...and it went pretty good. Lisa and I were just talking about it tonight and realized that last night wasn't nearly as bad as we thought it would be but by no means was it easy. Like I said yesterday, we're doing a modified Ferber method so we're not letting them cry it out per se but we are allowing them to get themselves to sleep....which involves some crying. Lisa read about this method in a book called "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and it is what our friend used with her twins with great success.
Anyway, last night was a challenge but we got through it much faster than we both had anticipated. The girls were incredible. Alyssa was the first to start crying...then after about 30 minutes of me picking her up, comforting her and putting her back down, she feel asleep on her own in the crib. What made it difficult is she would immediately start crying the second I leaned over to put her down, then after a minute or two of trying to comfort her with touch and "shhh", I would pick her up again until she was soothed. All in all, I probably picked her up 20 or 30 times. When Alyssa feel asleep first (while Katy was screaming right next to her) Lisa and I looked at each other with amazement. It was so awesome!
Katy took another 15 minutes or so and just like Alyssa, I put her down and she cried and cried and then it was like someone flipped off a switch, she was asleep.
It was amazing. We walked out of the nursery at about 9:30 with both babies asleep!! It was the first step toward baby independence and us reclaiming our evenings. It's been a long, long time since we've had our evenings to us.
It didn't last too long when Alyssa woke up about 45 minutes later. This was one question that I had going into it was how do you start over and won't she wake up her sister? I started from scratch and went right back into the routine of picking them up until their need was met and putting them immediately down in the crib. It took another 30 minutes but she fell back asleep without ever waking up her sister (even though she was making A LOT Of noise).
At about 11:30, Katy woke up. We had decided that after 4 hours from their previous feeding, we would go ahead and give them a "dream" feeding. Lisa fed Katy at 11:30 and put her down in the crib without another sound and SHE DIDN'T GET UP AGAIN UNTIL MORNING!! Lisa got Alyssa up and fed her in her sleep and put her back down without a sound. The real test came at about 2am with Alyssa. Alyssa woke up and we let her cry for about 10 minutes and when it was obvious she wasn't going to get her self back to sleep, I went in to start the whole process over...this time when I was exhausted!
It was definitely tougher at 2am but I pushed through and even started falling asleep standing up leaning over the crib a couple of times. After about 20 minutes, Alyssa just got completely quiet. She wasn't squirming or making any noise, she was just laying there looking at me or the ceiling. A couple of times, I had to really listen to make sure she was breathing because it was so odd to see her like that. This lasted another 20 minutes and then the eyes closed and she was asleep. She, too, stayed asleep until morning. I hate to admit it because we probably should have gotten them up earlier but they didn't wake up until about 9:30am!! Pretty amazing actually considering what we have been doing.
So all in all, it went pretty good. The girls definitely proved they could fall asleep in their cribs...with some love and support from their parents. The hope is that each night they will need us less and less until we can just put them down, say goodnight, and walk out of the room. In the book, it described one parent using this method that had to pick up her baby 150 times the first night!!! The second night was something like 50 times and then 20 times the 3rd night. After that, they never had to pick up the baby again to comfort during bedtime.
If this afternoon's naps were any indication on how we're progressing, then I'd say it's working. The morning nap took them each about 30 minutes to fall asleep and they slept about 45 minutes (they average 20 to 30 minutes so 45 is pretty good). This afternoon's nap...Alyssa took 6 minutes to fall asleep and I never had to pick her up. Katy still took about 35 minutes.
We're going into tonight optimistic but prepared for another challenge. I have to admit it is very difficult to hear both babies screaming at the same time. The first 8 months of their lives, we've done everything we can to avoid letting that happen, for better or worse.
4 hours later......
We just finished bedtime routine #2 and it was actually a little tougher. They cried much more than last night. Alyssa took about the same amount of time but Katy took 2 hours and 5 minutes...not really progress. We've been sitting around trying to figure out why it didn't get better tonight. The only difference is we started later in the evening. So we'll regroup tomorrow and try again and pray for better results.
Just as I was typing this Katy woke up again and since it's been 4 hours, Lisa's feeding her.
Update on the tree...it is decorated. The girls helped of course. I haven't seen the pictures but Lisa says they're great. I'll download them tomorrow. I'm off to bed while Lisa finishes this feed.
Oh and I forgot to include their latest weights from yesterday. They both gained exactly 1 pound in a month.
They are now:
Alyssa 15 pounds, 13 ounces
Katy 14 pounds, 6 ounces
Another reason why we can't hold them until they sleep anymore, they're getting HUGE!!!