01 The Sleep Training… and other adventures – daily updates from 10 August to 31 August 2015

  

Day 1 – it begins 

10 August 2015

We bought one and only one baby rearing book. We’ve been relying on friends, family and Dr Google for the rest.

  
The book was recommended to us at a bbq by a new-mum who swore by it. It was about two weeks before the twins were born and we bought it on the spot (not the first time we’ve fallen into the Amazon single click app trap). 

This book promises the moon on a string, or so it seems to sleep deprived new parents. It should be noted that my mother (who is wise in all things baby related) smiled benevolently when we enthusiastically told her about this book. So we have been warned! 

The book recommends starting training at 8 weeks. The twins turned 8 weeks on Monday 10 August and full of hope we have begun sleep training. 

 Step 1 is to get them onto a four hourly feeding schedule during the day. In our case this means feeding at 7 am 11, 3 and 7 pm.

But (and apparently this is critical) you don’t try and regulate their night feeds. That’s step 2.

Day 1 went well. They adapted to four hourly feelings brilliantly. We also went for a two and a half hour walk around North London that left me hobbling and exhausted (but that’s by the by)

Day 2: 

11 August 2015

Well they fed at 7pm last night as per the schedule. Then again at 11, 2:30, and 5 am. Given my post-hike exhausted state this was a bit of a challenge. 

Then (full disclosure) we overslept and fed them at 7:22… Oops. But we got back on track for the 11am feed. There has been some fussiness (ok out and out screaming) but it hasn’t lasted long and with any luck we’ll have an easier night. 

On the plus side Margot looked me straight in the eye and smiled this morning and I got to have coffee with a friend while Patrick looked after the twins so it’s not all bad! 

  

Day 3:

12 August 2015

Morning ish edition

Last night the twins did their final ‘daytime’ feed at 7. But then fed again at 10, 1:30, 3, 5:25 (him), 5:45 (her) and of course again at 7am. I have never known them to be that hungry in the night, nor as fussy during the day / night, generally. 

Today the official sleep training is on hold. Also I am rethinking the whole approach. Being screamed at in stereo will do that…

I found a really good blog at some point which has got me thinking: http://www.mybabysleepguide.com 

Also I had a dream in which a scientist was making babies eat these alien-like piranhas (where there’s a smaller one inside the larger one) that were sensitive to light. So when the baby opened their mouths a thousand little piranhas would come out… Don’t need a Freudian psychology degree to guess what that’s about. 

Today is the twins 8 week check and immunisations. Patrick will be taking them to the GP because I’m heading into town to do an interview on women in male-dominated fields… Living the dream! 

Day 4: 

12 August 2015

Yesterday was a total success. The twins have more than doubled their birthweight in 8 weeks. So Margot is now 9lb10 and Isaac is 10lb4. The immunisations weren’t nearly as bad as we’d feared (we were all super brave). We even went to the pub with NCT friends walking there and back (45 minutes each way). Oh yes and I did my interview for the 51% show on France24.

I am officially in danger of becoming one of the smug mums I am so annoyed with… No doubt the twins will put me in my place soon. 

However we did absolutely no sleep training yesterday because of the immunisations. They slept really well last night waking to fed them at eleven-ish when we got home, then he woke at 3:30 but she didn’t and she woke at 5 but he didn’t. This causes a comical boob-lopsided-ness which was more painful than funny from where I was standing. 

Patrick had to go into work today for A-level results. So we had a taste of what’s to come. After the 7am feed we all had a nap… Followed by a morning of activity and another afternoon of snoozing. They seem to be having quite bad wind about an hour or so after they eat, but hopefully this will pass soon.

I must also say that the playpen in the kitchen has been an incredibly fabulous addition! Enabling me to get things done while they amuse themselves. 

  

Like bake a banana bread! 

  

Day 5: back on track! 

14 August 2015

Yesterday we managed to stay on the four hourly feed schedule. Over night they ate at 10:30, 1:30, 3 (him) and 5:30 (both). All in all it wasn’t an awful night, though at various points we both ended up in the spare room just to get a couple of hours of deep sleep which is seemingly impossible when you have two snuffling little creatures in the room.

We’ve been doing a lot of ‘tummy time’ recently. He manages to kick his way across the mat, but she hasn’t quite got the hang of her feet… So ends up coming up on her tummy like one of those plastic fortune teller fish. 

They have both discovered the magic of the crinkly noise. Isaac is particularly fond of the crinkly head on his mat. 

