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9 month old twins sleep trouble

We have 9 month old non-identical twin girls, Laura and Alice. Their sleeping skills are very bad, especially in the case of Alice.

Alice cannot fall asleep in her bed. When she falls asleep in our hands or elsewhere and is then put in her bed to sleep, 4 times out of 5 she wakes up and starts to cry immediately becoming more and more hysterical if not picked up. During the night she usually wakes up once or twice and then starts to cry and we need to bring her to our bed and then when she falls asleep again (sometimes after feeding her) we have to bring her back to her bed and hope we can put her to sleep without her waking up again.

Laura behaves similar, bur the success rate of bringing her to her bed is much higher and she does not wake during the night so much.

We've tried letting them cry in their beds while only comforting them from time to time. They stop crying whenever picked up and continue crying whenever put back in their bed. It seems as if they could go on like this for hours although we've never done this for so long fearing that letting them cry too much will lead to infant depression or something. Since there are two of them if one of them cries vigorously she wakes the other one up.

They do nap once or twice during the day, especially during walks or car rides.

Either way we've completely failed in establishing a healthy sleeping routine. Instead our usual sleeping routine looks like:
9:00pm: oh, great, Laura fell asleep, bring her to her bed
9:05pm: oh no not yet, she woke up, bring her back, but no big deal as Alice is still up
9:15pm: ok Laura fell asleep again, bring her to bed
9:20pm: ok Laura is soundly sleeping
9:30pm: oh great Alice fell asleep, let's wait 10 minutes then bring her to her bed
until 11:30pm: trying to bring Alice to her bed when she is sound asleep and bringing her back to comfort her when she starts crying in her bed
11:30pm: success! the babies are both asleep! time to sneak some sleep hours in.
3:00am: Alice wakes up, gets some breastfeeding, is brought back to bed once or twice unsuccessfully, often wakes up Laura as well for additional entertainment
4:00am: both of the babies are sound asleep again!
6:00am: the babies wake up and declare they've had enough sleep, starting another productive day of attacking every wire, shoelace and prohibited household item they can get their teeth on image

It used to be better in the sense that they didn't wake up during the night, but they both caught a cold about a month ago and started to wake up very frequently due to congestion. The cold passed but the habit of waking up during the night didn't.

Any ideas what we can do to improve their sleeping habits?


  • hi juu just read your dilema and found that by sticking to a bedtime routine for my little boy worked well. after his tea he plays for half hour then its bathtime, once he's in his pyjamas he comes downstairs and has his milk and story then goes into bed awake and falls asleep, lately he's been waking a few times through the night but he's teething so putting it down to that at the mo! so could a routine help more cometo think of it you've prob already got one. have you tried putting the girls to bed then staying in their room till they've gone to sleep, when i say stay in their room don't talk to them or interact with them only mayby lie them down a couple of times if needed but each night you put them to bed progress a little further from their cot. or could they be waking through the night cause they are hungry? hope some of this may help take careimage
  • juu, try giving babies 20-25 mins upon sleeping before you shift them to their bed. Once they move to REM sleep, they will be well settled and movements should not wake them up.

  • juu, how old are your girls? my dd is 6mnths in a week and shes in the exact same habbit as alice unless i give in and allow her to sleep in her carseat or pushchair in which case shell sleep through 10-8, the cot causes histerics, its so difficult and i feel lost as theres alwasy the dilema of one childs settles i dont want them disturbed, i wish you lots of luck and sorry i have no tips!
  • Thanks for all your help.

    We started doing the controlled crying thing (and did a bath and dressed them in pajamas beforehand every night) and although sometimes it takes 5 minutes and sometimes it takes 60 minutes but they both go to sleep and sleep through the night now.

     At least they used to... we just did some travelling and maybe that has messed with their schedule again.

  • i think i may have to bite the bullet and do controlled crying, but will have to put her down later so jacks in a deep sleep, shes never woke him before if hes been asleep a while!

    well done juu and long may it continue xx

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