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would you let someone else settle your babies to sleep for a week?

(32 Posts)
Frangipani74 Fri 10-Jul-09 10:26:57

I have 7 month old twins who don't sleep that well and a 3yr old who still has a few disturbed nights, I am absolutely exhausted. A few months ago did 3 nights of rapid return with the one who woke most, but felt it just caused too much crying and was too hard on her. Recently we tried doing PUPD, we did it for about five days then babies got colds and then one of them cut and tooth and then they were both sick. Doing PUPD also gave me back ache as one of my twins would need resettling between 8 and 12 times each night and the other 2 or 3 and sometimes more. By the six night we just couldn't carry on and went for easiest option to get them back to sleep.

My lovely sister - who has no kids, has offered to move in for a week and help my husband settle the babies to sleep and I go and sleep at her house for the night times. The thinking behind this is when I go to settle them they want mummy and milk and if I'm not there they will realise there is nothing to wake up for.

Part of me wants to just go for it, if it worked it would be easy for me, I just don't know if I can physically sustain doing PUPD. But I'm torn part of me thinks it will be too hard on the babies, I wouldn't dream of leaving them all day so why would I leave them for 12hrs at night when they might just want comfort and reassurance from me.

Has anyone ever tried this before?
Or does anyone have any encouraging stories of doing PUPD with twins, one of whom was very bad sleeper?

Obviously no one can tell me what to do but a different point of view from someone not connected to family might help me.

MoonchildNo6 Fri 10-Jul-09 17:15:53

You poor thing! It's always the way you start to get some kind of routine and then they get ill/start teething!

I would try it, I don't see what harm it would do and if you are rested you will feel calmer and they will respond to that. When you are tired and tetchy the babies will pick up on it and not settle well.

Good luck!

TheProvincialLady Fri 10-Jul-09 17:32:23

I would be prepared (and grateful!) to let my sister do it but NOT at 7 months, personally. You just can't know that they are not hungry (assuming you are BF?) and I would have found it impossible to sleep elsewhere at this age.

However, I have only had one baby at a time and not twins, so maybe you need more extreme solutions. If it feels OK to you then it probably is - I am a great believer in instinctsmile

PrettyCandles Fri 10-Jul-09 17:38:40

I think it is a very good idea, but that you should stay at home - sleep elsewhere in the house if necessary.

As a bfing mum I have found that it can be very difficult to teach a baby to self-settle if he or she is used to being breastfed, as they can smell the milk on you and don't understand why they're not getting what they're used to getting.

When we had to do this, my dh settled the baby to sleep after I had given them the bedtime feed.

But at 7m you cannot be certain they don't need feeding at night, especially if they are used to feeding at night and therefore may not take enough during the day. If you can cut the feeds down at night, rather than drop them all at once, then they will have a chance to increase their daytime feeds gradually as well.

By staying at home, you can choose to feed them once or twice in the night if necessary. And of course you can be the one who goes to them in the morning, too.

PrettyCandles Fri 10-Jul-09 17:41:48

Forgot to say that dh also went to the baby during the night, and only brought him or her to me for a feed if he felt it absolutely necessary.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Jul-09 17:43:15

I'd do it in a second.

HuffwardlyRudge Fri 10-Jul-09 17:46:45

Too young at 7 months in my opinion. I would accept gratefully at 12 months or more.

Tambajam Fri 10-Jul-09 17:50:01

I haven't had twins so it's very hard to put myself in your shoes. But I do feel a 7 month old could legitimately need a night feed so I personally wouldn't do it as you describe. I would sleep in another room with ear plugs if I was very desperate and ask to be woken up if they are not settling despite best efforts.
I would do as you describe from about 10 months if I was desperate.

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 10-Jul-09 17:53:03

good plan to get someone else to go to the babies at night whilst you are there, go for it

Your sister is a Good Egg

kitkat9 Fri 10-Jul-09 18:50:37

lucky you having such a fab sister

I'd do it in a heartbeat

but then again I am totally knackered with my single 7 month old!

I would try to make sure your dh does the majority of the work as they will know hm better, your sister can be there as back-up for him, plus he'll stll be there when she's gone, iykwim

good luck

CarGirl Fri 10-Jul-09 18:54:57

I would because you can't the amount of sleep you're getting is insufficient to cope on.

PUPD can work very quickly and they are not being left to cry alone at all or not be comforted. Hopefully they will be hungrier during the day and start having more to compensate for the of milk offered.

I would however take them for a cranial osteopath visit(s) first to ensure there is nothing else adding to the sleep disturbance.

Frangipani74 Fri 10-Jul-09 20:05:53

Thanks for all your thoughts on the matter. I think perhaps they are too young at the moment, but my fab sister is on holiday up until September then she's off to study. She suggested I could sleep at her house because either she's trying to seduce my husband, or she knows that I'm terrible at jumping in and taking over, if my babies whimper a bit I assume I'm the only one who can soothe them - a little over protective! I would probably be happier to give it a go if I was still around to help out if needed though.

We are trying to reduce the night feeds and are continuing to do PUPD at the start of the night, but when they seem difficult to settle in the night I just end up feeding because I'm just too tired to do anything else. My husband wants to do what he can to help but he's pretty frazzled from lack of sleep, work and a grumpy wife.

I don't think we need to do the cranial osteopathy, the girls are generally very happy in the day, one sleeps reasonably and the other is like her big brother who was a terrible sleeper - despite having spent an arm and a leg on cranial osteopathy for him. Their birth was very straight forward and natural - don't think it would have caused any cranial problems for them.

