Finn & Rebecca

Finn & Rebecca

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sleep training for Becs

Well, we have finally come to the realisation that our current routine is not helping Rebecca develop healthy sleeping habits at all. She is having such issues going to sleep at night and getting back to sleep on waking during the night. Because we have been rocking or patting her to sleep every night, she just can't seem to do it on her own and it is becoming more and more apparent with more night wakings. For the past year, we have been "on call" every night and leap up at the first cry to pacify her back to sleep in fear that she wakes up Finn, who is a really good sleeper but if he wakes up, two awake babies are hectic to deal with alone.

The penny dropped for me the other night when it took more than forty minutes for DH to pat her to sleep. Later that night she woke up at 2am so I rushed in to soothe her. She reached through the cot bars and patted my leg, and eventually went back to sleep, until I tried to leave the room when she started wailing again. this went on for an hour until. Finally I relented and took her to bed with me....mmmm not really conducive to teaching her how to fall asleep again! 

The decision to start sleep training now rather than later is also because the Paed confirmed there is nothing physically wrong with her - no ear infection as I suspected and no reason why she shouldn't sleep well and also advised sleep training. This whole issue is rather controversial I know, with attachment parenting in one camp and Ferberization methods in the other and Sleep Sense somewhere in-between. So I started researching and came across the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child I ordered it on kindle and consumed it in one sitting. It details the basis of how good sleep patterns are established and how horribly wrong things can go if a child never develops this including learning problems etc later on, adult sleep issues etc. It resonated with us however his approach is hardcore. You literally let them cry it out from the beginning and make sure they have two good naps everyday and a bedtime between 6-7pm. If they have interrupted naps, you bring bedtime earlier. 

So we started last night. We moved Becky's cot to the study and followed the usual bedtime routine, but instead of rocking her for half an hour, I placed her in her cot, patted her a while, said goodnight and left the room. She cried. And cried. And cried. And  cried. And twenty minutes later she stopped and went to sleep. And she slept all the way through until 6:30 am. It was really hard not to rush in there, but once she had fallen asleep we went in to check and covered her with a blankie and made sure she was okay.  She was in the same position when we rushed in to check on her this morning. And she was happy and smiling as usual. 

I think all children are different, and some may find the Ferber or gradual process better, but for Becs, she is already very aware of "needing" our involvement to sleep and we believe she will learn quickly tha she really can do it for herself. I also think it is important to reconise the difference between an angry "why are you not rocking me" cry to a sad or hurt cry. Obviously if she is teething or unwell, this approach would not work...but for now while she is healthy we are going to persevere until she can fall asleep on her own at nights so we can move her back into the nursery with her brother!! She has no problem going to sleep for daytime naps, so we have no doubt she will  pick it up fast! Now I just have to stay strong and resist rushing in there to scoop up my little treasure!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ONE YEAR Update!

Age: ONE Year old! We will start saying they are one now, even though in actual terms and developmentally I still see them as just over 10 months old. By 14 months they will truly be one!

Height/Weight: Finn must be over 11kg by now and Becky is just over 9kg as weighed at the Paed yesterday. We will check this out when they go for their MMR shots next week - not looking forward to that sigh.

Developmental notes: Both crawl at great speed, both coast along furniture and both stand without holding on to anything.  Rebecca is more adept at standing and I think she is about to take off on her first steps. She will stand there unsupported and even moving her arms and then...sit. I have read that shorter babies with stubby legs find it easier to balance and walk than taller long legged babies - apparently harder for them to coordinate longer legs lol.  I am sure though that walking is imminent although happy that they take as long as possible to get going as I am sure once they start walking, we are going to start running! And in different directions!

Finn is very vocal and babbles away. Becs has started babbling as well and still surprises us with the odd new word said perfectly.  The other day she said "night" and then "dog". But she only says it once or twice so you second guess yourself as to whether you even heard it or not. But other people heard her say these words the other day so I was not imagining things. Both have started waving / folding their hands saying ta ta. If I say "come" they crawl to me and stand up against my legs to go "uppie". They stop doing something is I say "ahah" - not for long though - I really don't want to over-use "No" as I am sure there will be so many "no's" in future! Finn calls me mumum.

Both drink their own bottles in their cots in the morning now - too cute. They are quite happy to sit playing for reasonable periods of time while I get ready for work - so much better than trying to run after them in my bedroom while I have a hair dryer in one hand lol. Becky kisses and loves her teddybear and Finn sucks his teddy blanket or a rogue dummy if there is one. They are hilarious as they both pop the dummy out of each other's mouths and then take it for themselves. They have started doing interesting things with their toys - putting cups on top of the stacking ring; putting objects inside others; beating the maracas together; walking pushing toys along; moving small parts; dancing to music toys - amazing to watch their development!

Finn has 8 teeth now and Becky still has 6 - we brush their teeth every morning and night. Finn's hair on top of his head is really long now and stands straight up - he really has a natural mohican!  Becky has started getting little curls on the sides - so cute!

Eating: We haven't introduced snacks really so will start this and will also replace the 2 day bottles with rooibos tea and cows milk and a little snack. Then will stay on stage 3 formula for morning and nightime bottle for a while.  The paed suggested we stay on formula until they are two as it has good vitamin and nutrient supplements which he reckons is really worthwhile. I gave them tuna for the first time the other day and they did not love...will try sardines next - good brain food. They basically eat everything now, so next step is more chunky foods and then self feeding will start soon - going to be messy! We do not give them juice - only milk, water and rooibos tea.

