Today is our final guest post on getting sleep once the babies are born. It has been wonderful to reach out to other twin and triplet moms and find out how they did it. I love giving you a variety of pointers on the same topic from moms who have walked the walk. I truly appreciate what these four mom’s have offered us over the last week with their advice. I hope you’ve found it helpful!
I love Sonora’s blog- To Twinfinity and Beyond. You can be directed to her site by reading her bio at the end of her guest post.
Here are Sonora’s tips… Enjoy!
When the boys first came home from the NICU, I began to think that sleep and twins simply did not co-exist. I knew logically that someday they would sleep, but it felt like an eternity getting there. My boys were premature and were small so we had to feed them every 3 hours around the clock for several months. There were many tears (some of them from the boys) but we managed to get through those early months and we learned some very important lessons along the way. Our journey to actually getting some sleep started when my wonderful neighbor gave us the book The Happiest Baby on the Block. Anyone with a newborn knows the desperate feeling one gets when they REALLY need to sleep and can not figure out what their baby needs in order to do so. Now multiply that by two. This book saved our lives (no I am not being paid to say this). The boys were unsettled and suffering from reflux and we were looking for ANY way to make them more comfortable and to help us all sleep a little better. This book talks about the five S’s to help your child sleep. They are swaddling, side (laying baby on their side), shushing (white noise), swinging, and sucking. We were so excited to have something new to try that we did all five of them at once, and lo and behold, it worked! We swaddled the boys tightly, placed them on their sides (propped safely by blankets) in swings, gave them pacifiers, and turned on a loud white noise sound.
I am happy to say it worked quite well and we slept much better to the sound of an airplane for several months. The only downside was the expense of batteries, but it was completely worth the cost. The sleep wasn’t perfect and we still had the normal baby issues to deal with at night, but it was so much better than before. Plus we were addressing several things said to help reflux at the same time (sleeping in an upright position, sleeping on the left side, and sucking on pacifiers). I also found swaddling in general to be a lifesaver when I was home alone with the boys and they were both crying. I would swaddle them, put one in my lap and the other in my arms, and bounce them both. Worked like a charm. They would both relax and stop crying. Sound too simple? I’m telling you, it worked.
As the boys got older, it became apparent we were going to have to transition from swaddling. We started sleeping them with one arm out, then two arms out, and then stopped swaddling all together. It took some work, but the boys eventually got used to sleeping without being wrapped up tight in a blanket. Just when we thought we had the sleeping thing down, the boys both got sick with RSV in February and continued to be congested and sick with ear infections for several months after. They were 6 to 8 months old at this point and I was really stressed about sleep (or the lack of it). We ended up putting the boys in their swings to sleep because the doctor said it would help drain their congestion, but I knew it would be a habit that we would have to break later. This is when I learned one of the most important lessons of babies and sleep. That lesson is simply to do what works for you and not to stress about whether your method is like everyone else’s or isn’t traditional. The fact is, your baby will grow up and will eventually sleep in a regular bed. For now, you all need to sleep, so do whatever allows you to accomplish that goal and sleep whenever and however you can. I barely transitioned my second son out of his swing last week and he is nine months old, but we all slept for the last few months.
The final lesson we learned and the one that has allowed us to continue to sleep, is to make sure that how the room is (looks, sounds, feels) is the same when the baby goes to sleep as when they wake up. If they are used to seeing you or being held by you when they go to sleep, they will not know how to go back to sleep if they wake up and you aren’t there, so they will cry and wake you up. Once I set a habit of turning out the lights, turning on the white noise (which I still use and still swear by) and walking out of the room with them tired but awake, I began having babies that mostly slept through the night. It feels truly miraculous to sleep after having twins! Whether you have one baby or two babies, I swear by these lessons. Don’t give up hope! You will figure it out and I promise that sometime in the near future, you will ALL sleep again!
Sonora is a SAHM to four children ages five and under. Her second child was seven months old when they were surprised with a twin pregnancy, so the final three children arrived in just fifteen months. When she is not chasing after children, attempting to keep her house clean, or working on strengthening her second marriage and combined family,she blogs, reads, dabbles in photography, and laughs as often as possible. Visit her at To Twinfinity and Beyond!
Did you miss the other guest posts on getting sleep once the twins are born? Here is a quick recap with links to each guest post for your reading pleasure.