Rock-a-Bye

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Sleep has been on my mind lately, namely because I haven’t been getting any. I used to think that when my twin boys reached a certain age, sleep would again return to the blissful stage it was when I was child-free. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be case. Our challenge right now is that the boys start out in their own beds but find their way to our bed. But that’s whole ‘nother story, which I blogged about over here.

The baby sleep stage with two babies (or more) is a challenge, to put it mildly. I found it best to work out a tag-team system with my husband, just as CarrieinAK said in her post earlier this week. My favorite part about this stage is all the inane questions from people without multiples like: Do they wake each other up? (Goodness no! That piercing wail that wakes me from a dead sleep? The other baby sleeps right through it!)

So at risk of stating the obvious, even though that’s sometimes exactly what we all need to restore the sanity, here’s some advice for getting some shut-eye:

1. Baths help. They calm kids down. They signal that the end of the day is near. As exhausted as you are after a full day, and maybe you have already given those kids several baths already depending on how many explosive diaper moments you have had, try doing a bath.

2. Play some music. We have a CD player in our boys’ bedroom that has played the SAME CD for the last four and a half years. God forbid that thing ever gets broken. The music is part of the signal to our guys that it’s time to relax and go to sleep. This is in contrast to whenever we are out of town, where I find the only thing that knocks them out for sleep is to wear them out physically.

3. Establish a routine. For older kids (2 and up), it helps to establish a routine. We do a bath, medicine, teeth, books, then lights out. My guys know what’s next, so it helps to keep us going. It doesn’t mean it cuts down on the whining, but at least they know what’s next.

4. Limit the drinks within an hour of bedtime. This is for the older kids again and especially important when you’re working on potty-training. Less liquid in their little bodies means they won’t be up and down quite as much.

5. Don’t listen to anyone. Not even me. Don’t let ANYONE make you feel guilty for doing what works when it comes to getting some sleep. Some families like to sleep in one big bed. Some families have strict lines that cannot be crossed about who sleeps where. You have to do what works for you, your marriage and your kids (and probably in that order).

My husband and I agreed when the boys came home from the NICU to do what works until it stopped working – and then we would try something else. They slept with us for a few months, then they slept in a single crib, then they slept in separate cribs, then they slept in separate rooms, then back to the same room. There were sleepless nights and nights we all slept like logs. And everything in between.

One last piece of advice: don’t ever think, “Okay, we’ve got this thing down. No sweat.” That’s the exact moment when everything will change. Trust me.

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6 thoughts on “Rock-a-Bye”

  1. I LOVE this blogsite! Every post seems to be about our family! I feel like i’ll NEVER get back to the normal sleep i had before i had my twins. With my 3.5 year old, before the twins were born we were just getting back to a normal amount of sleep…she was just figuring out how much she liked to sleep. NOT ANYMORE! Now, with the twins..one or the other ALWAYS wakes up at or before 5am! WHAT? How am i EVER going to get to sleep till 7 or 8 am again? I wonder if i could even actually sleep past 7am anymore! One day…One day!

  2. i too love reading here. i do not believe we will ever get to the 7 a.m. wake up. our boys love the 5 a.m. hour. we have adjusted as best as we can and we thank the fact that for now we get to sleep from 10 (11 if we are feeling really adventurous) until 5 (usually, not always) and that too will change. i know, i know.

  3. I totally agree with you on the “Don’t Listen to Anyone”. I’m all for doing what works. Don’t get me wrong, I totally respect Moms and Dads that can brave letting their babies CIO. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to do that for fear of them waking the whole house up.

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