Are you planning to transition your twins from a crib to toddler bed? How do you know if they’re developmentally ready? What are some of the challenges you can expect? And once your kids are in bed, how do you encourage them to stay there throughout the night? Our twin parents tell us what worked best for them. Plus, we’re reviewing a super fun sleep time app- especially if your kids like dinosaurs!
Twin Transitions: Crib to Toddler Bed
Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Are you ready to move your toddler twins from a crib to a bed? How do you know if they’re developmentally ready, and how can you make this transition safely and keep your own sanity in the process? Well today we’re talking with twin parents about how to successfully make that transition from a crib to a bed. This is Twin Talks
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin talks, broadcasting from the birth education centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting and new parents of twins. I’m your host, Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. Have you heard about the Twin Talks club?
Our members get bonus content after each new show, plus special giveaways and discounts. You can subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks app, available in the Android and iTunes marketplace. I’m going to turn this over to Sunny who is going to talk about our virtual panelist program,
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so if you guys aren’t in our studio here today but you want to participate in the conversation, there are a couple of different ways you can do that. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and before we record the episodes I usually post some questions out there trying to get you guys involved in the conversation, get your input on the various topics that we’re exploring.
I’ll be tweeting some stuff out as we go along with today’s topic and even afterwards, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and follow the hashtag #TwinTalksVP in order to find the conversation.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: All right. Well before we jump in, let’s introduce ourselves. I’ll start out, I’m your host and I’ve got two identical twin girls who are five years old and I also have a singleton who is 2 and a half, so we’re a girl household. I’m going to turn this over to Gareth in our studio today.
GARETH MASSEY: My name is Gareth Massey, I have three kids. A single, she just turned four, then I have the fraternal twins and they just turned two. All girls.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow, all girls.
GARETH MASSEY: All girls, yep. We’re a girl family too.
SUNNY GAULT: Gosh, a lot of girls in this room. Oh my goodness.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And Shelly on the phone.
SHELLY STEELY: Hi, I’m Shelly, I have identical twin boys who will be three in July, oh my goodness. I also have a singleton girl who is eight months.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Woo! You know, a little balance there.
SUNNY GAULT: I have a little bit more balance for you guys. I have two singleton boys, almost five and a boy that just turned three. Then I have identical twin girls who are about 18 months old.
GARETH MASSEY: You win.
SUNNY GAULT: Ha I won!
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Ding dingdingding!
SUNNY GAULT: What’s my prize? Come on!
SUNNY GAULT: All right, so before we get started today we have an app that we’re going to talk about. I found this on iTunes, I thought it was kind of cute and I have a lot to do with trying to get your kids to stay in bed, so I thought it was appropriate for today. It’s called Sleepasaurus, dinosaur sleep trainer for kids.
Okay, I know it’s kind of a mouthful, but here’s the idea. They can choose between these little dinosaurs okay? There are like seven different dinosaurs they can choose from and they’re really cute, cute little backgrounds and stuff like that. When they find a dinosaur they like, you basically pull down this sack and all this sleep stuff falls on them. The dinosaur falls asleep.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s like pixie dust!
SUNNY GAULT: It’s like pixie dust, right? I had the sound turned off, but let me see if I can put it up there. You can hear some of the music, and on the previous screen when you’re selecting your dinosaur they actually roar and do some cool stuff like that. The idea is that your child sleeps along with the dinosaur.
Now there is no clock involved in this as far as actual numbers or anything like that, it’s all about the visual of it being night time or the visual of it being day time. Parents can come in and set whatever time they want their child to wake up, and the screen will change from, right now it looks like it’s night time and your dinosaur is sleeping, and it will naturally wake up the child.
You can decide if you want it to wake up with music or how you want that to happen. It can be a night light at night too, there’s a different function for that. Obviously the more power you use, the faster your device is going to go out so they do recommend you plug it in and also turn it on airplane mode so if you get a call or something like that it’s not going to wake your child up. It does not need the internet though in order to work.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.
SUNNY GAULT: Once it’s on, even if you’re in a bad reception area it doesn’t matter.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well you know, I think I have an idea.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: What do you do with your old phones? If you have an old iPhone you just upgrade, right?