  
Today has also been triumphant in terms of our outing to the hospital to have an ultrasound on their hips. Because they were both breach there was a risk that they wouldn’t be aligned properly. Apparently this is both common and easy to fix at this stage. But fortunately they came out with a clean bill of health. Strange to think that this is our last time at UCLH for the foreseeable future. I’ve spent an incredible amount of time there over the past 5 years or so, from the early stages of fertility treatment through to the birth. 

Of course the twins were completely unaware is this and slept there, back and all the way through the procedure. 

Day 6: two months old!

15 August 2015

Last night felt like a step back, though really it wasn’t. Today the twins were reasonably well behaved, giving us enough time to do some gardening. Later we went to the park where the twins were very popular with six year old girls. 

  
Two months today. Isaac cornering the market on winsome, Margot contemplative as always.

  
Sleep training seems to be working for someone!! 

Day 7

16 August 2015

Last night the twins did their longest stretch yet. 7-12:30 then another feed at 3:30 and finally awake again at 7am. Trying not to get my hopes up that they’ll repeat this tonight.

Still it set everyone up for a fairly good Sunday including a trip to the pub! 

It’s been a lovely weekend. 

Day 8:

17 August 2015

It’s been an inexplicably rough day. The twins stuck to their two feeds last night at midnight and 3:30 but then we’re basically fussy all day. It culminated in Isaac literally screaming at me as I tried to feed him. 

But on the positive side everything is just a phase. Nothing is wrong. They are just a bit screamy at the moment.

We’ve noticed that the twins are getting much stronger. When you hold them up on your lap they will stand and hold their heads up. Margot in particular likes looking around and at things. Isaac prefers to look at whoever is holding him and babble. 

They are, on the whole, good babies. 

Day 9: Break through??

18 August 2015

So far today has been a good day (it’s 1pm so plenty of time for things to go horribly wrong). Last night the babies slept till 12:45 and then again at 4. There was limited / no screaming and generally it made up for the trauma of yesterday. 

We actually got up after the 7am feed which is nearly unheard of. We even went on a surgical strike mission to Ikea before the 11 am feed and then moved furniture afterwards. They are down for a nap and we’ve had lunch. 

Currently debating (heatedly) when to move them up to the nursery. Always feels like such a shame to have a beautiful room we never actually go into… 

Day 10: this is progress??

19 August 2015

Today was a pretty awful day. The babies screamed pretty much continuously for no reason. Getting through today was like a series of tiny battles where no one wins the war. 

Last night was a good night. We tried out the nursery and while the babies behaved as normal we didn’t enjoy going up and down stairs so much. 

In positive news we still had only two night feeds at 12:15 and 3:45. But then chaos all day.

This evening we had family round for supper, even though I was nearly on the brink of calling it off several times. It was great to have three extra pairs of hands! 

  
Particularly when it leads to such happy babies…

   
 
They went down to sleep extremely well tonight – presumably exhausted and contrite from a day of screaming. 

It’s all just a phase. Even the good days. 

Day 11: 

20 August 2015

It was a bit unsettled… Largely because we headed to Jammie’s house first thing. The twins, having gone down really they were then up at 12:40, 4:15 (him), 5:30 (both), and there was a bonus lots of fuss at 2…

Having an unsettled night led to an incredibly sleepy day, for them anyway. 

We got to meet Percy the puppy! He was born on the same day as Isaac and Margot. But he already knows his name and can fetch!

   
 
We also introduced the twins to the joy of power tools and did some DIY.

  
We also got out the family albums and it’s clear that Isaac is very much a mini-Patrick.

Day 12: 

21 August 2015

Last night went surprisingly well after such a snoozy day (culminating in some kind of screaming competition at about 5pm). 

They woke up about 1 and 4:45. Trying not to get ahead of myself but perhaps we are on our way to dropping the 4:45… One feed a night would be a revolution.

We’ve had a really chilled out day today. Babies have been fairly lovely. We went out for breakfast and I got catch up on Great British Bake Off! 

I also got to do some Urbanistas organising done! 

  
Margot can’t wait to go to her first Urbanistas event! 

Isaac is definitely pleased about being an Urban-mista! 

  

Day 13: Sunny Saturday 

22 August 2015 

Last night Margot did brilliantly! They both slept till 12:50, 3:40 (him), 530 her – fed them early at 6:40 as a reward for going so long. 

The twins are getting more alert and curious by the day. Over breakfast Isaac was sitting on Patrick’s lap and really following his every move, watching the coffee cup and the fork with real focus.

We then had a lovely time getting to know Cadmus a bit better.

  
And then a trip to the park in the afternoon (sadly not photographed). 

