Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Twinspiration Tuesday: 12 Hours in 12 Weeks

It’s no secret that Graham’s always been a great sleeper. It was around 4 weeks when he conquered his first 6 hour stretch and it wasn’t long after that he was consecutively sleeping through the night for close to 12 hours. Of course we had our hiccups throughout the first year, but overall, I was pretty rested and getting a good nights sleep a majority of the time. 

Fast forward two years, and I’m singing a completely different tune with these two. Well, that’s not completely true. Wynn shows a lot of similarities to Graham in the sleep department, Harris, not so much. 

Graham’s great sleep just kind of happened and I was hoping it would work out about the same this time, but life is so different with three that it’s hard to recreate the daily routines I had with Graham during his early months.  

A friend down the street had a baby just days after I had the twins, and around a month and a half she mentioned how she follows the book 12 Hours in 12 Weeks

After Graham’s perfect sleep record, I have been too stubborn to read anything, but hearing her talk about this book's strategy behind getting a full nights sleep, it sounded exactly like what I did with Graham, only it all happened by accident. 

When it was just me and Graham, we used to get out of the house all the time. We would go for a walk everyday and I spent a lot of time browsing the shops at Highland Village. There were numerous times I remember looking at my watch thinking, it’s been 3 hours, I’ve got to get home and feed him. That same thought would cross my mind a half hour later, and then before too long, 4 hours had gone by. The continuous movement of the stroller and a ride in the car kept him soothed and/or asleep and I fully took advantage of this. 

It ends up, the first goal of 12 Hours in 12 Weeks is to increase the babies’ feeding times to 4 hour stretches and only feeding a total of 4 times a day. When I heard this, my stubbornness was slowly fading away and it sounded like I found a book that fit my mantra. 

I spent the next month and a half thinking about the book but not following through. It wasn’t until the babies turned 12 weeks. There hadn’t been a single night of solid sleep, and that was the day I threw in the towel. I dropped Graham off at school and headed straight for Barnes and Noble. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading part one and wasted no time putting their sleep training plan into action. 

Fast forward a month and Wynn is sleeping through the night. Harris is getting very close and if I followed this book to a T I know he would be, but I’m giving him a little extra time. (The book  suggests pumping and using bottles to feed the babies during the night so you know how much you give them each night, but I've continued nursing because I hate the thought of getting a bottle ready and cleaning it afterwards. He's only waking up once so it doesn't bother me too much. When it does, I know there's a solution (to follow the book exactly). 

I’m truly thankful for this book and here’s just a couple reasons why...

1. It’s geared toward multiples. The author has extensive experience with twins (including her own) which makes it much easier to "buy into" this routine.  So many books have great advice but they leave out information about how it effects life with two.

2.  I was always feeding the babies at the same time during the night. That’s what made the most sense to me to keep them on the same schedule. Little Wynn would be sound asleep, but since her brother woke up, I fed them both. This book explains the importance of letting the two little beings remain individuals and set their own sleep patterns. 

What a relief! It’s so much easier dealing with one, and it ended up Wynn was pretty close to sleeping through the night!

3.  The book doesn’t guarantee 12 full hours of sleep, but it does say that the baby will remain 12 hours in their bed content and happy. This sums up Graham perfectly. He might not be asleep all morning long, but he is quiet in his room until we go in there and get him. If he does scream, we know there’s something wrong. (Which does happen, but it's usually that his foot is caught in the bed rails or he's thrown his puppy dog across the room- he likes to play a little too much).

It also says this method strengthens independent play, and Graham can definitely play by himself with his trains and trucks for hours. A skill that came in handy while I rested on the couch during the endless weeks of morning sickness. 

4.  This book supports the idea that the baby needs to adapt to your family lifestyle, you don’t need to adapt to the baby. The baby needs to learn to nap during every day noises, dogs barking, doorbells ringing, toddlers playing, etc. All of which are pretty standard around our house. 

5. I was in awe of how much my philosophy of raising babies was reflected in this book. It's comforting when you can find a method that agrees with your own way of thinking and works too! I'm not completely against crying it out, but no one wants to listen to their little one scream all night. This book helps with baby steps to crying it out and learning to sooth themselves to sleep. 

6. I love that the babies eat at the same time every day. It helps me ahead of time to plan Graham's day and know what times I need to devote myself solely to the twins. While they're feeding schedule is pretty rigid, it allows for some flexibility during the other times in the day. 

I can’t sing enough praises about this book. I’m thankful for Graham’s great sleep habits and prayed we would be able to create similar scenarios with the twins, but I’m not sure it would have worked without reading this book. We were really just living in the moment with Graham. I never wrote down anything we did as far as sleep training so it’s nice to find a quick refresher course in this book. 

1 comment:

  1. Yay!!!! So glad it had helped! Love that book! -Bailey