Twins, Binkys, and SLEEP-PLEASE HELP!

Hi. I am a mommy of 5 month old boy/girl twins, a little over 4 mos. adjusted as well as a 2 /12 year old girl. I feel badly asking for help b/c I have read about some other people having sleep trouble and this seems like nothing compared to what they are going through, but thought maybe someone would have some words of advice/wisdom! Currently, the twins share a bedroom and are in their own cribs. The problem is that they used to sleep soo well at night but now seem to take turns waking up all night. We recently stopped swaddling them last weekend and I think the girl was ready b/c she was constantly breaking free of it anyways. The boy has always been a pretty good sleeper until now. They both seem to wake up fussing and then crying for their binkys and it sometimes takes them about 20 minutes to fall back asleep, without picking them up, which I try not to get into the habit of doing. So, btw. the two of them, we're constantly running back and forth into their rooms. My fear is that they will wake the other one up or worse, all three, including my 2 /12 year old down the hall. We have also tried putting them to sleep in the crib on a changing pad to keep them from rolling all over b/c we thought that was what was waking them up. I almost wish we didn't give them binkys to start with so they would know how to soothe themselves back to sleep. Funny thing is also, during the day, my daughter has no trouble getting her thumb in her mouth to soothe herself but not at night. SOOOO....how long should we let them cry, should we take their binkys and just let them "cry it out" and eventually soothe themselves back to sleep at the risk of waking our daughter up, or keep running back and forth all night giving binkys and watching for them to go to sleep so we can creep back in bed for 10 minutes until the other one wakes up??? We just don't know what to do. They are not hungry and haven't taken a bottle in the middle of night for quite a while. We got lucky there, I guess. ANY SUGGESTIONS????!!!! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read all this...sorry for babbling.....THANKS and take care!

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Hi! I am sorry for you sleep problems! My former 28 weeker still has issues at times! I wanted to say that I think you should keep the binky though! My first born who was full term but IUGR took one and woke up initially like your babies when it fell out but around maybe 6 months? he learned to put it in himself - I just had tons in his crib so if he reached out he could grab one! it worked great and he would go back to sleep on his own! My 28 weeker gave up the binkie shortly after coming home from the NICU at around 3 mos and we wished he would take one - especially when he had to have medical procedures but he wouldn't... he has also been my difficult sleeper! I think the AAP now says that pacifiers help reduce the risk of SIDS too so I'm all in favor of them - the hardest part for us when trying to decide when to wean Avery... and we let him just give it up on his own eventually...

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I have two 24-weekers who also share a room and have seperate beds. Their older sister sleeps right next door. When we stopped swaddling about the same time as you, we switched to sleep sacks and still used the sleep positioners. Also, both babies use the Soothie pacifiers that are attached to little stuffed animals...these are easier to prop into their mouths so you don't have to put it back in so soon. My son also could suck his thumb during the day, but not at night. So for a little while, I tucked his arms inside his sleep sack and propped the pacifier in his mouth. We stopped using the sleep positioners around 6 months adjusted because they were kicking themselves out of them. Also around 6 1/2 months, my son was able to put his pacifier back in his mouth. It's easier because he holds onto the stuffed animal part of it. To help with our oldest, we have a sound machine in her room and in the babies' room. That drowns out a lot of extra noise! I don't know about your babies, but mine love the swing, so if all else fails, put them in a swing, prop the pacifier, and pray they go to sleep. Another thought...maybe they are starting to get teeth. My daughter just this past week got her first two teeth and she was having trouble falling to sleep for a few days before that. Once I realized it was her teeth, I gave her a little Tylenol and that seemed to help. Hope some of this helps and you and your husband can start to get some sleep.

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I am so sorry you are getting so little sleep. I only have one who is now 22months and she still has her binky which I am trying to take away. When she was younger though the doctors and therapists said it was good for her it have it because she has bad lungs and was on oxygen even at home for a while. I believe the mom is correct about the SIDS. My daughter was 3 months early so breathing was a big concern and the binky was a plus. Sorry I dont have any other advice cause I was able to let her find her binky and cry it out but I only have one. I hope it gets better.

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I know that sleep issues are hard- we are currently dealing with them. I really think that they are too young for you to just let them cry. in a few months they should easily be able to get their binkys back in. until then, you just have to keep strong and keep getting up. Gavin wakes up every 20-30 minutes all night long. We can't let him cry for medical reasons. I just get up with him because there is no other choice. 4months adj is still very young. Give them a few more months and then reassess the crying it out method. Good luck!

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth...............changed my life.

We went throught same thing w/ our b/b twins at about seven months. After I read Dr. Weissbluth's book, I stopped feeling guilty about letting them cry it out. Our standard cry time (if all other needs are met, i.e., they are dry, have a pacifier, are not in pain, etc.) is one hour. If they can cry for an hour.......that takes stamina. I'll be happy to rock them to sleep if they are willing to cry for an hour.

