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Old 02-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Sleep training multiples

My good friend has triplets and they are ten months old. Their sleep is all over the map - they need to be rocked, fed, cooed, persuaded to sleep. It's really time to nip this in the bud before it gets really out of hand (like someone sleeping on the floor in their room because the toddlers don't like mom or dad to leave.)

The mom is at a loss because how do you sleep train three babies at one time?

Moms of Multiples - please weigh in!

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Old 02-26-2013, 09:21 AM   #2
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Re: Sleep training multiples

I'm not a mom of a multiple, but I did read a great book that was short and sweet. It was written by a mom of multiples. It was called 12 hours sleep by 12 weeks old. It was awesome. I highly recommend it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
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Re: Sleep training multiples

"Sleep training" multi's is no different than doing it with one except that you have more than one child doing it at a time. Whatever method you would normally suggest is what you can suggest to her. Whatever books or resources you would point her too will work just fine.

Just be careful you don't step on toes if she hasn't asked for help. If her babies were micro-preemies as a lot of trips are, she may not want to do anything that involves them crying or getting upset. If they had a rough start in life, a lot of parents are extra cautious and understandably so.

(I have 2 sets of twins.)

ETA - Let me add...you can train them one at a time. You can separate them for sleep for a while until they are all sleeping well. I've usually just left mine together and done it all at once. To me, that is the fastest way. Just do it and get it over with all at once, no need to drag it out. But, I have been known to separate mine for sleep because that can be easier.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Re: Sleep training multiples

I wouldn't suggest unless she asked.

Her hesitation is doing all three at once and them waking each other up. I think she may be ready to take the plunge. She got that glazed over "I'm ready for some sleep", and "I can see the end of my rope," look all.the.time.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: Sleep training multiples

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Originally Posted by NotLad View Post
I wouldn't suggest unless she asked.

Her hesitation is doing all three at once and them waking each other up. I think she may be ready to take the plunge. She got that glazed over "I'm ready for some sleep", and "I can see the end of my rope," look all.the.time.
I've seen people ask for advice for their friends that is unsolicited, especially on this board, which is why I said that.

I never separated mine. I actually did it on purpose. I wanted them to get used to sleeping with the noise, possibly through crying. With multiple babies in the room, it's very nice to know if one wakes up crying the others won't automatically wake up too from the noise.

Everything with multiples is more work, less sleep. It's par for the course. The lack of sleep is VERY hard on mom (and dad if he is up too). Everything is harder when mom is very sleep deprived. I would encourage her to just go for it. I would pick a method and sick with it for at least a week. I would start it over a weekend when her husband can easily help. Then, just expect a few really rough nights. Usually it only takes a few days to a week at most to teach them to go to sleep depending on the method you choose. In the short term, they may get less sleep, but after a few days to a week, they will all be sleeping like babies! It's SO worth it! to her.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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Re: Sleep training multiples

Every set is different, my twins were micro preemies so very high needs. I hate the idea of "sleep training" so I am a little unconventional but here is what worked for us, I had my girls sleeping by themselves in a sibling bed for 12 hours, 7pm to 7am, with out my help by 12 months.
First we developed a trust about sleeping, in the beginning we let them fall asleep with us down stairs then transferred them to our bed with us. We met their needs at night and had them sleeping close together. When we got close to transferring them to their own room we gave them two "security" objects, a bottle and a lovey (each girl has a stuffed kitty). I transferred them from our bed to a bed next to us with their security objects. Then instead of moving them from downstairs to our bed we would place them in their own bed. If they woke up and cried I gave them 5 min. before going in and if I went in I would lie them back down, give them their bottle and lovely, cuddle them up in their blankets and leave. It took a week and then they were sleeping on their own. I think what worked for us was creating that foundation of trust before just putting them in their own room and closing the door. My girls were not afraid to sleep and found comfort in each others company and their security objects.
I share my story because all the books I read didn't click with me. I found them too be too harsh for my little micro preemies. They needed more of a foundation before building up. You commented that it is time to nip it now but really it is late in the game. Change can always be created but the longer you wait the harder it will be to create change. I would say a slow transition is best. And you are right, something needs to shift, my friend with triplets STILL sleeps on the floor of their room at night and they are almost 3!!
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: Sleep training multiples

So glad I found this post! We have b/g twins that are 4 months old. Our DS loves to sleep, he's super easy to put down, our DD on the other hand..... Well, lets just say she's a challenge and only getting worse. They are both battling a horrible cold right now (no thanks to big bro and preschool germs), but once they are back to their normal selfs, it's time for the sleep routine to change.
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