Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sleep Training - Naps

Okay, please forgive me if this post is disjointed and confusing. I'm having a pretty rough day and looking for people to share their experiences with me. What I'm NOT looking for is people to judge me or tell me what to do (trust me when I say I have enough of that going on IRL). For several weeks now the boys have been more or less STTN. They go to bed rather easily with very little soothing between 6:30-7:30pm and sleep until 1-2am when they awake for a night feeding after which they return to sleep until I get them out of their cribs around 6am. Before the boys arrived both J and I read Weissbluth's books Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins and agreed with all that he had to say. If you don't know about Weissbluth's sleep philosophy google it and you'll get a quick overview, but I will mention that it does involve allowing the babies to cry some. Weissbluth's philosophy, which says "sleep begets sleep", is based on good, sound data and a baby's biological sleep rhythms, which I can truly appreciate and respect.

Weissbluth says that babies between the ages of 12-16 wks will start to have organized day sleep and recommends starting nap training at this point. He says that if babies don't sleep well during the day they won't sleep well at night and we didn't want our great nighttime sleepers to turn to bad nighttime sleepers. Therefore, we (I) started nap training this week. Monday (day 1) wasn't the best with the nap training, but it wasn't all that bad either. Tuesday was great--not a lot of crying and really good naps. Yesterday was horrible with crying, me giving in and very little daytime sleep, which resulted in a huge disruption to the boy's night sleep (i.e., they were up on and off from 2am on). Now today they are extremely overtired and the sleep training for naps has been horribly exhausting and emotional for me. The boys have cried a lot and I've cried right along with them. Although I logically know I'm doing this for their benefit (and mine in the long run), I feel like I deserve the worst mother of the year award.

I'd love for your experiences with sleep and sleep training.


Anonymous said...

I am a big Babywise fan and followed it from the day my girls came home (7 weeks early - 3 weeks in NICU). Thanks to Babywise, they were sleeping 10 hours at night by 3 months and 11-12 hours by 4 months. At 4 months, they were not on a nap schedule, but napped typically 3 times a day.

Good Luck! Your boys are just precious! Things will get easier and more fun every day!

Anonymous said...

Ok... one more thing. Babywise mentions the importance of a set waketime. I 100% agree. We chose 8am for their wake time and even if they had an early morning bottle at say 6:30am, we still got them up at 8am for their "breakfast' bottle. And at 16 months, 8am is still their wake time and if they are still asleep at 8am, they get woken up :) If they wake up at 7:30am, they know that mom and dad will not be in until 8am and will play/chat until then. I hope this helps!

Fullers1006 said...

Babywise was amazing for me! I lived and breathed that book and really you modify it to your own life but it honestly does work. of course you will have your days but it is AWESOME! I plan to do it with this next baby. My son now sleeps 12-14 hours at night and a 2-3 hour nap in the day! You shoudl really look into it. They have websites you can look at also about it! hOpe things get better!

Jaymee said...

i am sorry that people are being jerks about this. there is nothing worse than sitting there listening to a little one cry and knowing that you can't do anything, i cannot begin to imagine what it is like when they are your own. i know a lot people who sleep train, and i have sat with a couple of them while everyone cried, it is exhausting but it does work. if this is what is right for your family then that is all that matters. your children are not suffering even though it feels like they are ripping your heart out. hope you get through the next week or so a bit easier than yesterday.

Amy said...

I do not have twins, but i have a really refluxy baby who didn't sleep. at all.

he is now 7 months old and we are just now having sucess. My biggest piece of advice is consistancy. Nap in the same place. I started to put brady down awake, and put on his seahorse and walk away. He cried a little bit the first time or two but that after that he goes down so much easier but that was what worked best for us. Consistancy with the routine at night and DAYTIME is crucial. WE were doing nighttime, but daytime was a bit crazy but once we added that in, things got easier!

I dont think any one book or one thing works for everyone. You have to do what works best for you and your family. It's hard, i've done the crying thing too, hang in there!!!

Monica said...

I wish I had some grand advise or insight to assist... unfortunately every situation is so different. I can only offer my support for whatever tactics you are trying... I'm a big believer in parenting in a way that feels the best for you. I've read (and continue to read) countless books, articles and studies; listened to many stories from family and friends about what worked for them and ulitmately, it was a combination of all of this and my and Trav's instinct about what is best at the time that guided our decisions and actions.

