Unswaddled, Unhappy, and Unhinged

Today marks the end of Week 1 of Operation "Stick the Twins in One Room and Let Them Fight It Out Like Hellcats" (otherwise known as Sleep Training). We finally got off our collective arses and decided that we needed to get Loud and Louder sleeping together in their room. They had been separated since the age of four months, when we moved them out of the bassinets in our bedroom. Luci transitioned well to her crib. Nicholas did not.

If you've been following the hellacious odyssey of the twins' sleeping issues the past few months, you know that:

A) Nicholas hated his crib and slept only in the swing, including through the entire night, except for a brief morning nap in his crib, most of which he spent crying

B) Luci slept (swaddled) in her crib just fine, but napped in Isabella's bed for her morning nap because of A),

and

C) While Nicholas would at times sleep (in the swing) through the night, Luci never would, meaning I was up feeding her at least once every night.

Last Friday we decided to throw caution, predictability, and the hope of something even resembling a peaceful evening to the wind and put the twins in the same room together beginning with their morning nap. I also decided to stop swaddling Luci at the same time, something she seemed to fight before bed, but oddly not before her naps. It was time though. Summer + Swaddling = Sweaty Baby.

And so I nursed Luci before her nap, just as I normally did. I brought her to her crib, rocked her a bit, and gently placed her in her crib. Even before her body hit the mattress, she went ballistic. She had no idea what to do with her unswaddled body. I nursed Nicholas, rocked him as well, and then placed him in his crib. He was seriously unhappy with me, the crib, and the universe.

If the sound of two apoplectic babies doesn't make you want to pluck out your eardrums with any sharp tool within arm's length, I'm not sure what does. We followed my friend and fellow twin mom's suggestion of Modified Ferber (enter room and pat backs/tummies, rub heads, etc.) after 5 minutes of crying, then after 10, then after 15). She told me she never had to go past 15 minutes; her twins always conked out by then. Luci and Nicholas? Had no intention of ever stopping the endless screaming.

That first morning "nap" never happened. I think Luci and Nicholas each slept for 10 minutes during their afternoon "nap." Nighttime was a complete and total disaster. I was up virtually the entire night with them, feeding one while the other fell back to sleep, then awakening a short time later to the other twin crying, and dashing in to grab him or her before the other one was awakened. They simply will not sleep through each other's cries. It is maddening.

Now, one week into it, there are good naps and nights and there are horrific ones. At this point, the horrific outweigh the good. Both are up a lot more often than they were when Nicholas was in the swing and Luci had their bedroom all to herself. This, of course, means that I am up a lot more overnight, because I am feeding whichever one is crying before he/she awakens the other. One crying baby in the middle of the night is difficult enough to deal with.

It seems so cruel to force them to sleep in the same room together. How awful to be awakened by your screaming sibling several times a night while you were peacefully sleeping. I know twins get used to this arrangement, and mine have no choice. They live in a 3-bedroom house, and we needed to get Nicholas out of the swing and out of our living room and the hubs off the couch and back into our bedroom.

But right now, it's very hard for me to see this ever working. I cannot imagine that the day will come when they can make it through an entire nap or through the entire night without waking each other up.

Fortunately for them, they are adorable bundles of schmooshable love when they sleep, and just as I did with their sister, I have taken the photos to prove it.

Luci, unswaddled for the first time.


Nicholas, wisely covering his ears and wishing his sister would STFU already.

It WILL get better, right?

8 Responses to “Unswaddled, Unhappy, and Unhinged”

  1. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Some kids do well to cry it out, and others do not. I can handle 15 minutes of crying and screaming, but not 60+.

    It's really difficult when you live in a smallish house and not everyone can have his or her own room. We tried every combination of kid sharing rooms until we finally turned our large storage closet in the basement into a bedroom for Hannah. Yes, Hannah sleeps in a refurbished closet. LOL! If they don't share the same sleeping habits, it can be a real nightmare.

    Rest assured, it WILL get better. :-)  

  2. # Blogger Mom24

    I'm so sorry. I'll promise you they'll sleep...eventually. I could never let mine cry it out either--they honest to goodness would not have stopped. Good luck. I can't even imagine how difficult it is.  

  3. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    I am so sorry! I hope it does get better. The sleep training with Little Elvis was hard, but we didn't have to worry about him waking up anyone else.
    Good luck!  

  4. # Blogger Simply-Mel

    Ack. I did sleep training with my middlest.

    I remember sitting outside her room in the hallway, slumped against the wall howling my eyes out at 2am. It was just awful.

    I even had my neighbour effing at me to keep my kid quiet. Levi was 2wks old at the time. I was a mess.

    Believe me; it gets better. I am currently not crying in the hallway and no longer live next door to my effing neighbour!  

  5. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    If it makes you feel any better, cry it out does not really work for E either. I've let her go quite a while before...sometimes it works, usually it doesn't.

    Have you ever considered moving the girls into one room since they both sleep and letting Nicholas give it a go in his crib in his own room?  

  6. # Blogger Simply-Mel

    Oh, and I forgot to add. The sleep training DID NOT WORK. All it did was make me feel like a horrid mother and awful failure.

    She did eventually sleep through at about 2yrs old...and I lived to tell the tale. Off my 3 children she is now THE EASIEST to put to bed. She actually ASKS to go to bed....

    Sugar and Spice has a great idea about putting the girls together....  

  7. # Blogger Kristi

    Chas and Mel-I would consider putting Luci and Isabella in the same room together, but it's actually Luci who is up more in the middle of the night, not Nicholas. Nicholas is the screamer when we first put them to bed for the night, but usually, when he's out, he's out. Luci, on the other hand, is up quite a bit in the middle of the night, and she will wake up Nicholas if I don't run into their room and grab her.

    Arggggh...so frustrating!  

  8. # Blogger Tiffany

    Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I have enjoyed reading your articles at Root and Sprout. I wish bookmarked your blog to keep reading as well.

    I am so glad we are past the sleep training. Good luck and it does get better.  

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