Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Please stop waking up, dudes!

Okay, I am going to tell you a little secret. I was feeling pretty hunky dory about myself and my husband in regards to sleep. We have twins and a toddler and I thought the minute our twins were born we would say goodbye to sleep for the next 2-3 years give or take. Well, by the time the twins were 4 months old they were down to one feeding a night. While we were not sleeping through the night yet, we were so damn close, I couldn’t believe it. Look at us, we have twins and a toddler and we were still getting 7-8 hours of sleep (albeit broken sleep). Not too shabby, not too shabby. My husband and I would look at each other and nod. We got this. 

Well, I think I jinxed us because now my little dudes who are now 5 months old, have reverted from just having one feeding a night to having two each and since I had switched to nursing them individually, that means I am waking up four times a night not including the wake ups where they just need a pacifier. And then, add on to that, my little toddler is waking up a couple times a night from bad dreams or something. Aw, man. WTF. Someone is playing a cruel joke on us. Or its just a cold dash of reality slapping us in the face. We had a lucky break for awhile there I guess. 

My twins are two totally different sleepers. Dylan will go down in his crib fully awake with a pacifier in his mouth, Ill turn on the Einstein Aquarium I have attached to his crib, shut the door to his room and leave and he will be asleep within 5 minutes. Its phenomenal. The only problem is, that he startles himself awake often and needs one of us to come put the pacifier back in his mouth to calm him down. This would be fine if it was just once or twice but he has like five of these wake ups around 9 to 10pm sometimes with one of them being a full blown meltdown. I don’t know what that is about. How do I get him to stop startling awake? Any suggestions Mama’s? I have him already in the Baby Merlin Miracle Sleepsuit (he looks like a giant blue marshmallow) that is supposed to muffle his reflexes a little bit and it seemed to work for a little bit but now it doesn’t seem to do anything plus he is so strong that he can move around in it including turn to his side so its not even usable any more. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Chill Leo, is actually the more high-maintenance one when it comes to going to sleep. Leo is a bit of a night owl and always falls asleep way after Dylan does, and generally needs to be rocked to sleep in my arms. Sometimes I can put him in the swing and he’ll fall asleep on his own and every once in awhile, just straight to the crib works too. But then once Leo falls asleep he is pretty much asleep until he is ready to eat around 2 am and now recently, again at 5:30am or so. Used to just be one feeding a night but now he wants two in this last week. Dylan also.  

I was feeding them at separate times because there had been two occasions where each of them had not waken up for a feeding so I wanted to encourage this and not wake them up. Well, now that both of them want to eat twice, this means I’m up four times a night. Gahhhhhhh. The ONLY saving grace is that these boys nurse really fast and are done in 5-8 minutes tops. I just grab whoever is the one wailing (luckily the other twin normally sleeps through his brother crying) and sit in the recliner, nurse him and go lay him back down and BAM he’s back asleep. So that’s a big relief. Ian was nothing like that. He took awhile to go back down when he woke up, plus he woke up a lot more often at 5 months old than these two do. So in some ways, maybe that’s why we thought we had it so good. But now with it being four times a night, plus, Ian’s wake ups, these last few nights have been rough! I am really hoping its just a phase and that by TONIGHT they are back to one feed a night. Especially since Ryan is going out of town for three days and two nights. I don’t want to go insane but I may if the nights continue with how they have been. 

 Wish me luck.

Who Knew Babies Need Helmets?

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, two out of my three boys have needed helmets to round out their heads. What, do I breed soft headed children? I didnt even know this was a thing until I had kids. I thought we all just had round heads. But now apparently some of us need helmets to get that nice round head. How American.

My first Ian, was a preemie, as I mentioned in my earlier posts. He was born at 33 weeks. By the time he was 4 months old, Ian had developed a definite flat spot on his head. And even worse, it was a lopsided flat spot which was making his forehead push out more on one side. My pediatrician referred me to Gillette Children’s Specialists and from there we got a helmet for our little man to help round things out. Leading up to when I had to get the helmet, I was so nervous and racked with guilt. I felt like I should have been more “on it” with Ian’s tummy time and prevented the flat spot from developing. Luckily, the Gillette people were so nice and quickly dissuaded me from my guilt. Preemies are born early and end up having a tendency to develop flat spots because they are sleeping all the time those first few months and we have to have them sleep on their backs. There is nothing I really could have done since SIDS requires babies sleep on their back which causes the flat spot to develop. Its so first world of us though I think. Luckily, there is a remedy for it and it is the helmet. The technical name for it is actually CranioCap which sounds very technical and like its more serious than it is.

