Saturday, June 19, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
First boat ride: (It was a short one lasting about 3 minutes from the dock to my Aunt N & Uncle D's island where they have a cabin)
Uncle J (my brother), his fiance, Aunt T, and the boys sitting around the campfire:
The boys & Auntie K:
Celebrating Uncle J's birthday:
The boys trying out the Rainforest Jumperoo:
And so it begins ... Silas pulling Liam's hair:
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I think there is a big misunderstanding about Weissbluth by some people ... his book primarily focuses on the concept that the quality and duration of daytime sleep (naps) affects nighttime sleep and ultimately affects the baby's demeanor. In his book Weissbluth provides several strategies for helping your baby to get all the sleep they need. Although he does mention cyring it out (CIO) as one technique, it is not the only one (nor is it the preferred one). However, most of the techniques involve some crying. For some people the name Weissbluth means CIO and that simply is not the case. I would recommend reading his book to get a better understanding. I share this because I don't want people to assume I'm placing my 4 month old twins (who are age adjusted 3 months I should add) in their cribs to CIO. I (we) are using techniques that involve some crying, but we are also comforting and reassuring the boys after a set amount of time (graduated extinction).
I also want to explain and clarify that I'm not sleep training in an attempt to get more night sleep for myself (I'm fine with the 1-2 night feedings) or to get a schedule that allows me more freedom. I'm sleep training because most of the sleep experts will tell you that by 12-16wks post due date babies should be taking 2-3 daytime naps, which should occur in their beds and not in a swing, car, stroller, etc. Up until now my boys have been allowed to take their naps wherever they happened to be (swing, bouncy, floor, car, stroller) and I need to change that. I accept responsibility for this major problem and should've done something about it sooner. Since I didn't I'm now stuck trying to fix it. The focus of my sleep training centers around the morning nap and getting the boys to take all of their naps (no matter how short or long) in their cribs. Even though they've both slept in their cribs since they came home from the hospital at 12 days of age and haven't had a problem with it, they are seriously fighting napping in their cribs.
I LOVE rocking my boys to sleep and in fact do that every night when my husband is home to take one baby to rock. When you have twins and are the only care provider during the day it means you can't always tend to each baby's needs immediately nor can you be the one to soothe them to sleep when they are simultaneously showing signs of sleepiness at the same time. Twins make some things that singleton moms take for granted logistically impossible.
I'm trying out different nap time soothing rituals (if you twin moms have suggestions please share!), but right now I put both boys on the floor on a soft blanket, give each a pacifier, rub their backs/bellies, and softly talk/sing/read to them. After about 10 minutes of soothing I put them into their respective cribs with a lovey and their pacifiers. I am usually able to alternate between the cribs providing additional soothing/comforting/replacing of pacifiers as needed (although there are times when both boys meltdown at once). The boys seem to fall to sleep using this technique, but then wake relatively shortly after. So I repeat the process until they are sleeping once again. Today I kept repeating and repeating and repeating the comforting and reassuring for Liam, but nothing seemed to help. Once Liam became wired and overtired it was nearly impossible to soothe him and then he basically refused to nap for the rest of the day, which only added to his overtired fussy state. While trying to get Liam to calm down Silas started crying, but fortunately after 5 minutes of crying fell back to sleep on his own.
I will admit today felt like a complete disaster. I'm certain I did more crying today than my boys did, so suffice it to say this isn't easy for me. But I keep reminding myself that I'm doing this to eliminate having overtired, cranky babies and eventually to help my boys learn to soothe themselves to sleep (when they are old enough to do that ... I've read by 6mo they can do that?!). I plan to return to teaching in the fall and want to ensure that I have happy, well rested, good sleepers by that point. I don't think it's fair to ask or expect my mom who will be caring for them 2days/wk and the nanny who will care for them the other 3day/wk to deal with what I'm currently dealing with. So, I'm hoping in a few weeks I have two happy, healthy little boys who go down well for their naps and continue to sleep well at night.
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.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Liam and Silas had their 4 month appointment this week and both boys are doing great according the pediatrician. Developmentally they are where they should be and are growing well.
Liam: 13 lbs 14oz, 22.8 in
Silas: 14 lbs 11oz, 23.86 in
Liam is really strong and holds his head up well, but Silas doesn't do as good of a job. The pedi told us to do more tummy time with Silas and that he'd get it. The pedi gave us the go ahead to start solids in the next 1-2 months. She indicated that we can start with rice cereal if we want, but that it's also okay to introduce fruits and vegetables too. I think I'm going to wait a little longer to start solids, particularly because the boys are only 3 months adjusted. I've read the new data suggests that waiting until 6 months might be best to reduce the risk of allergies. Although I won't wait until 6 months adjusted, I do plan to at least wait until 4 months adjusted (end of June).
Next week I'm going to start some sleep training with the boys for naptime(using Dr. Weissbluth's methods). I need to get them napping in their cribs and want to ensure that by 16wks (adjusted) they have regular daytime naps. Right now they nap whenever and unfortunately do a lot of cat napping. They are doing great with organized night sleep, so I don't want the lack of good daytime sleep to disrupt their habits at night. This is why I think the sleep training is so important. I'm sure it will be a struggle at first, but I'm hoping after a couple of weeks the boys go down for naps that match their natural biological rhythms (e.g., 9am, 1pm). If you have experience with sleep training, I'd love to hear about it.
Both boys enjoy playtime as you can see in the photos below.