Sleep Training 101

Here is a big Mom-Confession – Mustafa and I co-slept with the twins from the age of 2 weeks till they were 14 to 15 months old. Initially before the twins arrived, we had every intention that the twins will never sleep in our bed. With the twins we learned that newborns do not sleep much! When twins came home it was a constant cycle of sleep, feed, diaper change and repeat. At night both Mustafa and I were exhausted due to lack of sleep. That is when survival instincts kicked in and we started co sleeping. With co sleeping we saw twins would sleep just a little bit longer and we were able to get some sleep in. After the first week of co-sleeping we realized that we loved it! Co-sleeping meant more cuddles and laughter with the twins. It also meant getting kicks in the face and absolutely no space in bed for us as these babies thought the bed totally belonged to them. Fast forward labor day weekend 2019 I found out I was pregnant again. A week or two after I realized that yes, I am indeed pregnant a thought came to my mind. That thought was that no way will Mustafa the three kids and I fit in the same queen size bed. Someone must leave! At that point we decided twins had to be sleep trained before this baby came.

We kept delaying sleep training the twins once we decided it was time for them to leave our room and bed. First it was their birthday. After their birthday we had multiple trips planned out. I also started researching how to sleep train babies. I did not think we would be able to do the cry it out method. I was looking for ways to sleep train quickly and painlessly for everyone involved.

We started with the fade away or the chair method. In this method you go through the whole bedtime routine and put the kids to crib. Once they are in the crib you either sit in a chair next to the crib or lie down next to the crib. This way they know you are there with them. Then you let them basically cry it out till they sleep. Every few minutes give them words of comfort that you are there. The first night it took the twins almost an hour of crying before they slept. The second night it took 20 minutes. Eventually by the fifth night it took 5 minutes. As soon as the twins slept, I would creep out and they slept the entire the night.

The fade away or chair method worked great for us for a few weeks. A few weeks into sleep training; the twins got a stomach bug and were extremely unwell. Mustafa and I felt bad and brought them back to bed to comfort them. This was needed however it totally untrained them as well with sleep training. Two weeks later I was ready for the twins to go back into their crib and room.

We went back to the fade away or the chair method once the twins were recovered. The twins I think realized what mama was doing. As every time I would try to leave the room both would wake up and start crying. It was extremely heart breaking to see and hear them cry and at the same time extremely frustrating. That is when on the spot I decided to do the cry it out method. I picked them both up did a quick cuddle. I gave the twins a pep talk saying I love them and that they are big boys who need to sleep in their own rooms in their own cribs. After that I left the room. Musa cried for 20 to 30 minutes as he had a pacifier and slept. Mikaal cried for almost an hour before sleeping. Each night we did this the time of crying went down by half. By the end of the week both twins were putting them selves to sleep and sleeping through the night for 10 to 12 hours.

It is heartbreaking hearing your child cry. It also gives you a headache when you have two babies crying at full volume at the same time. Sometimes tough decisions need to be made. Twins needed to be sleep trained before their baby brother arrived.  It took a month to sleep train them with the stomach bug in between and them coming back to my bed. The first few nights were extremely tough. I am glad we did this. I feel like both the twins have become more independent and confident since their sleep training. I am hoping I can sleep train Mir before he turns one and hopefully with a little less crying.

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