SUNNY GAULT: Shelly don’t you use your old phones for something too? Don’t you let your kids play with them?
SHELLY STEELY: We used to. We had old phones and we used them for the VOIP or for music. Actually I just upgraded my iPad, I needed a new one for school and my old iPad was only worth 20 dollars or something so I kept it, because I’m not going to get much, sell an iPad for 20 bucks. So I actually have an iPad in my boy’s room right now, it plays their bedtime playlist at night, there’s a little list of songs they like to listen to.
Of course, looking at this thing it would be pretty cool. They do want dinosaurs. We have a clock that does that though, it turns green when it’s time to get up in the morning, so the concept works really well. I wish I had seen this app, it’s cheaper than the clock was.
SUNNY GAULT: I think I have that same clock, Shelly. In my boys’ rooms too. It seems to work.
GARETH MASSEY: You guys are so high tech. I just have a little sound machine that shoots the light up on the ceiling.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, yeah.
GARETH MASSEY: It goes around and there are little animals on there.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. Is that more for when they’re going to sleep though? That kind of soothes them.
GARETH MASSEY: We did use them when they were going to sleep, but they’re climbers so they’d get out of the bed and then climb up onto the changing table and get into the shelves. We ended up actually turning off the light and just having the sound.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh. That makes sense.
GARETH MASSEY: I do like that app though, it looks cool.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes, it looks kind of cool.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I can relate too, because if they’re under three let’s just say, they’re still that kind of, not lack of understanding of okay is it daytime, is it nighttime? Especially when we come into the summer months and you have that earlier sunshine, it could be 4:45 in the morning and the sun is coming up.
Oh it’s wake up? It’s play time, right? But wait, no no. Is the light green? I like that idea that you have some kind of visual reference that either it’s still sleep time or if it’s play time regardless of how much light we have coming in the room.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes.It’s $1.99, I didn’t mention that. When Shelly was talking about pricing, yeah, that’s usually a lot cheaper. I think I paid almost 40 bucks for my little clock, but the concept still works. One thing that I wish that it had, and actually maybe I just don’t know my iPhone that well. I know with the old iPods you could lock the screen, so no matter what button you hit it wouldn’t move, does anyone know if you can do that with iPhone?
SHELLY STEELY: Yes, you can.
SUNNY GAULT: You can do it, Shelly?
SHELLY STEELY: It’s in the accessibility, if you go into, I think it’s under General Accessibility.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay.
SHELLY STEELY: Yes, and then there’s something called Guided Access, it will lock the iPad or the iPhone to a single app and you set it up with a passcode. You could do a time limit too. The nice thing though is when you set it up to lock it in the app, you can also turn off the screen so they can’t even touch any buttons on the screen.
With my boys I’ll lock it in Apps and then Display, if I want to use my iPad to show a movie or a TV show I can just turn the whole screen capability off and then it’s just like a TV. They can’t touch it or do anything with it.
SUNNY GAULT: That is so smart, I’m so glad you said that because I was thinking my boys would try to play with it and then try to get on other games and stuff like that on the phone. But if you lock it they can’t do that and all they see is a sleeping dinosaur.
SHELLY STEELY: They’d have to know the passcode.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome.
SHELLY STEELY: Yes, it works really well.
SUNNY GAULT: Well great, yes. So what do we think, thumbs up for the app? Would you guys use it, give it a try?
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Sure.
GARETH MASSEY: I’ll try it.
SUNNY GAULT: Give it a try? Shelly, thumbs up?
SHELLY STEELY: Yes, worth trying for sure.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay, well today we’re continuing our series on Twin Transitions by exploring the often difficult task of moving your twins from a crib to a bed. Our experts are twin parents who have tackled this challenge and have survived. Thanks for joining us, everyone. How old were your twins when you first even considered or thought about changing from a crib to a bed? Gareth?