Later on we had a friend round for dinner. The twins went down after their 7pm feed straight away and didn’t nee us to go up until about 11 when Isaac had escaped the bonds of his swaddle and knocked over the monitor camera.

Cadmus also reclaimed his chair (throne). 

 
Day 14: 

23 August 2015

Last night was a real triumph for the babies. They slept till 1:45 and then again till 6. I gave them a snack then and then a proper meal at 7am.

We had a very lazy morning including a miraculously tear free baby bath time. Then we drove into Covent Garden for Sunday lunch with friends. It was pouring with rain but fortunately we got a parking place directly in front of the restaurant. The babies were brilliant all through the meal and turned quite a few heads! 

The babies were fussy the whole drive home, but we were home in time for the 3 o’clock feed. Other friends came over for brownies and coffee… The twins have quite the social life! 

They were so sleepy and fussy between 5 and 7 we were woried that they wouldn’t go down. But they had a nice long feed and then were asleep by 8. I am massively impressed by them!! Well we’ll see how this pans out later tonight… 

Day 15: the rain… 

24 August 2015

Last night was ok. Not a roaring success but not a total failure. We were in bed by 10 (downstairs lights still not working and watching TV in the dark is incredibly soporific). The babies woke at 12:45 and 4:30 to eat. Then somewhere around 5;45 they had released themselves from their swaddle and had to come in with us. Unfortunately I fell asleep and didn’t feed Margot till 7:20. Fell asleep while feeding her and didn’t feed Isaac till 8:15 when we woke up again.

The weather has been dismal all day. Just so rainy. It’s made everyone a bit sleepy so we didn’t really leave the house. Our faithful builder is coming round this evening to (hopefully) sort out the lights. 

Meanwhile I’ve been playing with Instagram and drooling over my new Honey & Co cookbooks…  

  
  
   
Cadmus has been no help at all… 

Day 17: regression is mean

26 August 2015

Yesterday was a rough day. Night before last the twins fed at 12:30 and 3:45 with some fussiness in between. 

While we had a reasonably productive day which included: a trip to ikea for a new lamp to deal with our still broken lights downstairs, a trip to the cafe for me, and prepping for dinner with a colleague. 

But then at 4 I found Cadmus on the floor of the bathroom drooling and very unwell. We rushed him to the vet. Where he remains. He’s been on a drip and had charcoal. Clearly he’s had some poison. I am hoping he recovers quickly! 

Then last night the twins fed at 12:05 and 3:45 and then were fussy until 7. This feels like a major backward step and I don’t know what to do about it.

We are having a Welcome to the World party on Saturday which, given the weather, the lights and now a very ill cat I’m thinking we should move to the pub… 

Day 19:

28 August 2015

It’s been a hectic couple of days… 

Night before last the twins did so well! They only woke at 1:45 and 5:20. But then because I had an appointment in town we got off schedule and last night they fed at 1, 3:30, and 5:20… But only little snacks so they were still hungry at 7. 

We have moved the welcome to the world party to the pub. Happily Cadmus came home today. He’s still a bit off colour but clearly so much better than he was. 

  
We even took a whole family nap.

  
We did have a lot of screaming this afternoon and I just couldn’t work out why. Eventually they calmed down and we made it out for an afternoon walk. 

English summer being what it is, the skies have cleared and it’s got warm again when we cancelled out BBQ (partially) on account of rain.

Then in the evening we had some excellent smiles from Margot.

  

Day 21:

30 August 2015

It’s been a busy couple of days for the the babies. A unsettled. 

Night before last they at 12:55. 4:38 (him) 5:00 (her). We had a lovely afternoon at the Salisbury (despite the fact that I’d put the wrong Salisbury pub on the invite).

We had a great turn out of old and new friends. Ended up back at ours for further drinks and some light carousing. But the twins went down after their 7pm feed and stayed down beautifully. Everyone was pretty impressed. We were relieved.

 We got to bed about midnight and of course the babies wanted feeding at 1230 and 2:40 but then slept through till 7. 

They are getting so much more aware of their surroundings. Isaac stared and babbled at his hand for about five minutes. Margot has been doing a great job of ‘standing’ and holding her head up. 

   
   
Today has been a pretty cozy and lazy day.

  
I’m not sure how much progress we’re making on the sleep training front… But they sure are cute. 

Day 22: 11 weeks old today

31 August 2015

Today is officially the last day of Patrick’s summer vacation. The babies slept well, waking up at 1:25 & 5. Then throughout the day we had some excellent napping which enabled me to get some other blogging done and Patrick worked on his novel. 

Then in the evening we had a meet up with the NCT crew… Possibly a bit too much wine for a Monday night. 

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