Part of what was causing the anxiety was that I was worried that when Ian was wearing his helmet strangers would stare at him and think he had some medical issue and pity us. I know, I know…who cares what people think right? Well, I do. Its just something I know about myself. I don’t like to be pitied. Anyways, it turned out that Ian getting a helmet was really a blip in our little lives. He had it for a little over two months, from the time he was about 6 months old to 8 months old. Ryan painted Ian’s helmet to look like a Minnesota Viking’s helmet and it turned out so adorable. People would stop and say how cute Ian looked in his Viking helmet all the time. I have to say I was impressed with it myself. My husband and I are not crafty at all and I was amazed at how good a job my husband did. Anyways, the time went by so fast and all of a sudden he had a nice round head and we were done with the helmet! Here’s a few pics of cute Ian with his Viking helmet.

Now, its Leo’s turn. Apparently, he is a very good sleeper, per our doctor because his head is perfectly flat in the back which means he doesn’t not move a muscle when he sleeps. This is totally true by the way. When Leo is out, he is out, while his twin Dylan, is just rolling all over the place and turning his head every which way and waking up almost every hour sometimes. (Thanks Dylan for those wake ups.) But at least Dylan doesn’t need a helmet! I guess all his rigorous night exercise was actually a benefit!

Leo also has mild torticollis, which is when there is a tightening of the muscle on the side of the neck. Leo kind of tilts his head to the left a little which the muscle is very tight. I was given some stretches to help loosen the muscle and they expect it resolve in the next month or so. Nothing to worry about really and he is not in any pain. Just want to make sure the tightening doesnt get worse which those stretches will help with.

Today I just got back from Leo’s first fitting and he is going to start wearing his helmet in 1 hour increments throughout the day, then 2 hours tomorrow, then 3 hours and then full time with 2-4 half hour breaks in the day. I have to say that I am glad that Leo is the one who ended up with the helmet, not Dylan. Leo is so chill that I get the feeling that he wont even notice it on him, whereas I could see my passionate Dylan getting all irritated.

Ive decorated Leo’s helmet with some vinyl stickers I happened to have on hand from leftover playroom decorations so that was lucky. In a month, we will be dropping the helmet off at this guy’s business who does vinyl printing out in Rogers, MN. His grandkids had to get a helmet a couple years back and they are just plain white so he decorated his grandkid’s helmet and people everywhere loved it so he decided to offer his services for free to anyone who gets a helmet at Gillette and would like it decorated. This must have happened after Ian had his helmet because I wasn’t told about it then and we just decorated it ourselves. You just have to call the business and make an appointment and you drop it off in the morning and pick it up that afternoon and its all decked out. The man has a ton of designs you can choose from. They are way booked out though so our appointment for Leo’s helmet isn’t until 5 weeks from now so which is why I just added on some bling myself for now. I will just take the stickers off when the five weeks is up and get it professionally done then. At least now, it still looks cute!

 

5 Month Old Twins

5 months is here already! Wow. I can’t believe they will start eating solids soon. Speaking of eating, the twins are doing the cutest thing ever. When I nurse them at the same time they reach over and hold hands. It is the sweetest thing to behold. Just nursing away holding hands. I wish I could post a pic but that would be weird. Right? Yes, I’ll just answer that myself. It would be weird.

Dylan has now started rolling from his tummy to back and vice versa. He is very strong and seems like he can almost push up to his hands and knees.

Leo, on the other hand, is Mr. Chill. He doesn’t feel the need to go anywhere so has not been rolling. Only just today did he roll on his side. It’s just so funny how personality has to do with why Dylan is moving all over the place and Leo just wants to relax right where he is. I’m 100% positive that Dylan will be crawling and walking before Leo. And Leo will be perfectly okay with it (and so will I). 😜

Leo gets his helmet this week to round out his flat head. His doctor told me he can tell Leo is a good sleeper by how perfectly flat the back of his head is. I was like, you’re right, he doesn’t move a muscle where as Dylan is rolling all over his crib. The doctor said that 12 hours of deep sleep every night is what created Leo’s flat spot and that made me feel a little better. I was thinking I hadn’t done enough tummy time even though I had done a ton. Anyways, if you’re a mom you just get this guilt and that helped relieve it a little.

Both boys’ eating habits and naps are more on a schedule which is really nice. They eat four times a day and usually just once at night. Their long nap actually lines up with my 3 year old’s most days so that is when I get my coffee break with some reading or whatever else I want to do. I try not to do chores even though I feel like I should because I feel like my sanity it more important. 😬

Looking forward to what month 6 brings!

4 Month Old Twins

These boys are just so cute! They are laughing now which is one of the sweetest sounds you can hear. Dylan (on the left) seems almost mischievous with his cute smiles while Leo is so sweet. When you hold Leo he completely relaxes into you, he’s such a cuddle bug. When you hold Dylan he squirms around trying to look everywhere and stiffens his legs and arms and pushes off of you with his strong legs. It’s just so funny how even when you hold them they are completely different.

They have a lot more head control now and I am starting to sit them up in different toys which they really like. I think they enjoy their new view. 😜

Some disappointing news: Leo’s head in the back has gotten really flat so we will likely be getting him a helmet. Just like Ian. I’m a little bummed because I did a ton of tummy time to prevent this yet it still happened.

