Posts Tagged ‘sleeping’

A tale of two sleepers.

December 6, 2010

When the babies were very little, they often napped in their pushchair in the lounge – as MIL wouldn’t let me hold them. I know how crazy that sounds now. Since that point in time, they’ve gone through a variety of napping incarnations. Looking back, the one that now seems significant was the bouncy chair phase.

I don’t know if bouncy chairs are as important to those who have one baby at a time, but to us (and other twin peeps I know) they were invaluable. Next to ‘inventing’ tandem babywearing – and then discovering it already existed – those bouncy chairs were one of the best things ever.

We’d ‘nap’ by one baby being in a chair and being bounced and sung to, while I cuddled the other. I rotated every nap. So one nap in arms, the next nap in the chair.

Somehow this eventually morphed into Coconut being the in arms sleeper for every nap. I think it was because she just wouldn’t settle away from me, while Snort was a pro.

Months down the line, I am wondering about the impact this may have had on their sleep. Not to mention feeling a teensy bit guilty about all the extra cuddles Coconut got.

It’s very interesting, my friends. The ‘spoiled’ baby, the one who was held for every sleep? She sleeps through the night no freaking problem.

The one who ‘got himself to sleep’? He has been waking up. EVERY TWO HOURS.

Now, this is not the norm. Obviously something is going on. He sucks down milk like there’s no tomorrow when he wakes and then goes right back to sleep. We think he’s genuinely hungry, because neither baby will have more milk or solids than they want, if you get what I mean.

Still. I can’t help but wonder: is the baby who was more physically attached able to sleep through the night confidently for a reason? And was the one who was not cuddled as much needing more reassurance?

I don’t know. But it may bear thinking about.

Snort still gets himself to sleep better than Coconut. At naps – and bed – you put them both down and they’ll pass out within minutes, or even seconds. (Thank you, universe. It took a long time for us to get to this point – WITH NO CRYING – and if anyone wants us to elaborate on our ‘methods’ (ha!) leave a comment. I am happy to do so. – but we are here.)

Two kids who will happily go to sleep by themselves. It’s taken a good long while to get Coco to this point, and even now she might need a ten second hug (!) before popping off.

But lately? Snort isn’t settling very well. This last nap (they are sleeping, which is now the only time I can really get online. I found twin babies MUCH easier than toddlers!), he was all crazy and trying to eat baubles, so I pulled him onto my lap.

For the first time in what feels like years, I pulled him into a snuggly cradle hold on my lap/in my arms. He settled right in with his blankie.

Now, one of the ‘things’ we have as a sleep cue is a certain song I sing. When they hear it, they know it’s time to sleep. That is the last remaining ‘hold out’ for sleep cues, and I’m in no rush to stop singing my babies to sleep.

So I held him like I did when he was a baby, I rocked him, I sang to him. I watched his droopy eyes, I smiled internally at his Very Unfortunate Haircut #2, I remembered how I felt when the technician told us he was a boy.

(I’ve been overcome by these miracle moments lately, but again, probably best suited to another post.)

Then I popped him down, and now I have two napping kids.

But this nighttime waking….

There is truth that he is very tall, and very skinny. That he dropped down to about the 25% in weight and hasn’t come back up, so perhaps he needs the extra calories. That he has bizarre allergies and they could be contributing.

But all the guesswork in the world, and I have no answers. Both babies have been raised the same, are offered the same food, etc. The only difference is his significant allergies, and his lack of in arms sleeping for a couple of months. And, you know, that they are two different people. 😉

One twin sleeping solidly through the night, even through most of her brother’s screams. One twin waking and drinking enough milk to sustain an army.