This latest schedule is not too different from before, but a little more refined, and a lot more regular. Feels a little more settled and permanent. And I hope so, actually, I think it works quite nicely.
730ish–Andy gets babies up, first feeding
900am–nap for 45 minutes
1100am–nap for 45 mins
200pm–nap for 45 mins
500pm–nap for 30 mins**
615pm–begin bedtime routine/last feeding
700-730pm–babies upstairs in bed
**I have just begun forcing this nap on them. For weeks the time between 5 and 630 was filled with extreme crankiness and screaming until they crashed at some point. And no wonder, if they’ve been awake for so long. So a week ago I put them down at 5pm for a nap, and they slept for half an hour. And ta-da, there was no screaming! What a much better time for all!
With that exception, the babies have actually set their own naptimes; a few weeks ago I finally started paying attention to the times they got sleepy and noted that it was pretty consistent. They start rubbing their eyes, yawning here and there, and doing that sleepy whimper thing before they actually fall asleep. I’ve gotten good at ‘nap training’ them–I put them down (I had been switching between the co-sleeper and the Rock N Play, but as of this week they’ve been gradually doing more of their naps in the crib) at the scheduled time. Even if they’re awake and cranky. I’ll very briefly shush them and pat them and smile, but then I walk away. I’m a bit ruthless and have to tell Andy or the nanny–seriously, they’re okay, they’re sleepy, just leave them alone. It used to take 20 minutes of fussing before they crashed, but lately the fussing lasts a much shorter time. Especially at the first nap of the day.
We began the room transition two weeks ago and also introduced the crib during some naps. As of last week they’re taking all naps and sleeping at night in their crib. (Second crib needs to be built; they’re getting too big to share.)
Feedings have gotten a little more labor intensive, as both babies have become very distracted while eating. They smile a lot and move their heads around, and use their hands to grab at/push away their bottle. Emmett has his own brand of feeding fussiness: he’ll be fine until we stop to burp, and then as soon as we lay him back down and pop the bottle in, he turns red and starts screaming. When we pick him up and stand up, he’s perfectly happy again. Lay him down, he screams. We’ve come up with all kinds of techniques to minimize this time of screaming and struggle. He has to be lain down and calmed, and then usually he’ll be okay to eat again. To calm him, we’ve currently hit on a combination of pacifier + taggie blanket + shushing app (sometimes). The blanket seems to distract him and comfort him. Who knows how long this strategy will work though!
In the last week, we tried giving him the faster-flow level 2 bottle nipple, and that seems to make him much happier. He sucks down his food super fast and has had hardly any freakouts. Hallelujah!
Bedtime routine begins at 615pm, because even with a recent nap, they suddenly get fussy and cranky around then. I mentioned it before, but our routine entails putting babies into sleepsacks, turning off all the lights but one, and turning on a nighttime playlist, and eating on the couch with us. If they’re awake after they finish eating, we’ll read them another book. We bring them upstairs usually by 730, sometimes earlier and sometimes later. Sometimes they’re awake when we take them up, sometimes they’re asleep.
For music, we have the Rockabye Baby Lullaby CD that we play sometimes. Mostly, we put on a long playlist I made (on shuffle so we don’t get tired of hearing the same songs all the time). It is the lamest, whitest playlist you’ll ever hear, but it’s relaxing and I like it. 🙂
Andrea Bocelli, Sogno album
Yanni, In My Time album
Sinead Lohan, No Mermaid album
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz
Stay Awake, Mary Poppins
Lullaby, Pink Martini, Sympathique
Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World, Israel K.
Rainbow Connection, Kermit the Frog