A few weeks ago, Mom and I made the decision to move the babies up to their room. It’s time to experiment with sleep training twins.
You know the room I speak of. It’s that special place that we planned and arranged just for them, where they haven’t even spent more than five minutes.
It’s been our favorite topic to argue about for the past few weeks. Each argument usually begins with me saying something dumb like, “Well, I read online that we should…”, which instantly sets her off. But Mom finally agreed to give it a shot. Whenever my wife suddenly gives in and lets me have my way, an alarm goes off in my head. The alarm signals a simple trap, which is usually followed by failure in whatever I had been suggesting and arguing about. But I had to go for it.
The main reason it has taken so long for us to move the babies up to the nursery and let them sleep in their cribs, is the fact that they’re still waking up every three hours to eat. I’ve been pushing for the cry-it-out method, which might be the cruelest endeavor I have ever suggested. I’d be pretty pissed if anyone made me cry out anything.
But my logic tells me that they’ll exhaust themselves by shouting and crying, fall asleep, cry and scream again when they’re hungry, fall asleep, and then when we’re all good and rested, they’ll wake up hungry and eat breakfast. My logic is not based on any professional experience of sleep training twins and Mom reminds me of this whenever I bring it up.
So we gave it a shot.
- Friday: We brought the babies up to the dark nursery and realized that we didn’t have the noise machine. How could they sleep in a new environment without the familiar sound of the ocean playing in the background? Let’s try again tomorrow.
- Saturday: We brought the babies up to the dark nursery, turned on the sound machine, and put the babies in their cribs. Scout’s leg immediately shot through the crib’s bars. Crap. Bumpers. We still haven’t put them on the cribs. Let’s try again tomorrow. No, tomorrow is a school night. Let’s try again next weekend.
The babies began wearing their helmets, which they will wear for 23 hours per day. What if they don’t sleep well because of the helmets? We should let them get used to wearing helmets while they sleep and try again next weekend, right? Right. So we get a free pass for this weekend.
But you see, that next weekend, the babies weren’t acting like themselves because of teething (which we blame for everything). Another free pass this weekend? You know it.
At their six month appointment the following week, the doctor told us that we should do a tapered cry-it-out method in order to eliminate one of their night feedings. We decided to cut out the feeding that took place around midnight. So when they cry around midnight, we should let them cry for ten minutes, then feed. The next night, we should give them 20 minutes, gradually increasing the time until they just sleep through that feeding.
It felt good to have a doctor-approved plan, but our questions for the doctor only came to mind when we left her office.
What happens when they wake up at 1am? Do we feed them?
We have two babies, which means two schedules. Do we use the cry-it-out method for both and their separate schedules? Because in the past, we’ve fed both babies once one baby begins crying to be fed.
But we’ve started.
Despite teething, a recent bout of colds, and an ear infection, our boogie-faced babies are doing just fine.
I usually wake up (I think I do) when Griffin begins crying for his midnight feeding. I tell Mom that I’m setting my phone’s timer for 20 minutes so we know when to feed him. Then she tells me that he’s been crying for ten minutes already. She’ll wake me up again 30 seconds later (ten minutes later) and we feed both babies.
We’re currently sleeping in the middle of the nursery, on two twin mattresses pushed together, just a few feet away from both cribs. Not the ideal situation, but we’ve got to start somewhere. The next phase, which we haven’t yelled at each other about yet, is when Mom and I will move across the hall to the other bedroom.
No one in our house is sleeping more for than four consecutive hours, other than the dogs, of course, but I think we’re on the right track. If we’re able to sleep for six straight hours by the middle of April, then I will consider myself a sleep-training master, and I will give advice to every red-eyed, frustrated, sleep-deprived sucker out there, whether they’ve asked for my advice or not.