One of the top twin-related questions we get is whether we sleep at all. The answer is evolving: not much at first, then it changed to yes, and now it has looped back to no again… The first couple months are a blur, as any new parent would say, but once we found a couple tricks that worked for us, the babies started sleeping in longer stretches. Now they are at a transition and are not going through it quietly.
Putting our babies in a straight jacket worked really well (lots of people like to call it a “swaddle,” but tomato, tomAto, right?). It may sound like an exaggeration, but swaddling changed our lives. Pre-swaddle: extremely sleep-deprived; post-swaddle: regular sleep-deprived. I’ve only recently realized that we can’t swaddle the twins until they’re 18 years old (but think how much harder it would be for them to sneak out at night when they’re in high school!) The girls are rolling over now so allegedly we are supposed to stop swaddling. We have also started to transition them out of our room and into cribs in separate rooms. They are doing okay, but some things are just more difficult when multiplied by two. For example, plugging binkies for two babies at night can get pretty intense when they’re not right next to our bed.
When I Googled “how to stop swaddling” I found this awesome “triangle swaddle” method, which is supposed to be safer for babies who roll over. This new swaddle, plus a binkie, seems to help our twins fall asleep. For now, these tricks seem to work for our babies.
I’ve also been working hard during the day to get the twins on the same napping schedule. I noticed I spend a lot of time brainstorming ways to get them to nap at the same time and then when they do, I’m like a deer in the headlights thinking, “holy crap, what should I do?! Um, um, um, ummmmmmm, I guess I’ll watch TV?” Then when they wake up, I think of 10 other things that would have been better uses of my time besides catching up on crappy reality TV shows.
The main thing I’ve learned about helping twins learn to sleep (and, therefore, getting sleep as the parent) is that it’s a dynamic process. Something that worked last week might not work this week. We’ve learned to adapt and try different things until we find the next best thing (read: we’re flying by the seat of our pants). I have a feeling we’ll be repeating this process many times over and before we know it, we’ll be waiting up for them on the couch to make sure they’re home by their curfew.