Sleep Diaries


Nighttime, for the past couple weeks, has been a bit rough. If this post is somewhat incoherent, I’m blaming it on the lack of sleep.

Last night we almost made it. We slept solidly from about 9:30, through the night with no interruptions…until 4:40 a.m. At that point, the crying in my dream became crying in reality, and D and I were awake in the bedroom in the dark. At first waking, I somehow assumed it was 6 am. My first thought was, “man, I feel tired,” and I had the sinking feeling that I would never wake up feeling rested again. Then I looked at the clock.

When we became conscious enough we could tell the crying was M. This was hopeful. M is usually not so difficult at night. A quick visit crib-side, lay her back down, a soothing tummy rub for a second or two and she’s back out, breathing deeply.

This time D went in for night duty. I heard him make his way around our bed; the babies’ doorknob clicked, then the nursery floor creaked as he crossed to the crib. For a moment there was no crying. Sweet silence. Then the floor creaked as he made his way out…”waaaah” another cry started up, E this time. D’s silhouette reappeared in the bedroom, quickly crossing to his side of the bed. “Damn! Damn! Damn!” We lay in the dark for a moment, not breathing, praying for her to fall back asleep.  The cries continued, increasing in urgency.

After that I don’t really remember (did we go back in, rock her, only to have the creaky floor wake her again as we tried to sneak out? Did they cry intermittently until 6, waking each other? Did I go in fruitlessly after 5 minutes, then 10, then 20? Eventually we brought E into our bed. Or was it M we brought?The nights blur together. In any case, there was no more sleep.)

It’s 9:20. Maybe I should go to bed.


Clapping and Sleeping


Bean is clapping. D claims that when he sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” she knew to come in with the claps at the right place. She looks so cute, concentrating on pressing her palms together. We are very proud.

And I think they’re giving kisses. At least, that’s my new interpretation of what’s happening when they lean in, mouths open, to very tenderly eat my nose.

Also, today M fell asleep in the highchair. Not just snoozing: out. She didn’t even wake up when I unbuckled her, lifted her, carried her upstairs and put her in the crib. It’s tiring all this learning. At dinner D and I were remembering our birthday parties as kids. I remembered how I always wanted a sleepover party. Now I understand why my parents weren’t too keen–what a hellish proposition! Of course these days it’s hard to imagine the appeal. Now it’s: “On my birthday I’m gonna go to bed at 7 pm!”

Speaking of which, maybe tonight will be the night that we actually manage to go to bed early.


your Sparrow

On my way back from a walk today…

…pushing the babies up Fifth Avenue, I was suddenly so tired I didn’t think I could make it home. I wanted to go to sleep right there on the street. Both babies were sleeping in the stroller. Both babies sleeping but I couldn’t nap, too.

When I started out on the walk, as I was lugging the babies in the car seats down the stairs, Ellie screamed so hard she turned a completely different color and I got worried. As soon as I picked her up, though, she stopped. Maybe she was over-tired, too, because as soon as we started moving she fell asleep. Sleep.


Not Fair

Last night we were awakened at 2 am…by a mosquito! Babies slept through the night except for some brief whimpering around 3 am. Tomorrow night it will probably be a car alarm. 


Eight thirty feels about like midnight. We’re about to start the dreamfeed. Half asleep babies. Go to sleep not knowing when we’ll wake up, what the night will be like. Hoping for the day, it will come, when we’ll wake up refreshed, in daylight, ready.

Sleep Trained What?

Did I say the babies were sleep trained? Not so much. There were a couple nights where they slept until 5:30, and a few where they slept until 4:30. Then the night before last when they woke up at 2:30 again…

We were getting up when they did to check on them, and most times ended up getting them out of bed to change them. The last few nights we also started giving them a pacifier to quiet them back to sleep.

After reading up on sleep training, I realize maybe giving them the pacifier wasn’t the best idea in terms of helping them learn to soothe themselves. So last night we tried the Cry It Out method for real. They woke at 12 and cried, fell back sleep then woke at 1:30 and cried for two hours, fell back asleep finally, then woke one final time before waking at 5:45 am.

Did I mention they are in our room? In the same crib? Did I mention we are in an apartment building? Did I mention this involved listening to my babies crying all night? Maybe deciding to do this starting Monday night wasn’t the best idea, either. A full night of real sleep, though, is becoming urgent.

Last night, after two hours of crying, I finally heard the sound of sucking as one twin, and then the other, found a hand to suck on. I was so happy for them. Congratulations Little Ones; self-comfort, first life skill.

My next mission is to figure out some good nap times. Right now they are both in their cribs drowsy, hopefully dropping off for a good nap. Sleep is complicated, it turns out, and there’s a lot we have to learn.

Sleeping (or not) with twins

So according to our pediatrician there is no reason why these babies can’t be sleeping through the night now. They’re big enough, they’re strong enough, but gosh darn it they are not sleeping through the night. Sometimes they sleep for seven hours straight…and sometimes only four.

It seems the way to fix this is by sleep training.  Up until now, when one of them would cry at night, we’d wake the other, too, and feed and change them both. When we asked the pediatrician how to sleep train his helpful suggestion was to “try not to pick them up.,” though he did smile a bit apologetically when he said it.

So last night they cried tag team style. Starting at 4:30 a.m. Bean cried for an hour, and then when she fell back asleep, space monkey #2 picked up the slack. At 6 a.m., M was crying and Bean was fast asleep, so we ended up having to wake Bean so we could feed both at the same time. Is this confusing to them? It’s confusing to me. Is it nap time yet?