Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We tried a little experiment last night. We fed the boys their bedtime bottles at 7:30 p.m. and put them down in their cribs around 8. Under normal circumstances, one baby would wake up around four hours later wanting to be fed. I'd take the crying baby and Justin would wake the sleeping baby and we'd feed him. It usually worked out well, except that we always felt bad waking the sleeping baby. Who wouldn't feel bad?! They always look so peaceful!

Anyway, last night Luke woke up at 11:30 crying to be fed. We took a look at Nolan who was still sleeping decided that we'd let him sleep and see how long it would be before he woke to be fed. Justin went back to bed and I stayed up to change and feed Luke. No problems.

At 1:30, Nolan woke to be fed. I rolled over and shook Justin. "You're up. Nolan is awake." He proceeded to head into the nursery to change and feed him. Nolan is a screamer and I could hear everything on the monitor. Even if the monitor was off, I would still hear it...I'm his mom.

So, I was supposed to be sleeping during Nolan's feeding (isn't that the point of each parent "taking" a baby at night?), but I totally didn't. It took an hour for Justin to feed and calm Nolan down enough to put him back in his crib. I was up the entire time.

Then, at 4:30, Luke woke up. "My" baby. I was up again and fed him with no troubles. Justin didn't even hear Luke wake up.

At 6:30, Nolan woke again to be fed. Justin's turn. Problem is that, of course, I woke as well and was up during the entire feeding because Nolan's a cryer. I stayed up and took the little guy once Justin was finished because he had to get ready for work.

So. How do moms of multiples handle this? I'd love to try and get the little guys to sleep for longer stretches during the night and I thought this was the solution, but night #1 was an epic FAIL! I return to work in a few weeks and don't think I'll be able to handle being awake every two hours. Do I need to go back to waking a sleeping baby? Please share your sleep solutions if you have one. I know most people are probably still looking for "solutions", but I'm desperate here!


Tara said...

i'm not a mom of multiples... so i am probably not the best person to comment on your problem BUT what if you took the "screamer" and your husband took the other baby if he's a harder sleeper?!? just a thought.

your babies are so cute! and the nursery is really adorable... i saw it on design dazzle.

Leigh said...

Well, I don't have any real solutions because we're in the same situation. My husband takes the screamer because I can't stand the noise - it's not a normal cry - she SHRIEKS at the top of her lungs.

BUT after the night with the night nanny, we didn't hear the babies cry once so I asked her what she did and she wakes them to feed - she doesn't let them wake when they're hungry, etc. so that may be it.

IN the ICU they fed strictly 3 hourly, whether they were awake or not, so that could be it.

I'm subscribing to your comments so I can read the words of wisdom :)

The Macha Family said...

I am a mom of 9 mo old twin girls (found your blog through nbjenni). I never comment, but wanted to b/c this sounds so familiar. I will preface my response with all babies (and twins) are different, but this is how it played out for me. I always woke a sleeping baby until they were a little over 3 months old. I also did the same experiment around 6 weeks with the exact same results and decided that was the last time I did not wake the sleeping baby. At about 3 months, I noticed it was always the same baby waking up first to be fed (by this time they were just waking once a night to eat), so I decided to try the experiment again. Well, this time sister slept all night w/o waking up (10 hours). She has been sleeping through the night ever since. The other was our bad sleeper and it took her until about 6 months to STTN, but it was so much nicer to wake for one baby instead of 2. All that to say, I would continue to wake a sleeping baby until they give you signs they can last a little longer between feedings and then you can try to adjust to their individual schedules.

kmcclelland said...

I know what you mean about not being able to sleep through your husband's shift...if a baby was crying, I woke up anyways and wouldn't be able to fall back asleep for awhile!

So, is Nolan more of a screamer than Luke? If so, maybe you could take Nolan and do his feedings, since his crying wakes you up anyways, and your husband could be in charge of Luke (assuming he's not screaming and won't wake you up)...that way, you'd get your turn to sleep.


Deanna said...

I think I would agree with The Macha Family's comment. We always woke the other baby to eat, even when they were just waking once a night. In our case, we found that if we let one sleep, she would be up about an hour or so after the other. We gave them a few weeks of the waking once a night feeds (they went down between 9-10, would wake to eat between 1-2, then back up at 5-6), and gradually they began to sleep a little longer. We spent the night at my mom's one night and they kept going back to sleep with just their pacifiers...that's when we knew they were capable of skipping that feeding. After that, we pretty much just fed whichever one woke if it was too early to get up yet. Once we knew they could go all night, we started trying to soothe them back to sleep with a pacifier or occasionally rocking. It has worked well for us; they are 4 months and I get up an average of 1-2 times per night to retrieve a pacifier and they sleep about 9 hours a night. Are they in separate cribs? I did not think mine were disturbing one another until I separated them and they sleep much more soundly! To wrap up this incredibly long comment (sorry!) I agree that with a little more time you may be able to judge their schedules a little better and know whether the sleeping baby will last another few hours or will be up in an hour. Good luck!

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness ladies, thank you all SO much for your suggestions! It's nice to know I'm not alone and that others have experienced this as well! I'm probably going to go back to waking a baby for a few more weeks until I can determine which baby wants to sleep longer. It seems like they switch off every other night. One night, Luke will wake, the next night it'll be Nolan. Crikies!

Karen said...

I love the pictures of you and boys Jen, so precious!!!!


Erin said...

I agree with the other moms -- wake that sleeping baby!! We had to continue the night wakings/feedings for a while b/c my guys were preemies, but when I returned to school when they were 5 months old (3 months adjusted), I knew that I couldn't keep getting up multiple times every night. Continue waking the sleeping baby, and try this experiment again in a month on a Friday night (so that if it is horrible, at least you don't have to work the next day!) -- at some point in the not too distant future, one of them will decide to sleep for a 6 hour stretch, and then you'll be on the road to STTN. Good luck!

PS -- you look fabulous!