Sudden Sleep Issues & Middle of the Night Munchies
By Cheryl Lage
Here's our situation: Girls sick, then us sick, then girls sick then us sick. Finally we are all healthy again. I have a question; so far all my research is coming up very vague nothing straightforward. So I am coming to you.
After having "slept-through" for months preceding their recent bouts with sickness, now my girls get up 2x a night, and suck down 4-8 oz each time. So I figured they are going through a growth spurt. Now my hubby and I are the runts of the family at 6'1 and 5'9, so we know the girls are going to be tall. But when will it end? My doc is also vague, they slept so well for 3 months 100% through the night now I dream of those days.
We have tried everything, dinner then bath then bed, cereal in the
formula, and nothing. Is there something we havenít tried? I did let
them try and cry it out but since they suck down so much formula I know
they are hungry and they do go right back to sleep. I can sometimes just
give them a bottle and they are fine. But for how long should this go
on?? We are stumped. Any ideas?
-Twin Mom J
Sounds like your family has been through the wringer, J! Glad to hear at least illness has vacated the premises! That said, if your pediatrician is unconcerned with weight loss following their illness, and remembering that growth spurts truly are of limited length...here's my thinking....
It sounds somewhat tough to enact, but in your shoes I'd pick a date to start, remind the girlies that day time is the time for meals, nighttime is the time for sleep (tell them you need yours too, in order to care for them and have fun during the day) and that you know they are "big girls" and can sleep through the night without bottles. (Yes, I realize they may only understand limited portions of that diatribe, which should be repeated for their but mostly YOUR benefit!)
Yes they may eat a lot at night. I would too if allowed! They will continue to as long as it is offered. You mentioned you "tried the crying it out"...did you eventually give them the bottle? (and God knows, I'd have likely done it too, middle of the night wake-ups are GRUELING once we've gotten used to the sleep-through!) Even if you didn't, doctors claim it takes 3-5 days/nights of consistent cause=effect for new behaviors/learning to "sink in". There will be a few (maybe more, I'd guess a max of 4 if you stay consistent) nights of "relearning" that crying doesn't = feeding anymore. If the crying has "worked", they'll think if they do it long enough, hard enough, repeatedly enough, it'll eventually work. The first night or two of no bottles WILL BE RUGGED. (We had a night pacifier weaning that was SOOO hard on us. As my husband always says with great wisdom, "They'll never remember; we'll never forget.") By all means, whenever you decide to halt the night bottles (that is if you do decide to...they may eventually tire of wanting them...but I wouldn't count on it), always go in with the consolation, chest rub, and verbal reminder that it is time to sleep, not eat. They'll eat in the morning and you love them. We actually almost had mental scripts we'd recite when we've had those sleep challenges that have occured. (And word of warning: they DO occur periodically for various reasons.)
It does seem particularly cruel that once we finally get the full-nights of sleep we're reminded of those early sleep-deprived days! Quite a reminder, and opportunity to appreciate how far you've come!
Hang in there....you can take that with a grain of salt, and I'd not hesitate to ask your doc to be "less vague", and give some recommendations. They tend to tread lightly as to not offer unasked for advice...which can alienate some parents.
Hang in there, Sweetie...hoping you (and the growing girls) get sleep
soon, if you aren't already!
Feel free to contact me with your experiences in twin potty-training, or with any twin parenting dilemnas you may have at http://www.twinsights.com. I hope to hear from you!