GARETH MASSEY: For us, the twins were going to be turning two in three weeks. We have one that’s a climber and one that’s not, and she was climbing and getting out of the crib successfully. We were thinking do we change it? Do we not? The other one, the straw that broke the camel’s back was literally the other one fell out of the crib trying to do what the other one was doing so easily. Then we said okay, well we have to change this.
So that’s what actually prompted it. We probably would have just left it if she didn’t try to fall out.
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. I think usually it is pretty common. There is a certain event that sort of triggers that thought, you’re like okay, we really have to make some kind of change.
GARETH MASSEY: Yeah, that was it. Her falling.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: How about you, Shelly?
SHELLY STEELY: Yeah, so my boys are crazy crackers. They weren’t very tall and our crib was very low down, because they haven’t figured out how to climb fully out of the crib. I’m not very tall and I was pregnant, so my boys were about 19 months when I thought gosh, if they age, the last thing I want to do is have them figure out how to climb out and then doing the job of that transition nine months pregnant, or when the baby comes home or something.
We figured we would kind of try to preempt it by doing the transition earlier, and then it made it way easier on me because It was so hard to pick up these 27 pound toddlers out of their crib in the morning. It was really kind of just logistical for us.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes, for me I haven’t had to do it with my twins yet, they’re 18 months and they have made no attempt. No attempt whatsoever to get out.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Really.
SUNNY GAULT: I mean the cribs are all the way down, like the lowest level you can make it. In the past I have had to do that with my singleton boys, my now 5 year old was about 18 months when he started to climb out of his crib and he was like what you guys are describing, the complete climber. Monkey status, right? What I was nervous about with that is we were living in a different house and the nursery was kind of jam packed with stuff.
It was kind of a combination nursery and guest bedroom, so the crib was pretty close to a bed and I was nervous. It wouldn’t take much at all for him to bonk his head on something else and he just didn’t have much room to get out if he fell out. A couple times with him trying to get out we just said okay.
We had a bed that kind of converted into different ways, I know we’ll probably talk about that later. We just kind of moved to the second stage with that, and then with my second son it was more of “The twins are coming, I need your crib.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You’re moving.
SUNNY GAULT: You’re being evicted. Right?
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Exactly. Now for me it was interesting I guess. We had the event, the thud a couple of times where we hear this thud and we’re panicking, rushing down the hallways into the room like “What happened?” We’ve got carpet, but still. My girl was actually pretty unfazed, they were climbing at a very early age and I have to say we actually made the transition pretty early on.
They were just barely over a year old. I think both of them were pretty skilled at climbing over, so I think when we had two climb overs and a couple of thuds we’re like okay, I think this is the time.
I realize for most parents it does happen a little bit later, but we’re just like, I know the next step is to either open it up to them or try to contain them further. We just felt like okay, that next step is we just need to make it more accessible. I think a lot of us here are concerned with safety, that’s kind of the big thing. If they’re climbing, then something has got to happen. Did you have any other concerns about either climbing out or wandering? What were your main concerns?
GARETH MASSEY: My kids are pretty attached to their blankets, so when one would be starting to fall asleep my concern was that the other one would go and bug her, take the blanket and that concern was realized most times when we first switched them. One would be asleep, the other one would go take the blanket and then they’d wake up and “Lila is sleeping on my blanket!” and then they would be crying.
They also around the same time learned how to open the doors, so they would get out of the bed, come to the door, open the door and then be coming out into the living room when it was time to be sleeping, during nap or bed time. That was another concern, that they just wouldn’t be going to sleep.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. Maybe just kind of the management aspect of it. How about you, Shelly?
SHELLY STEELY: [phone cuts out] and so then they’re climbers, so we were worried about what would happen and yeah, it was big bed or get rid of everything. We had to take all of their toys out of the room, we had to put latches on their drawers because they were using the drawers as steps to climb up onto their dresser, they were climbing the bed with each other but then the crib wasn’t big enough for two toddlers in one crib.
