Girls Upstairs, Boys Downstairs

The sleeping arrangement in my house has quickly gone from manageable, yet far from ideal, to ridiculous and bordering on insane.

As you may recall, Nicholas refuses to sleep in his crib, and therefore takes his naps and sleeps overnight in the swing in our living room. The hubs sleeps on the couch to make sure Nicholas is adequately trained by age 1 for his future career as deckhand on The Deadliest Catch. Luci sleeps in her crib in her room upstairs, and I sleep in my room next door.

In the last month, I've taken some of your suggestions to alter this arrangement to try and get Nicholas used to his crib without disturbing Luci's sleep. Now, for their morning nap, Luci sleeps in Isabella's toddler bed (oh, the wrath I would have to endure if Isabella knew of this). I still swaddle Luci and then I place her in the center of a sleep positioner. Isabella's bed has a half rail, and I stuff a pillow in the small gap at the base of the bed where Isabella climbs into and out of her bed. Luci isn't going anywhere as long as she's still swaddled.

Then, I place Nicholas in his crib. Sometimes he lasts about 45 minutes in there. Other times, it's mere minutes before he's up and screaming. Sometimes I let him CIO in an effort to get him used to his crib. Sometimes when I'm sick of the crying and desperate for some quiet, I transition him back downstairs to the swing, where he will usually fall asleep. When I leave him crying in his crib, he will not settle himself down, no matter how long I hold off going to him.

For the afternoon nap, Luci sleeps in her crib because Isabella needs to nap in her bed, and Nicholas goes directly into the swing. Knock on wood, everyone is taking decent afternoon naps for the time being (although as soon as I hit Publish, someone will wake up screaming. That's just how they roll, lately).

But bedtime is quickly going down the tubes. Nicholas is up almost every hour from his bedtime around 7-7:30pm until midnight or so. We stick his binky back in his mouth, and most of the time, he falls back to sleep. Last month I smugly wrote that the boy is sleeping through the night most nights, and now he hasn't done so in weeks. This, despite the fact that I am stuffing him full of solids around dinnertime. I'm nursing him at least once in the middle of the night.

Luci has started getting up more than once in the middle of the night as well. Unlike Nicholas, though, she's usually fine until somewhere around midnight or 1am. I'll feed her, and sometimes she'll fall right back to sleep, and other times, she's up and crying for over an hour, despite attempts to rock her back to sleep. Oh, and she stopped taking a binky months ago, so my boob is the only thing that silences her.

Not to be outdone by her younger siblings, Isabella has taken to awakening in the middle of the night as well, and at hours where the babies are sleeping, so her night wakings aren't caused by hearing their screams. She wakes up crying and starts calling for me. Sometimes she's completely incoherent when I enter her room, and other times her reasons are classic bedtime procrastination tools, which I barely have tolerance for when she pulls them out hours earlier: "I want a cup of water," "My blanket is untucked,"I want to give you hug and a kiss," (although it's hard to get mad at her for this one), and my personal favorite, "Tell Daddy I said "hello."

One night last week, fed up with the insanity of babies sleeping where they shouldn't be and constant nighttime drama, I put both Luci and Nicholas down for the night in their room, together. Both were asleep when I put them down, because if they were awake, the arrangement didn't stand a chance of working. All was quiet for 45 blissful minutes. I patted myself on the back, ran around the first floor of my house feeling free as a bird, since I didn't have to tip-toe because Nicholas wasn't asleep on the first floor, and then started to do some work. And then all hell broke loose. Nicholas woke up and started screaming. I didn't go to get him in the hopes he would settle himself down. Shortly thereafter, he woke Luci up, and the symphony of two babies simultaneously screaming reverberated throughout the house.

I was so damn pissed off that I let them scream for over an hour, something I've never done. They.Would.Not.Quit.

I finally grabbed Nicholas, brought him downstairs, and stuck him in the swing. He promptly fell asleep. Luci, on the other hand, had no intentions of going back to sleep, even after her brother was removed from the bedroom. I tried to get her back to sleep using everything in my bag of tricks, and yet she was awake and crying until well after 9:30. Needless to say, I haven't tried putting them in the same room at night since then.

So, the result of all this madness? Very little sleep for me. The twins are almost 8 months old. It's been a very, very long time since I've had a good night's sleep. Luckily, I've learned how to function with the few hours I'm able to grab. I'm tired, but not cripplingly so.

Listen up, precious little hellcats. I love you, but you are slowly killing your mother.

Cease and desist immediately.

13 Responses to “Girls Upstairs, Boys Downstairs”

  1. # Blogger Mom24

    Kristi, I'm so so sorry. Honestly? It sounds like Hell. I hope it gets better soon.

    What would happen if you just refused to get them? Would you and your hubby and Isabella learn to sleep through the screaming? Yeah, I couldn't do it either, but I do wonder. Good luck.  

  2. # Blogger Jesser

    Ugh. I am not sure how you do it. I will try to remember to read this post when I think I've got it bad. You have my deepest sympathies. I hope it improves soon is all I can say!  

  3. # Blogger Betty and Boo's Mommy

    Oh, but they are so cute ... :) Seriously, though, I do sympathize. You're describing the craziness that went on in our house when our twins were that age (and they're 7 and sleeping in their own beds as I speak). I wish I remembered what helped, but the reality is, not much did. I know, very little consolation, but I do understand. Boy, do I understand ....  

  4. # Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog

    Hey, I don't know how you can even temper that post with a BIT of humor. 8 months of 3 under 3... Heh. Yeah...

    LOADS of hugs to you. I have no advice as I've never had twins. I had a hard enough time with 1 cranky baby and a toddler or two let alone 2 cranky babies.

    Love to you. Hope tonight's a better one.  

  5. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    Even though things have been getting easier for me, the thought of putting both girls in the same room terrifies me. I'm not sure when we'll get to that point.  

  6. # Blogger Simply-Mel

    Oh man. I had midnight antic last night too. My two small ones each came pottering thru in the wee hours and promptly began arguing about who would lie next to me! Well....I was not amused AT ALL. It ended up with me finding an empty bed down the passage while they sorted it out in MY BED beside MY SLEEPING HUSBAND WHO DIDNT STIR AND HAD NO RECOLLECTION OF ANYTHING THIS MORNING!!

    But let me add, that this is nothing on what you are dealing with girlfriend. I cannot even begin to figure out how you do it. And with humour. You are awesome.  

  7. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    It is Hell, isn't it? I'm not even going to try to put a positive spin on it. I've been there and done that, and I never want to do it again.

    Hannah slept through the night from 3 months on. But Jacob was well past 4 years old by the time he learned to fall asleep (and stay asleep) on his own. Of course Bridget came along before Jacob was sleeping through the night, and she's JUST NOW sleeping through the night consistently. She'll be 4 years old on July 5th.

    So . . . 8 years later . . . and I'm just now starting to get some sleep. I hear ya, and I feel your pain. Hang in there any darn way you can.  

  8. # Blogger kenju

    From that photo, it's hard to believe - but I know because I went through that too. It will get better; I don't know when. Sorry, Kristi.  

  9. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    I'm so sorry things have gotten so rough. Maybe writing about how difficult sleeping is, will make them suddenly become sleep angels.  

  10. # Blogger Holly at Tropic of Mom

    Oy. I would be banging my head against a wall for sure.  

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    nice post. I would love to follow you on twitter.  

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