Now that you have seen the triplet’s bedroom, you are probably wondering if there is any actual sleeping going on!?!?! My answer is: some, and we wish it were more :)
Since all three babies have been home, I have tried to gently nudge them towards an eat/be active/sleep pattern during the day and an eat/sleep pattern at night. After Quin was born I read every sleep training type of book that I could find. The two that hit closest to home with us were Babywise and The Baby Whisperer. Personally, I think it would be really hard to follow any one theory word for word. I took bits and pieces from each theory and used what worked for us. Quin is a wonderful sleeper, so I have been frantically trying to remember what I did with her. I have given myself a catch-up class with both of the above books, as well as skimmed another book that was recommended (Weissbluth method).
Our current schedule is:
7:00am – At least one baby is already up, so we feed all three and then bring them downstairs. They usually ‘play’ in their bouncy seats. Once they start to get drowsy I put them in their spots to sleep (I have a bassinet and pack n’ play on our main floor). I have to admit that I am sometimes guilty of letting them sleep in the bouncies and putting them in/near the bathroom if I need to shower.
10:00am – We go through the same ‘eat/play/sleep’ cycle as earlier. They usually sit in their boppy pillows under the play mat as their ‘activity’. They then again nap in their bassinet/pack n’ play areas.
1:00pm – Eat/Play/Sleep. I try to bring them upstairs to their room for their active time and then put them in their cribs for their naps.
4:00pm – Eat/Play/Sleep. We usually do tummy time on pillows in the living room. They are usually awake a lot longer now. If they do fall asleep, it isn’t for terribly long.
7:00pm – We start to get them ready for bed and do our nighttime routine. If it is bath night, that is included. We then put them in their cribs for the ‘night’.
We go in and feed them before we go to bed, which is usually around 10:30. We feed them again when they wake in the middle of the night, which has been around 3:00, and then they sleep until about 7:00.
They have done really well with this so far! I am getting two good three hour blocks of sleep – which I consider wonderful after having to feed them every three hours for the first month or so that they were home. I try to make sure everything is set for the next day before I go to bed (any bottles that need to be made, dishes done…) and it is much easier if I can wake up to shower before they wake up. Unfortunately, some mornings I would rather just stay in bed!
I have to remind myself often that even though they are almost 4 months old, they are developmentally closer to 6 weeks. I am hoping that over the next few weeks we can stretch the night hours just a little bit longer. The hardest thing about the feeding and sleeping is that I have to take all three babies into account. As the saying goes - We are only as strong as our weakest link. I think Gianna could eat more and go longer in between feedings and sleep for longer amounts of time, but Ellery and Easton need shorter amounts of time. I refuse to have them on different schedules – I would be so sleep deprived and then I am no good to anyone!!!
I am positive that this schedule will change – probably before I hit publish. It is a process that I will be happy to be finished with. When I did all of the initial reading with Quin, one of the authors considered sleeping through the night as a period of five hours in a row – what?!?!? I am shooting for a full 12 hours! :)