The other best piece of advice a fellow MOM (Mother of Multiples) gave me was to turn off the monitor. I stopped using the monitor at night (I use it during the day when I'm downstairs) and WE ALL sleep better. I'm not constantly getting up to check on every cough and wimper. And they sleep more soundly b/c Mommy stays out of their room. LOL!

Good luck! I completely empathize w/ your sleepless nights.

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I have 19 mo (actual age) b/g twins. Fortunately my son has always been a champion sleeper. my daughter hates to sleep, even now. Her motto is sleep is for the weak. This may seem simple, but do you think they are warm enough since you stopped swaddling them? ours were never swaddled at home bc after 3 mo in the NICU they hated to be swaddled so We dressed them in jammies with long sleeves and feet even in the summer (we keep our house about 77 at night in Texas). We never really used binky's. If Hayden lost his at night he would find his thumb. As far as letting them cry it out, we put 10 min on the clock and if they are still crying, we go in, rub their back, be sure all needs are met and go back out. Repeat as needed. At 5 mo old though, just hold them. You can pick them up and put them back without spoiling them. Do you play music at night? We started with and still use baby einstein lullabies on repeat all night long. it seems to help them when they wake up to hear the familiar music and go right back to sleep.
It does get better...I just reminded myself that they would never be that small again and just enjoy even when you are tired and ragged.
Good luck!

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Thank you all sooo much for your help and suggestions. We already currently use a sound machine in the twins room and are going to try one in big sister's room tonight.
ProjectGemini-Just asked my stepmom who works at Barnes and Noble to pick up that book for me with her discount...now trying to find time to read it will be the REAL challenge! HA! But thank you for the recommendation. I'll give it a try.
Twinsmama-Thank you also. We actually do play music in their room-Celtic Lullabies as well as a sound machine. But maybe you are right about them not being warm enough...also think they sort of liked it, but were getting too big for it.
Hopefully we will get some sleep soon and maybe this is just a phase/them needing to grow out of. I was just worried that we are giving them too much help with sleeping and they won't know how to put themselves to sleep. Seemed MUCH easier with our first daughter...but guess that was b/c there was only ONE! WHEW! Those were the days....but I wouldn't change a thing. THANK YOU ALL AGAIN!!!

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this may sound crazy...but i wish my daughter would take a binky! she loved them so much when she was in the hospital and after she came home up until she was about two months corrected...after that, she gave it up and hasn't touched it since (even despite some encouragement from me). her sleeping crutch is her bottle, which really wasn't a problem for me until her teeth started coming in. it's been such a challenge to feed her a nighttime bottle so that she is full before going to sleep, but without her actually falling asleep. after that bottle, i brush her teeth and then put her to bed with a small bottle of water with a slow-flow nipple.

as far as her sleeping on her own, she was fantastic until she became mobile. now she'll wake up, roll over, stand up...and repeat over and over and over for HOURS while screaming at the top of her lungs. she's a persistent little one, that's for sure! she gets herself so worked up sometimes that she practically throws up...and this is not fun to see since she's had a fundo and so although she has learned how to throw up, it's a lot more of a struggle. there have been nights when i've successfully gotten her to sleep in her crib, but there are also nights when i wave the white flag and just lay out a big sleeping bag in the corner of her playroom (the only completely child-proofed room) and fall asleep together. it may be very laissez-faire, but for me (being the mom of just one...and my first child at that)...a sleep-deprived mom is not a very effective mom, so i would rather us both get some quality sleep. i know the day will come when she won't want to sleep next to me anymore and i'll oddly find myself missing times like these. if she's anything like me, she'll be asking for her own bed by the time she's three; my mom co-slept with me and i did (much to her dismay!)... :)

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I've read every book and unfortunately for me, nothing worked. My girls were born at 33.5 wks and spent 2 wks in the NICU. They had minor reflux issues, but bad enough that they slept in boppies and then car seats until they were almost 6 mths old! They are almost 9 mths now and do sleep better, but not through the night. We have managed to get them down to just one feeding which is a huge improvement. I have one great sleeper and one very active little girl who hates to sleep. She fought me on it until 10 pm last night while her sister went to sleep at 8. I honestly have no advice, but thought I would share my situation. Our girls sleep with a wash cloth and use it as a binky/blankey. I can see now as they gain more weight, they are sleeping better and better. I just keep thinking that someday, they will sleep through the night and will go to sleep on their own. They may be 3, but it will eventually happen.

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I'm sorry that you're not getting the sleep that a mom of three desparately needs! I can relate. I have 18 month (actual) b/g twins and a 4 year old. The twins slept in the same room until they were almost a year old. I found it impossible to let them "cry it out" b/c the whole house would be awake if they did. And frankly that was something that I could not handle. What worked for us was separating them. We ended up putting one in the living room to sleep until we moved to a larger home. There are still nights even now when they wake up, but they are not as frequent. It will eventually happen!

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