In 24 hours, my husband and I will be a few hours into what I am anxiously anticipating as the hardest night with the babies that we have had – night #1 of sleep training.
The time to sleep train is here. I know it is a controversial topic and some people think it’s cruel to sleep train a baby younger than like a year old. And my twins are only 5.5 months old. They are young, no doubt about it. And I do have guilt already, and we haven’t even started yet. However, my old tricks don’t work anymore. I would have been willing to do whatever it took for a little while longer, but it’s not an option. Here are my official reasons to sleep train C (and B too, but he has been a piece of cake, so I’m hoping he adjusts quickly.)
– C no longer wants to be held to sleep. She doesn’t mind falling asleep in your arms after she’s already slept a half hour – in fact, she prefers it if I want her to sleep more at all – but falling asleep initially? She doesn’t want to be rocked, paced, shushed, swaddled, you name it.
– But she doesn’t want to be put down either. She doesn’t know what she wants and neither do I.
– She is breaking out of her swaddle.
– She is trying to sit up in her rock n play.
As I said, B is a great sleeper. You can put him down awake, and he puts himself to sleep with ease with minimal fussing. However, he has outgrown his rock n play at a large 20 pounds and the largest size swaddle.
So he, too, will face some changes. We are moving them back into the same room, putting them in cribs, and ditching the swaddles. I am still on the fence about giving C her pacifier, but at this point I think I would like to, so she has something familiar when everything else will be different. I don’t know.
I know I’ve done extensive research about sleep training twins, so if anyone is doing the same and stumbles across this, here is my exact plan. It’s a modified cry it out plan. Once it’s all over I’ll let you know if it worked!
We are going to continue our nighttime routine of bath, pjs, bottle and bed, but instead of swaddles C will be going into the magic sleep suit and B will be going into a sleep sack. Then they will be burped, paci given to C, kiss goodnight and into their cribs they go.
Then we go downstairs and I drink heavily. Kidding! An extra large ice cream sundae will be on hand. And some earphones. I anticipate the babies being confused for a bit. There will be fussing. When the fussing turns into a cry, we will start the stopwatch. At 3 minutes in, we will go in, I to C’s crib and Nate to B’s, as they are used to us specifically putting them to bed. For B, Nate will do what he currently does if B gets upset (which is rare). He puts a hand on B’s chest, tells him it’s okay, and that’s it. The difference is Nate usually keeps his hand there until B is sleeping, but now Nate will take his hand away after 30 seconds, sleeping or not. For C, I will re-insert the paci, maybe put my hand on her chest or not, and sing a little “It’s okay” song while attempting not to cry for not doing what I usually do, which is scooping her up. The we are going to leave the room together.
On night #1, we will do these checks at 3,5,7, and 10 minutes. We won’t let them cry more than 10 minutes. Assuming we all survive to see night #2, our times checks will be at 5, 10, and 15 minutes, and night #3 will be 10, 15, and 20 minutes.
After a few days, if we have seen zero progress and there’s been nothing but hysterical screaming for 12 straight hours, I’m going to wave the white flag and try again in a few weeks. But I’m really hoping something good will happen.
I have been thinking about this day for what seems like months and I’m definitely going into it with anxiety. I hate to hear my babies cry, especially C with her massive hysterical meltdowns. But it’s time.