"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven

~♥~

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stress, Sleeplessness and....Is There An 'And'?

I think I have officially reached my breaking point. I haven't cracked yet, but I'm pretty sure it's not too far off.

Having to nurse all 3 babies down for every nap and bedtime is getting to be a 5-7 hour daily battle. 5-7 hours I spend sitting in the family room or upstairs trying to get them to sleep. 5-7 hours that my toddlers are not getting any mommy time. I thank Gods that they are such good little girls. I don't know many toddlers that would do that without getting into trouble.

Having babies, 3 of them, that do not sleep is causing alot of stress on me and the entire family. Not to mention it makes for some VERY unhappy babies.

I need suggestions. We have 3 portacribs in our room now to help with this. I need everyones best NON-CIO options that are do-able. Realistic for multiples.

We are going to try to just lay them down sleepy and hope that they 'Baby-Bitch' themselves to sleep, but I'm not holding my breath.

HELP?

11 comments:

  1. Swings. My youngest napped in a swing until she was about one. The poor swing could barely move under her weight at the end but she loved the motion. What about a vibrating bouncy chair? Will they sleep in any motorized swing or seat? I can not imagine what you are going through.

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  2. Hi Nicole,
    My triplets are 6 weeks, and 2 of them nurse (the other never got the hang of it, after being gavaged in the NICU... anyways). I was running into the same situation, and wasn't suprised, because that was how my now almost 2 year old was.

    What I have found that works for us is around 7 or 8, before they go down "for the night" (besides waking every 3-4 hours to nurse), is we/I keep them "hungry", or at bay, until they are REALLY hungry/ravenous. We hold them, distract them, etc., but do NOT let them nurse until they are CRYING for it. Not to be confused with CIO. If they are lazily wanting to nurse, or just lay near my boob, I don't let them, because then like you, I know it is going to be a 3 hour ordeal. So this is what we've been doing now for a week or so. And so far it is working great. By the time they do nurse, they are very hungry, and just want to eat, and they eat quickly, and a lot, and are tired from eating, and go right to bed. Hope this helps! :( I'm so sorry for you and your exhaustion!

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  3. How long are you keeping them up between naps (or attempted naps)?

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  4. What about a bath at bedtime with some lavender to help them relax?

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  5. With my babies, and I never had multiples, but did run a daycare for several years, I always used the Amish schedule, and after 4 months, none of them woke more than once a night. (My first slept 12 hours/night by 4 months. NO CIO!)

    The Amish schedule is to change and feed them when they wake up, play with them/let them be awake for about 1 1/2-2 hours, then when they are tired, change them and put them down for a nap. With newborns, this is about a 3 hour schedule, slowly becoming a 4 hour schedule, on baby's terms.

    The only draw back I found to this was at about 6-8 months, some of my kiddos liked to play for 1/2 hour or so, in the middle of the night. It was hard on daddy's sleep when they were in our room.

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  6. I have found with my twins that during the day I use the swing. It is a cradle swing. Otherwise they never really fall into a deep sleep. Cat naps are a nightmare for us all.

    At night I have really gotten them on a schedule. I never thought I would be a schedule type of person but it has been a godsend. We start with a bath, massage, pj's, BF, swing. I do tend to put them in the swing to get them really asleep then I move them to the bassinet. They are 11wks now and are sleeping from about 9:30p to about 5a which is awesome for me. Then I BF again and they are back down until about 9a.

    Hope you find something that helps you! Hang in there. You are doing great!

