Monday, January 10, 2011

Help! Sleep etc.!

I know after being absent from blogging for so long, I have no right to ask for help.  I am, however, begging.

We have so many things going on, and I think they are all contributing to my lack of any real sleep.  I don't know which issue to address first, or what to do!

First off, we never sleep-trained.  We rock the guys to sleep.  This works well at night, when Hubby can help.  It used to work well at naptime, too.  I was really savvy at rocking two guys to sleep, then gently sliding off the chair with them in my arms, laying them down on the ground, then picking them up and putting them in their cribs one at a time.  This no longer works much of the time.  Now, I slide to the ground, gently lay down two guys, who wake up a little and fuss, but then doze back off.  I pick up one guy, head to the nursery, get three steps, and then WAIIIIIILLLLLLLLL from the guy left behind.  I try to hurry to get into the nursery and close the door before the babe in my arms wakes, but this only works about half the time.  Then, as I put the little man in his crib, he bounces back up, seemingly fully awake.  I rub his back and he dozes back off, UNLESS his brother has run down the hallway and is screaming outside the nursery door.  When this happens, or if I don't get him into the bedroom fast enough, I must start all over with the double rocking.

The other thing that is happening is that they are flat-out no longer sleeping through the night.  This means that often the aforementioned process is repeated at three a.m.  Why are they  not sleeping through the night?  Well . . .

They are teething.  Again.  Or, still.  Whichever.

We have taken them off of soy formula and put them on lactose free milk.  Is the milk too hard to digest compared to the formula?  Does the milk not leave them feeling as full all night?  Do they drink too much milk because it is not filling, leading to indigestion?  Are they not getting enough food now that they are not getting formula?  (I feed them as much as they want.  Should I be insistently power-feeding them?)  They both wake up every night now, at least once.  The books say to not go in their room, but okay, there are two of them and I'd rather not have them both wake at once (see above.)  Also, we just have never been rigid with them as far as sleep scheduling, and I don't know that suddenly being strict in the wee hours when they're distraught is a good plan.

Now, we are having K evaluated for 'disorders.'  He has total meltdowns, not like tantrums -- like he is in pain.  Usually it is after being around people, but lately he's doing it in the middle of the night.  He wakes terrified and is completely inconsolable for an hour or so.  What is that?  What's going on?  Is it the beginning signs of Autism?  Is it nightmares?  Is he just hungry, and I'm not getting it?

On top of everything, we have been given instructions to get the kiddos off the bottles.  We understand this is for the good of their teeth.  I have had some limited success doing water in the bottles occasionally, but the milk/formula bottles comfort them in a way nothing else does.  We don't do pacifiers.  They don't suck their thumbs.  When they are tired and fighting sleep, cranky from teething, or just don't want to sit still for bedtime, nothing beats a bottle.  It's really me that needs it more than them.  I am worried about their teeth, but don't know if this is the right time to tackle the bottle issue.

Help!  Any advice with any of the issues!


  1. Hi Rochelle,

    I wish I had words of wisdom for you, but I don't. I never sleep trained my twins either. They would fall asleep while eating their bottle and we were able to put them down without them waking up. They must be hard sleepers because they didn't wake up each other up. They still don't. I am sure you will get some good advise from another MoM. Mine had a night time bottle until around 18 months. I know the doctor told us to stop at their 12 month appointment, but I didn't think they were ready. I wanted to make sure they were getting enough dairy in their diet. They actually stopped taking the night bottle on their own. That made it easy on me. I hope you get their sleeping worked out soon! Take care, Andrea

  2. I'm sorry your having a rough time right now.
    I'm not sure exactly how old your little ones are but since my boys were able to sit up I would place one of them in the exersaucer or swing while I rocked the other to sleep.
    I would place the base of the monitor where my awake one was sitting or swinging and keep the other part of the monitor with me while I rocked away.
    Oh yes and i would be on a dvd for them to watch while they rocked or swing to keep them occupied til I got back.
    Re: the sleeping through the night- my boys have done well and then go through a season of not doing so well sleeping through the night. They do use pacifiers still and it does help to soothe them back to sleep but we are close to ending the paci's.
    Rochelle, I'll be praying for you, I know it doesn't seem like alot but I believe God can give you the strength and wisdom you need.

  3. Thanks to both of you! It is helpful just to know that I'm not the only one who rocks to sleep. When I talk to my pedi about these issues, well . . . she's great but a little old fashioned when it comes to behavior things. Her attitude is that it would all be fixed if we did sleep training.

    Luckily, hubby and I had a conversation last night and he said that it was too late for sleep training, and that our kids have better sleeping patterns than a lot of kids. It's hard on us, but it won't be too much longer before we can communicate with them and things will get easier on this front. This is a huge improvement over a couple of weeks ago, when he was griping at me that I was falling apart, that this couldn't continue, that I needed to do something about it. We're on the same page now! For today, anyway.

    Meanwhile, we've switched them to soy milk. I think the dairy was making a huge difference.