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To think they just aren't normal?

(71 Posts)
Theydontsleep Wed 28-Sep-16 22:15:01

Help! I am just feeling so frustrated and am hoping for some insight / advice or just plain old reassurance that we will get through this! I've got 18 month old twins. Everything is great with them except the sleeping. I still breastfeed and they can only go to sleep through feeding. I have never been able to put them down for naps, I have to sit feeding them for however long they nap. At night I feed them off to sleep and within 10 mins they are awake again. So I feed again and they go back to sleep. A good night they wake 4 times and I feed off to sleep each time. Bad night, which is more than good, they wake 10 times plus. They will only go back to sleep if they are fed. We don't let them cry and that's not an option for us but is there anything else we can try? Will it get better?! We co sleep, they eat really well, have plenty to do each day and there are no other issues whatsoever. They are in a good bedtime routine and have no health conditions. I just am so desperate for them to sleep without waking every hour. Are they normal for non cry it out 18 month olds? Thanks for reading!

DeadGood Wed 28-Sep-16 22:17:03

Babe... I mean this in a nice way... but what do you expect? This is how you have taught them to go to sleep. Why would they stop?

milpool Wed 28-Sep-16 22:21:01

I think (unfortunately!) it is pretty normal. My friend's 19 month old is very similar.

Do they set each other off if one wakes up? Are they in their own room or still in with you?

OftenOnTime Wed 28-Sep-16 22:21:35

^What DeadGood said.

Imnotaslimjim Wed 28-Sep-16 22:22:16

Sorry but at 18m it isn't normal to not let them cry. If you're wanting them to sleep through you need to be reducing the night feeding. At this point they're doing it out of habit/comfort and the only way to stop it is to refuse. They will get upset at that but it won't take long to break it. I'm sure there will be more knowledgeable MNer's along with advice on how to go about it soon.

Theydontsleep Wed 28-Sep-16 22:24:24

They do sometimes wake each other but not always. They co sleep so are in with us.

Dead good - thanks, I understand what you mean, but I don't know how I could do any different without them crying, I tried for months on end to put them down to nap etc but they just cried so I always ended up feeding them again as they were comforted immediately. I guess my question is, how can I move forward without leaving them to cry?!

PacificDogwod Wed 28-Sep-16 22:24:45

Have a look at 'The No Cry Sleep Solution' - worked for us smile

It is 'normal' what you are going through, but horrible and soul destroying.
Actually helping your babies to self-soothe will also help them have a better quality of sleep longer term.

You choices are NOT 'keep going as you are' vs 'crying it out'. There is plenty of middle ground.

seasidesally Wed 28-Sep-16 22:24:54

op you have created this sadly

you need some help to establish a bedtime routine and sleep pattern

maybe mix feed at night,i would peak to your health visitor you cannot continue like this, you must be shatterred

i also have twins but much older now

Georgeofthejungle Wed 28-Sep-16 22:26:23

What's your definition of normal?! Can anyone really say. Normal? Who knows! Hard work? Yes!! I take my hat off to you. I couldn't cope!

I am lucky and my DS (7 months), feeds to sleep and then goes down in his own bed for the night. On a good night he wakes up once for a feed and then back down. We are working on putting him in bed when he is not asleep so he can learn to self settle. For this we are listening to hear when he is about to get distressed, back in to settle him and then leave again. Repeat until asleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes I give in and just bosie him to sleep. Could you try that?
I am also anti cry it out but at the same time I don't just pick him up at the first sign of him moaning.

bumbleymummy Wed 28-Sep-16 22:26:43

If you're not there will they settle for your DH without milk?

FuzzyOwl Wed 28-Sep-16 22:27:44

How about feeding them with water or whole milk (which you can gradually water down) until feeding at nighttime is no longer so desirable for them?

Only1scoop Wed 28-Sep-16 22:28:18

I think as you've made all this 'normal' for them then they are happy as Larry....sounds like pure hell.

seasidesally Wed 28-Sep-16 22:30:19

i would sort the sleep out and get them in their own beds all in one go

may seem painful while starting it but its not working for all of you this way

babys cry thats what happens,do you attend to them straight away if they cry?are you against a baby crying?

