Saturday, January 29, 2011

Small Victories

Are you getting sick of hearing about my long nights? Because I'm getting tired of talking about them but it is my life right now. At least today I have some good news to write about - I put both babies down in their cribs last night with very little (we're talking less than a minute) fussing! I think I'm slowly learning. I've been missing the window before they get too tired when I first put them down.

For the Dynamo, I hit it spot on last night at 6:40 PM. I've never seen him go down so well and I've never put him down so early. I had started a routine of reading a book before bed but I knew he was super tired so we skipped the book. He sleeps with his Fisher Price Seahorse and I have a Glomate Junior on in the nursery too. (They don't hold the Glomate yet but I keep it on the railing of the crib and it has a 15 minute timer which is awesome.  They love to stare at it.)

Sweet Potato had a late afternoon nap - he was still sleeping when I got home from work at 5:30 - so he didn't go down until an hour after the Dynamo but I had the same luck with him - he fussed for about 30 seconds.

They both woke up for a bottle three hours after they went down and then again around 3 AM and 3:30.  If you don't count the times before 11 PM (even though I went to bed at 8:30!), they only woke up once.  I can't complain about that.

I do have another question though - my pediatrician told me at their two month check-up that at four months they would be sleeping ten hours.  He told me at the four month check-up to let them CIO and if I had to, go in the basement with a pillow over my ears!  He said once they are on solid foods, if they wake up a bunch of times during the night it is because of habit.  The most I have let them cry is 15 minutes before I've gone to get them (really only the Dynamo) and that was only once*.  He falls asleep usually within 10 minutes and I only do it when they first go down for the night or for daytime naps in the cribs**. The question is though - am I supposed to let them CIO in the middle of the night when they wake up?  Because that is really where my problem has been.  And they don't eat as much in the middle of the night.  They guzzled about seven ounces before 11 PM but the 3 AM feedings were closer to four ounces.  Am I supposed to wean them off that feeding?  Or rather "those" feedings on the nights where they are awake more than once after midnight?

* On this night, I rocked the Dynamo in the dark in the nursery with a bottle and he fell asleep after drinking one and a-half ounces.  
** The majority of the daytime naps still take place in the swings and bouncy seats but I've been bringing them up to their cribs during the day as much as possible. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The number of times I was up last night feeding a baby: five. :(

Monday, January 24, 2011

Update - Sleeping and Eating

First of all, thank you for all the helpful comments on my sleep-seeking posts. And I LOVE hearing from lurkers!

I read the "Healthy Sleep Habits.." book when I was pregnant and then the babies came and... well? I pretty much forgot most of it. Especially because they were doing so well in month two. And in those early days, who had time to read! Hell, even now, who has time to read? :)

As for the naps, I am all for them. Really I am. I admit I did attempt to keep Sweet Potato awake in the middle of the day for a few days when his brother was awake to keep the pattern that had already started going but I have stopped doing that. My mom and I also questioned whether we should wake him one day at 4:30 PM so he would be ready for the nighttime routine but yesterday I let him sleep from 1 PM to 4:45 PM.

And he slept eight hours last night! (His brother woke up once around 4 AM.)

But back to the book. I dug it out Friday night and Saturday morning started implementing some of the techniques. The Dynamo fell asleep in his bouncy seat around 9 AM and I left him there but when Sweet Potato started getting sleepy about 10:30, I took him up to his crib. He fussed for a bit and then slept until 12:45 PM. That's the longest daytime nap in a crib yet. In the afternoon, each baby slept in his crib for about 45 minutes but not at the same time. (They sleep in the same room.) Yesterday I couldn't get them in the cribs without some serious fussing and couldn't get Sweet Potato to nap at all in the morning. When he fell asleep in the swing at 1 PM, I let him stay there as long as he wanted.

Last night I put them both down drowsy just before 8 PM. The Dynamo screamed. In the past when I've picked him up red-faced and screaming, he stopped so I knew that's what he wanted. He was bathed, fed and dry. It went on for ten agonizing minutes. And then it stopped. I was in shock. I hope I can be as strong tonight.

