Ferberizing? Anyone? Or Dear Lord let them sleep somehow! — The Bump
Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Ferberizing? Anyone? Or Dear Lord let them sleep somehow!

We have 16 week old twins, boy/girl.  They were 38 weeks, but low weight (5 lbs 3 oz).  He has taken off quite nicely, is over 12 pounds.  She's still "petite", hanging out under 11 pounds.  We are desperate for sleep.  They are BOTH still waking up 3-4x per night.  This leads to me primarily up nearly every hour, sometimes twice an hour.  I'm off work till Nov 1, my husband is a physician and while he will help me, I feel like it's irresponsible for him to go to work totally exhausted and operate on people.  So I was staying up, a lot.  Till last week when I was so exhausted I almost got in a car accident.  We broke down and hired a night nanny to help out (which is quite expensive if you haven't looked into it.)  I have gotten great sleep since, she's coming like 3x/week.  But we are not making any progress on getting them to sleep more.  I'm considering letting him cry it out, he has done up to 7 hours straight of sleep before we made a big cross country move 3 weeks ago.  She's never done more than 6 hours straight and that was a once time occurrence.  I feel like letting her cry and not feeding her may actually harm her weight gain.  
If you Ferberized how old and how big was your baby? 
How do you know when to let them cry vs when they actually do need to eat?? this is a big struggle for me as they both will go down initially pretty easily, but then the wake ups start and I don't know if it's time to let them cry or get them some more calories to make it longer later on in the night.  
How did you do it if you had twins? Same room? They are in the same room now and she doesn't seem to bothered by his fussing overall.  
How long did it take?
Is it inappropriate for me to ask the night nanny to help with this? I can do it but we've already hired her for a few more weeks and she's counting on the paycheck, plus if it does not work, I need her help and would like to use her in the future for babysitting as I do like her.  

Re: Ferberizing? Anyone? Or Dear Lord let them sleep somehow!

  • This is super crazy you posted about this because I just began Ferberizing last night and made a post about it on my Birth Month Club.  My LO is 6 months old, so older than yours.  It was brutal; I will not lie.  But I only had to go in three times (once after 3 minutes, once after 5 and then again after 10) and then he soothed himself to sleep.  And he slept 830 to 630.  But the crying was unlike anything I've ever heard before.  I'd rather go through labor than go through that over and over again.  But now that we've started and it was such a success, I'm going to have to keep it up.  I don't have a lot of advice for you since we just started and since I have a singleton, not twins.  I do think it's totally okay to ask the nanny for help; our daycare provider has been doing this for naps since he started there at 2 months old (although she had a much easier time with only 5 minutes of crying) but that's what gave me a push to start doing it for nights.  If you do decide to do it, just be aware that it's super hard and you'll need to be very consistent.  Good luck!
  • I have no experience with Ferberizing but feel strongly that the rates paid to most night nannies reflect both the fact that they are working in the middle of the night and that they are an expert actually leading the sleep training routine (if you want them to). A seasoned night nanny will have done this many times and should be a wealth of knowledge for you on the various techniques. My good friend had a night nanny with his twins & he was thrilled with they way his night nanny spearheaded the process and had them fully trained within a few weeks.
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  • If your LO is pounding a full bottle when he/she wakes up in the night then IMO they NEED those calories plus your babies are really too young for sleep training.

    My 11 month old daughter was still having a MOTN bottle up until she was 9 months old. I'm a firm believer that they will phase those MOTN feedings out when they are ready. It's not something for us to decide. My first kid stopped waking at night at 7 months old. I know all kids are different but that's my story.

    I've let both of my kids cry a little while "sleep training" but not until they were around 6 months old and I "knew" them a little better. I never read books on sleep training, just picked what I felt comfortable with and was consistent night after night.

    Sounds like you are desperate for sleep and I totally get that so if your nanny is willing to help in the MOTN then I'd utilize her. I can't imagine how hard twins are and I understand you not wanting to make your husband tired when he has to work. My husband never had MOTN duty, I always did it. Good luck to you. It will get easier :)

