Wow, so many comments because we let our girls cry for a bit! I've been called ignorant, cruel, and probably a few other things behind my back. But I'm soldiering on, every day making new decisions based on what feels right at the time.
The 45 minutes seems to really be sticking out to some people so I offer these comments on that - about a half hour in, we also decided (like many of my commenters) that they weren't just fussing anymore, they needed something. We determined that they needed to be fed. But it took some time to warm the bottles and get the burp cloths and stuff needed to feed them.
The main problem we are trying to fix is the whole over tired thing. The long rocking and cuddling is partly to blame for them getting over tired and once that happens, we're all just screwed. So we're trying to cut down the bed time routine so it doesn't take so long that when we see the tired cues, we can get them to bed before they catch their second wind and start moving into the over tired range. We're also trying to create a bed time routine that's brief and can be done with just one parent because sometimes there's only one of us available.
As for the comment that insomnia isn't a learned thing - I have no clue as to whether or not training them as babies will prevent that problem in the future. But if insomnia sucks for me as an adult, I can only imagine that it sucks for a baby too. So I'm trying to train them to go to sleep quickly after being put to bed so they aren't dealing with it. If that carries over into their older selves, all the better.
Here's what happened last night.
8:30pm - we start seeing tired cues. It's been a while since either girl had eaten so we did a feeding and prepared to start bed time routine.
8:45ish - both girls are falling asleep at their bottles. We're having to twist the nipples and stuff to keep them awake enough to eat. We decide to skip the bath and do an abbreviated bed time routine since the bath would add an extra 10 or 15 minutes and these girls are ready to sleep now.
9:00pm - The girls have had a brief massage with lotion in the crib, one song, swaddled, turned on the mobile and we left.
9:01pm - we turn on the baby monitor to see 2 sleeping babies.
9:30pm - well, that was fun, they're awake. Start 5 minute wait. Someone had mentioned yesterday that lying down while sick might be putting pressure on their nasal passages and it might be uncomfortable or even cause an ear infection. We decide that they might generally feel better if they sleep in their car seats so they are sitting up a little bit and to keep everything draining properly. We also have a cool mist humidifier going for them.
Just a note about the whole "sick" thing. It's so mild I'm not even sure they have a full cold. Charlotte's poos are still a little green which indicates she is fighting something, but they don't have a fever and other than the eye goop for about 24 hours and a few coughs or sneezes, they really aren't showing any signs of really being sick. We are acting as though they are because better safe than sorry.
9:35pm - put them in their car seats and put those in the crib. They seem pretty good so we turn on the mobile and leave again.
Fussing. I tell K that while CIO felt right the night before, I'm not sure it feels right tonight. He asks what I want to do. I tell him I want to do what he tells me to do. He says "Ok than, it's another 4 and a half minutes before we go in."
9:45pm - We go in. Charlotte is quietly fussing and easily soothed, Tina is having a meltdown. I attempt to soothe with song and a hand on the chest but give up and take her out of the car seat and rock her for about 3-5 minutes until she's quiet but still very much awake.
We exit a few minutes before 10pm and there's more fussing. But it's not meltdown levels, just fussing. Start the 15 minute timer.
10:10pm - We go in and sing but leave them in their seats. Turn on the mobile, and out we go. K and I get ready for bed because K is getting the first migraine he's had in a decade and isn't doing so hot.
10:30pm - They have now been asleep long enough that we officially mark it in Baby ESP and go to sleep ourselves.
4:50am - They are awake so K feeds them while I pump. Everybody back to bed with no drama.
9:30am - I wake up because I'm simply done sleeping. I haven't felt that in forever!
10am - Both girls are awake, happy and we start our day which included a breakfast with some extended family even though we got there shortly before the extended family had to leave. I'm a night owl mom with twins in a morning person family. I'm just glad we got there with enough time to say hi to everyone before some had to leave! Charlotte naps the whole time, Tina is lively for a bit (not real happy about it), takes a 20 minute nap, and then parties with my original nuclear family (my brother showed up! That never happens!) for about an hour before we all break it up.
Now that we've started this, I'm finding that Tina actually prefers napping in the crib instead of her swing. This afternoon, I took her into the nursery, turned on the white noise machine, rocked her for one song, swaddled her, put the mobile on and walked away. Much to my surprise, zero fussing and asleep by the time I turned the monitor on in the other room. She was so awake when I put her down I thought there was no way in heck I was going to get away with just one song, but apparently I did! Yay! And her afternoon naps in the crib seem to be lasting about an hour which is an improvement over the 15-20 minute naps I was getting last week.
Charlotte is just generally a good sleeper, she doesn't fight the drowsies much which is why I have so many more comments about Tina.
Folks, I have no idea if we're successfully training them, if they just hit the right age to sleep well, or what. I'm just doing my best every night to survive at the time while teaching for the future. My version of crying it out might not be what the books advise, or even worthwhile, I don't know. What I know is that my girls are learning to go to sleep pretty well, we're pretty much all sleeping through the night, and that every night we'll do our best to understand the current situation and respond to it accordingly.
A few minutes ago, Tina started fussing from her nap. I thought it was wake up time so I quickly wrote that last paragraph and went to check on her. She had soothed herself back to sleep. She's never done that before that I know of. Awesome!