Do trios ever learn to sleep? It seems my kiddos have a bad day, like yesterday, where they pretty much never sleep followed by pretty good days where even when not sleeping they are calm. At night I think the girls would sleep longer, but Zach wakes up about 3-3.5 hour mark even though we feed @every four hours. And we wake the girls up then too. Everyone said to wake so all can stay on the same schedule, and I agree with that...except that I think the girls would sleep longer if allowed. We never really know though, because of Zach. It seems off to me because Zach is our biggest eater. He's eating almost 5 ounces (140ml)...but still the one waking up demanding to be fed.
I feel like I'm doing something wrong since he eats so much but seems to sleep so little. Let me clarify, he pretty much only sleeps the 3-3.5 hours at night, on a good night. During the day he tries to stay awake as much as possible. Up till now it hasn't been so bad because I've had help/family here. This coming weekend, my true help leaves and my MIL arrives for two weeks. I personally feel like she is coming for a "visit" which is way different than helping. I'm worried I won't be able to make it on my own with this crazy schedule.
I'm sure this sounds confusing and I'm sorry. I'm tired, worried, and probably a little ppd thrown in for good measure. ugh. any help with getting my boy to truly sleep a little longer would be helpful. words of encouragement if that is just not gonna happen would be appreciated as well.
Hang in there, Mama! You are in the thick of things now, and it only gets easier.
Your babies are still very young, and can't be expected to do things according to "schedule". A 3.5 hour stretch of sleep at 2 or 3 months is a great sleep stretch. Your kids probably won't start sleeping at predictable nap times during the day for a few more months.
I think you just do whatever makes your life easiest, at this point. Whoever comes to visit MUST pitch in and share the load, and I sure hope they realize that.
We fed our twins at the same time each night for the first few months. Then it became apparent that one was always waking sooner than the other, so we switched them to separate bedrooms and I slept in the room with one, and my husband slept in the room with the other. We stayed that way for the next 9 months so we all got decent sleep.
Ava 6 years
James and Eric, born November 2009
Steph, everyone gave us the same advice (esp parents of multiples), when one wakes, wake the other, but having had previous not great sleepers (we had to wake them for a few weeks because they lost too much weight, and then I think it helped form bad habits), we decided otherwise. I did not want to wake a sleeping baby. Sometimes they wake each other (still not sttn) and sometimes they don't. I wish we could separate them, see if they would sleep longer, but I doubt it.
I hope that even though mil is coming for a visit, she will see the need and jump in.
They will sleep better eventually. Hugs!
Rachel, momma to 4
dd 9, ds 7, twin boys Dec 09
I nursed my twins for 2years and 2 weeks! A little sad to be all done now.
Zack sounds like DD1, she always wanted to eat but I knew she didn't need it and she would stay awake as much as she could. I quickly discovered that she was fighting her sleep. It took me a while, but I discovered ways to make her fall asleep even of she didn't want to (the best way was to rock really fast and she couldn't fight it). It was a phase that only lasted a few weeks but it was frustrating (and I only had her, I couldn't imagine with two other babies to look after).
I'm not sure if this is whats happening but I thought I would throw it out there. I feel for you, hang in there it can only get better.
It will get better. As has been said, you are in the thick of it right now. I think that months 2-6 are the hardest. When you add multiple babies to the mix, it is exhausting. What have you tried for Zach? Do you use a swing or bouncer to help them sleep during the day? Mine took naps in a their swing until they were on a predictable twice a day nap schedule. It was our savior. We also used swaddle wraps at night. They wrap the baby up like a burrito and velcro them in. The girls loved those so much. Keira started breaking out of hers at 9 months or so, but they slept a lot longer in them. I think they felt more secure with it.
As for waking or not waking, do what works best for you. We woke one if the other woke. Mostly, we did it during the day because I needed them to be on the same feeding schedule and I needed it to be predictable. We had occupational therapy services coming in once a week, and I had a workout schedule that I wanted to try and stick to, so that helped make my life more predictable and helped me cope. At night, we sometimes would just feed one and then the other. It depended on how tired we were.
Also, are you using pacifiers at all? Babies just vary on what they will take. That may help Zach sleep also.
Keep us posted!
For us, usually when one was hungry the other one was starting to become restless and waking while the other was eating during that phase. But Tae, oh Tae. She gave us many sleepless nights until we figured out that she actually needed to sleep in the swing at night for awhile before going back to bed. She had to be wrapped very tightly (arms inside) in a swaddler in the swing with a nuk. And if she could wiggle her way out, it was no good. Not too picky, right? Poor DH snoozed on the couch during this process. It took a couple months for her to outgrow this phase. It wasn't until they were 10 months before they slept through the night altogether. But they both stopped about the same time. Starting at close to 4 months, they started sharing a room with their sister who's 12 months older. She rarely woke up during that time at all. Now if one wakes up in the middle of the night and she wakes up, she tells them to be quiet and go to sleep. They actually listen! And Tae? She now prefers to sleep on top of her blankets (four) whereas her sisters like to be tucked in. Funny how things change! Hang in there, I hope you find out what works for you so everyone can sleep at night!