One would fall out and get mad, and then they would climb into the wrong bed, like Grayson would climb into Blair’s bed and Blair was green because Grayson wouldn’t get out of his bed. Pretty much anything that could have gone wrong with two very young toddlers on their own in a room.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I hear you. One of my concerns was just that if we’re going to open up their room, they would climb up on dressers and we’re in a two story house. Even though they could go up and down the stairs, it was pretty early and my thought was well, okay, they’re not totally steady so I had this vision like what if they wake up at six in the morning, they’re playing and they fall down the stairs and wander around.
SUNNY GAULT: For me, I don’t know if I was worried about this before but a big change that happened I can say with my boys is that once they got out of crib status, then obviously they were more mobile, they could get out. It changed our bedtime routine drastically, because I had to stay in there with them longer, and I’m still basically doing that.
Once we made that transition they just became more attached to us and instead of being able to read them a nighttime story and do a little routine and then ooh, now I’m going to put you in your crib and you’re going to go night-night, which I can do with my girls super easy and they’ll go right down and go to sleep.
Suddenly when they’re able to get in and out, it’s more of just mom being in there until they go to sleep. It has taken, if you think about nap time, if you have one nap right now for my three year old, so during nap time and then at night that’s two times that I’m lying down each day to help them go to sleep. I think the biggest change was really more for me than for them, because it was so much more involved.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes, kind of the minding and watching and keeping them.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I think that’s a pretty common challenge that every parent has, just teaching them that level of self-control to okay, stay in your bed.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: This is your bed, this is where you sleep and even though you can get out of it on your own, how do you stay in there? I know earlier we reviewed the sleepasaurus app, which I think is a great thing and I think it would be a great tool, especially at this sort of toddler age.
They can’t read clocks, they don’t know what’s day or night, especially if you’re closing the drapes and making it dark and using that to say okay, we’re telling you it’s time to stay in bed. I know that was kind of our biggest challenge, just how long is it going to take for them to learn to stay in bed and don’t wander around.
GARETH MASSEY: Yes, those first two weeks are really hard, because they just get out and get into everything. It’s like newfound freedom, they’re just wild and they’re just running around. Nap time was especially hard because they would get out, and for us it was just about being consistent, so nap time we go in, we do the story, we sing the song, we lay them down and we leave.
Then they would get out, so we give them some time to kind of try to get it out of their system, go in, it’s nap time. Put them in the bed, back in the crib, and they would still get out. In that first week they would get out and get into everything, we would also have to take away things. We took away their chairs, took away toys and eventually you give them a little bit more time and they just start to learn.
Now we’re finally at a stage where we just put them in and they kind of will go down pretty easily, just reluctantly.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Awesome.
SHELLY STEELY: We pretty much lost nap when we did this toddler bed transition. It was hard, because I am a teacher during the school year, my husband works at night and then during the summers he goes on the day shift so I kind If turn into a stay at home mom, so there I was 7 months pregnant with two boys that wouldn’t sleep at all.
For a while they would nap in their Pack and Play so that they would be contained, and that worked out, but then they learned how to climb out of the Pack and Play pretty quickly. It was like if I laid down with them in the middle, then maybe a nap would happen.
What we actually did though was we had so many issues with their toddler bed, they actually for a whole week slept on the floor next to each other, nap and bedtime.
We just said forget it with the toddler beds and we actually bought a king sized bed. It’s from IKEA, it’s a twin that converts to a king, like a treadmill kind of. We just put that in their room and took everything else out so I could lie in the middle, with one on either side of me and it felt better together.
Nighttime was a nightmare for a while, I would have to lie in there with them until they’d go to sleep. It was really just age related, they were too little to kind of get it, that they needed to stay and they still needed me, and I’m sure knowing the baby sister was coming didn’t help.
Right after she was born we moved and we tried the own beds again, and I don’t know if it was age or they felt like big brothers, but something just clicked and we haven’t had any issues since. They each go to their own bed, they stay in their own bed and that’s that. Bedtime is much easier, they don’t nap at all but bedtime is easier.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So definitely, I think it’s just disruptive for nap time, I think parents just need to mentally prepare themselves that whatever routine we’ve got going, it’s probably not going to happen for a little while.
