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Baffled - 13 wo twins settle perfectly at 9:30pm, hate their cot before then

(8 Posts)
BuffyFan Thu 07-Jan-16 21:41:49

Apologies in advance for the length of this.

So my 13 week old boy/girl twins, who share a cot, are not too hard at all overnight. TG will wake once between 9:30pm and 6am, which at 13 weeks I'm thinking is pretty darn good! She even slept through last night. TB will wake twice, and is often unsettled from around 5am onwards. So far so normal really.

What I'm baffled by is our evenings. We have a 4 yo son, and so have integrated the twins into the bedtime routine, which ends with us all having a story on our bed (twins get a top up feed) and then older son into bed (in his own room) and twins into their cot (generally already asleep or very nearly) by about 7:15. The twins then sleep for at most 45 minutes before waking and being very unhappy about being in their cot. They will settle when cuddled, and if we bring them downstairs they will sleep in our arms or in their bouncer chairs. But there is no putting them back down in the cot at this point.

They then get a bottle feed at about 9pm, after which they go in the cot perfectly happily and sleep until maybe 1am or 2am.

Are we doing the wrong thing by bringing them down if they don't settle? Should we be "persevering" and keeping them in the bedroom, dark etc? Selfishly we didn't want to sacrifice our evenings over Christmas and new year doing this. Is their sleep cycle out of whack, or do we just accept that they're too young for a "bedtime"? I don't unstandardised how they can be so happy to go to bed at 9:30 and yet so unhappy just an hour or so earlier. Answers on a postcard please, we are baffled!

FATEdestiny Thu 07-Jan-16 22:31:42

I've wouldn't even both trying to establish a 'bedtime' until a baby is closer to 4 or 5 months. Until then it is perfectly normal that baby will 'nap' through the evening rather than go to sleep and stay asleep.

I have always done bath (or wash), massage and change into PJ with the baby anytime they are awake between 6pm and 8pm. But then back downstairs into bouncy chair.

Chances are there will be another feed before I go to bed so, depending what time that feed is, I might go up to bed with baby when she/he wakes for that feed.

I wouldn't start establishing an early evening upstairs bedtime until I can see that baby is consistently sleep through from this time until I go to bed. That's been around 5 months old with my four children. Whenever there are still going to be evening wake ups, then I would consider that just an extension of daytime napping, rather than bedtime.

BuffyFan Fri 08-Jan-16 06:32:48

Fate, have your older children ever objected? I'm waiting for the day our 4 yo complains that the twins get to "stay up" with us.

Ironically we started introducing "bedtime" because they did seem to sleep through the evening. But I'm minded to agree that it can wait another month or so. Thanks smile

FATEdestiny Fri 08-Jan-16 09:05:07

No, not at all. I don't think it would occur to them to be jealous because they know and see that baby does very different things to them.

It's likely that baby will naturally develop a bedtime from 5-6 months - so you are talking just a few months away for you.

Does your four year old object to the fact that the twins sleep in the same room as you? I would assume not because it's just 'what babies do'. Explain that things are different while babies are little, because they have to feed a lot.

BuffyFan Fri 08-Jan-16 09:59:11

He's been a little jealous, and does sometimes ask why he has to sleep in his room.

I'm not particularly in a hurry for the twins to settle at bedtime, it just seems so strange that they're so unhappy there before their 9pm bottles. It doesn't seem to matter whether or not there's someone in the room with them, for example. I guess for now they'd just rather nap downstairs in front of the telly until later.

Gillian1980 Sat 09-Jan-16 14:29:54

Our DD has been like this - she has had her own idea of what bedtime is and will happily settle then but absolutely not before.

For a good few weeks it was 1am, then changed to 11pm for a couple of weeks, then 9pm and now its 7.30pm ish. She decided on these times entirely on her own and we just had to go with it. Now at 22 weeks she sleeps 7.30/8pm - 8.30/9.30am.

Jesabel Sat 09-Jan-16 14:32:18

Their bedtime is a not unreasonable 9.30pm, they settle well and sleep well overnight - I'd just enjoy it while it lasts!

Micah Sat 09-Jan-16 14:38:14

I think this is a design fault in babies smile. Most bf babies cluster feed all evening, tanking up for the night. Mine did something similar, but it would be bed at 7, cluster feed until 9.30, then sleep until 2am feed.

If theyre bottle fed theyre perhaps not needing to feed in the evening, but their sleep cycle is still following that pattern until their 9pm bottle.

Honestly though id just go with whatever is most likely to keep you sane smile. They will get there. Maybe start gradually bringing that 9pm feed forward?

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