  • Until babies are 6 months old sleeping thru the night is a 5 to 6 hour stretch. Your husband may need to help you. I'm sure He's used to lack of sleep with residency and being on call. My SIL has twins and when they were little she took one and her husband took one during the night. I go back to work in less than 2 weeks as a health care provider and I'm only getting a 3 hour stretch at night followed by 1 1/2 to 2 hour wake ups. I'm EBF so my DH can't really help out that much.
  • EmJ628EmJ628 member
    edited October 2015
    I have 12 wo boy twins. They were born at 35w and both weighed around 4.5lbs. Currently weigh close to 12 lbs and 13lbs. They dropped one of their MOTN feedings around 6wks and at that point started sleeping from 9p to 2a and then from 3a to about 6a. They started eating about 4oz at the same time. You didn't mention if they are BF or FF or how much they are getting but that is probably playing a part. We just switched their schedule to last feeding at 7p, they get 5oz each then and they finally dropped to one MOTN wake up this week at 1am and then sleep til 6/7a. I would ask the night nurse to assist you but they may be a little too small for CIO. Depending on how much they are eating though it should not be beyond the realm of possibility to get them to 2 wake ups instead of 3/4 though. Good luck!!
    ETA: mine are FF and we do one up, both up. I STRONGLY recommend you move to that if you can. I have occasionally let one sleep thinking he would stay asleep longer while I was up with the other and without fail it leads to me seeing every hour at night. Ours sleep in our room right now but will continue to share a room when we move them to the nursery. maybe the night nurse can help you develop a system to handle them both at the same time then you and your husband can eventually take turns of who gets up. I have one that is tough to get back to sleep but i can usually get them changed fed and back down in an hour by myself.
  • I have no advice on twins, but I 100% agree that a 5-6 hour stretch at that age IS sleeping through the night. I would strongly advise not doing any sort of cry it out until over 6 months old. My oldest daughter was up 3-4 times a night till 14 months old then between 15 and 16 months old magically started sleeping through the night. Getting up at night is not only for nutrition (which at 4 months old they still do often need that nutrition at night) but also a need for comfort at that age. I would definitely be doing one up both up with twins though if they were both still waking several times just because I can't imagine being up 6-8 times a night if both my kids were like my daughter...
  • Personally I'd wait until they are a little bigger just because with weight gain comes longer sleep, less eat and frankly 6-7 hours isn't that bad. And at that weight they probably are truly hungry. My lo has had an ear infection for 3 weeks and will only sleep 4 hours Max and so long as he's fed or soothed will go back down after 15-30 min. I get with twins it's different, but I think under the 15lb mark expecting them to sleep over 6 hours is a little overzealous.
    Have u read the Dunstan's cries? They're pretty spot on and can help you determine if they are hungry cries or something else

  • We ferberized at 4 months. I'm a huge fan. Our rule is we don't feed if he wakes up before midnight. Listening to him cry was tough at first but it certainly won't be the hardest thing we run into as parents!

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  • I had night nurses w my twins (they are now 4yrs old...I'm on this site for my new 5mo old baby :) and they absolutely helped w ferberizing. And it's easier for them to stick to it bc it's hard as momma to hear them cry. We used night nurses til they were around 6-7mo old. We were strict babywise followers. I highly recommend finding a moms-of-multiples type group for support w the unique issues twins bring up. 
  • My daughter just turned 5 months and we started sleep training last night. Unsuccessful for me but DH says it's been working for him. :( I hate hearing her cry!
    DD#1 born 12/30/2015
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    DS#1 born 02/19/2013
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  • My daughter just turned 5 months and we started sleep training last night. Unsuccessful for me but DH says it's been working for him. :( I hate hearing her cry!
    Babies are master manipulators. Now she knows that if I cry for as long as you let her, she will get picked up/soothed. My sister went through this with her son and the first night he cried for 45 minutes before finally falling to sleep. The next night it was less and the next time even less. It only took 3 nights for her son to learn to self soothe. 

    We plan to do CIO once DD is 4 months old. I know it will be hard, but for our sanity, it will be worth it. 

    You can do it!
  • We just ferberized our 7 month old and its been pretty amazing.  He has had two long nights (30-45 min) but other than that its less than 10 minutes and hes asleep!
  • my twins were born at 38 weeks, weighing 6 lb 8 oz and 6 lb 10 oz. Since birth their diets are 2/3 expressed breastmilk and 1/3 formula. They started sleeping 6 hours straight around 7 weeks old, and by 9 or 10 weeks, one would sleep 9-10 hours and the other stuck at 6-7 hours for a few more weeks. (black-out curtains solved it for him!) But then the week before they hit 4 months we had to stop swaddling because of rolling, and they started getting up frequently all night - just to be soothed, not fed. We talked with the ped and he suggested Ferberizing, so we bit the bullet and did so just before they turned 18 weeks. It only took 3 days until they no longer cried during the night, though 2 weeks later they would still cry for 10 minutes or so at the initial put-down. 
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  • 1mae20161mae2016 member
    edited August 2016
    I definitely read this as "Ferbrezing" in the title and was about to give a lecture on lavender and rosemary essential oils, lol. Which is still slightly relevent since their problem is sleep. Maybe get a diffuser? Walmart has mini ones for $20 and since it's vapor you dont have to worry about smoke and asthma unless your LOs are sensitive to smells. I know this doesn't  quiet answer your question but i am personally against the "cry it out" method, yet I also sympathize with your need for sleep. 
    ETA: also, you could try upping the amount of ounces you offer near their nightime feedings. When my LO was having sleep issues out of no where that seemed to be the cure-all. Ultimately,  you're the parent and you have to choose what the best method will be for long term results, not just short term. No matter what method you pick babies and kids are always going to have a reason to wake up whether it be they have a wet diaper or had an accident,  or if they're hungry or had a bad dream, and definitely if they're sick. There's no way around it. 
  • We did the Ferber method (did not know it was called "Ferberizing" until this post!) a few weeks ago shortly after DD turned 4 months old.  Contrary to other posters, my daughter has done great and bedtime is SO much less stressful!  She usually eats before going to sleep and then sleeps for 12-13 hours a night.  She is up around 6 or 7 a.m. to eat but then will go back to sleep.  Every kid is different though so your kiddos may not be ready for it but if you can get through the first few days (they are rough!) it can make a HUGE difference. 

    The actual book has a twins chapter, (I think) so you may find that helpful.  I say it's worth a shot!
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