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  8. You inspire me as a Mommy.
    A little more then a year ago a man broke into my house and raped me, nine months later I gave birth to FOUR of the most beautiful identical girls in MY WORLD. Elizabeth, Angelina, Mina, and Lillian. They are 18 weeks old now and I am trying with everything I am to BF them and give them all the attention they disserve, I can’t explain how devastatingly hard it is to get them fed every night, put them down, and then get up again when they are hungry.
    At about 4:20 in the morning is when I get ME time, that’s about right this moment in fact. I am tired, but I can’t sleep. I’m sitting in their room as I type, watching them intently.
    I am 23 years old, I don’t have a boyfriend and am adopted so that family dropped me the moment I needed college money. Its just me and my babies now.
    My life is on hold and I am stuck. I read your blogs and they comfort me a lot, I’ve never commented before because I never knew what to say, well here it is.
    I have never used CIO in all these weeks and I’ve never fed my babies formula, I barely have time to use the bathroom. I’ve had to start working from home on the internet and I only get about four of five hours of sleep a night because I’m always working because I have to feed myself in order to make milk for my babies!
    They sleep well and go down relatively easy (though by no means does it ever take less then 5, or if I'm lucky 4 hours) plus I’ve got double feeding down to a science, but it is exhausting and I just need… relief. In fact I am just plain overloaded and stressed to a point I've never experienced before, it is not something I can quite understand yet, but I'm getting there.
    I HAVE FOUND THAT SINGING TO MY BABIES PUTS THEM TO SLEEP. I SANG TO THEM FOR 9 MONTHS EVERY SINGLE NIGHT AND DURING MY LONG SAYS ALL THE TIME, IN MY EXPERIENCE AFTER FEEDING THEM AND PUTTING THEM IN THEIR CRIB THAT THEY STAY PRETTY QUIET AND GET SLEEPY QUICKLY. (as quick as "quick" can be of course) ALONG WITH THEM TAKING NAPS IN THE DAY IN ONE OF MY FOUR SWINGS I OFTEN LOAD THEM INTO THE CAR AND TAKE THEM FOR A DRIVE. MY DAUGHTER ELIZEBETH IS PLEGUED WITH EAR INFECTING AS I WAS WHEN I WAS LITTLE, MY GUARDIAN USED TO TAKE ME FOR CAR RIDES AND I WOULD GO TO SLEEP. DRIVING COMFORTS BOTH ME AND MY BABIES NOW AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT. (even though gas is expensive a sleeping baby is worth it right?) THOUGH THE SWING HAS BEEN HIGHLY EFFECTIVE. THAT AND… THOUGH THIS SOUNDS UNORTHODOX, IT WORKS. THERE IS A CEILING FAN IN MY BABIES ROOM, FOR NAP TIME, I CAN OFTEN LAY THEM ON THEIR BACKS ON A LITTLE [MATRESS PAD SQUISHY/SOFT MAT] UNDER THE FAN AND ALL FOUR OF THEM WILL JUST STARE AND WATCH THE FAN, THEN THEY FALL ASLEEP. (I feed on demand which means for naps I don’t feed right before unless the want it)
    I refuse to use formula until the day I run dry and I will never LET my babies cry themselves to sleep, your last couple blogs (especially this month) really touched me. Thanks, Good Luck, and Many Hugs of Support.
    [p.s. this is my second time posting cause I keep finding typos. sorry :)]

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  9. A lot of the multiple moms I know swear by the EASY method--Eat, Activity, Sleep, You. Sometimes babies learn to fall asleep easier if they're not dependent on nursing to fall asleep. You follow their drowsy cues and put them down when they're drowsy but awake, making sure not to let them get overtired. I know some of your friends freaked out a little when I mentioned this book before, but Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child has a lot of great, solid, research-based advice on sleep and tons of trouble-shooting. Very helpful. When I started following his tips for my twins at just 7 weeks, they instantly started taking much better, more consistent naps--with zero crying involved. Although he does present CIO as one option, he has lots of great advice in there that a totally anti-CIO parent could benefit from. Good luck! You've been doing an amazing job. Hope your girls start sleeping better for your soon!

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  10. There is a book called the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I'm not sure how it would work for multiples, but it's worth a shot! Do the babies take pacifiers? My little one will only fall asleep with a paci in his mouth.

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  11. No answers here, just sympathy. I have a 2.5 year old that has fought sleep since he was born, and I really feel for you. And Anna!

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