Know that I too sat outside both my kids doors crying while we let them cry and I've also "caved" more times than I can count and chalked it up to that's what we both (parent/child) needed at that particular moment.

Hugs to you and good luck. If you ever want to vent or chat, I'm a phone call away. Take care,

AnGèLe said...

I agree with the previous poster.. not one way work for all babies and all families. I did the CIO method with both my girls and let me tell you! Tears were shed! I would sit beside their door at night and cry along with them! But you know what.. I stuck with it for a week! Everyday and night getting better.. once they finally got into a routine, it was pure bliss! Sleeping babies makes for happy mommys! Do no feel like a bad mom! These boys will not be going to counseling later on saying how their mom made them follow a sleep pattern ;)

Heather said...

Niki, we did Babywise with ours, too, as far as scheduling went. I would say we did a lot of things similarly to what Weissbluth recommends. By 12 weeks, each baby slept about 12 hours a night with two naps during the day. You have the nighttime squared, the days will follow. It will happen. It took us about a week of rough going each time before everyone adjusted. When it happens, you will have rested, happy babies and you'll be glad you stuck it out. Sleep training is one of "those" things so I'm surprised it's brought out some ugly opinions. My best friend told me when she was pregnant that she didn't "believe" in "sleep training" because it was cruel. I whole-heartedly disagree with this statement. Both of mine seem ;) to be pretty well adjusted and still sleep like dreams at 3 and 5 years old. Hang in there, mama!

Heather said...

And that should read, "so I'm *NOT* surprised..." ;)a

Anonymous said...

We didn't even attempt sleep training until she was around 8 months, most babies can't learn to self soothe before 6 months and that adds alot to the crying. Either way, for us, sleep training did not work.

A is the kind of baby that won't cry it out, she just keeps crying and crying. The other thing for us is that we are not very scheduled people (we often have changing work schedules and need flexibility) so what has wound up working has been a relaxed schedule based on her sleep ques. When she starts to rub her eyes or ears or get a little whiny, it's time for a nap.

She wakes up between 7-8am, she takes goes down for a nap between 10:30-11am and usually naps 2-3 hours. She can also be flexible so if we are out and she doesn't go down for a nap till 1-2pm, she doesn't have a meltdown and it doesn't mess with her nighttime sleep.

I can't really offer you advice, but I can say this: every child is different and what works for some, may not work for others. It doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong, you just have to figure out what works best for you and your boys. It may be that you need to try a combination of sleep training methods to get to the right one or you may need to hold off on sleep training for a little while till they are better able to soothe themselves to sleep. Hang in there!

(I should also add that we wound up bedsharing just so we could all get some sleep and now I can't get her out of our bed, so really, don't listen to me!)

Her and Her and Him said...

Hi Niki. I have not commented before but have been reading your story right around the time you started your Surrogacy journey. I too am a new mother of twins (born about three weeks before your guys) and also have a two year old son. I had good luck using Weissbluth's strategy for all my kiddos and just wanted to tell you that it does get better and that you are doing the right thing. I can so relate to where you are right now. I was there not too long ago. It's hard enough to sleep train one kiddo but training two to nap at the same time is tough! Emily goes down easily but wakes up 40 minutes into sleep all the time (obviously the end of the sleep cycle for her) and Erica fights going down but sleeps great once she is down. So it always seemed that by the time I would get Erica to stop fighting sleep and go down, Emily would be waking up. Then I would be forcing Emily to go back to sleep so she wasn't catnapping all day long. It was tough but we did it. They now are up at 7, nap from 9-10:30, nap again from 1-2:30, and finally take a little cat nap between 4:30-5. They are back down for the night at 7:30.
Like you said, people are very opinionated on the subject so do what works best for you. I think consistency is key. I had to keep reminding myself it's called training for a reason. Practice makes perfect. Hang in there!
Your boys are adoreable!
:) Heather

Polly Gamwich said...

We used babywise and I read Weissbluth and in my opinion they are very similar. No exact, but similar.

First off - let me say ... this is not easy work. Big hugs to you.

As far as napping goes - don't beat yourself up too much. Our LO is nearly 6 months and I have been adament about getting a good schedule together and it's still not set.