Optimist3 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:30:52

Feed them at bedtime. Then Your DH needs to have them solely for a few nights. You need to sleep elsewhere

Georgeofthejungle Wed 28-Sep-16 22:31:22

We listen for the change in tone from 'I'm having a wee moan' to 'I'm losing my shit here'! Then act.

Have you tried a dummy? I found it helpful when my DS was constantly wanting to comfort feed and I was in agony with blisters etc. Good for swapping out a boob for in a fussy babe if they'll take it. X

Theydontsleep Wed 28-Sep-16 22:31:49

Thanks everyone! I've got the no cry sleep solution, just need to find a moment to actually read it!! They won't take a bottle and a cup of water / milk doesn't work, they sleep / get the comfort from the feeding itself. They definitely aren't hungry as they will often just go on and barely / not suck! Tried porridge etc just before bed and they have a proper bedtime routine.

mamapants Wed 28-Sep-16 22:31:55

Try Dr Jay Gordon's night weaning plan. Really gentle way of breaking the feeding to sleep cycle.
Will they sleep in car/pram/sling in the day?

Cookies77 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:33:15

Hi OP, have you read The Gentle Sleep book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith? As someone who doesn't agree with cry it out methods I really reccomend!

Theydontsleep Wed 28-Sep-16 22:34:02

Nope, won't take dummy either and too old to introduce one now. Yes, we tend to them when they cry. We always pat and shush first but once they are crying we have to pick them up and then I feed them off to sleep again.

LaurieMarlow Wed 28-Sep-16 22:34:21

It's not 'normal' for babies who have been sleep trained, no. And sleep training doesn't necessarily mean cc, but sometimes that's what works best.

Your choice, but if I were you I'd be getting a bit tough.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Wed 28-Sep-16 22:35:26

I don't have twins so I don't know how helpful this will be.
I fed DD to sleep until she was 18m. She just didn't ask for milk one bedtime. For about a month it was very fluid as to whether she had milk or not. I cuddled her to sleep for about a month, then we slowly moved to putting her in the cot and patting her, holding her hand etc. Then sitting on the bed (we have a double bed in her room) then on a chair outside her room.
This week (she's 21.5m) I've just managed to put her in cot, come downstairs and only have to go up to her once or twice and she can go off to sleep.

So it can be done without leaving them to cry. This didn't suit us either.

Re night feeds I think we went through a stage about 13m where she suddenly woke more frequently at night, teething or poorly, and I fed her to sleep then but once things were better I remember wanting to stop. I just used to take her into the bed we co-slept in, and cuddling her. If she cried out she was cuddled and I was there all night but she didn't get milk. I just used to say No milk now darling, it's sleepy time, milk in the morning etc
I only remember this taking a few nights, and the wasn't awful sad crying just a few moans and groans (maybe a few tears the first night) but I was there holding her and trying to teach her that she didn't need milk overnight.
It was a couple of (very slightly) unhappy nights and everything fine after that.

I have no idea if this would translate into twins.
Good luck OP brew

DeadGood Wed 28-Sep-16 22:35:58

"I don't know how I could do any different without them crying, I tried for months on end to put them down to nap etc but they just cried so I always ended up feeding them again as they were comforted immediately. I guess my question is, how can I move forward without leaving them to cry?!"

I really feel for you. Personally, I would go absolutely insane if I had to spend those precious nap hours sitting there feeding the whole time. How on earth do you get anything done? And you must be half dead from exhaustion, not getting sleep at night.

I never ever thought I would let my babies CIO but in the end I did. At about 10 months, no younger. And it was fine. Worked within one night and thereafter was fine. I thought gradual retreat was the right thing but now I think a quick change in routine is kinder.

Babies were completely fine in the morning, I hadn't broken them, and crucially they then start to get the sleep that they need (and so do you)

bumbleymummy Wed 28-Sep-16 22:36:02

Will they not settle at all without you if you're not there?

Theydontsleep Wed 28-Sep-16 22:36:26

Thank you for the recommendations. They will now sleep in the car - involves me driving until they fall asleep and then moving on every time they stir....!

Longlost10 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:36:40

why isn't letting them cry an option for you?

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