Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Sleep is like the unicorn - it is rumored to exist, but I doubt I will see any. 
People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.
He who sleeps half a day has won half a life.

According to these quotes I am like a unicorn hunter with a baby who has a very fulfilling life.

We are quickly approaching three months with the twins and sleep is still a difficult thing to have in our house.  The first few weeks of fatherhood were tough because we had no idea what we were doing and how to make sense of what had rocked our world.  After a month or so life got into a little more of a routine.  Well, "routine" meaning we at least had a plan to deal with work and sleep schedules.  By now, after 12 weeks of sleeping 4 hours a night and heading back to my full work schedule a few weeks ago, I am exhausted. 

I've learned that during the twins' last feeding before bed - which usually happens at some point between 7:00 and 10:00 pm - it helps to turn out most of the lights, put on some spa or lullaby music (thank you Pandora) and enjoy watching their eyes get heavy as they enter their milk coma.

I've also learned that some things are hard-wired into our human brains and never change.  This nighttime ritual works on the kids as well as me.  The soft music and mood lighting puts me to sleep too and by 11:00pm I'm usually out cold.  When I wake up a few hours later to screaming babies I have no idea where I am or what is going on.

Let's take a little look at my sleep history.

  • My parents said I was a good sleeper.  I usually liked to go to sleep.  When I was a few years old I tried to put myself to bed by crawling up the stairs.  I fell asleep on a stair before I made it to the top.
  • I can go for weeks surviving on chocolate, string cheese and veggie hot dogs and stay healthy but as soon as I have a few days without much sleep I get sick.  (I have no idea how I haven't been sick since the babies have come.)
  • I was on the top bunk of a bunk bed my freshman year of college.  I put my alarm on the other side of the room.  I had a talent for crawling out of bed, turning off the alarm, getting back into bed and having no memory of doing that a few hours later when I woke up.
  • I slept through a fire alarm.
  • During the first month when the twins were in our room Derek said a cry would make me sit straight up and then freeze.  I was up...but not awake.  Derek often would get up to get the baby before me because my mind knew I was supposed to get up by my body wouldn't cooperate.  I have no recollection of this.

Don't get me wrong, things are getting better.  The boys are more engaging during the day and often go back to sleep pretty easily after a feeding.  One of them will sometimes go longer than 3 hours between feedings, but the other apparently liked his skinny newborn body and is concerned that his chubby 12 week body needs to lose some weight.  He thinks that Weight Watchers' point system and South Beach's low carb craze are silly and only wants to follow Jorge Cruise's Three Hour Diet.  Actually, he bends the rules a little and thinks that if every three hours is good every two and a half hours will be even better!

So the last few days I have passed out on the couch at night and then slept past my alarm in the morning.  How long until the feedings really decrease?  I hope it's soon.  For now, I'll have to find ways to force myself to stay awake.  Some options are...




  1. Oh dear, sleep. At 3 months you are probably getting close to things getting better! Granted Jude is still getting up 1-2 times a night and is pretty much addicted to his swing, things really started to get better for us between 3-4 months. The thing that really helped the most was getting him to eat more durning the day then he was at night. During the day we would push his feedings to every 3 hours and then after a few days every 3 1/2 hours and then by the end of the week every 4 hours. And so as a result he was really hungry when it was time to eat so he’d actually eat a big bottle instead of snacking all day. Then at night we stopped feeding him everytime he woke up and instead tryed to comfort him back to sleep, only feeding him 2 times at night (and never closer together than 4 hours) and then weaning down to 1 time. Hope this helps and good luck!

  2. oh do i know how you feel ... though our boys are only a month old. i'm hoping by three months it gets better, otherwise you'll be seeing a post just like this on my blog! lol ... i'm a deep sleeper and LOVE sleeping, so this whole segmented sleep system is hell! i completely empathize and keep my fingers crossed for you that things move in a more slumber-induced direction. ;)