GARETH MASSEY: Just know it’s going to suck for a while. If you know that for a few weeks they’re just not going to sleep, and if they’re in there playing and they’re quiet and they’re not hurting each other, then that can be restful for them.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: We’re going to take a break, and when we come back we’re going to talk about what kinds of beds and gear work best for their twins.
SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks, do you know you can listen to our episodes anytime, anywhere? Just download our apps available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. It’s a great way to listen on the go, like when you’re waiting for your perinatologist or perhaps your twins’ pediatrician. If you want more great content about twins, be sure to join our Twin Talks Club. You’ll get extra bonus content, transcripts from the shows, discounts on great twin products and more. Be sure to visit us online at www.newmommymedia.com
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome back, today we’re talking with our twin parents about transitioning from a crib to a bed. I think Shelly you kind of touched on it, we’re talking about the different kinds of beds. I know we’re talking about toddler beds, but that’s not always the go-to. There are other choices.
SHELLY STEELY: Yes, a crib took the fight off of them, so they turned into little beds and honestly if it had been just one of them, it would have worked great. It probably was doubly working great because it was low to the ground, if they fall out it’s not a very tall, it’s like six inches.
No issues there, but like I said we’d end up with two boys in one bed or both of them on the floor because they wanted to sleep right next to each other and didn’t have enough room. Yes, the bed we got is a single that pulls out into a double.
Sunny you remember both of them, and I think knowing that they could be next to each other or apart helped with that transition. Plus it meant that my husband or I could lie down with them comfortably in the middle until they fell asleep or they calmed down.
It was really good for the transition, and then my baby Alisa was born when they were 25 months old, they just turned two and we moved right around when they were two and a half and we decided okay, let’s put them in their own bed. We put them each on a mattress on the floor to start off with and it was really low.
Then we built their beds up a couple months ago and it’s been fine. I think just in terms of bed or gear, try what you have and if that doesn’t work look for something else.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right. I think that’s a great point too, we don’t always have to go out and buy everything new, because you don’t know if it’s going to be working. Again, I got a lot of my stuff from the twins club from other twin moms whose kids were making the transition to big beds.
You know, we’ll try it out. We went with just the traditional toddler beds that had the little rails on the side. The toddler beds are the same size as a crib, so we could continue to use the same crib mattresses and bedding and that sort of thing.
GARETH MASSEY: We had these super cute pottery barn cribs that we just loved, but we didn’t buy the conversion kit at the same time so when it was time to convert we went to pottery barn and they said “We have a new manufacturer for the crib and they don’t line up properly, so you’ll have to buy a whole new one”
SUNNY GAULT: Oh no.
GARETH MASSEY: We were just devastated, because we had saved for so long to buy those awesome cribs. Then we ended up selling those and buying these little beds with the low rails just from www.target.com I think.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.
GARETH MASSEY: They were super cheap but they look cute and the mattress fits.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh yeah.
GARETH MASSEY: So that was our crib gear, we had to sell the crib and get the actual toddler bed because they’re sharing a room so we don’t have enough space in that room for all their stuff.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: All their stuff, yes. I think you raise a good point too, sometimes when I think a lot of new parents are shopping for cribs and anticipating their baby’s arrival, there are just so many different choices. Like these cribs, there’s the three in one, the four in one and the conversions.
SUNNY GAULT: I still don’t know the difference between the three in one and the four in one. I’ve been online like a million times, but what is this extra step? It’s so confusing.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I know, because with our cribs you can have the traditional crib that has got all four little walls so to speak, and then you can essentially take the front of it off. That’s what we did when they were let’s say 14 months old, we took the front of them off so they could crawl in and out. Then I think, I’m just trying to remember, I know it can convert to a full size bed. We’ve actually held…
GARETH MASSEY: The headboard.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: The headboard, yes, and I think you can use the footboard.
GARETH MASSEY: Oh yeah.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. We’ve held onto our cribs although they have little beaver teeth marks all across the edge.
SUNNY GAULT: Oh my gosh, yeah, that happened with my firstborn too. Oh my gosh, it’s like a little termite.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. I’m thinking probably at the time when they’d have the big beds it’s probably not worth it. [inaudible][25:53] I think a lot of times you’re spending hundreds of dollars on these really fancy cribs with these ideas that you’re going to have it for years and years to come, and the reality is you probably don’t use it that long.
