Losing my mind(15 Posts)
Hello, I wonder if anyone can help/advise. I have twins who are 7.5 months actual, 6.5 adjusted. They were utterly horrendous sleepers for the first few months and it was a very rough time. They improved a lot when weaned at 5 months but now they are waking very early and I feel that I have so little capacity to deal with more sleep deprivation. They generally go to bed around 7.45 and fall asleep about 8.15. I DF at 10.30 and they take breast plus a full 6 oz of formula. They then sometimes wake at 1 or 2 but go down fairly easily, then wake inconsolable at 3-4. I feed them then (breast and maybe an oz or 2 from bottle) and they settle well, but then they wake again at 5.15 and want to either be on the boob dozing for hours (won't take a bottle at this feed) or, if I try to settle them without feeding, they wake up properly and scream and are then up for the day. If it was 1 baby I would be quite happy to lie them down next to me and let them bf and doze (I remember doing this with DD1) but with 2 it's impossible. I'm so fed up and exhausted now, in the month of them sleeping half decently the days were so much easier to cope with but now I'm starting to feel v negative and resentful again. They usually nap 9.30 tob10.30 then 1.30 to 2.30. They were taking a catnap 5-5.30 but on the advice of lots of people I cut this out last week. Unfortunately they're v tired in the late afternoon so will drop off if we go out in the car. So for the past 3 days I have just stayed in with them for the whole afternoon which means they have been up from last nap at 2.30 until bedtime- and they still have been waking up at 5! I am going insane. I feel like I still haven't recovered properly from the insane sleep derivation of the first couple of months and have no reserves left. Can anyone help???
I'm not sure I have much advice for you but offer sympathies as I too have 7.5 month old twins. We hired a sleep consultant 2 weeks ago and have had mixed results.
My boy was waking up almost every hour at night and then up for the day at 5. If I was lucky I could get one nap in the day that lasted longer than 45 mins. I was at my wits end because I was constantly trying to stop him from waking his sister or just generally dealing with 2 babies on almost no sleep.
We decided after much umming and ahhing to do controlled crying as I physically didn't know how else to get 2 separate babies to sleep at the same time in different rooms (I put them to bed myself 5 nights a week with no options of help). This worked well in that from the first night my boy slept till 5am (he cried 30 mins before going to sleep). The 5am wake ups persisted for a few days but he didn't cry at them just moaned 10 mins or so and went back to sleep and for last week has slept till around 630 each morning which is perfect. My daughter sleeps about the same.
BUT both my babies now cry for up to 20 mins before going to bed and this is really starting hard to bother me. My sleep consultant has been asking me to do a week sleep log and will see if I need to make schedule changes to hopefully reduce this crying (not sure how much longer I can let them do this, DH wants to leave it this way indefinitely as he believes it's worth it for everyone - babies included - to have good sleep at night). I'm not in any way saying Controlled Crying is the answer and I don't think I would do it on a single baby but sometimes with twins you have to do things you don't really want to.
Also I put my twins on forumula at 5 months as I couldn't cope anymore with feeding it became too hard for me.
landy Are you going in and out when they cry or just leaving them?
Going in and out, 5 mins, 8 mins and then 10 if it gets to it. It's horrrible.
Wow Landy, I don't know how you manage doing the evenings alone. This is the hardest thing I've ever done and I have DH around most of the time (although he's generally pretty useless, but that's another story...) I did a version of cc to get them to go to sleep without feeding and then to get rid of the dummies as they were waking every 5 mins for them. Altogether there has been more crying than I'd ideally like but it got to the point where I felt that I just had to do something, I didn't trust myself to be driving on nights and nights of no sleep and had to be able to be at least somewhat present as a parent to older DD. I can't say cc did much apart from help with self-settling to bed at the start of the night though, but it sounds like you have had better luck with it which is great. do they cry all-out for the 20 mins or is it grizzling? Would be interested to hear how you get on with it all. Mine are now pulling to stand in the crib which makes everything ten times worse, they are normally ok at daytime naps but now they just want to stand up. Feel a bit shit about it all today, and a bit sorry for myself (and them). Doesn't help that 2 of my best friends had babies at the same time and are always off on day trips or holidays with their baby tucked in the sling, I feel like a prisoner in the house at the moment keep reminding myself that it won't last forever but I so wanted to enjoy my time off with them and I'm not at all. Oh well! Self pitying rant over. Just wish they'd sleep!
I feel for you so, so much - my twins are 15 months old now, but I recognise so much of what you describe from how mine were a few months ago! It was so tough - I felt like I couldn't enjoy anything ever because I was just too tired. It reached a peak when they were 11 months old and after one particularly horrendous night I broke down and sobbed on the phone to my HV. She came straight over (think she thought I had PND - I didn't, I was just knackered!) and talked me through a controlled crying regime. I had decided against controlled crying a couple of months earlier, but by that point I was so worn down by it I realised a few nights of crying was worth it (and honestly, they cried enough at night anyway I figured they might as well cry with a purpose.)
I know controlled crying isn't for everyone, but let me know if you want more details and I'll go through what I did (it was a pretty classic 'leave them for increasing amount of time' approach.) It's not surprising it's the second half of the night that you're finding hardest, because that's when their sleep is lightest and the sleep cycles are shortest - but it's also therefore when self settling is most important to help them sleep independently. Honestly, there's no shame in wanting (needing) sleep, and it IS different with twins (I had a singleton first, so know the difference!) Mine sleep 7-6.30 now and my husband and I are like new people. I honestly felt the time would never come that I would get a full night's sleep again. I sympathise utterly with you!
