Micah has a really hard time falling asleep.
He has a really strong neck and pulls his head away from your body and will hold it up indefinitely.
I know all the books about sleep training babies says to lie your baby down sleepy but awake, so that they learn that they can fall asleep while they aren't being held.
But that is easier said than done - especially with twins.
Grey will lie down and awake, and put himself to sleep. No prob.
Micah gets laid down, and even if his eyes are drooping and rolling and he was calm and exhausted, he starts screaming the second his head hits the mattress. Sometimes earlier, if he notices we're lying him down.
Sleep training books say "All is well, just pick that baby up. Calm them down and try again."
But it really upsets Grey.
So now the baby that was asleep is awake and crying and the baby that was awake and crying is having conniptions.
The few nights when we've tried, nonetheless, to lie him down awake -maybe by putting Grey to sleep in our bed and then moving him after Micah is asleep - it took two hours of lying him down and picking him up.
Then, lo, it was time to feed him again.
And then we tried for maybe another 45 minutes, and then we gave up and let him fall asleep in our arms (still took another half hour at least) and then laid him in his bed. He slept for.... another hour maybe and then they woke up to eat.
And all that nonsense began again.
Except we give up and we let Micah do whatever he wants. What he wants is for us to hold him all night long.
It doesn't totally make sense, but the nights that the boys sleep for long stretches of time are the nights following days when they sleep all day.
When they wake up to eat, and play for maybe ten minutes at the most and then go to sleep.
Otherwise they act happy and awake until suddenly they snap.
They're overtired. They're exhausted.
Then they're also up all night crying.
I feel bad for my family because they want to hold and play with the babies and they can't because I've become a tyrant.
They wake up. They eat. They sleep. They don't get to play for more than a few minutes. If my family wants to hold the boys they have to sit around while I nurse and then take turns burping them.
My dad, especially, is the absolute worst at this. He loves to say "But they're not tired, his eyes are wide open. He wants to play with me."
"Put this baby to sleep," I say. Handing him an awake but tired, tightly swaddled baby and then retreating into a dark room to put his brother down.
Inevitably when I return, my baby is unswaddled ("look, he got out of his blanket!") and ever so awake.
There is giggling. Singing. My dad is telling stories.
"Stop playing with him," I say. "He is exhausted and he needs to sleep!"
"I'm not playing with him," he says. "I'm trying to put him to sleep, but he's not tired." He sticks his tongue out at my baby. He does it again.
"That is playing," says my mom.
"I'm just copying what he's doing," says my dad.
Then the baby snaps. And I have to spend an hour soothing him. And then I have to feed him, so I have to wake up his brother and feed them both. And then, because the baby in question has now been awake for perhaps three hours in a row, I now have a hysterical boy who will not sleep.
And this cycle continues all night.
I know that's what happens. I know that they only way to stop the cycle of crying and awake babies is to somehow get the boys to sleep for a few hours in a row.
I know that it's wrong to chloroform your own children.
And yet... I just can't seem to break the circle of wakefulness.
And they were doing so well! Two nights this week I slept for four hours. IN A ROW.
It was life changing.
But last night I slept for two hours in a row.
And Micah was sleeping on my chest for... all of that time.
And he's sleeping on my chest now. I'd like to lay him down, but then he'll wake up instead of resting.
But if I let him sleep on my chest he will not learn to sleep and thereby avoid rest.
Give this sleep-deprived Mama your votes, if you would.
And any advice you may have, would be highly appreciated.