What to do, what to do, it's such a difficult decision.

superdanovi Fri 10-Jul-09 20:59:43

Am going to dare to go against the general consensus here and say go for it. We started PUPD on our 6 month old last night, following a consultation with a sleep trainer. DH does it at night, and I'm on naptime duty in the day time. Yes there are tears (mine mostly) as its hard both physically and emotionally, but even after one cycle, we are cautiously optimistic. I'm also massively overprotective about my little one, and understand that you are reticent about leaving the house so perhaps sleeping in another part of the room is a good idea (I've been using earplugs at night!), but have faith. They won't be crying because they are in any pain... it's just a new routine that they're not used to. After an 90 minute naptime battle this afternoon involving some epic howling on the part of my little boy, I thought I was going to collapse with the stress of it all. I was also terrified that I was inflicting long lasting damage on him, but was determined to persist. SO I did, and just before he fell asleep, he flashed me a wonderful smile and gave a little giggle, so I knew that all was well. The same happened at bedtime. Take comfort in the fact that they'll be in loving, caring hands, and resist the urge to intervene! It's awful I know, but who knows... it may just change your life! Good luck.

JennyPenny22 Fri 10-Jul-09 22:24:04

WOuld they take bottles? Can be expressed breastmilk if needed? If you could leave milk, then you could go to your sisters, knowing they would not go hungry. DD1 was an AWFUL sleeper, but I eventually got DH to go in with a bottle at night and things improved drastically. She was mainly waking for cuddles and a BF. I wouldn't have wanted to not offer milk at all, but from a bottle, from somebody else really helped.

largeginandtonic Fri 10-Jul-09 22:39:36

Do it. As a mum of twins i would have been thrilled with an offer like that.

Ear plugs and hide in the house.

Good luck smile

ches Sat 11-Jul-09 03:24:43

IMO 7 months is far too young to force them to sleep through/withhold milk at night if they're still waking for it. I wouldn't leave my baby, but I would have her come for the week to do the nights. If it's bad you can go and intervene and if it's good you'll get lots of lovely sleep.

melmog Sat 11-Jul-09 07:18:24

Can your sister come up here and stay with me for a week if you decide not to go for it? I'll pay!

I second expressing some breastmilk just in case but def stay at yours sisters. Being in the house you'll still be on edge. Or at least I would be. And a quick go on your husband would be worth the unbroken sleep!! grin

I'd have jumped at the chance. What a wonderful, amazing, generous sister you have!

crokky Sat 11-Jul-09 07:55:37

I have only got 2 singletons, but both in the same room as me at night and up until recently the younger one waking up 8-10x a night and the older one waking up 3-4x a night. I personally couldn't have left them at 7m and I wasn't able to solve the problem that young. I haven't even really solved it now, but what I do it to limit their sleep in the day and then the younger one is in bed with me all nigth and the older one in the next bed with DH. It's so hard when they don't sleep, so you have my sympathy!

moopymoo Sat 11-Jul-09 08:04:16

I would definitely do it - as someone said maybe hide in another par of the house, ear plugs and make yourself a nest only to be woken in terrible emergency that does not include crying. If you are bf, the maybe one feed in the night might be necessary - se t atime eg 1am and make tha tit till morning.I think, tbh and at the risk of being flamed, that those who say 'no' have little experience of the type of sleep deprivation that you describe. Your children will not suffer at all, dh and sis will be there, they will only benefit from having a more rested mother. really really do it, if the time comes when she has gone away and the offer not there Im sure you will kick yourself.

JennyPenny22 Sat 11-Jul-09 13:18:23

ches - I dont think anybody here was talking about "forcing them to sleep through". But there is a big difference to getting no sleep and a baby who wakes for a feed.

PrettyCandles Sat 11-Jul-09 14:06:03

Moopymoo is spot-on. Take advantage of your dsis, Frangipani, before September! (Don't worry about her taking advantage of your dh, she'll be too knackered grin)

Frangipani74 Sat 11-Jul-09 19:56:29

Melmog I'll hire out my sister if you like, she could probably use the extra cash before she goes away to study.

I'm considering doing it towards the end of the hols. I'm going to speak to my lovely HV/nursery nurse at the health centre see what she thinks about how appropriate this is for their age. My sis and I have also talked about working on settling them awake for their daytime naps to see if that might help with night time, also they would become more familiar with her settling them.

Also I think expressing milk for night times is also probably a good idea, I wouldn't really be happy forcing them to go from having lots of night feeds to none at all. I've found that when we do try to stop night feeds Ellie who's the worst sleeper will wake every 45mins (or a lot less) until I feed her, after a feed she'll then often go for two whole hours!!

I doubt I'll get lots of lovely sleep if we do do it, I've never been a great sleeper and have been sleep deprived since the arrival of my first little boy who was 3 today. Once all three of my littlies start sleeping I'll have to learn to sleep through again myself.

ches don't worry I won't be doing anything cruel, I'm super sensitive and very overprotective about my babies, but I'm also desperate for sleep so something has to change.

oooggs Sat 11-Jul-09 20:06:52

you are doing a fantastic job and I know how hard it is, when our twins were 7 mths old, ds1 was also 3. But we had managed to get him sleeping through the night sorted (no idea how)

We ended up seperating the twins as they were waking each other - I am very impressed that you are breast feeding as well.

Take one night at a time, one nights sleep/rest will make a difference - your sister sounds like a star smile

thisisyesterday Sat 11-Jul-09 20:10:04

no, i wouldn't.

Frangipani74 Sat 11-Jul-09 21:03:49

thisisyesterday - do you have twins??

oooggs we've just put them in seperate cots last night as they kept kicking each other and waking each other. Also our 3yr old does sleep mostly we only have few nights when he wakes as well.

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