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Happier babies, more exhausted parents :)

Posted Aug 19 2009 6:31pm
So I'm not going to say something ridiculous like: "Maybe we're rounding a corner ..." or even "Maybe the worst is behind us..." - because who knows what tomorrow (or next week) will hold. But the last 3 nights were a little more manageable, due to a number of reasons - the biggest one certainly being the fact that Bjorn stays up until the first baby is settled in her swing. We've also finally started a bed time routine, which I heard can work wonders with fussy babies. Right now, we bath one baby and do a quick infant massage on the other (we rotate every other day), then I feed one, and after that one is nursed, Bjorn reads our "Going to Bed Book", sings a lullaby, says a prayer, and after that it's just rocking and shooshing - no more talking. After I've nursed the second baby, I do the same with her. It usually takes Bjorn about an hour after the first baby is done feeding until she is calm enough to be in her swing and is starting to drift off to sleep - at which point he goes to bed.
The babies are still up again fussing 10-15 minutes later, and their fussiness runs its course until about 1 or 2am, when they finally settle down. So I'm still running back and forth between swings, shooshing, putting pacifiers back in, or taking turns holding each baby. It's exhausting. But the difference is no more hysterical screaming - and that is all that matters at this point. It was after that night when I took the video of both of them screaming uncontrollably that I decided we needed to do something about this, that I did not want my babies screaming like that without me being able to get to them.

In hindsight, we should have had Bjorn stay up with me a lot sooner, but I guess I needed to figure out first that I really couldn't do it on my own. And it's still pretty rough on our sleep schedule - Bjorn gets an average of 4 hours before he has to be up again, and then it just depends on the girls if he gets in another substantial nap or not before it's time for work. Although they are starting to have stretches of time where they both sleep soundly, most of the night they need a lot of sleep assistance - by putting the pacifier back in, turning the white noise back on, switching swings, etc. So even if they do go 5 hours between feedings, which they have started to do at least once a night, you might still spend the first 3 hours managing their fussiness and just when you think it's time to feed again, they settle down and sleep for another hour and a half.

We also still have quite a few days when one or both of them are super fussy during the day time. If I have help, it's really not so bad, but on the days when I'm by myself, it gets super exhausting and frustrating - especially with the prospect of managing their fussiness all night.
So although we're probably both even more exhausted, I feel we're doing the right thing for our girls and are helping them work through this fussiness period better - and I'm happy about that.
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