>I felt like my last update post had a really negative feeling to it, most likely because when I wrote it I was desperately missing sleep and struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In just a couple of weeks things have completely changed for the better and I’m no longer sitting in the middle of the night praying for the girls to sleep. I don’t want to jinx anything but they seem to have gone back to good sleeping…
As I explained in my last post, the girls had dropped down to one feed a night and then out of the blue they suddenly started waking lots. Edie got over it a bit quicker than poor Mabel and was only waking up a few times anyway. Then out of the blue, she started sleeping through and when I say sleeping through I mean from 7pm – 7am.
She seemed to deal with things naturally whereas Mabel seemed to be waking from habit EVERY 40 MINUTES!
So as I mentioned in my previous post we began trying lots of different things to try and help both girls but mainly Mabel, stay asleep for longer than 40 minutes at a time. Funnily enough 40 minutes is the length of a baby sleep cycle so all signs did point to the fact it was the four month sleep regression.
I felt it was really important to write this update post sooner rather than later because I want other mum’s who might be reading to know – it is temporary and you will sleep again.
A few people scared me by saying the effects of the four-month sleep regression are permanent. I was horrified thinking for the next few years, I’d never get another solid four hours let alone eight!
However I’d like to make it clear that this isn’t exactly true. After a lot of researching online during those lonely hours, it seems the changes to a babies brain that take place during the four month sleep regression are permanent but the changes to their sleep aren’t.
I should point out that my girls were in a really good routine and had no problems at all going to sleep on a night… our issue was keeping them asleep. I spent hours during the night trying to get one of them back to sleep while Googling in the other hand what on earth I was doing wrong. As soon as one would drop off, the other would wake up. There was a stack of information about what to do if your baby wouldn’t go to sleep but that wasn’t my problem… my issue was I couldn’t keep them asleep or get them back down without a fight.
I’m obviously no expert at all when it comes to babies. I wing it on a daily basis and just do what I think is best for them and I try not to beat myself up about it. I rely on my sisters in law who both have been there done that and mine and Jay’s Mum’s for advice. And I’m not going to lie after a month of trying various things and nothing seeming to work – I was at the end of my tether. I felt like I’d gone from really enjoying being a Mum to desperately wanting to go back to work.
I’m a little bit scared to write this down just in case I jinx things but the good news is both our twins are sleeping through. Mabel sleeps 7pm – 6.30am most days now and Edie 7pm – whenever I wake her up (she clearly takes after her Dad!).
I’ve had quite a few questions about the girls sleep and I’ve seen a few Mum’s on Instagram and other blogs comparing and I think it’s really important to remember that no baby is ever the same. As much as we all want one… there is no magic cure. Some babies wake once, twice, three times and others not at all. Despite being identical, Edie and Mabel are prime examples of this.
So how did we overcome the regression: Quite honestly, I’m not sure which bit that I did was the thing, which stopped Mabel waking up so much. So what I plan to write about is the things, which I did and the routine, which we have and perhaps they might give you some ideas to try what might work for you.
I was always taught consistency is key and from about 3 weeks old, we’ve followed the same routine. Though I have done this on my own a few times, I generally rope in an extra pair of hands.
Around about 5.45pm, I lay the girls on a towel and whip their nappies off so they can have some time to kick and roll about while I go run the bath and pop their vests and pyjamas on the radiator.
A great tip I picked up from a fellow twin mum, Louise was to always use the same bath products, as the smell will give them a sign that it’s bedtime. We use Johnsons Lavender bubble bath, talc and moisturiser. I tried a few at the beginning and this was what worked for the girls and didn’t dry them out.
Both girls have a little massage with the Johnson’s moisturiser after their bath, new nappies and then their vests and pyjamas put on. Then they have their last bottle of the day. I currently use a slower teat for their last bottle and then they go to bed in their sleeping bags, usually awake but on the odd day they have fallen asleep beforehand. We turn Whisbear
on and I don’t know why but I always tell them, even if they’re already asleep, ‘it’s bedtime, sweet dreams.’
They’re normally in bed for just before 6.50pm and asleep by 7pm. I’ve *touch wood* and thankfully never had too much of a problem, putting them down to sleep and I think it’s because both me and Jay have always stuck to our routine. It’s quite funny because on the odd occasion we’ve been late for one reason or another, Edie and Mabel certainly let you know about it.
We tried dream feeding them but this never seemed to work for us, so we stopped doing it. During the early days and even now still I feed on demand if they wake up and they want milk then I’ll give it to them but what we noticed was that Mabel didn’t want feeding – she just wanted to go back to sleep and didn’t know how.
So we kept doing our routine throughout the regression and we also tried lots of other things, which I plan on covering in a second separate post. But if you’re struggling with sleep with either one baby, two or three… please don’t think it’s forever because it’s really not. Stay strong and remember to talk. If anyone tells you to nap when they do, try your very best not to punch them and instead ask your mum or someone you trust to take them for a couple of hours while you get some much needed rest. You can do this Mama’s!