On another note, things are starting to get intense at the Gladney household. They are awake more during the day which means needing a lot more attention. Their naps seem short and infrequent plus they seem to do it at OPPOSITE times which means it’s rare for me to catch a break. I’m really hoping to get them on a actual nap schedule in this next month.

Sleepwise at night is still pretty much the same (6 hours between the first feeding at night) although last night they both slept till 4:30 without needing to be fed which was 8 and a half hours! Now if only I can get this to happen consistently! I just bought the miracle baby sleep sack so I’ll give it a shot and see if it helps any.

Okay on to month 5! Wish us luck!

3 Month Old Twins

The boys’ personalities are really starting to shine through now. Dylan is very passionate which is what we were suspecting from the beginning. When he is happy his whole face shines, and boy when he is mad, he is MAD. 😂 Leo continues to be Mr. Chill and likes to lounge back and take it all in. He is smiling more now and it’s the cutest!

Both boys love getting into a cooing conversation. If I coo at them they coo back with big smiles on their face.

They are getting really strong and seem to enjoy tummy time. When Dylan is on his back, he kicks up so high that he rolls to his side. I feel like that is early for 3 months!

They are growing so fast and will soon be moving into 6-month onsies. I love their cute rolls! So different from their big brother Ian when he was a baby!

Sleep-wise they have one 6-hour stretch between feedings so generally they eat at 2am and at 6am. I’m hoping this next month eliminates one feeding and then the month after to be down to zero feedings at night. We’ll see how that goes! One can hope! 😝🙏

Oh, and side-note Leo still has dirty blond hair and blue eyes. I am so surprised. I thought that both would have darkened by now. The Irish genes seem to be winning out with him!

Month 4 here we come!

2 Month Old Twins

The twins are 2-months now! Whoa. How did that come so quickly?! Every day when I look at these two sweet boys I get such a feeling of amazement and love. I still can’t believe Ryan and I were so lucky to be blessed with twins. It’s two months now and still, I am surprised.

Both boys are continuing to grow so big and are getting adorable rolls all over. Especially Leo. That boy loves to chug his milk, which then causes the inevitable spit up of milk afterwards. Ha ha. Leo is now 9.14 lbs. He was born 5.4 lbs. Dylan is 9.3 lbs. He was born 5.12 lbs.

Dylan continues to break out with big smiles. Leo is a little more conservative with his smiles but man, is he a chill dude. He will just sit back and relax while Dylan darts his eyes around and tries to make sure doesn’t miss anything. It’s the cutest thing watching these two and seeing how they respond.

Let’s see what month 3 brings!

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1 Month Old Twins

(This was written when the twins were a month old but posted here at a later date)
I can’t believe the twins are already 1-month old! Time flies.

Both boys are doing great. I have them on the same feeding schedule which makes life more manageable for me. Tandem nursing is no walk in the park but after four weeks of practice I feel like a pro. Its always easier to breastfeed them when I have someone helping because then the babies are handed to me after I am all set up on the couch with my twinz breastfeeding pillow. But when I am home by myself, which happened after only two weeks, I have a great system going. I prop on baby on the couch far from the edge so there is no danger of rolling off. Then I sit down with my twinz pillow while holding the other twin. I lay the baby Im holding down on my right side, in the football hold, then reach over (while keeping the baby with me stable) and grab the other baby and prop him on my left side. Then I get one to latch (whoever is the most fussy first) and then get the other to latch and away they go! I am surprised at how well these two eat. They are very efficient eaters! They are done eating after only 10 minutes, sometimes less! At first I kept burping them and trying to get them to eat more but they would be done and just spit up on me, so finally I realized, yeah, they just eat really fast and they are full so stop trying to feed them. They continued to have lots of poops and pees and have developed nice fat rolls all over.

This is so different from my firstborn, Ian. Ian was the slowest eater and would take up to 45 minutes to an hour to eat and then I would have to do it all over again an hour later. I was pretty much always on the couch with him. Of course, this was also due to him being a preemie and being way underweight and so small. We had to feed him every two hours for months whereas with these twins I feed them every three hours and it seems like a walk in the park! I guess having Ian first really prepared me! Definitely grateful for that.

My husband and I have been watching the personalities of the two little guys. Dylan seems to have a more aggressive (i.e., angry) cry while Leo’s seems more sensitive. Does this mean Dylan will be more aggressive in life and Leo the sensitive one? Ha ha who knows. It’s just so amazing to watch them and see their little differences.

Dylan has these eyes that are very curious and searching. Leo is a snorter and likes to grunt when he eats. It’s cuter than it sounds. Both are cuddlers (of course).

Right now they sleep a lot and have about 20-minutes twice a day of active awake time. They are starting to smile a little bit and their eyes turn to me when I speak. When they are on their tummy Leo can lift his head a little to turn it and Dylan kind of just squirms around. Leo can also almost turn to the side which is impressive.

Can’t wait to see how these two grow in Month 2!