I've had the best luck, rather than shooting for 9A and 1P ... hitting 8-8:30A (when LO shows signs of sleepiness - not based on the clock) and then we feed him around 10A , then feed him again (without a nap inbetween) around 12:30 and down for a nap after that.

It seems to be working ... but know that you might need to try manythings.

BIg hugs,

Anonymous said...

gah...I hear you. The daycare takes care of daytime naps - they have specified naptimes - but do let them fall asleep when they want to...that being said, my kiddos only started to sleep through the night when they started daycare - seriously, the first day of daycare, it was the first time they slept through - 10pm to 5:30 am.

Maybe wake them up at 9 or 10 to do a feeding? That is what we do and it seems to be working - my girl slept from 10pm to 6:30 am last night - my man woke up at 3 am but he is sick (cannot think about them getting sick the first week of daycare)

I have eat sleep and poop book and will try the 5, 10, 15 when they are 4 months...but now I do go in if they cry.

Saffy said...

I can't offer you anything better than your lovely comments above... except some virtual tissues :) Hope the judgement and unsolicited advice ceases soon (perhaps wishful thinking!) :)

Jason and Samantha said...

Just thought I would share this. I personally don't believe in CIO. And if you do want the babies to soothe themselves to sleep, its better to wait till after 6 months, when they have better self-soothing skills.

Even if I believed in CIO - my babies are stubborn, and it would be a no go. They don't give up. I love rocking my little ones though, they are only babies once.

Caba said...

I wish I had advice. I was also a fan of HSHHC, but my kids kinda fell into their routine. By 4 months they were doing 7 to 7, with 2 naps a day ... and honestly, it was not due to me. I didn't do anything special. But at 4 months I did stop "rocking" them to sleep. Yes we all know, they are only babies once, but I do not have the ability to rock both babies at the same time to sleep and have any sort of life. Ugh. It took FOREVER. So at 4 months, they went in the cribs at nap and bed time, and if they cried, I let them cry.

I'm sure many will think I'm awful. And I don't care. My kids are just fine, they STILL sleep from 730-7am, and they are 3 years old. Twins are crazy. Do what you gotta do to get through. I was lucky, my kids were naturally good sleepers, and even when we did CIO, the longest they cried was like 25 minutes. Which is nothing, from the stories I've heard. Be consistent, don't beat yourself up, and hang in there!

leikay2 said...

Schedule, schedule, schedule... I cannot stress this enough. Most people do not think of this with babies this young but it saved not only my life but my 2 older girls too. My twins were sleeping ALL night long by the time they were 4 1/2 months old. this was due to my scheduling their bed time/feeds/play/naps. I totally support this method of allowing babies to cry it out sometimes. I have 3 1/2 yr. old twins who take naps everyday, a 6 yr. old who STILL takes naps and will till school starts and she is in school full time. My oldest she loves her sleep. I have always done it this way ( thanks mom!) and I would not change a ting.

Maureen said...

I didn't do the CIO with either or my boys. My first is 4 and I don't think he has slept through the night (you can ask my dad and his twin, and both will swear that they never slept through the night in their whole lives, and living with my dad, I would believe it). My second son was sleeping through the night by the time I was told I could stop nighttime feeds. Although he slept in his car seat until he was 10 months old because of reflux (then one day he was done and that was the end of it). I used the No Cry Sleep Solution with both of them. I was okay with both of my kids sleep patterns, even though they were different. Both of them got the sleep they needed (both had regular sleep patterns, i.e. x minute morning nap and x minute afternoon, then that went to just afternoon nap, and for the older one went to nothing). Granted they are singletons. I do have their beds close enough I can reach each of them while they are laying down.

Maureen said...

I meant to say, that the best solution for you and your family is unique to you and your family, just is mine is to mine. CIO just didn't feel right for me.

Anonymous said...

While I've never used the W method, the lady who kept me and my sister, cousins and over 20 kids in her years as a day care provider (our "daycare mother") always said that the more a baby sleeps the more it wants to sleep. She strongly believed in not waking babies and in a sound nap time routine. Her view wasn't very science based - just good solid experience.

As to people criticizing your parenting skills - it doesn't matter what you do, someone will always know best, have done it differently, or read something else. They are your kids and you know what's best for them! Keep up the great work!