IS nighttime with two babies and their sleep associations is sucking the life out of you?
Every time you soothe one baby back to sleep, the other baby wakes, and it all just starts over again.
Are you having to replace binkies, nurse your babies or rock them back to sleep hour after hour, night after night, which is beginning to make you feel like you live on the set of Groundhog Day?
Do the endless nights of severely fractured rest make you feel like a walking zombie?
YOU MAY BE DEALING WITH SLEEP ASSOCIATIONS
Do your babies:
- Wake often (every 1-2 hours) at night?
- Need to be rocked, nursed, swung or bounced to sleep?
- Have trouble napping more than 30-45 minutes (which is the typical length of one sleep cycle)?
- Are fussy during the day and generally seem tired?
If you can answer yes to any of the above, your babies may have a SLEEP ASSOCIATION that they depend on to to help them fall asleep and stay asleep.
BUT…it doesn’t have to be this way.
You CAN teach your babies healthy sleep habits. They CAN learn to fall asleep on their own AND your entire family CAN regain the joys of restful sleep EVERY night!
WHAT ARE SLEEP ASSOCIATIONS ANYWAY?
Take one minute and think about the steps you take each night before you crawl into bed and fall asleep.
Personally, I like to put on comfy pajamas, make a cup of Sleepy Time Tea (sometimes, I admit, it is a glass of wine instead) and get in bed and watch a little mindless TV with my husband. Eventually we turn out the lights, settle under the covers and peacefully drift off to sleep.
This routine is what I have come to associate with sleep, and therefore are my SLEEP ASSOCIATIONS.
And what happens if I deviate from this? I have a harder time falling asleep or I end up tossing and turning all night long, waking up exhausted the next morning.
The bedtime routine you have created for your twins and any props or supports you have provided, are what your babies associate with sleep both when you lay them down for the night (or naps) AND when they wake between sleep cycles.
The sleep props your babies use to fall asleep aren’t bad until they become a problem, interrupting their ability to fall asleep.
When your baby cannot recreate the association on their own to fall asleep or stay asleep without YOU….
Then you have a problem because, well, you are up all night long rocking your babies back to sleep or replacing binkies.
Not only are you sleep deprived, but so are your babies.INTERRUPTED SLEEP IS NOT RESTORATIVE SLEEP, WORK ON TEACHING YOUR TWINS HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS Click To Tweet
SO WHAT IS A TIRED TWIN MAMA TO DO?
Don’t worry, we aren’t saying that soothing your babies back to sleep is wrong.
It is completely natural and maternal to go to your crying baby and provide them comfort. You can provide comfort to your baby in ways that promote sleep and won’t keep everyone up all night long.
Really, the choice is yours. You have to decide, as the parent, what works for you and what will help to ensure that your babies are getting enough restful sleep.
Begin by trying to find sleep props that your babies like AND help them to self-soothe.
The best skill you can teach your babies NOW is how to fall asleep independently so your babies don’t need YOU to get back to sleep when they briefly wake up throughout the night.
Don’t panic, this doesn’t have to involve any crazy sleep training tactics. It can be as simple as following your usual bedtime routine, spending the last 15 minutes of that time soothing your babes to a drowsy, yet awake state.
Then, give your last goodnight kisses, lay them down, and walk out of their nursery. If they protest, don’t go rushing in immediately, but rather give them a few minutes to try and settle themselves.
After a few minutes you can go in and gently pat their backs until the crying stops. The key here is not to pick them up, make eye contact or talk to them. Pat, shush and leave again.
It will take time, but with practice and consistency, your twins WILL learn to soothe themselves and fall asleep independently.
And you will once again, feel well rested!
Are you ready for a restful night of sleep? What ONE thing are you going to do TONIGHT to help your twins learn to self-soothe?
Chat with us in the comments below!