Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sleepless Nights

One of our long term plans is to get the triplets to help out around the house: cleaning, doing dishes, setting the table. We figure that it is time to start on this, and we decided that they should begin with putting themselves to bed. At the moment, it takes Nana and Erin a few hours each night to put the girls to bed, a long process involving a lot of rocking and crying. For Arthur, it involves up to an hour of rocking in his bouncy chair. I had envisioned we would continue this for years, and when Arthur outgrew his bouncy chair we'd move him into a barcalounger. However, Erin managed to convince us that it was in the triplet commune's best interest if the triplets learned how to put themselves to bed. It seems as if we are in for a few sleepless nights.

We have attempted to teach the triplets to put themselves to sleep using the "pick-up-put-down" method. It is like the cry-it-out method, but without the sense of abandonment. Though I am not sure if they know this, as Arthur, for example, quickly works up to a high-pitched scream that pierces the ear and the heart. But when the babies start to cry in their crib, we pick them up until they stop. Then we put them back down down, upon which they usually start crying again. Pick up. Put down. Rise. Repeat. On the first night, it took between 30 minutes and an hour of this before they all fell asleep. We snuck in a 10:00pm "dream feeding" to help them get through the night. But that didn't stop them from waking around midnight (pick up, put down), then again at 2:30am (pick up, put down), and finally they were up for the day at 6:30am.

During the day we are on an "E.A.S.Y." routine (a misnomer if I ever heard one) - when they wake up they Eat their bottle, have an Activity for a couple hours, Sleep for a couple hours, all of which should provide time for You. We'll see how well this goes.

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