Swaddle Victory

9 Feb
Oh Blogville, Oh how I’ve missed thee! I’ve been distant and I’m sorry. I think about you all the time but there’s just ‘something’ (ie everything) about having 6.5 month old twins that keeps me busy Busy BUSY!
But… I’ve got a tale for you. Well, actually it’s just a Mom story but… that is the whole point of this blog right? Anyways, here’s the deal- we fought the swaddle monster that was living in our house & successfully conquered it. I AM VICTORIOUS.
If you’ve been following regularly you’ll remember that my girls were A.D.D.I.C.T.E.D to swaddling. I tried twice when they were younger to teach them to sleep unswaddled with no success but this time we put our foot down. I drew up a game plan and everything.
Swaddle Free Game Plan
1)   Put the girls in separate cots.
    They’d been sleeping in the same cot since birth but they both moan a lot when they’re nodding off and their arms and legs go all over the place, so it was just time.
2)   Lots of dummies in each cot.
    We put 3 dummies in each cot so neither the girls or us were searching for a needle in a hay stack when it was time for a dummy.
3)   Motivational signs.

    I’m such a dork but I had to do this for myself. I totally put motivational signs all over their cots to remind myself, when they were crying their hearts out because of the change, why I should stay the course and not give in.
4)   Dookies.
    These are just a soothing object for them to hold. These are the specific ones I bought: www.doodoo.co.za
5)   Ear plugs.
    When my girls wind up, they can wail! And my girls aren’t big criers… in fact they hardly ever properly cry, but when they do it counts. And I anticipated lots of tears out of frustration since we were changing a major habit. So we came equipped with ear plugs.
6)   Notebooks.
    For me, it was super important to record each sleep session so I could see the progress we were making. It encouraged me to keep going.
7)   Pick Up/Put Down.
    This is a Baby Whisperer method that was the crux of this whole game plan. PU/PD is like a middle of the road option in terms of sleep training. You don’t leave them alone to cry it out but you don’t give them a prop either. Here’s a link: http://www.babywhispererforums.com/index.php?board=31.0
     It worked well for us though.
K. So that was our game plan and all in all it worked pretty well. We started on a Friday night, Husband took one baby and I the other. They both cried full throttle for 50 minutes! It was not pretty. (Part of our decision was to not shush or shelter them from each others noise since they’ll be in the same room together for years to come. They have to learn to shut out each other and other loud household noises out when it comes to sleep.) So, they cried and cried and cried and we’re reassuring them and reassuring them and… right as one was losing steam and nodding off, the other would let loose and the almost asleep one would start again… and we just had to deal with it. I reckon it’s just part of the package with multiples. Eventually they both lost steam and fall asleep, after nearly an hour, and were down for the night. Tough but successful.

(Exhausted after sleep training. and yes, they put that stuff over their faces themselves. They still do that!)
Not gonna lie, that whole weekend, those first 2.5 days, were rough but each day, each nap or night after that first night DID get easier. Now, two and a half weeks down the line, all I have to do is lay them down in their cot with a Dookie in hand and a dummy in mouth and they soothe themselves to sleep. If necessary, I do go in a put their dummy in but we try to do that only if REALLY necessary.
It was a lot of change at once- going unswaddled, learning what to do with your arms and legs and being alone in their own cot. But they’ve adjusted well and I’m suuuuuper proud of them.
Oh, and I wanted to mention, when I was formulating my game plan I searched high and low for A) another story of a baby as addicted to swaddling as mine and B) a twin mom who faced this. Eventually I found, Kristi from Interrupted Wanderlust (http://interruptedwanderlust.blogspot.com/), who went through something similar with her twins a few years ago and I read a few of her blogs about the ordeal. But this is my documentation of our happenings. So if you’re a mother of multiples and you’re facing a big change in sleep habits, know that it CAN BE DONE, and this is…

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4 Responses to “Swaddle Victory”

  1. waitingforluca February 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Good job!!! x

  2. Mommafo February 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Those notes are awesome. 🙂 It's so funny how you've got so many terms for things that I've never even heard! Dummies are pacifiers, right? (I guess I say passies, or some people say binkies, but my kids never were real huge on them.) And Dookies? How cute! I'm assuming those are just little blankets? Ben and Josie both have little silk blankies, Ben says "gee-gee" and Josie calls hers blankies. 🙂 Your girls have grown up so much since I last saw pictures. You're both doing a great job. 🙂

  3. Amy February 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Our doctor suggested a similar strategy when we were trying to get Jesse to sleep through the night. He lovingly called it "The Three Nights of Hell." He was right…but after that we were done. Congrats, must feel great!

  4. Ruth February 10, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    Crystal, I'm planning on writing a blog soon about how different "american english" is from "south african english". Sometimes I feel like I might as well be speaking Chinese! haha… stay tuned.

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