Someone asked me about sleep the other night, and why my kids go to sleep so early. (Oh, they do….it’s fantastic! By 7pm, they are tucked into bed and I am happily figuring out what us adults are going to have for dinner and whether American Idol is on tv tonight). Anyway, when it comes to sleep, I consult my sleep “bible”, Weissbluth’s Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child.
I don’t think there is any question more important to twin moms than “How do you get them to sleep?”. Because really, is there anything we miss more during those first few months than a full night (or even four straight hours?) of sleep? I certainly fantasized about it. And, even owning (and reading) this book didn’t get me sleep then. Oh, it so didn’t. But, by nine months, my kids were happily going down between 6:15pm and 6:45pm and sleeping almost 12 hours. I don’t do everything Weissbluth says you should do….I do go replace pacifiers on occasion (or poke my husband until he gets up to do it) and I have been known to lie down with Abigail so she’ll fall back asleep. But, Weissbluth provides a good outline (if a bit wordy in places) of how babies sleep and how to help them develop structured, regular naps and nighttime sleep.
And, with twins, I’ve found you can’t be flexible about nap times. The rule in my house is “If one baby’s going down for a nap, that other baby better be right behind him/her!” (said in a threatening voice to whomever might be considering breaking one of my rules. Yep, having twins has made me a bit obsessive.) Weissbluth explains when babies are naturally ready to nap during the day and how to help them develop this routine. The book was especially helpful where it talked about how to help colicky babies develop a schedule, since my Danny was a colicky, screamy mess for much of his first three months.
There are other good books out there. I’ve skimmed through parts of Ferber’s book, I really didn’t find Babywise helpful, but I think I was thrown by the VERY detailed schedule for twins in the appendix. I mean, I’m obsessive, but that schedule surpassed even my post-twins OCD. But, some moms have found it quite helpful. What books helped you help your kids sleep? Which ones do you swear by?