We started sleep training last night. The kids have always been great night sleepers, waking only for one middle of the night feeding and going right back to sleep until 7 or 7:30 am. But recently they’ve been waking up 45-60 minutes after bedtime and then at 1 or 2 am needing a pacifier replaced to go back to sleep. That and the pediatrician’s advice that they didn’t need to eat in the middle of the night anymore, and we decided it was finally time to sleep train. I decided the best method was to let them cry it out, without going in at all. We’ve done a little bit of graduated crying it out, like letting them fuss for five minutes at a time before going in to replace the paci, just getting them used to learning to fall asleep on their own, but I knew at some point we would probably have to do full on, open-ended cry it out. Everyone who does it claims that there is less crying overall and that after three or four nights it’s DONE. I prepared myself for it, re-read all the sections in my books on it, and said over and over all the reasons why now is the best time and why I really do believe it’s the best thing for the babies. It’s better to do it now before they get older and more socially aware. And they are old enough now, even with the adjusted age for due date. I knew it was right and I had to make sure I was sure it was right because I knew it would be hard. I also talked to Ben and Nora about it all day and told them over and over again what was going to happen and that just because I wasn’t coming into their room tonight it didn’t mean I didn’t love them. Haha.
So, we did it! And it went really well! I did the usual routine, stories, singing songs, pacis, and put them down with droopy eyes but still awake. They went to sleep without crying at all. But then they woke up 45 minutes later. Ben woke up first and after a few minutes his whining turned into crying and Nora joined in. Nora cried for 29 minutes before falling back asleep and Ben cried for 53 minutes before falling asleep. We ate dinner while we listened to them cry and then I sat outside their room on the floor and listened until Ben fell asleep. I felt so bad! It helped that we had committed to it and I knew it was the right decision. I knew I wasn’t going to go in. But it was still so sad to listen to!
They stayed asleep until 2:45 am when they would usually wake up to feed. I was nervous about this part. I thought since they woke up hungry and they usually eat that they would take forever to go back to sleep or cry off and on for hours. But Ben fell back asleep after just 25 minutes of crying, and Nora fell back asleep after probably 15 minutes! That’s about how long they would’ve been awake if I’d gotten up to feed them!
After that Ben woke up at 5:30 and cried for about 5 minutes, then they both woke up around 6:40 and we figured that was ok since we planned to get them up at 7 anyway.
I feel like it was such a big step! When the kids woke up this morning I felt like they were so big. The rest of the day went awesome! Their first nap lasted over two hours! Normally you can count on them to wake up 45 minutes into every nap. This time they stirred a little at 45 minutes and went right back to sleep! And after two hours I actually had to wake them up for their next feeding! It was amazing.
So I’m feeling really good about it. Hopefully after a few more days they will have learned how to fall back asleep on their own and there won’t be any night waking at all. Supposedly that’s how it works! I can’t imagine sleeping all the way through the night, I haven’t done that in months! We are all on our way to being well rested, healthy sleepers!
Here they are after their 2 hour morning nap. Even when I opened the curtains they didn’t wake up! (They are wearing sleep suits we borrowed from a friend with twins. They’re basically wearable blankets, they help them feel snuggled and warm and stop them from flailing around or rolling over and waking themselves up. )