Twinfant Tuesday: Napping Routines for Daytime

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As most parents know, getting infants and toddlers to nap can be a real challenge. Getting TWO or more to nap at the same time is nothing short of a miracle. A typical day at home with any baby involves up to 3 nap and bedtime routines. Double that for twins, triple for triplets.

During the first two years of Mister and Missy’s life, I was fortunate enough to stay at home with them full-time. That meant dealing with 2 to 3 daily naps until they were about 9 months old, then 2 daily naps until about 18 months, and finally 1 nap each which continues to this day.

Some days (okay, most days) it felt like all my time was spent rocking them to sleep. I would first give each of them milk together in one room. Then burp Baby # 1 (usually Missy as she burped quickly) while the other was in an elevated position either on my leg or a bouncy chair. Next, Baby # 2 got burped and taken to their crib. Because they are fraternal twins, they have different sleeping patterns so we found it better to keep them in separate rooms. For example, Missy tends to take short naps and is a light sleeper during the day while Mister takes longer naps.

It was always a guess as to who would go to sleep first. Some days, Missy fell asleep right after drinking her milk, burped while asleep, and didn’t wake up while I burped Mister. Mister usually took a longer time to fall asleep.

Then, a short 45 minutes later, one or both of them woke up for a diaper change, snack, play, then lunch. Then it was soon time to redo the napping routine again for a (hopefully) longer afternoon nap of up to 2 hours.

Napping routine for twins
Napping routine for twins

With all the naps out of the way, it was time for dinner, bath and bed. This time with Mr. Mama’s welcome help. We were fortunate enough to have our family coming in to help especially in the first 5 months so I often got a break.

And when you are doing baby sleep routines 6 times each day, all you want to do is take a nap yourself!

2cuteblog is Mom to three year old B/G twins where at least one of them still naps every day. For that she is utterly grateful, especially on the weekends. You can follow her on twitter @2cuteblog or read more on her personal blog

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In Which My Daughter Does a 180 on Having Her Own Room

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My daughters are at a turning point. Being together 24/7 at age 7 as they more deeply explore their distinct interests is grating on each other. M loves to sing and J sometimes just wants her to stop humming. J likes to see the bright side or educational opportunity in every challenge, while M just wants to have the freedom to feel and express her frustrations.

I’d sent the girls off to get ready for bed Sunday when J flounced out of the bathroom and threw herself into my lap.

J: M’s annoying me.
Sadia: Have you talked to her about it?
J: Yes! And she won’t stop!
Sadia: Just find somewhere else to be.
J: silence
Sadia: There are moments when I get frustrated. Sometimes the thing I do is go to a different room and do something distracting.
J: I can’t do that. We’re sisters. We’re in the same place. You don’t get it. Being an adult is so easy.
Sadia: hiding a smile Adulthood has its own challenges. You know, we do have an extra room. Do you want your own room?
J: How would you fix the bed back together?
Sadia: I was thinking you could sleep in the bed that’s already in the guest room.
J: Yeah! I’ll do that tonight.
Sadia: Oh! You need to let your sister know what’s going on so she’s not surprised.

I hadn’t anticipated J’s response. I thought that the idea of sleeping alone would horrify her, as it has done every time Daddy has brought up getting separate rooms. He and his sister were 13 months apart and in the same grade. He cherished the sanctity of his own space.

Five minutes later…

M: getting louder and louder But I don’t like sleeping by myself!
J: M! It’s just for a month.
M: Mommy, J says I’m annoying and she won’t sleep with me.
Sadia: I know, honey. It’s like when you told her last night that she couldn’t sleep in your bed because she was annoying you.
M: It’s not the same. I don’t like sleeping by myself. I only sent her to a bed in the same room. Who’ll sleep with me?
Sadia: What if I sleep in your room?
M: I guess. My bed. I need snuggles because I’m without my sister.
J: It’s for a month, M. In one month I’ll try sleeping in your room if you’re not annoying. If you are annoying I’ll go back to my room for one more month.

With little fanfare, J went to bed in the guest room. We read a chapter of Little House on the Prairie together in J’s new bed. The girls said their prayers.

J: … Thank you, God, for giving me a mom who understands my needs…

The new arrangement lasted one night. In the car yesterday evening, J brought up having come to snuggle with us around 2:00 am when she was suffering a snuggle deficit. She reports our having had a conversation. I didn’t remember it at all. I didn’t think of my lack of memory as a big deal, but J interpreted it as “sleep talking”. She has an inexplicable terror of sleep walking. After many tears and endless attempts on her part to get me to remember the discussion and on my part to show that there was nothing wrong, she elected to sleep in M’s bed for comfort.

I wonder where she’ll decide to sleep tonight. At least she’s convinced that I understand her needs. From my perspective, it’s all a big fat mystery.