GARETH MASSEY: Yes, that was a bummer.
SHELLY STEELY: Yes, I’ve heard that from everybody in my mom group, at least half of the people couldn’t find the conversion kit, or the conversion kit that they had bought was missing a piece and they didn’t make the piece anymore.
I’ve also heard the crib chewing, two moms had those really fancy expensive cribs and their kids just gnawed it, so for my kids it was like you’re not going to use that for a seven year old. Especially with two kids I think my advice is cheapest crib possible, because you don’t know how the transition is going to go with twins. We bought the IKEA cribs, and thank goodness we didn’t spend more because toddler beds were an epic fail.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You know, we kind of touched on the idea of setting rules and the idea of staying in bed, did you guys have any sort of incentives as well? Sort of like hey, if you stay in bed you might get something, or alternatively would they get punished? Was there any sort of discipline?
GARETH MASSEY: You know, for us it was we’d go in and do the routine once. We would go in for a nap and for nighttime it was the same routine. We would go in, we read a book, they each pick a book so that’s their special thing that they get to pick. We’ll read that, we sing a song, it’s the same song each time and we say okay, it’s time to get into bed. Then they go off into their bed, they bring their blankets so we tuck them in and we just say night-night and we walk out.
When we first did It, they were looking around and they said wow, we can get out so we’re going back and forth. So we gave them some time, we would go in, get them and lay them back down and say hey, it’s night-night time, you’re going to be staying in here. And they’d just shake their head but then in the back of their little gleaming eyes you know they’re going to get out. We would just do that over and over, and after two and a half hour or whenever their normal nap time was it was okay, we’re done.
Over time now it’s kind of gotten to the point where they are staying in there. We never incentivized them to stay, but there were times where we’d take the blanket away like well, if you’re not going to be sleeping them you don’t get the blanket. Then they would be freaking out about their blanket and we’d give it back to them if they laid in their crib. I guess that was kind of a reward/punishment reversed.
SHELLY STEELY: We have the problem where they were like making up all these excuses and they wanted me to lie in there with them, they wanted me to sing 25 songs and read all of the books, they’ll just scream until I come back. What we did with that is we did kind of a gradual, I would do our bedtime routine and then I would tell them okay, I need to go check on baby sister now, you have to stay in your bed.
We actually, I turned their doorknob around so there’s a lock on the outside of their door, I only lock It when they’re awake for safety concerns. I would never lock it overnight when they’re sleeping, but that way I could see If they were headed for the door, it would give me enough time to go preempt them before they got all the way into the living room.
That made a huge difference, and so I would say okay, I’m going to check on your baby sister and I’ll be right back. Then I would come back and I would make up another task, a little bit longer like okay, now I have to shower but I’ll come back and check on you. Just gradually making up these tasks that took longer and longer, and once they realized that I was coming back to check on them a lot of the times they would just fall asleep while they’re waiting for me.
That turned out to be really successful. Then we were having them waking up really early In the morning and coming in and waking us up or going in and waking their sister up, but after we went to the alarm clock and they were not allowed to get out of bed until it turns green. If they need something they can ask for it because we still have a monitor, so if they wet the bed or they have to pee or they’re hungry or whatever, they can ask and I’ll go in.
For the most part from bedtime ‘till morning they stay in their own bed. It’s really cute, they’ll even ask each other. Like if they want to sleep in the same bed, Grayson will ask like “Blair, can I sleep in your bed tonight?” Blair would be like “Oh sure” and then I’ll see them on the monitor passed out on the same bed.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Aww.
SUNNY GAULT: Aww. That’s cute.
GARETH MASSEY: I must be mean, because I keep the door closed and especially for those first couple weeks you just know it’s going to be hard. We also did the same thing, we flipped the lock, we put the lock because they knew how to get out and we would see their little fingers coming out from under the doors, we have pictures of them just going “Mommy, mommy!” as they could hear us out there talking.
