After 2 months of total confusion and exhaustion over all the methods, I’m getting a handle on things. I can now say the babies are less fussy. We feed them every 3 hours, except after the 7pm feeding. Having a schedule allows the babies to know what’s coming. We follow an eat/play/nap routine. Everyone eats, plays (sits in bouncies, gets rocked, or the play gym), and then goes down for naps at the same time. Naps are the hardest, and crying ensues, but it’s getting better. It was very hard to implement, but necessary for my sanity and theirs!
We tried to do it without a schedule and “follow their cues”, but that didn’t last. We couldn’t maintain ourselves, or keep up with them. In the beginning if a baby cried, I picked him or her up immediately. Now I let them cry for a little bit in their cribs before naps, and I’m finding they settle on their own and self-sooth somewhat (although I go in all the time). Now they’re napping better, and everything else is easier. When they’re awake, they’re happier.
They’re sleeping longer periods at night. Maybe 8pm to 1am. Or maybe 1am to 6am. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, one sleeps 8pm to 3am. This depends on the baby. I call the 6 or 7pm feeding the last feeding of the night, and demand-feed only after that. They sleep anywhere from 5 -7 hour stretches. I feed them about 4-5 oz. every 3 hours during the day, and they usually eat 4 oz when they wake at night. Every baby skips at least one feeding at night. This is why I don’t follow the “feed one, feed all” policy at night. Their weights are fine, and they’re ready to sleep longer. Why not let them? Last night (because I didn’t wake them all when William awoke), both Jackson and Emilia slept about 6 hours straight.
They all love the baby gym very much. It’s a lifesaver, and their favorite “station”. A close second is the bouncies. The swings remain their least favorite station. They spend at least 30 mins playing before naptime.
I still have “stress” dreams. I think this is part of the reason the newborn stage is so difficult for me. As a new mother, you never want to leave your baby’s(ies’) side. It’s instinctual. With 3 babies, that’s not possible. You can’t sleep when they do, because triplets don’t necessarily sleep at the same time. So you need to leave them with someone. That’s where the stress dreams come in. When we first brought the babies home (day 3), it was the worst. Every night, I dreamed the babies were in bed with me, and I was terrified to move because I thought I’d roll over on them. One time I even mistook the dog (who sleeps with us) for a baby. Yet they’ve never been in bed with us.
My other aunt came on Sat. She sent me for a nap on Tuesday, as she was very eager to help as much as possible. I woke up completely confused, with no idea what was going on, and where the babies were. I leapt out of bed–literally running, terrified–to search for the babies. I arrived in the living room to see them all perfectly fine, hanging out and eating. Needless to say, I felt a little foolish. I can’t put the babies out of my mind, not even my dreams.
All babies are smiling now. :()