A good example of self settling, would be if a baby woke up 30 mins into what is usually a longer nap, and you just gave a quick feed, BUT then instead of getting baby up and responding to her as if she was wakeful, you behaved as if it was still sleeptime and put her back in her cot very quickly for a further sleep cycle (ie: as if you were feeding her in the middle of the night). Some babies will not resettle, some will over a period of days. You just have to try it and see I'm afraid, but there is nothing lost. When you put baby down awake, they might cry for a few minutes, but if they are genuinely tired and full of food, and need more sleep, they should go down again, if you give them the chance. If you picked baby up and took them downstairs after 30 mins nap, they will probably get the message that it is time to wake up again, not resettle.
Occasionally it did not work at all, and then you just have to smile and get baby up. But this is a good time to work on sleep routines as they are not nearly so set. Also I found they were beginning to need much less sleep in the morning, but push it through to afternoon/lunchtime for a longer nap then at 4 months.
Unfortunately a lot of trips up and down the stairs is what is needed until they are around 6 months old. Putting them in their cots drowsy but awake is important, also, a comforter that they associate with sleep. When DTD1 sees her comforter, she automatically lies down and sucks her thumb and she is 15 months old.
Hey Anda!!!! We should get the old thread gang "together" for a three/four/five month update!
Swan - I'm not really singlehanded now, thankfully! DH is travelling a lot less so we're just a regular twins plus toddler madhouse family now!
I really need to work on self settling. Truth be told, I'm just lazy and up until now it's just been so easy to feed them to sleep, especially as I feel I'm getting enough sleep mostly. They do good four hour stretches at night and feed for ten mins tops, so I'm not that disrupted. I sort of try, but they quickly fall into a deep sleep on the boob, so I inevitably transfer them to the cot sleeping, although I don't do it very carefully to give them the opportunity to semi rouse and realise where they are. Not sure they do! Not sure how to fix it... I guess just comfort and put back drowsy when they wake, and not nurse to get them back down....? I just have v little faith it'll work. I just can't really believe they'll settle. I guess I'll have to eventually (at 4/5 months - ie from the next couple of weeks) do the crying/ going in at stretched out intervals. It just all seems likes lot of hard work!!! Also, separate cots would mean moving out of our room, which I still like and find easiest for night feeds....
To add to it all, they're usually reliably down by 8.30 but tonight I've been up and down stairs comforting one or the other like a yo yo.... So I feel like my thinking about sleep has led to them not sleeping irrational
Mine were in different cots, and used to a bedtime routine too, so the same associations with sleep in the cot at naptime helped, sleeping bags, black out blinds, little song, bedtime comforter object (knotty rag or in dd's case a little wooly cardy to cuddle!) I did leave them to cry for 5 mins maybe, a sort of tired out protest cry not a desperate hungry miserable cry I may add...
I think the afternoon nap miracle coincides with a lot more activity in the morning when they are 6 month plus, and also lunch being more stodgy (solids at 6 months) So naturally as they did much the same thing in the morning activity stimulation wise and ate much lunch at the same time, they ended up being synchronised for their nap at 6 months. Although as I say, dd was sleeping long nap by 4 months.
Legally I feel like you are streets ahead of me at that age, as you are managing three singlehandedly and a dog, and ebf (whereas I had to introduce some formula in desperation early on, and mixed fed) But I did also have 27 month son in tow when my twins were 15 weeks. My son had very good afternoon naps so I was expecting a nap routine to work out eventually. I relied on the idea of a break between 1 and 3pm.
However, I too struggled with the naps and eventually cracked it, so here's my pennyworth. Until they were 4 months I think I did not reliably get them to sleep at the same time (except when very tiny). However, I DID practise a lot of settling in their cots even if it wasn't synchronised. I fed them to sleep, almost, then left to self settle. Dd needed lots of sleep (she was smaller)but had reflux to start with so didn't really like to be put down, so for her the difficulty was getting her used to lying down and sleeping that way, instead of being cuddled to sleep upright. By 18 weeks she was sleeping in her cot for afternoon and morning naps, very deeply, and quite well at night too (although not through but long stretches like four or five hours) She had to practise self settling. Ds2 did not have reflux but he was a very light sleeper and didn't sleep longer than 30 mins at a time, so for him the problem was resettling in the afternoon nap, and I don't think he cracked that till he was 6 months. Maybe I could have cracked it earlier, but I didn't have the energy or wherewithal.
The frustration lay in trying to synchronise, and I think earlier on it was less frustrating because I was just pleased that they slept deeply and well rather than worrying that they didn't do it at the same time. Dd needed more sleep, so she went to sleep sooner than ds2 in the afternoon.
By six months, a miracle, they both had a 2 hour afternoon nap in their cots. And I kept this going till they were nearly three years old. I never ever gave them afternoon sleep in buggy though when out and about as they would wake up after 30 mins ALWAYS. Whereas at home, deep long sleep.
My advice is just keep perservering but don't get too upset if they don't synchronise at first, or if you need to keep resettling one, that one just might need less sleep, more feeds, or be a different personality!
Hello! Mine are now 18 weeks (I think) and have been having naps in their bedroom for about the last 6 weeks. They've started getting a bit grouchy before they're ready for a nap, and I just take them both up then and put them in their sleepyheads (on the same bed) and close the blackout blinds, put the white noise on, and hope for the best. Trick is catching them before they're too tired. Normally one will drop off quickly and I can spend more time settling the other. I've only let S cry once, when I went downstairs to get her milk and she was asleep by the time I got back, so maybe it would work.
I already have a 3 yo so have been here before, but daytime napping was the one think I failed at with DD (and if course now she has no naps anymore, so that doesn't matter!).
I'm ebf the twins and prob will carry on after I wean them until they're two or so (I did this with DD - just morning and evening from 1 year old).
They're just falling into a routine, part led by me. We've always done 8.30am morning nap in the pram as this is the pre school run or dog walk time. They're v used to that now. 7pm is bedtime feed in a dark bedroom (bath at 6.30) and they are now both reliably asleep by 8.30pm. Left to own devices, they'll wale at 1.30 or 5.30, but I tend to dream feed at 11pm and then I just get one waking (which I think is FAB - DD woke every two hours!). I always tandem fed unless out and about.
BUT, the rest of the daytime naps.... Argh!! They nap around midday then once or twice in the afternoon. They feed or sling or cuddle/rock to sleep but wake when put down... How and when do I get them napping in the cot? I cuddled DD to sleep until she dropped her nap ... Don't want that again!!! Do I just put them in tired and let them cry?!?!? Feels very odd! When? Four months? No idea where to begin with this.... All advice appreciated!
They still share a cot - will one wake the other? What about slightly diff schedules?