Regarding the feedings, cereal is still not a favorite of either baby but I *think* they're getting used to it. Sweet Potato had what I thought was a good amount of cereal last night, then an hour or so later had a 6 oz bottle and then at 10:30 had another 6 oz bottle. And this kid is usually not a big eater. Maybe food begets food? He slept eight hours and then took only 3 1/2 oz this morning.

Oh and we are on the Target brand formula! The Enfamil ran out late last week. I haven't noticed a change at all. We started the cereal with Enfamil and they were eating that for about ten days before I switched to Target brand. I only wish I had switched sooner.

Thanks for the tips and keep them coming! Stay tuned for more sleep adventures.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sleep Seeking Part 3

To continue where we left off, Baby A and Baby B were wonderfully sleeping through the night at about two and a-half months and a few weeks later started waking up again like they were fresh out of the hospital. This just so happened to coincide with my full-time return to work. Lucky for me I am a pretty good sleeper and even getting up a whole bunch of times throughout the night, I am able to go right back to sleep. Another bonus is just shy of the three month mark, I switched to the number 2 nipples and the feedings that used to take about forty minutes dropped to twenty.

Before I start to complain (cuz it's coming), let me say I am a lucky, lucky girl. I get to work from home two days per week (although that's ending soon) and I have full-time childcare in my home so I don't have to take the babies out in the dead of winter to daycare. My mom watches them three days per week and Fabulous D's mom watches them two days. Let me say it again: I am a lucky, lucky girl.

On the days when I work from home, I literally start my day fifteen minutes before I have to work. My office is in the basement and I am trying to win employee of the month while I'm home* so I barely head upstairs except to pee, get coffee, repeat. I get to play with the babies through my lunch hour and see them the minute my work day ends. This makes for a very happy momma. As much as I hate to leave them the mornings I go into the office (they are so happy in the mornings!), I like getting out of the house and seeing my co-workers.

Okay, so back to the sleeping -or in Sweet Potato's case, the no sleeping. We started cereal last week. It hasn't gone well -

He would much rather do this -

And the Dynamo prefers this -

I tried the rice for a few days and then the oatmeal and Grandma tried mixing the two together. The Dynamo will eat it but he's not happy about it and Sweet Potato will push the spoon away from his face in defiance. I've been mixing it in a bottle with the formula (still on Enfamil until it runs out), and cut a bigger hole in the nipples and that has been helping.

In fact, two nights ago the Dynamo slept nine and a-half hours straight!!

His brother did not.

But the Dynamo slept nine and a-half hours straight!!

His brother was awake every TWO hours. Sigh.

Last night the Dynamo woke up once and Sweet Potato woke up three times. Today, fortunately a work-from-home day, Momma is a tired mess.

When my mom saw me this morning she knew how the night was. She suggested cutting their naps shorter during the day** and I said with no emotion, "No naps. No more daytime naps. Ever." (kidding of course).

Then the Dynamo smiled with his mouth wide-open and I was suddenly awake and smiling too.

I plan to keep trying the cereal, first with a spoon and then in the bottle. It has to get better, right?

* I'm hoping if I kick-ass while working from home, my boss will let me keep doing it. It doesn't look promising though.
** The twins are not really on a schedule but usualy sleep for one and half to two and sometimes three hours in the morning around 9 AM and then one or two hours around 2 PM.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baby Formula Question

Does anyone use store brand baby formula and if so, have you switched from Enfamil to it and how did it go? The twins have been on Enfamil Gentlease pretty much since birth but I want to switch to something cheaper. They were put on Gentlease at the doctor's request to supplement breast milk when I was nursing. He said it was okay to take them off Gentlease now if I wanted to but I'm not sure what to switch to. I've read online that Target and Walmart brands have basically the same ingredients as the Gentlease.

I also got the green light (actually the yellow light, the recommendation is to wait) to start rice cereal and I'm almost out of the Gentlease so I'm also concerned with adding cereal to their diets at the same time as switching formula.

Advice from all my expert mom friends greatly appreciated! :)

And the short version from yesterday's checkup is all went well!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sleep Seeking Part 2

First off, thank you so much for the supportive comments! They truly help! So I wrote the sleep seeking post Saturday and that night my mom decided to spend the night. She stayed with me overnight for the first four weeks after the twins were born and has spent the night a handful of times since then but she's never taken care of the babies on her own at night before.