DD Twins: 8/4/09 @ 35 Wks - No NICU, woot!
I have one less baby but a similar situation. Easton has to eat every 3 - 3.5 hours, Ashton will go longer. I tried a few times to just feed Easton and see if Ashton would make it to Easton next feeding but it didnt' work. What ended up happening, is I would feed Easton (takes 30 min), go to bed for around 60 min, feed Ashton for 30 min, go to bed for another hour, then Easton would want fed again. I ended up getting a lot less sleep and the 2.5 hour stretches I used to get when I woke up Ashton to feed seemed great compared to the other.
In the last week or so Easton has gotten a little better and they are on a more predictable schedule. The eat for bed at 8pm and they sleep until 1am (a nice 4.5 hour stretch in bed for me), eat and then wake again at 4ish to eat. At 4am I am up for the day, after I feed them I get ready for work and have them to the babysitters by 6:30am. I know they eat again sometime between 7-8am. They eat every 3-4hours throughout the day. In the evening they kind of cluster feed. The babysitter feeds them at 4pm, right before I pick them up, they want to eat again around 6pm, and then we feed them for night at 8pm. I also put an extra ounce of food in their bottle at 8pm and often they eat it.
As far as feeding them goes I have a routine now. They both have these swing type things they sleep in.
I sit on the floor in between them. I don't pick them up to feed at all. I don't even hold there bottles, I use a blanket to prop them up. I let them eat until they need to burp, burp them, change thier diaper and put them back (burping them and changing them one at a time while the other eats). I always make sure there is atleast an ounce left in the bottle when I put them back to finish feeding so they will fall asleep while finishing the bottle.
My personal opinion is not holding them at night right from the start has really helped distinguish night from day for them and they aren't dependent upon me to fall asleep or stay asleep. My DD was not that way at all. She wanted to be held at night and it made for really, really long sleepless nights. I started out breastfeeding her and when it wasn't working for us I switched to bottle feeding. However she was so used to being close to her mom at night for feedings, she wouldn't sleep unless I held her. I feel guilty at times for not holding them more often but it is how I survive.
I often felt guilty as well, but the girls are just as bonded to me as my DS who I breastfed for 7 months. They are also pretty independent, which is necessary with 3 kids to attend to all the time. They already find ways to entertain themselves. They ask me to read and sometimes just want to sit with me, but they also enjoy playing with each other and ignoring me. Sometimes that means I can actually read a chapter in a book while they play.
I admit I propped the bottles as well when feeding them both at the same time. My back couldn't handle the floor, but I sat in the chair while they were in their bouncers. I would alternate burping while the other was feeding their ounce at a time. We couldn't figure out any other way that worked for us when it was just one of us alone with them without one baby being very unhappy. The swings and bouncers we used from the start, but that didn't seem to matter (or anything else we tried) for their sleep patterns at all. We could only follow their lead when it came to when they slept through the night.
DD Twins: 8/4/09 @ 35 Wks - No NICU, woot!
My SIL is my helper this week, and as a mother of two has been a big help. Yesterday am we decided the screaming/frustration upon waking for Zach was just too much. By that I mean it's not good for either him or us. So, we moved them all back to a 3 hour schedule. He is a much happier baby(although I believe he has already figured us out and is waking at the 3 hour mark - smart kid!). He is not waking so upset anymore. After the day on the 3 hour schedule we decided at nighttime we are going to let them sleep as long as they can, so we last fed at 11pm and they slept until 2:45. Of course, Zach was the one to wake up, but that is almost 4 hours of sleep. They then woke again at 6am and we started the three hour schedule again. This will adjust what the hours are each day, but lets them get the sleep they need at night.
They do sleep in bouncy or swing during the day. We also let them fall asleep in them at night and then move them to their cribs. We are working hard on helping them soothe themselves w/o picking them up right away. Of course, convincing our helpers of that is another matter. Zach has recently discovered his fingers, so if he gets upset I try to move his hand to his mouth to encourage him finding his fingers (I have no problem with thumb or finger sucking as they need to be able to self soothe). One girl is a thumb sucker, the other a finger sucker - when they can find them of course, this means a lot of fist sucking as well.
We have propped bottles with kids in bouncys when needed. So far, it has only been when all three are screaming to be fed. I'm not sure how that will work when I'm alone. I do have bottle props from another triplet mom I need to figure out how to use. I'll be sad if bf is no longer an option, but will still pump as I want them to have bm as long as possible. I make hardly any so we'll see how long this process really goes.
Thanks so much for all of your advice/help! I will certainly take your suggestions to heart. I appreciate having you to go to for assistance. Will keep you posted as the days/weeks go by.