This phrase used to scare me! I just couldn’t believe and understand how it could work. As a first time mum with my daughter, I had to rock her to sleep. That was the only way I knew how. My husband tried to convince me to let her sleep on her own but I just couldn’t. The first few times I tried this with her, the screaming and crying would always break my heart. ‘Ei my only child, please oh’. One night, I mustered the courage and left her in her cot to sleep. She wailed and wailed so much. Weirdly enough, I felt very funny and uncomfortable and so I decided to go and check on her. Madam had managed to get caught up inbetween her cot rails and was screaming for her dear life. After that, I said ‘me, lie lie, I will rock my child to sleep. It’s ok. One day one day, she will learn to sleep on her own’. And she did! Now on to the boys.
The rocking to sleep continued but this time, I was more open to the idea of sleep training them. When I got the help I needed, I delegated the task of putting them to sleep quickly without looking back. Finally, my arms were free. As Coro decided to force us all to stay home and after many complaints from my husband about letting them sleep on their own, I decided to give it a try. I did my research and read many blogs but Talkativemom convinced me the most. But I still had my fears. My main worry was, what if they cried and didn’t sleep? Or, what if one slept and the other didn’t and then eventually woke up the other? I could see how it could be easier with singletons but with twins, I just couldn’t visualise it. One Monday evening, I decided that it was time. Trust me, prayers were offered prior to the decision. I needed divine intervention. Lol.
So here’s how we did it and it worked for us.
- One at a time: Decide which sleep time to tackle first before you move to the next, whether it’s their nap time or bedtime. It has to register in their brain that this is how to sleep before moving on to the next. Their minds are too feeble to take it all at once. We started with the evening bedtime routine and then moved on to the afternoon nap time.
- Stick to their normal bedtime routine: If you change their normal routine, it can disrupt things. The boys would typically have their milk by 7pm and be put to bed by 7:30pm. This time, we took the rocking out, which could last somewhere between 10 – 20 minutes.
- Household alignment: We all had to come to an agreement that we wouldn’t pick them up even if they wailed. I was the weakest link here so, my husband had to drum it in my ears. I used the cameras to check on them anytime I felt the crying was too much. But I must warn you, if you’re not hard, don’t check the cameras. Don’t come and cry in my DM that you couldn’t take it!
- Prayers: When it was time for bed, we would put them in their cots, sing “we are praying, we are praying, close your eyes, close your eyes. Put your hands together, put your hands together, say your prayers, talk to God.” That got you singing right?” After the prayer, turn off the lights, walk away and do not look back! When they call your name, ignore them , it’s a trap!
- Expectations: The first few nights will be tough. Apparently, it’s to be expected, just like all other addictions, so brace yourself! For the first day, they cried and cried for about 20 minutes before they finally drifted off to sleep. I felt like I had betrayed them. Day two was worse than day one. Hian! Day three got better and by the end of week one, they were sleeping on their own! A round of applause please!!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽.
So, now that we had finally conquered this sleep training agenda, these boys learnt how to climb out of their cots. Does it get any better? Really? This new behaviour of theirs has cost them a few falls and scratches on their faces. But have they learnt their lesson? I shall leave you to wonder until the next episode…