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18 month old twins still rocked to sleep, how to stop??

(15 Posts)
ClairesTravellingCircus Thu 22-Aug-13 13:32:30

My twins have never learnt to go to sleep on their own. They used to do it in their bouncy chairs at around 4-5 months, but then it stopped. So they were fed to sleep, and when I stopped bf at 12 months, rocked to sleep.
Naps are done in pushchair (home or out).

They do not have any comforte (though I tried!), one has a dummy but his sister (who is the one who struggles most) nothing (except my necklace, she likes to fiddle with it while I rock her to sleep or place on her on our bed next to me while I wait for her to drift off).

Problem is sometimes it can take ages, and by the time I have managed to get them both to sleep my evening is gone sad. They are also getting very heavy.(my arms have never been so toned though smile

I have occasionally tried some sort of cc, but I give in after a few minutes as their cries become increasingly desperate.

We have just got back from holidays which have totally disrupted their routine as they were going to sleep very late, this has however meant they have stopped waking for milk, and will sleep through or the most just continue sleeping in our bed (I then transfer them back).

Our routine goes like this:
7ish bath (not every day in winter though)
8ish I take one upstairs, bottle and rocked to sleep, (the other is left with my older dcs as dh gets home late), then repeat with t2.

We never got into the book thing as they seemed to get more excited with it rather helping them calm down.

Any ideas what to do???

(sorry for long post blush

sharond101 Thu 22-Aug-13 22:45:31

We moved from rocking to gradual retreat with huge success. After two nights wanted none of me and rolled over and went to sleep by himself. He now waves at me when he is tired and wanting to go for a nap.

ClairesTravellingCircus Thu 22-Aug-13 23:05:40

Sharon that sounds amazing! i doubt it'll work with my monkeys how did you do it? Mine start screaming if I put them diwn awake, and they won't calm down until I pick them up again!

DfanjoUnchained Fri 23-Aug-13 10:50:24

I've just successfully weaned my ds off rocking, as my back was killing me. Plus it was taking longer and longer.

I read This article which helped give tips.

First I decided to get him used to not being rocked -didn't matter where. Always start on day naps as theyre calmer.

So I got into my bed for every nap with him and held him and patted his bum and shushed him to sleep for the first day - this took a while and a few tears but he eventually fell asleep.

Next day I lay him down for sleep beside me (me lying up I'm bed, him facing me bum against my legs. He kicked a lot and cried as he wanted to be rocked and held, so I patted his bum and rubbed his back while shushing and repeated 'its sleepy time now' calmly.

That was on Saturday, he now lies down while wide awake and gurgles himself to sleep! This is a baby who had to always be rocked/held etc.

Also, 3 things that really help ds is, I use a grobag so when he kicks out he's still cuddled by his bag and warm and very easy to transfer him. And I always use white noise - just bought Ewan the sleep sheep who is great. Thirdly his comforter which I put down my top all day. These three things are his sleep associations so he doesn't need me anymore if he has these.

Good luck!

DfanjoUnchained Fri 23-Aug-13 10:51:59

Also, you have to be committed and cannot 'give in' and rock them on any occasion as it will confuse them. The day you decide not to rock anymore and introduce self-settling, you have to commit to it

sharond101 Fri 23-Aug-13 21:30:39

I fed him then put him in his cot. I sat by the side and stroked his face. it took 20 minutes for two night for him to fall asleep. When he tried to sit up I just lifted him back into his sleep position and gave him his favourite blanket and dummy. By night 3 he rolled onto his side and went to sleep as soon as I put him down. Now he will have none of the rocking to sleep business and wave to you when he is tired, sweet.

ClairesTravellingCircus Fri 23-Aug-13 21:56:08

Thank you both for taking the time to reply, unfortunately I do not think these would work for us.

I have tried your methos Sharon, but mine just start screaming as soon as I put them down, and I ahve never managed to make them calm down without picking them up again...

