Friday, 11 January 2013

Lullaby - A Reader's Question

About a week ago I received my first email question from a reader.  I am thrilled for this honour.* Any suggestions for other readers in the comments are welcome and encouraged!  We're all in this together to help each other through this wacky world of parenting.**

If you have any questions you'd like answered, twin, baby or otherwise, or suggested topics for future blog entries drop me a line at

Our twins are 6 months old and don't nap.  The only way we can get them to nap is to swaddle them, place them in a giant double boppy on our bed, put a bottle in their mouths and never leave the entire time. Or they wake up and it's all over. This happens one time per day, and it strikes us as probably a bad habit.  They sleep 7-8 hours overnight.  What worked for you?  Did you do any form of sleep/ nap training with your kids?  - Napless in Toronto

Molly Napping age 6 months

If your kids were sleeping 10-12 hours straight overnight I'd suggest you'd give your husband a high five and forget about nap training or naps all together.  We are lucky (right now) and our kids sleep 11-12 hours over night right now and take a 1.5-3 hour nap during the afternoon most of the time, but it wasn't always that way. From what I know babies generally take 2 naps a day (shorter) until about 9-10 months when they move to one longer nap, so if you can't get even one in that has got to make things tough.
 Twin specific suggestion:
  • Try separating them...Molly wakes from naps (or anything) else easier than Jack - They sleep in the same room overnight (they even shared a crib for the first two months), but for naps needed to be kept apart for the first 6-8 months. I'd have Molly nap in her room and put Jack in our living room while I watched TV or read, or slept elsewhere.
    WORST CASE SCENARIO: they freak out...sometimes when Molly wakes up and Jack isn't in the room with her she goes into full blown exorcist mode, it doesn't happen often - but it happens.
General Napping Suggestions:
  • Create some background noise: By putting on some white noise it allows for babies to sleep better if the phone rings, someone knocks on the door, if you drop an empty bottle down two flights of stairs or if your step is more like Godzilla taking down Tokyo than one of the shoemaker's elves.***  Things we have used to create background (soothing noises) are: The Sleep Sheep,  turning on the bathroom fan beside their room, soothing music on a CD (I personally love the Rockabye Baby series) or put on the radio
  • Follow their cues: I once read that you should try to get your baby down for a nap after the first yawn, this isn't always possible, but a good indicator or time to start trying.  Molly will suck her thumb and curl up with a blanket when she's tired.  That's how we know it's nap time.  Jack will literally fall asleep ANYWHERE, ANYTIME when he's tired.
  • Set the scene: At bed time (night) we do bath, pyjamas, bottle, story then sleep.  Try to create a nap time routine too, maybe a story, a back rub, turn out the lights, pull blinds and give them some milk.  I know that you aren't supposed to put a baby to bed with a bottle, because it will cause tooth decay and turn them into degenerates or whatever else. If you're super worried, give them a bottle with some water.**** 
  • Try some movement: If nothing else is working you can try a baby swing or a car ride to soothe baby to sleep.  The only trick is to stop the movement once they're asleep.  This baby swing I was given by my friend JLP worked great for Jack, but Miss Molly hated it, I'd say if you want a baby rocker buy used or at least try it first, these aren't cheap and may just collect dust.
  • Never wake a sleeping baby: Just enjoy that they're getting the sleep that they need and take a break yourself.

*Finally a request for solicited advice!
**I apologise in advance if my suggestions completely backfire, but remind you I do not claim expertise in anything other than dumb luck.
***Chris often complains that I don't putter around the house, I stomp, even when I'm trying to tread quietly.
*****My mom used to put me to bed with juice - not half juice half water - JUICE....sometimes two bottles.  You know what happened?  Nothing...first teeth are called milk teeth because babies drink milk.   


  1. okay I didn't read the whole thing and I may have more to say after I post this but Please NO MILK / Formula in bed!!!! I learned the hard way and now my 1st born has no front teeth until his adult ones come in. ( he got bottle mouth from it, and then fell and his front teeth were so soft and yucky they broke and he had to have them pulled... needless to say my #2 and #3 have beautiful teeth, lol )

    1. You are a better mom than I, if they're hungry in the middle of the night, they get a diaper change, get handed a bottle and then one of us crawls back into bed...thankfully that doesn't happen often any more. They get bottles with story time before bed.

    2. Daycare is also better behaved than us for no bottles in bed....On weekends we often run errands with the babies before nap time, so we'll give them a bottle in the car to hold in their carseats so they're nice and full before nap time, which is pretty well when we arrive home.

    3. Well I'd still give it to them, I just wouldn't leave it in there with them, I'd either wait until they were done, or I'd go in when I knew they were asleep again and steal it...
      Thomas liked to just keep it in his mouth and suck it like a soother even if it had formula/milk still in it, so it messed his teeth, and I have spent thousands of dollars in his short life of 6.5 years fixing them and preventing his new ones from coming in wrong. ( caps, spacers, pulling other soft ones..)

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