June 15, 2009

Bedtime Battles

So, I'm going to be real. Because I always appreciate it when moms are honest with me about difficulties they are having. It makes you feel less alone and less like a failure when someone else is having the same, or similar difficulties (really,any struggle, related or not, helps you feel better). So, although I would like to present the perfect front and make myself look like supermom, here is the reality:

They don't want to go to bed (which I know is difficult to believe since Ryan is sleeping in this picture)! We were spoiled because they were born early. We had about 3 weeks that they were home before their due date, and during those 3 weeks they slept like angels! I wondered what all of those moms who complained about babies not sleeping had done wrong. We had to WAKE THEM UP for almost all of their feedings. We had no clue what was coming. Then, around their due date, everything changed. Suddenly bedtime was a battle, and there was no problem with them waking up for a feeding (especially at night) - the problem was getting them to sleep after...

Now, Allie is a better sleeper than Ryan. Somehow, Allie got the best of Lucas and my sleep patterns. Like Lucas, she falls asleep fairly quickly. Like me, she sleeps like a rock once she is out. Poor Ryan got the worst. Like me, he has difficulty winding down and falling asleep. Like Lucas, he is a light sleeper that is easily awakened by minimal noise. And thus we have The Sleep Wars.

Every day is different. 2 days ago no one wanted to nap, but they went to bed easily at night - and then woke up every 3 hours...something they haven't done in over a month. Yesterday every nap was a battle. I spent half of the day rocking babies (often 2 at once), and we were all in tears by bedtime. Bedtime was a small battle, but once they were out they slept most of the night (only waking once around 4). Today, every nap time was a dream. They practically put themselves down for their naps. I actually was able to do the dishes and fold laundry! But bedtime was a gigantic battle. There were screams of protest reaching frequencies that almost couldn't be heard (but we're not that lucky...). And Lucas is, this very moment, going for "Bedtime Take 2" with Ryan.

"Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" has been my constant companion. I have read and re-read every chapter pertaining to our situation and stage. Unfortunately, with twins it seems to take twice as much effort, and it sounds like it will also take at least twice as much time - and mine seem to be especially sensitive to the slightest schedule change - so we'll plug along. I am determined for my children to get the quality and amount of sleep they need - hopefully they'll make it easier soon!


Lauren and Jeff said...

I remember those days/nights! I promise there is light at the end of the Sleep War tunnel. It's still a long way out for you guys, but one day it will get better. Just try to hang in the there, do the best you can and go with the flow.

Melanie said...

Oh Kim, I feel your pain and you have it twice as bad. Here's a few things that have helped us. Take it or leave it. We use white noise. We have a noise maker and as soon as it is turned on Alaina knows it is bedtime. We also use blackout shades in their bedrooms. Those early months are hard, but follow a routine every time you put them down and eventually they will conform. I'm not a huge proponate of crying it out, but I found giving them 15 minutes sometimes was enough. Good luck and I'll be praying for your sanity and rest. Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Oh I wish I could say it will get better, but who knows?? I just know one thing, if either twin is like Lucas when he was little "Good Luck." I couldn't even tip-toe by his crib and the head came up and he wanted to play or get attention. Didn't sleep for months. It did get better. Now Loralee never woke up...thought she was dead and I couldn't sleep had to see if she was breathing. Joys of parenting!!Do pray for you guys and patience and sleep. Love NANA MILLER