How do you handle one twin who sleeps well and one who sleeps poorly?


Do you have any advice for people who have one twin who sleeps all night and another that wakes every hour and a half to two hours screaming and not opening her eyes? They are 6 months old.

It will take a little more information to give you helpful advice, but my guess is that your twins are fraternal, because identical twins typically have pretty similar sleep patterns. If this is the case, then it sounds like you have a naturally good sleeper and a normal sleeper. It sounds like the twin who wakes every 60-90 minutes has a sleep association with something. Do you respond in anyway when she wakes up? If so, then there may be elements of your response that she requires to get back to sleep. If you don’t respond, but she just cries a bit and goes back to sleep, then the issue may be that she needs more sleep than her sister. Frequent sleep cries are often associated with carrying sleep debt. If you think this is the issue, then try putting her down ~30 minutes earlier than her sister and see if that helps. If you want to give us more detail, then we can give you better suggestions. Good luck!

They are fraternal twins. When she wakes up I run in the room because I don’t want her waking the other. She has reflux but we seem to have that under control. She is extremely nosey and wants to see everything that is going on. She also wakes at theslightest noise. My husband and I are absolutely exhausted. She is absolutely exhausted. She fights sleeping so badly. Help!!!! (and let me know if you need anymore info!)

OK, this definitely sounds like a sleep association issue given the timing and the fact that you are responding in a specific way. I suggest that you pick your favorite sleep intervention and use it to teach her to fall asleep and to connect sleep cycles without your help. This could be a structured intervention where you put her down awake and sit nearby or check in on her without taking her out of the crib or it could be a more gradual approach where you phase away from what you are doing now. For example, if you have to pick her up and rock her to sleep, then you might start the process by soothing her in the crib, picking her up briefly, and putting her back in the crib awake and repeating the process until she’s asleep. Her sister can probably stay in the room with her, but if you are worried that she’ll wake her, then you could just temporarily split them up during the learning phase 3-4 nights and then bring them back together. There are an infinite number of ways to do this and deciding how to approach your intervention really depends on your parenting style and what feels right to you. If your head is spinning and you aren’t sure what type of intervention to do, then you can always book a consultation and we can help put together something defined. Take care.

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