I take it from your post your baby is still quite young? Mine are 18 months and while I can get them to sleep in my bed while lying down with them, it takes AGEEES and I have to do them in succession (no way they'd go to sleep if together!),which would end up being just too long for me sad. It doesn't help that mine have not taken to any comforter, despite all my efforts...

<big sigh>

silverangel Sat 24-Aug-13 10:02:36

We did a form of what I guess would be called gradual retreat. They have their milk in bottles still (2yo, but they like it so I have no intention of changing it yet!). I take them upstairs together, they lie down on cushions for their milk a quick cuddle / burp an into their cots.

It took a good few weeks of lying on the floor next to the ssssshhhing, then just lying on the floor, then sitting by the door, then sitting outisde the door. I found consistency key so exactly the same if they woke in the night.

There were some tears in the beginning, but they got it and I would say after three weeks they were reliably self settling from previously being rocked. We started at about 15months I think.

DfanjoUnchained Sat 24-Aug-13 13:34:39

Yes my ds is 8 months so younger. I can see how it would be much more difficult with mobile 18 month olds. Do you have a partner who can do one in one room and the other in another?

ClairesTravellingCircus Sat 24-Aug-13 14:11:32


unfortunately he comes home too late for bedtime, I usually get my other dcs (12&9) to look after one twin while I take care of the other.


that sounds more achievable for us. Can I ask a few questions?
Do they have a comforter/dummy that helps the process?
Did/do you do it on your own?
Were they used to drink their milk by themselves?
Did yours scream their heads off as soon as you put them in the cot? (mine do)

Whenever I have been completely on my on, I tried giving them bottles to hold, but they soon stopped drinking and started playing around. Same if I try to read a book to both at the same time. They don't like to share cuddles either sad.

I wonder if I should try to do one twin at the time?

ClairesTravellingCircus Sat 24-Aug-13 14:25:33

another question Silverangel,

how did they go to sleep for their naps? Mine are pushed in the pushchair...

sharond101 Sat 24-Aug-13 22:36:11

Claire I expected DS to resist and cry too. He cried for a few minutes on the first night which is why I started stroking his face. I'd say go with the principles of gradual retreat and maybe some of pick up put down. Do whatever you can to settle them when they are in their cots and take it from there.

schmee Sat 24-Aug-13 22:43:29

The great news is that you have already been able to exchange one method of getting to sleep (bf) for another (rocking). I would really try with the method of cuddling on the bed, aiming to replace it with lying down next to the bed in a few weeks. It may take longer to put them down if you are just cuddling them, but this will be short term. And once you have got them used to going down with you lying next to them you can start putting them to bed at the same time if they are in the same room, with you lying in between their beds.

silverangel Wed 28-Aug-13 07:38:02

Hi Claire, sorry omly just saw your questions!

Mine slept in the puschair until they dropped to one nap at about 1yo. Then they were so tired they were happy to sleep in their cots. They have 'dofs' which are just muslins which they use as comforters. If you can get them onto them its great because then there is no crisis if they get lost.

We have only recently started doing bed time solo (2yo) because they are old enough to get 'milky time' and are happy to do the bottles themselves.

They did used to scream their heads off but as we were always next to them it didn't feel like cc and they would soon calm down.

I woould try to avoid doing one at a time if you can as the one not been dealt with will undoubtedly get jealous.

Hope it gets better for you soon and happy to answer any more questions if you have them!

ClairesTravellingCircus Sun 01-Sep-13 23:14:24

Hello again

thanks Silverangel for answering my questions, lots of food for thought.
Unfortunately I still ahven't made up my mind, as I cam not coping well with any amount of crying, it must be an age thing as I don't remember being this soft with dd1&2!

mine have always had separate bedtimes, because dh is only here at weekends (and then we do one each in separate rooms), so they're kind of used to it, and it's nice to be able to give individual cuddles, but at the moment it's taking sooo long, I hardly ever have a moment's peace. I can't get dh to commit to anything either, and I can't do it on my own.

Thanks everyone for making useful suggestions and giving me encouragement, maybe I'm not as ready to sleep train as I thought I was blush

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