Sleep help!

(8 Posts)
RummidgeGeneral Sat 21-Dec-13 20:08:50

Hi chouxdebxl. My girls were always in the same room. they wouldn't always wake the other one up if they were crying. It depends how deeply asleep they were. There's a sleep book by Richard Ferber which is a complete controlled-crying method which wasn't for me, but parts of the book were very interesting about understanding sleep cycles. Apparently 8 months is a time of brain change and a move to a more grown up sleep cycle - typically deep sleep until about midnight and then shorter lighter sleep cycles so babies wake up say 12pm, 2am, 4am and then go back down into deeper sleep again about 5am. Apparently we all wake up a little bit in the night but we know how to go back down to sleep, whereas it can go wrong with babies and small children who become reliant on sucking or rocking etc to re-create the conditions that they fell to sleep in. That's why it is so important to help them learn to fall to sleep in their bed in a none distressed state - easier said than done. I bf until about 8 months when one of the babies went off breast-feeding and I felt strange about just feeding the one. I did feel a bit sad about finishing bf but I found that I did have more energy which was very necessary with an older toddler and going back to work.

Swanhilda Thu 19-Dec-13 00:01:59

We never did controlled crying. I did make an effort to put the babies into their cots awake after a feed though, rather than feeding them to sleep. I seem to remember we would smile at each other, before settling them down again [aah smile I did not tandem feed in the night, which proved worthwhile as one then did decide to sleep through. The other thing that helped me survive was making sure that my husband brought the babies to me first thing in the morning when they woke so I could breastfeed first thing in bed rather than get up. And then HE gave them breakfast (food I mean) after that sometimes. All this helped deal with the sleep deprivation. I had an older toddler too. I made my husband give him breakfast too! That was the deal with breastfeeding. You do the stuff you have to do, they do the other stuff.

Swanhilda Wed 18-Dec-13 23:51:01

We were down to one night waking per twin at that age (at different times) I was breastfeeding day and night feeds, and they had three square meals a day including formula milk in cereal, cheese sauce/rice pudding/semolina food types. I thought one night waking was normal really, although it was still tiring to have do twice, ifysim. We ended up doing a lot of co-sleeping with one twin, but in the end I think we found that putting them firmly back in their cots after a night feed tended to produce better sleep. They had had a good milk feed (breast) before bed at 7.30 and tea at 6.00 I suppose. I STUFFED them with food and breastfeeds in the day so as to leave no room for doubt...hmm

When you go back to work presumably they will have formula in bottles as well as food, or were you planning to just stick to meals and water/juice and feed when you were with them? I didn't WOHM and one twin did continue to be a bad sleeper, but the other one started sleeping through till 8am quite soon after 8 months, so I suppose I was able to put up with being woken by the other for that reason. In the end I had one perfect sleeper 7-8 who woke once at 2am, and one erratic sleeper through who usually woke at 6am! Still I counted myself lucky with that combination. And the erratic sleeper continued to wake until he was school age, just once a night, although not needing a feed of course!!!! I am saying this to warn you, that some bad sleeping patterns WILL continue if unchecked and it is worse to break them when you have a toddler (although we just went with the flow with our bad sleeper)

It is lovely bfdng older twins, very useful when they are ill, and to my mind prevented all sorts of ear infections, solved lots of whinging created peaceful downtime in day, saved time, one to one communication etc. However, I think you need to try and stick to one night feed. Would it help thinking of it as a nutritional feed/thirst quencher, which is only needed ONCE a night maximum, and not a way to settle a bad sleeper. Our twins slept in a different room to us.

chouxdebxl Wed 18-Dec-13 20:17:40

Thank you for the suggestions! @ Margetts, at the moment they take a one hour nap in the morning (often in pushchair / sling while I take my daughter to school) and 1.5 / 2 hours after lunch - I recently stopped them having a further nap in the late afternoon in the hope that might help but it didn't seem to make a big difference. I do worry that they are hungry so I will try to give them more to eat in the evening right before bed (right now they are having their "solid" tea at about 5.30). @ Rummidge, I don't know what I'll do about the breast feeding. I've become a bit emotional about it tbh, which is probably not ideal (don't think I'll be doing it again after this, so I've been reluctant to give up). I think if things don't improve soon I will try your approach. We did something similar with our daughter and it worked a treat, but she was a bit older and her problem was getting to sleep to begin with rather than waking in the night. I worry a bit about one waking or keeping the other awake - did you put them in separate rooms (ours have separate cots but side by side)? Thanks again - fingers crossed for improvement soon!

RummidgeGeneral Wed 18-Dec-13 15:23:17

Hi. I am a mum of twins. I suppose one question I have is how much do you want to keep on breast feeding? No right or wrong answer by the way but it affects how you might deal with this. My experience was that when my babies came into a light period of sleep they used a nice suck on the boob to get to sleep and it was very difficult to deny them that when I was feeding them. When I stopped bf I was forced to find different approach. Initially it was to give them bottles but then I realised it was recreating the comfort sucking back to sleep so I did have to go cold turkey on the milk. I did this method which is to try to settle babe when they awake. Do not feed to sleep. When they wake up go in room but just for few seconds. Go back in 30 seconds later and out again and gradually extend periods when you are out the room. They will cry. It is similar to controlled crying but a bit kinder I think. Do it for three or four night and I think will be much better. Good luck.

RummidgeGeneral Wed 18-Dec-13 15:17:52

Hi. I am a mum of twins. I suppose one question I have is how much do you want to keep on breast feeding? No right or wrong answer by the way but it affects how you might deal with this. My experience was that when my babies came into a light period of sleep they used a nice suck on the boob to get to sleep and it was very difficult to deny them that when I was feeding them. When I stopped bf I was forced to find different approach. Initially it was to give them bottles but then I realised it was recreating the comfort sucking back to sleep so I did have to go cold turkey on the milk. I did this method which is to try to settle babe when they awake. Do not feed to sleep. When they wake up go in room but just for few seconds. Go back in 30 seconds later and out again and gradually extend periods when you are out the room. They will cry. It is similar to controlled crying but a bit kinder I think. Do it for three or four night and I think will be much better. Good luck.

Margetts Wed 18-Dec-13 14:56:34

When mine were that age I used to give them Weetabix before they went to bed, which would help them sleep, as they used to wake up hungry.
Have you tried putting music on when they go to bed, this worked with me and they seemed to associate sleeping with music. If they did wake in the night I would put music on and let them learn to settle themselves.
How much sleep to they have during the day, it could be that they are sleeping too much disputing the day and are not tired.
Hope you get a full nights sleep soon.

chouxdebxl Wed 18-Dec-13 11:08:56

My 8 month old twins wake twice a night. I'm BF-ing and, before, I used to wake the other if one woke but now they're getting too big to feed, settle and get back to bed comfortably at the same time. For the last couple of months that means getting up 4 x per night and that I've not had more than a couple of hours sleep in a row and I'm starting to feel really desperate - esp as I'm supposed to go back to work in January... They eat really well during the day and are >8kg, so I've tried not feeding them when they wake but, the last couple of nights that's meant being awake for 2 hours then caving and feeding anyway. Plus I think it's making them think that night time waking is playtime. Husband is totally hopeless - can't seem to settle them at all and says they just want mummy... Any tips / experiences on sleep training methods for 2 really gratefully appreciated - before I go totally nutso... Thank you!

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