Sleep: Finn is sleeping through with no serious problems. He does sometimes wake up crying full on - must be night terrors, but is easily comforted.  He self-soothes really well.  Becs on the other hand is not sleeping that well.  We are going to need to do some sleep training with her at nighttime so she goes to sleep on her own without us rocking or patting her to sleep at night. This may mean we seperate them for a while but hopefully we don't need to. She gets pretty loud and then Finn wakes up and it is more difficult dealing with two awake babies than one - so seperation for a bit may help us so that we don't need to respond that quickly to Becky when she wakes and starts crying.  I don't know if CIO is the way, but at least we don't have to rush to her to pacify her in fear Finn is also going to wake - maybe she will self soothe if we leave her a bit...mmm still need to research all this more. We are going to start this on the weekend.

Favourite Things: Crawling, playing, exploring the house! And oats are always a winner - I make them with cinnamon and mashed banana and vanilla paste....yum.

Dislikes: Tuna ;)

Looking forward to: Getting Becky to sleep without interventions ;)

Mommy and Daddy musings: What a special milestone babies - you are ONE...well almost completely one in a few weeks as you are still catching up a bit. But, you are both almost walking which is amazing and we are so proud of how well you are both doing.  You are so completely adorable, we just love watching you interact and sometimes I watch you in your cots between the crack in the door so you can't see me.  Finn, I love your huge smile when you suddenly see me watching you.  Becs, I love your squeals and fast crawl to get to me as soon as possible when I get home for a big hug and a kiss. What special little treasures you both are.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Now we are ONE!

The big day finally arrived, the twin's 1st Birthday Party! And after worrying about the weather as it had been raining all week, we were blessed with sunshine! What a lovely, special celebration. 

I had so much fun organising their party and even with 32 people, both Finn and Rebecca were so chilled, just enjoying the action all around them. We have also just completed a veranda extension which was completed literally the day before the party! This is going to be a wonderful space for the twins to ride their little waddle bikes when they are ready.

The goodies table turned out exactly as I had planned pretty...

And what a beautiful cake.

Their little thrones for the day...

The Birthday babbas holding hands - too cute.

Everyone singing Happy Birthday...

 They especially enjoyed their Birthday cupcakes...

Birthday Beauty.

Oh our precious little babies, even though you are only actually 10 months old now, we are now saying you are one as you have both caught up so beautifully.  Rebecca, you are about to walk your first steps as you confidently stand balancing perfectly - any day now and you will be off with new independence.  You are so affectionate and love cuddles and singing with your mummy. You are so unbelievably cute with your crystal clear gaze and rosebud mouth smiles and little chuckles. Finn, my boy, what a delight you are. Charming everyone with your smiles and laughs and your hair that is determined to stand up straight. You will also be off on your first steps soon and then Daddy and I are going to have to run to keep up with you and your sister. You are already so fast. You are our special miracle babies and we love you more than words will ever express. Happy Birthday Rebecca & Finn!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One today!

Our miracle babies are one today. One! Already! How did time go so fast? Today was an incredible milestone and we both feel so blessed and so proud to have been chosen by these two precious children to be their mummy and daddy. Rebecca - you are a beautiful, affectionate, bright little girl born beneath a special star. Finn - what a loving, happy, open little sweetie you are, so curious and expressive. We love you both so very much our little twins and look forward to sharing so many special times with you xxx

Monday, September 3, 2012

The dreaded snots!

I really thought we were over the colds this winter...until I got serious flu - the worst I have had since 2004! My first thought was, I hope the babes don't get it too - just after getting over two colds in succession and an ear infection, we had settled into clear noses and good sleeping again. And then the dreaded snots set in over the weekend aaaargh!

Poor tots are all snotty and while Finn takes it in his stride and sleeps well despite this, little Becky keeps waking up unable to breathe properly and then she yells in contempt of her condition as if to say, "I have a snotty nose and I don't like it wwwhhhhhaaaaa!". And she does this all night long. Yes, I jumped out of bed five times on Saturday night to re-settle her, until at 2:30am I was so over it and fetched her to lie with me. Mistake.  I couldn't sleep. By the time poor DH came in at 6:30am, I begged him to let me go sleep for an hour to catch up a little. What a night. I hope that it doesn't get worse than a snotty nose and they don't get a temp and the nasty cough I have now. Please no.

Besides for the snots, they are getting so damn cute. Finny does high fives. Becky said "okay" and "hello" and "meow" - but only once! You really have to listen out as she suddenly says a word and then just looks at you so you are left wondering if you imagined it.  But she says it so clearly it is unmistakable. She also stood for quite a while yesterday and then fell forward when she realised she was standing.  I am sure walking is not far away.  Finn also stands so it is going to be interesting to see who takes the first steps first. Finn babbles away loudly but apart from mamma, babba, dadda, yum hasn't said any new words - he is far more vocal than Becky, but she hums and sings and he doesn't.

Becky has become more clingy and settles in for hugs more often from me - so sweet. Finn has some real boy actions - pushes his sister over, crawls over her, head bangs the ottomon, body thrusts his cot across the floor - really physical sometimes lol.

They turn ONE in 15 days time!!!! Can you believe it? I can't.