Saturday, May 1, 2010

Twins is Not a Unit of Measurement

I've done it. I have begun the long and winding road of researching sleep training for the girls. I'm currently skimming Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth trying to decide if I'd like to by Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins. L & D will be three months old next week, and I think it's high time we started working on preparing them--as well as ourselves--for some sort of regular sleep routine. Granted, the hard core training probably won't start until they're four months old, but at least getting them used to sleeping in their cribs is a place to start.

Before we can sleep train the girls, though, we must train ourselves. Obviously, one of these days, Tim and I will get a full night of sleep again (Marsha too!), but that's not what I mean. As with most things that come with parenting, it's as much about teaching the parents as it is teaching the child. And in this case, we must all fully realize that Lillie and Dani are not one entity. They are two very individual girls.

They both eat four ounces of formula an average of every four hours a day. They both get cranky in the evening. They both average a dirty diaper once a day, and they both like to scream their heads off when you take the bottle out of their mouths for burping. (Seriously, it's deafening.)

But Dani really enjoys spending time in her bouncy chair while Lillie likes to cuddle. Lillie looks around enthusiastically at everything in the room with wide eyes. Dani likes to focus on one thing at a time, and she does it very intently. Dani has an easier time going to sleep on her own in the Pack n Play while Lillie tends to be extremely restless and whimpers a lot.

Right now, when one of them wakes up to eat, we wake the other within 20-30 minutes so they can stay on schedule. There will come a time when this will be counterproductive. Why keep waking the sleeper just to keep them both on a schedule? As parents of singletons have to train each of their children differently, I must do the same with mine. Unfortunately, I have to do it at the same time! So, if Dani ends up being ready to sleep through the night without a middle-of-the-night bottle before Lillie is ready, I will have to accept that.

There will be many more entries on sleep training. I'm looking forward to blowing off stressful steam on this blog. I'd also love to hear what other parents did to help get their little ones to sleep better.

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