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

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When One Twin Doesn’t Want to Nap

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Since my twin daughters’ birth, one has been a better sleeper than the other, even though they were put on the same schedule from the beginning.  While they were both good to me at a young age and slept through the night, if someone were to get up at night, it was Lisa, and still is Lisa.  If someone were to take a long time to fall asleep, it was her as well.  But, my other daughter, Alison, almost never gets up at night.  Alison can sleep through her sister’s night wakings and subsequent crying and bedroom door opening and closings.  She really only gets up if she is sick or something.  It is wonderful.

At nap time, Alison is generally much quicker to fall asleep.  She just needs her special blanket.  And she can then sleep for at least two hours but has been known to sleep for up to three, or, on a rare day, even longer.  Her sister Lisa on the other hand, fights taking a nap with tears, requests for books, drinks of water, and protest of, “I don’t want to take a nap!”

So, my husband and I have tried numerous thing to coax Lisa to nap every day – rewards for taking a nap; punishments for not taking a nap; loving words; threats; sitting in the room until she falls asleep; ignoring her; giving her books or a toy; moving nap time back; and so on.  But, that girl can happily roll around her bed for an hour, and still not fall asleep, frustrating her parents to no end at the same time.

Lately, Lisa is hit or miss with napping.  It seems more often than not, she does not take a nap.

So, my question is, to all the seasoned MOMs out there – what do you do when one of your twins seems to be done with naps?  I am stubborn and still try putting her down for a nap every single day, at the same time that her sister Alison goes down.  I know my girls are now three, and that maybe I should just be grateful that they’ve napped as long as they have, but naps are precious to me, especially as I have a newborn and desperately want to take a nap each day too!  Plus, she gets destructive and defiant when she doesn’t nap, and is then ready for bed much earlier at night than her sister.  I really don’t like them on different schedules.

So, when did your twins stop napping?  How did you encourage a stubborn napper to sleep? Or what did you do with them once they stopped napping?  Quiet time?  And what did that quiet time look like?

 

ldskatelyn is a wife and mother of three kids, including a set of three year old fraternal twin daughters and brand new newborn son.  She works hard to mantain balance in all things as she stays at home with her kids and runs the household, supporting her grad student husband.  She blogs about her life and other things over at whatsupfagans.blogspot.com

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Sleeping arrangements for twins

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My apologies for the late posting.  Our lives have been crazy over the last couple of weeks – we’ve just moved. I wrote most of this post just before we moved. I was busy with other things, so I didn’t get a chance to read everyone else posts.  I see that Sarah wrote about managing sleep with newborns. Hopefully this doesn’t overlap too much.

Sleep and related topics have been on my mind quite a bit recently. We’ve just moved to a new house with more bedrooms, lots more bedrooms. Thought it wasn’t the only reason, one of our reasons for looking for a new house was to have enough room for the girls to each have their own bedrooms, at some point, if they want them, or a very large room to share. There will also be enough bedrooms for office space for Mom and Dad, and still there will be rooms to spare.

In the new house, the girls will share a bedroom.  For the first time they will be in separate cribs in the same room.  Now this isn’t the first time they’ll be sleeping apart, nor the first time they will be in cribs, just the first time they will be in separate cribs in the same room.

Since we brought the girls home in January, we’ve tried a wide range of sleeping arrangements.

When they first came home from the hospital…

  • two babies sharing cradle in our bedroom
  • two babies sharing bassinette in the playpen in the living room
  • one baby in the bassinette in the basement TV room for quick naps when we were watching TV.  Usually the other baby was eating.

But they soon outgrew the bassinette, and we needed to find new solutions…

  • two babies sharing crib in our bedroom
  • two babies sharing playpen in dining room

After just a couple of days of lifting two babies in and out of the playpen, we needed a different solution…

  • two babies sharing crib in our bedroom
  • two babies sharing a new (second) crib in dining room

Then we decided they were ready to sleep in their own room

  • two babies sharing crib in my office their bedroom (or “babies’ office” as my son called it)
  • two babies sharing crib in the dining room

But, they didn’t always share the same sleep schedule…

  • one baby in the crib in their bedroom and one in the bassinette in the playpen in our room at night
  • two babies sharing crib in the dining room during the day

Then we decided to put our house up for sale so we had to remove the crib from the dining room and the playpen from our bedroom…

  • two babies sharing the crib in their bedroom

Then I took the children to stay with my mom while the house was for sale

  • two babies in two playpens except when they took turns sleep with me

Then we came back home…

  • two babies sharing the crib in their bedroom

Until the fan in our son’s room broke, and for a short time…

  • two babies sharing the crib in their bedroom and one toddler in the playpen in their bedroom

About  in mid-October, the girls seemed to be waking up more than usual, so we decided to separate them…

  • one baby in the crib in their bedroom
  • one baby in the playpen in their bedroom

Which has meant more sleep for me since one of the girls is usually sleep through the night, and her sister is usually only up once.

Now that we are settled in our new house, the girls are sleeping in two cribs in their new bedroom.  One of our girls still wakes up more than her sister, so her crib is closer to the door.

We certainly didn’t plan to try all these different sleeping arrangement, but as their needs and our needs changed, we adapted. And, I’m certain their be more arrangements to try out as they grow in our new house.

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