16 December 2006

Right Back Where We Started and Two Questions

Yes, more on our sleepless nights. Boring! But I need to vent about it.

Last night was as awful as two nights ago. Ri-Man was up constantly, Maddie was up constantly. I'm starting to think Maddie might be sick, but not sure. I spent part of the night with Ri-Man on the couch, some of the night in bed, all of the night frustrated.

Clearly, something has to give.

Here's my concern about CIO: the twins still eat once in the night. Contrary to what I read in sleep and other parenting books, I think they need this feeding. When I'm up and down with them at night, it's clear when they just need/want soothing and when they want to eat because when it's feeding time, they suck on my face! When they just want some comfort, they don't do that. And they eat heartily in the night.

CIO is all about not sending mixed messages. You make the rule that crying will not be rewarded with rocking, holding, eating, etc. But if the babies need to eat in the night and they signal this initially with a cry, how do I provide their feeding while not sending them the message that most times crying won't get me to come, but sometimes it will?

I know that developmentally a healthy six-month-old doesn't NEED a nighttime feeding blah blah blah. But I'm here to tell you that these kids are HUNGRY, and depriving them of food doesn't seem right.

Of course, neither does depriving myself of my sanity.

Also: the twins go to bed just fine. Granted, they nurse or bottle feed to sleep, but they go right down and that initial stretch of sleep is usually their best one. It's not going to bed that's our problem, it's nighttime wakings, but we put the kids to bed sound asleep, so we're kind of cheating. If we decide to do CIO, do we need to change our nighttime routine so that we put them to bed drowsy, let them CIO to sleep (with varying amounts of intervention--haven't decided whcih method we would use), and then hope that by doing CIO to sleep initially, they sleep through and eliminate the need to figure out nighttime feeding?

My head is going to explode. Honestly, I'm about ready to put them to bed tonight, shut the door, get my earplugs, and go back at 7:00 a.m.


Cathy said...

Feed those babies in the night if they want it. They don't know what clocks mean - this won't last forever!

My babies were still feeding in the middle of the night at 6 months.

Rachel said...

What I've heard is that if they don't learn to put themselves to sleep in the crib, then they won't go back to sleep on their own in the night because they've learned to associate sucking with sleep and they think they can only go to sleep that way.

CIO was too much for us, especially my husband, but I think you will have to accept that there will be some crying during the process. I think there's a middle ground. We did the "sleep lady shuffle" with K at about nine months. I put her to bed, stood by her crib soothing her or patting her when she cried. I picked her up if necessary but I always returned her to the crib. I moved further and further away each night until I was out in the hallway. She responded well to singing. It's hard at first, but it gets easier, and we got to a point where the night wakings were less frequent.

Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

you would need to pick a time to feed them, say 1am, feed them both then, and then the rest of the night, don't. they'll figure it out, babies are smart! or even pick two times to feed them, but do it the same every night for 3 nights before you give up.

i think your babies probably like seeing you a lot in the night since they're at daycare during the day.

what is going to work for your family?

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking for awhile and have almost 4 year twins myself. I can't say anything about CIO because each parent has their own tolerances but I have one idea regarding feeding. Could you try to add a feeding during the day? Try to see their need for food as a number of calories during a 24 hour period. My kids ate every 1.5 hours all day (yes, a pain) but slept for 11 hours at night. This was a trade off I was happy to make. This wouldn't be an overnight solution but perhaps something to work toward. Good luck, it will get much better very soon.


Snickollet said...

Rachel--have the Sleep Lady book and we have used some of her suggestions. I like the middle-of-the-road approach she suggests, even though we ended up going cold turkey.