19 September 2006

Won't You Take Me to Crankytown

Yesterday, Riley never napped for more than 20 minutes. This is a problem with him. He's at a stage where he's very engaged by the world around him and would rather look around than go to sleep. I tried it all yesterday: walks, swings, bed, car seat, you name it. Never more than 20 minutes. By the end of the day, he was a wreck, but since he was overtired, he screamed before bed, finally went down just after 8, and got up at 11, 1, and 5 (for good). Gar. Maddie was pretty tired, too, and enjoyed some pre-bed screaming. Sigh.

We just passed the 12 week mark. I keep waiting for this to get easier, and by "this" I mean all of it. Right now, the sleep is the worst, but everything is still so hard. Everyone says it gets easier, but when? How? It's only been 12 weeks, but by the same token, it's already been 12 weeks. I talk to friends with newborns and it seems like everyone else's baby sleeps better, has a better temperament, is more engaging. Is it because I have twins? Is it because I'm doing something wrong?

When does it get easier and what do I need to do?

(For the record, I'm starting to keep a sleep log to track when/where/how much they sleep during the day. Evidently that's step 1 of some otherwise totally unformed plan.)


Yankee, Transferred said...

OK, I don't have twins, but I am the self-appointed voice of reassurance here. You are NOT doing anything wrong. Most probably, it is because there are two of them. The sort of benchmarks like "by 12 weeks they'll be easier" are tough because we set our sights on that date and then if it's not right then, we're exhausted and discouraged. It will get easier, I promise, and it will happen all of a sudden. My sincere hope is that it happens for both of them at the same time so you get immediate relief. Twelve weeks is a long time to go, being the be-all and end-all for two little creatures, in addition to caring for a sick husband, having in-laws around, and trying to keep your head above water. Call me any time if you need to vent. Hang in there. I promise, it doesn't last forever, and what's just over the horizon, while still exhausting, is so damned cute and engaging, and actually rewarding. Really. Believe me. I wouldn't lie to ya'.

Leggy said...

What Yankee T said- you aren't doing anything wrong. Its just hard and no matter how many books you read or other parents you talk to, each kid is slightly different with their own quirks. And I don't remember any magic 12 week thing where he suddenly got easy- in fact, he was pretty much a crank until he was about 2. His alternate nickname when he was a baby (besides Cutie Pie) was CrankyPants.

lala said...

warning - assvice ahead, take with a grain of salt.
It sounds as though the boy is overtired. With Piper we had to put her in her own room because, as much as I wanted to cosleep, she didn't. She thrived on the peace and quiet of her own bed. She slept twelve hours straight. Nowadays I'm lucky if I get three short naps during the day but I get a full 12 hours out of her at night. I don't know what you're doing with Riley at night but he sounds like he may need more nighttime sleep. Hard to imagine eh?

soralis said...

Only 12weeks... you have some time to wait I think (sorry). I got easier around 6 months for me... then it got more complicated when they learned to crawl! :)

My guys didn't start sleeping through the night until around 5 months. At six months I finally got them napping in their cribs, it was a month long battle. We had to seperate them for nap time or they would wake each other up but at night they seem to be ok. Every kid is different though, it just takes time to figure out what works for each of them.

It does get much easier when you get to sleep more though! Hang in there and try to enjoy as the baby stage is gone so quickly.

edgeofnormal said...

Not what you want to hear, but twins are frequently slightly behind developmentally. Most of the twin moms I know have one kid who used Early Intevention for *something.* But their kids were normal and fine. My girls (twins) are also a little behind. It just happens. You aren't doing ANYTHING wrong.

He probably is overtired, so it will take some time to get him to actually sleep for awhile. I'm so sorry this is happening. I know you must feel on edge. Is hubby's families still there? Could they just be responsible for the kids so YOU could get a little sleep? You need sleep, or you too will be crazy.

Angela said...

Things will get better. You are doing an amazing job and are not doing anything wrong! That's a great idea keeping a sleep journal-I wish I had thought of that. You are obviously an extremely caring, patient and loving Mom. I know it's extremely hard not to compare your babies with others, but all babies are different and your little ones will start sleeping better soon, just hang in there. It's even harder when people tell you about the 12 week mark and it comes and things haven't changed. In the first few days of my daughter's life I was feeling so desperate for a light at the end of the tunnel too, the 12 week mark kept me going and even though both my children went way past that mark, you have to keep chanting to yourself, "it will get better" over and over again.

All parents, especially mothers are in the "zombie" phase, I felt I was the walking dead, I was so sleep deprived during the first year of both my children's lives, there are small steps of improvement along the way, you will survive. I'm sorry but I can't give you a magic date for when they will sleep through the night, though, I did the Ferber method with both of my kids and it worked for them, it doesn't work for everybody but for me it was a life saver. Sending good sleep thoughts your way.

bg's Little Sis said...

You're doing great, I agree with Yankee, all kids are different, I don't have twins either, but when my older 2 were babies, there was no sleep, Emily did the 20 minute naps, it did get better, just felt like a long time, hang in there!