Sleep Plan: 6 months

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Following is copied and pasted directly from an email to a MOT friend of mine. She has been asking me sleep advice, and wants to do CIO with her nearly-6-month-olds but doesn’t have the time to read Ferber (you all know how I feel… read the book!).  I’m no guru, but I’m opinionated.  So, here’s my epic email to her (verbatim, just with added links), with my mish-mash, cliff’s-notes version of Weissbluth and Ferber.  All in what we deemed her “sleep plan.”  Maybe it’ll be useful for someone else out there in the blogosphere.  And remember, this is my opinion and what worked for my kids. Not sayin’ it’s the only solution or the right thing for everyone…

[cross-posted at Goddess in Progress]

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Alright, this might be the longest email I’ve ever written.  Sorry.  I just felt like I had to explain things.  Let me know if you have any questions.  And let me just say: this is what worked for me and my kids.  I’m no expert, I’m no doctor. Not all kids are the same, and there’s no one perfect solution that will have your kids sleeping until 8AM every day for the rest of their lives. (ha!) But, overall, this is what worked really well for us.

6:30am (or later, yeah right!): wake up
8:30-9:00: go down for morning nap, depending on how tired they seem or how early they woke up
12noon-1:30pm: go down for mid-day nap, depending on how late AM nap went
3:30-4:30pm: go down for late-afternoon nap, again depending on how mid-day nap went
6:30-7:00pm: start bedtime routine
7:00-7:30pm: lights out

Here’s my philosophy: well-rested kids with a predictable routine are going to sleep better (good sleep begets good sleep), wake up happier, and be generally easier and more receptive to their world than those who are over-tired or unpredictable.  Since that is my starting philosophy, I pretty much think that 95-99% of days should revolve around their sleep schedule.  Yes, sometimes you can play with it. But you won’t know how and when to take that risk until they’ve settled into it. So my advice is to stick like krazy glue to a schedule for at least a week or two and see how it goes before you try fudging things around. It can feel restrictive at first, and some people give you grief for it. But, honestly, I eventually found it sort of freeing, because I knew ahead of time what were good and bad times of day for my kids (more or less) and could plan accordingly.  If you don’t know when your kid is going to nap, how can you know whether or not to sign up for that 3pm class? And it does mean you need to be careful with outings, because you don’t want them falling asleep in the car when you’re on the way home for their nap, and things like that.  Not always super flexible, but it pays off.  And yes, I always did the same thing for both kids at the same time.  One may wake up earlier than the other, but I always put them down at the same time.

Now, for details…

Continue reading Sleep Plan: 6 months

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Multiple Myth #27

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“One baby crying will not disturb the other baby.”

Perhaps in someone else’s house, but not in mine.

Right now we are going on day/night #10 of no sleep in our house. Between the night terrors, the teething, and the new seperation anxiety phase at least one of the two is up screaming some time between the hours of 12 am and 5 am.

Normally, once a baby has reached a certain stage (i.e. has proven he or she is CAPABLE of sleeping through the night), I am all for letting them cry it out. Sure, I will go in and quickly check for a diaper explosion, and to make sure they are not burning up with fever or something.  But once all that checks out, I like to let them work it out on their own. Here’s the thing though: for us, that only works with one of our two babies.

When it was time (last weekend) to let Brady cry it out, we could. This is because Aaron follows the “twin rule” of sleeping through his brother’s screaming. Within two nights, Brady was back to sleeping through the night and we were pretty pleased with ourselves. But now that Aaron is the one waking up distraught – simply crying it out doesn’t work, unless we want TWO screaming babies.  Brady is much more sensitive to his brother’s cries. Or, at the very least, he’s just a lighter sleeper. So, we end up picking Aaron up. NOT what we want to do, but we have rationlized that dealing with one screaming baby in the wee hours is better than two. So, that’s what we do.

At this point we do not have an extra room so they must remain “roomies”.  What are parents of multiples to do when space is limited and they actually DO disturb one another?

I don’t have the answer…but I’m hoping someone reading this does! HELP!

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