Tuesday, July 26, 2011

5 up, 5 down

Being home alone with twins for most of the day can be tricky.
And no time is so tricky as naptime, especially since I don't like for my babies to "cry it out."
But if I'm rocking one baby to sleep, that leaves the other boy by himself...
I used to just put one baby in the swing while I put the other baby to sleep, and often by the time I came out for baby-two, he was already asleep!
Yay!
But the boys have recently learned that the swing is a game.
When they are awake and happy they sit in the swing, and rock back and forth and laugh and scream! And when they are tired, they are mad that we're putting them in the swing, instead of helping them go to sleep.
And they just scream. No laughing.
And I feel pretty guilty rocking one baby to sleep while the other baby screams.
So starting last week, I have a new system - and so far, it's awesome!

I swaddle both boys, and then I lie one baby in his bed. I kiss him. I say "Night-night, I love you" and I leave the room with his brother.
Brother and I rock quietly for exactly 5 minutes, and then I lie him in my bed (so he doesn't wake his brother) and I go get baby-one and rock him for 5 minutes and then switch again.
So far it's been awesome.
Since I lie the boys down after 5 minutes of rocking no matter what, (or I start to feel super guilty for the baby crying alone in his bed) they are being laid down in various stages of sleepiness and happiness.
Sometimes they are tired, droopy eyed and happy. Sometimes they are wide awake and screaming.
Sometimes they are dead-fish-limp asleep.
Usually they are in a state of calm, tired, and a bit whiney and they dissolve into tears shortly after I leave the room.
BUT five minutes is the perfect amount of time for them to cry. They cry enough that when I pick them up they calm quickly down because they're tired, but not so much that they have become frantic and hysterical and keep freaking out. And, it gives them the opportunity to try to calm themselves, and for the first time (pretty much ever) they've both put themselves to sleep! 
Just a few times.
But we call those times "baby steps."
The first time Grey did it, I called like 6 people to tell them.
And I baked a cake.
And I might have cried a little.
(But we all know how emotional I am.)
We started doing this on Wednesday.
On Friday night Grey slept 9 hours IN A ROW.
Then on Saturday we were bad, and we didn't make them nap in their beds. We let them nap in our arms and their carseats while we ran errands, and Saturday night was bad again. But I'm pretty sure that having a routine and being forced to sooth themselves (just a little bit) is the perfect solution to our nighttime troubles.

Although sometimes it results in my children being little stinkers, like in the videos below. But if they're happy, I'm happy.
Grey in the first video:


And since he wasn't crying, I let him lie in there for 15 minutes, happily chatting to himself and his mobile. (But then I went in to get him, to try to rock him to sleep- and remind him that he's supposed to be going to bed.)
Micah in this video:


Shortly after they decided that they love the swing.
I wouldn't mind them staying awake like this for a bit if I didn't have two babies, but when they're on different schedules it's hell for Travis and me.

And those of you who know my husband as the flawless, perfect angel that he usually is?
Just know, that when a baby is awake at 4am (and has been for the last hour) that's when Travis' pulls out his curse-words.
And I think it's awesome (and very funny).


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2 comments:

Mama Mandolin said...

I don't think you should feel guilty about crying it out....babies are too young at that age to cry it out and are crying because they have a need. We didn't let the boys cry it out until 11 months. By that time we had naps down just fine. I think around 5 or 6 months I had it to where I could lay them down in bed and they'd go to sleep for nap time. I was putting them in separate rooms to nap. Shortly after I realized how dumb that was and they'd need to learn to fall asleep around each other anyways.

Anyways-Gosh it sounds like a lot of work! I don't even know what I did back then to get the boys to sleep! They sure as heck stopped falling asleep in my arms at a pretty early age though (sad) because mama was fun and playtime-not sleeping lol!

Kristen and Mike said...

The videos are great! 9 hours at night is great! :) They are so cute!