Sunday, September 20, 2009

On twins and napping

I haven't become fully immersed in the twin blogosphere, but because our very own Erin is a contributor, I do read "How Do You Do It" from time to time. It's definitely fun to read the exploits of other twin moms--other people who fundamentally get how challenging it can be to have two kids the same age. (And why it isn't exactly the same thing even as Irish Twins.)

It's also fun to read how other moms deal with some of the challenges of raising twins. How they get out of the house. (IF! they get out of the house--I don't know about any other twin moms, but it's still a three ring circus trying to get out of this house.) How they handle napping, sleeping, potty training, and on.

Anyhow, I was reading the other day and one mom was lamenting that her twins are voluntarily deciding to sleep in separate rooms. I totally get why she's sad about it.

It's funny, from the beginning, so many people questioned our sanity over the decision to put the Stickies in the same room. Why would we jeopardize their sleep and naps like that? Wouldn't it be so much easier to have them in separate rooms?

I can't say the decision was fully rational, but I was always hell-bent on keeping them together. I just thought it was better. I like the idea of room sharing in general, and for some reason with twins it just felt wrong to split them up.

Now that they're 18 months (tomorrow!) I can honestly say we're so happy that they sleep together. And they are so happy, too. They LOVE being together at night. They have a whole nighttime routine after we put them to bed--we can hear them giggling for a few minutes over the monitor before they doze off. And when Monkey Girl wakes up in the middle of the night (which thankfully rarely happens), I know she's comforted by having Sweet Potato there. (As evidenced by the time she woke up in the middle of the night and deliberately woke him up to have company. She literally cried and poked to wake him. As soon as he woke, she laid right back down and fell fast asleep. Cute, but poor little SP. It's hard being a twin sometimes, I guess.)

Good lord, I'm rambling.

Anyhow, for naps they haven't been sleeping together for a while. SP dropped his nap at 10 months (!!!) and was down to one nap a day since then. MG was NOWHERE NEAR ready to go down to one nap a day at that point. So, they slept separately because they were on two different schedules. That was until June (at 15 months) when we decided to push MG onto the one nap a day schedule. (It was literally impossible to go anywhere when they were on separate schedules--there was a baby asleep from 9am until literally 4pm everyday. It was ridiculous.)

But, as we were transitioning her to the one nap a day schedule, we still napped them separately because during their transition, their naps started to blend. So MG napped in the nursery and SP in the pack-n-play in the guest room. And it seemed to be going pretty well--one would typically cry out for a minute mid-nap or wake up earlier--so we just kept it. Why fix what ain't broken.

Then, over the past few weeks, a few things have happened. First, they wake up within seconds of each other on most days. (It's actually incredible; it's like they have sonar. They aren't even on the same floor so couldn't possible hear each other!) Second, lately as we've been putting them down, they've basically started asking to sleep together. SP points to his crib and wants to get in. And MG points to his crib because she wants him there. (It's awfully cute, actually. I'll ask MG: "Do you want SP to sleep here today?" "Yes! Yes!" she'll say.)

So, today, we finally gave in. SP hasn't been sleeping as well in the PNP anymore, and truthfully I'm just really glad they are comforted by each other and actually want to sleep in the same room. It's very sweet.

Of course, if they start waking each other after 30 minutes, I might be singing a different tune, but for now, assuming it isn't a total disaster, it seems worth it.

Fingers crossed!


Erin said...

Dude - you are too kind to give me the mention! (I was going to type "mench" but then it just seemed assy.)

So, I'm excited to read that your formerly separate nappers are together again! My kids nap separately, too, but I hope one day they'll be together. My reasons are mostly practical, but I love the idea of them wanting to be together.

I CANNOT believe you've been dealing w/ different nap schedules all this time. You are amazing. I guess I'm just lucky it hasn't come up yet, because I really don't know how I'd handle such a situation.


Belly Laughs said...

I can relate -- the boys sleep together at night and nap during the day in three different rooms. I also find that the people who have THE MOST appreciation for triplets and the exponential extra amount of work it is to have multiple children the same age -- is parents of twins. You all "get it." So, thank you. Congrats on 18 mos. Such a FUN age!!

Sarah said...

That is so sweet!! And I know it's not the same as having twins but it's really helpful for me to hear nice sibling stories right now, so thanks!

Jennifer said...

Hello there! I just found this blog. Let me start by saying I am SO happy to hear that I'm not the only one who has a 10 month old that has dropped to one nap! Everything I've read says 10 month olds should be napping twice a day, 1-2 hours per nap. Unbelievable! We have been blessed with 10 month old twin boys who are both wonderful and challenging all at the same time! :) We've been desperately trying to get them on a napping schedule since they moved down from 3 naps to 2 (which was around 8 1/2 months). It's been crazy! Recently, my older twin, (who has always been more energetic than his brother) refuses to take more than one nap a day! Which really makes bed time hard because they were going to bed around the same time (8:30) but by then with one nap he's restless and impossible to put down. So we've had to move up his bed time which makes his waking time significantly earlier than his brother! I just bought "Happy sleep habits, happy child" hoping that it would help us with a solution for naps! But it really is impossible to "coax" two babies to sleep at once, and by the time the one is asleep, their brother has cried so much against going down that they've woken the other up. HELP! Anyone have any advice for trying to get twins on a nap schedule? Or at least, does it get easier when they get a little older? It's so hard to go anywhere or get anything done when their schedules are so off.

Thanks for listening :)