We would just increase the time, from we would go in after one minute, then we’d go in after two minutes to put them back in, it’s night-night time. Go in after four minutes, we’d keep increasing it and eventually they’d just kind of pass out right by the door and we’d have to go around to the other door, because there’s two doors in this room.
Now we’ll find one sleeping by the door and one in their bed, or they’ll be in the middle of the room and we just kind of move them back in. You just have to know it’s going to be hard, those first few weeks to a month. Naps are going to be a mess.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Speaking of timing, how long would you say it took you to feel like okay, they’re doing it successfully? A month, two weeks?
GARETH MASSEY: It’s been about a month since we changed them.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.
GARETH MASSEY: They’re doing fine with it. You start to see their little patterns, like their older sister goes to school Tuesday-Thursday and we have to pick her up at 2. Their nap is usually around 11-12 or right after lunch and they’ll sleep for 2-3 hours if we let them, once they fall asleep. We were having to wake them up to go get her from school, so now I’ve been keeping them up.
When we get back from picking her up one would be asleep, I’ll put her in, the other one wants a little snack and I say okay, after a snack it’s time to go in for your nap. She’s just like okay, and we go put her in. If one is already asleep, that makes it even better because then they’re not talking back and forth.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.
GARETH MASSEY: It’s been about a month, but they’re killing it now.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But that’s manageable! One month, I think we’re probably about the same, somewhere between two weeks to a month so it’s not that bad.
SUNNY GAULT: I’m just going to keep my twins in their crib as long as I can. They have shown no signs of wanting to get out and they’ve got their little babble they do with each other in the morning. They’re definitely developing their own little routines, but it’s nothing. I’m sure once one does it…
GARETH MASSEY: I know, I miss the crib so bad. Just go in and put them in, they would be standing there looking and then finally fall asleep, just slump over.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes!
SHELLY STEELY: I really think barring them climbing out or you need the crib for another baby, or like it was becoming physically uncomfortable for me to lift them up, keep them in there as long as you can.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes.
SHELLY STEELY: It was a very rough transition for us, they really just weren’t ready to have that much freedom at that age. If we had trained, I think it would have been a lot more successful if we had transitioned them closer to two, but with a baby that was due three weeks after their second birthday that didn’t seem like it would have been realistic for any of us.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well we’re going to wrap up, and I just want to say thank you to everyone here for joining us today, be sure to visit our episode page on our website for some additional resources on this topic. This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks club. After the show, our twin parents are going to talk about how they decided that they were ready for the transition and how parents can prepare themselves. For more information about the Twin Talks club, visit our website www.newmommymedia.com
SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks, it’s time for a special segment on the show we like to call special twin moments, and we found today’s story actually over on the Facebook page for Multiples of America. If you guys haven’t joined that Facebook page, please do, it’s a great way to connect with other parents of twins and multiples. A lot of great stories are shared on that Facebook page, and this one comes from Amanda of Tennessee.
She writes “There are so many, however the first moment made me realize how special twins are. Connor and Carson had an unequal share of the placenta and it had actually failed, which they didn’t find out until delivery. Carson ended up going to the NICU immediately after delivery and staying for 11 days due to blood sugar dips and jondis primarily.
On day 9 it occurred to me that seeing his identical twin Connor might help him. I begged the hospital to let me take Connor in and they agreed. When I got there, I took Carson out from under the lights and wrapped both he and Connor in a blanket together so they were touching. I just held them like that for at least an hour. From that moment on, Carson’s blood sugar stabilized, his billy levels went down to normal and the jumps in his heart rate stopped.
They called us the next day to let us know that they would be releasing him the following morning. I will always remember being in awe of the fact that it was obvious all Carson had needed was to be with his brother. They’ll be two years old tomorrow and are still completely inseparable”
SUNNY GAULT: Oh I just love this story. Did anyone else get chills? I totally got chills with this. Amanda, thank you so much for writing this in, it’s such a great story. If you guys have a special twin moment you want to share with all of our listeners, you can call our voicemail at 619-8664775 and leave us a message, we’ll include your story on a future episode.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on the go.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two or times two, times two. However many you have.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com
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