it really means a lot...<wipes tear from eye>
still not much better, but dtg has very bad cough and can't expect much in the way of sleep... poor thing gets a coughing fit every night at the end of her feed and vomits. every.single.night for the past two weeks (or maybe 3 I have lost count). Then I struggle to get her to settle again as she keeps coughing for a while. On occasions I ahve had to lie with her and feed her like that for
what felt like hours on end.
Las night though she for the first time in probably 6 months settled with dh while I was resttling her brother. Surely it is just a blip, but here's to hope.
Speaking of hope, DW123 thanks for the encouragement! oddly I actually go to bed hoping this is the night they'll sleep longer every single night, I an glass-hal-full kind of person.
Since finding out about the twins I ahve literally lived by the day, tried not to think ahead too much as the worry was crushing me, I am still in this survival mode .
toomuchpink I am not in the uk, and there is nothing like Homestart here, I ahve a babysitter, but only using her a couple of times a week (for one big shop, and those occasions when I need to attend something at dd1&2's school), it doesn't help we ahve just moved to a new area and still trying to make friends (what was I thinking agreeing to this???), but at the moment I have MIL here for a week, which is helping with the huge amounts of washing I am having to do every day!!
thanks so much again, it is just so useful to be able to come here and rant and know I will be understood
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