Also, at their age I'd be dropping the dream feed. They shouldn't need it nutritionally (their waking is much more likely to be habit by now) and by cutting it out you could give yourself a better window for an early night and good chunk of sleep.
You will get through this!
My sleep consultant also said to stop my daughters (better sleeper) dream feed and I was a bit nervous but she didn't notice not having it.
I totally get what you mean about being jealous of people with their one baby off out doing stuff all the time. I've tried a few classes and it's just far too exhausting I've given up and we spend most of the time at home. I always try think about how they will have to be pregnant 2 times and have to deal with new baby and toddler to make it sound fairer (weird I know but I like to justify that everyone gets it hard sometimes!)
For lunchtime nap today my son has actually for first time ever just gone over 2hrs sleeping, but obviously my daughter (who I usually have to wake from naps) woke early and now they are out of sinc. I'm desperate for them to drop the end of day cat nap but my son never slept long enough at lunch...well we've let them get out of sync today and will see...but it's the weekend so with 2 adults and 2 babies you can do these things. I can't cope with that myself. I'm sure we will end up with utterly horrendous bedtime as a result
I cannot wait for no naps to be needed. It is utterly the worst thing about being a Mum. My husband asks every weekend when they can stop having to take naps
I too think you should come up with a real plan and probably give the Controlled Crying a go. Have you got the Ferber book? It details it out quite well.
I'm not in any way saying Controlled Crying is the answer and I don't think I would do it on a single baby but sometimes with twins you have to do things you don't really want to. Also I put my twins on forumula at 5 months as I couldn't cope anymore with feeding it became too hard for me
This is the wisest thing I've read on this thread.
You've got twins so you physically cannot devote as much time/energy as you would a singleton.
I almost never advocate controlled crying, especially not under 12 months. But in your situation, which is different to most, it's absolutely what I would do.
I would also completely stop breastfeeding and move to formula, if I was in your situation. Or just keep 3 breastfeeds a day (morning, lunchtime and bedtime) and make all other feeds fully formula.
beyondtheshore and landy, thank you for your posts, it really helps to know that people are in the same position, or even better, have been there and got through it in one piece! i'm not always this negative i promise, i should point out that they can be so much fun too, especially now that they are noticing each other and making each other giggle! it's just the sleep that gets me down. beyondtheshore i'm not sure whether i'm ready for real no-nonsense cc yet but i would love to know what you did if you don't mind, how long it took, any tips, etc.
re the dream feed, yes, i keep thinking i need to stop it. it's lasted so long because they have cow's milk allergy and are on amino acid formula which is thin as water and has never filled them up. so it's basically all the hassle of formula feeding without the benefit of them possibly sleeping a bit better, yay. anyway when their sleep was absolutely awful - both up every hour all night for months, and never really sleeping deeply - it was because they were hungry, because as soon as we started weaning them it immediately got dramatically better - now at least i get a block of sleep at the start, and they go into proper quiet deep sleep rather than tossing and turning all night. so i'm really unwilling to drop the DF in case it means that they wake up every hour again - but that's probably a bit irrational and i can't DF them forever. maybe i'll try tomorrow. did you go cold turkey with it or cut down gradually?
i don't really want to give up BF yet, i don't mind it at all, and it feels like one of the few times when they get to peacefully snuggle up with me. and giving them watery formula rather than breastmilk won't make them sleep better anyway so i feel like i might as well keep going as long as i can!
landy10 i feel your pain on the naps... i get so stressed out by the thought of them being out of sync. my DTs are identical and luckily they are usually on roughly the same schedule but my heart sinks when one wakes up after 20 minutes and the other one's still happily snoozing! hope you had a good day and a calm bedtime!
They have cow's milk and soy allergy. I'm BF (and not eating dairy or soy) and they are also on amino acid formula which is incredibly thin. I have been given thickener to add to the formula but it gives them wind so I use it sparingly.
I just did cold turkey stopping the dream feed and was fine (literally no impact) but my DD takes her milk well in the day (she's 98th centile on height and 75th weight). They are also on solids although she's pretty rubbish at eating. Are yours eating well in the day?
I'm hating this weather, DD is really grumpy today and I'm sure it's because her room was 29 degree at 1am when I checked
I better go and get psyched for lunchtime nap drama now!
well, mine eat solids really well, in fact DT2 is obsessed with food and tries to steal it off our plates... Milk is another story though, they are not too interested in bottles any more and it takes ages to get them to drink a decent amount. I downloaded the moms on call app which has a schedule that promises to make them sleep 12 hours and the feeding times and amounts are v strict so that has been a source of stress, will probably bin it and go back to a v rough routine based on when they seem to be hungry!
the weather isn't ideal is it, I love the heat but the babies aren't too sure! The room they sleep in faces north and never gets really hot but I'm supposed to go to stay at my mum's next week and her house is like a furnace in the summer, don't know how any of us will sleep tbh!
Oh and a quick update, they woke at 5.45 yesterday but I managed to put one back to sleep without too much trouble )and without feeding- the replies here reminded me that they really don't have to be eating every two hours at night at this age. The other one wasn't happy at all and dozed/grizzled for about an hour but am hoping that he may have got the message that the 5am feeding frenzy is a thing of the past... Here's hoping!
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