The original plan was not for her to take care of the babies on her own, or at all for the overnight (she decided the stay because it was snowy), but when Sweet Potato woke up at midnight and she happened to be awake she offered to take the baby monitor. Big mistake Grandma! I jumped at the chance to get more than two hours of uninterrupted sleep and I say that because although the twins were going about three hours at a time, they were on different schedules so I would be getting up about five times a night. (Sweet Potato up at 12:30 and 3:30; the Dynamo up at 1:30 and 4:30 = Momma up at 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, 4:30!)

I told Grandma my nightly nursery routine - no lights on, no talking except a few whispers, don't even change a diaper if you can help it. Basically hungry baby cries, make bottle in upstairs bathroom, feed baby by nightlight in the nursery, burp baby (if possible), put baby back in crib, sleep! This works for me and amazingly the babies don't usually wake each other up. (I change a diaper at least once during the night though.)

Well Grandma is a very light sleeper. And a bad sleeper meaning when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she's up for hours. I am a good sleeper (fortunately) and can go right back to sleep after I've been up for a twenty or thirty minute feeding.

Grandma was up ALL NIGHT. Momma got six and a-half straight hours of sleep!

When I got up at 7 AM, it was only after she brought the monitor back in my room for the Dynamo because she and Sweet Potato had been DOWNSTAIRS in the playroom since 5 AM. She was afraid Sweet Potato would wake up the Dynamo. She said to me, "those kids are noisy at night." Well, yeah, if you have the baby monitor by your head (which she did), you're going to hear them breathe, and chatter, and move a little bit in their cribs. And the cat was bugging her too but she said was too tired to get up and kick her out of her room and close the door. Okay, daaaaaa. OH and the feedings? Not counting the midnight feeding I did, each baby was awake for a feeding ONCE. So she was up all night listening to them breath (and hum - Sweet Potato hums when he sleeps - so cute) and dealing with the cat who wanted to snuggle in her bed.

So Grandma was a cranky, tired mess on Sunday instead of Mommy and couldn't wait to go home. I felt really bad because I should have known better but my sleepy self was thrilled to have a night-time break. Of course she didn't listen to my routine and their feedings and naps (which are far from on schedule anyway) were really screwy on Sunday.

Sunday and Monday nights were a little bit better for me - I think I was only up three and four times.

Off to the pediatrician today! Wish me luck. Sleep Seeking Part 3 coming soon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Desperately Seeking Sleep

So when the twins were born, they were a little small and a little early and they slept A LOT.  I was thinking this motherhood thing was pretty easy.  As they got a little bit bigger, they stayed awake a little longer and we got to play!  Such fun.  At about two and a half months of age they were sleeping eight to ten straight hours at night!  Ah, the good old days.  Now, a little over four months old, I'm lucky if I get four hours at a time.  And this time around the frequent wake up calls are hitting me harder.  Perhaps I was still on a new baby high when they were newborns, waking every three hours, but now it's kicking my ass.  It doesn't help that this past week was my first week back to work full-time.

It's odd to me how they are waking up so much now.  I imagine they could be more hungry but they don't guzzle down their formula any faster and don't take full servings each time they wake up.  We have our four month checkup next week so I hope I can get some answers and the green light to start rice cereal.  

Times like this - when I am utterly exhausted - I wonder how on earth I am doing this.  The truth is without the help of my friends and my mom, I wouldn't be.  I feel like I'm barely functioning as a mother and imagine it getting worse as they get bigger.  I'm weepy and snappish, have dark(er than usual) circles under my eyes and my hair is still falling out since their births nineteen weeks ago.  

Then Sweet Potato smiles his crooked smile at me and the Dynamo squeals with delight.   And I'm not tired anymore.  And the doubts are buried.  For awhile.

* * * * *

One year ago I found out I was officially pregnant with a beta of 422 at 14dpiui!  (You can read about it here.)

Who would have thought a year later I would have this....

Trying out the new highchairs!

"Dude, I was here first."

The Dynamo lovin' the Bumbo.

Sweet Potato asleep at the wheel.
 As exhausted as I am, I wouldn't change a thing.  :)