Even parents who have "great sleepers"—and I place myself in this category—do not get a solid night's sleep very often.
This is one of those truths about parenting that you don't find out until after you have children. Parents don't openly share this because, to be honest, it is depressing and often a hard reality that they don't want to talk about.
My twins began sleeping nearly 12 hours straight when they were 3 months old. They took two daytime naps until they were nearly 2. As 3-year-olds, they still take a very solid afternoon nap. With all that bragging, I have to tell you this: My husband, Andy, and I are often still not getting a solid night's sleep. The twins are, but we are not.
When a parent says their child sleeps through the night, it almost always means that there are no more night feedings or diaper changes. It does not mean that the baby is completely asleep and quiet as a mouse every night. Babies will stir or cry out, and those noises will wake you.
A simple cry at 3:10 a.m. will get you on your feet and opening the door to the nursery to check on your twins. They may have already fallen soundly back to sleep, but you will be awake. And with twins, the reality is that this happens often. Very often. It will be your instinct as a parent to get up and check on them after nearly every whimper or noise.
As they grow, your children might experience night terrors. (Tip: Hush them back to sleep by rubbing their backs and saying you are there for them, then tuck them in and quietly exit the room.) Or sometimes they might simply talk out loud in the middle of the night. As long as the baby monitor is on and next to you, you will wake for those noises too.
What to Do?
As a mom, I am not sure that these little noises in the night will ever go away. I suspect the teenage years will be filled with a whole new set of nighttime noises that I am dreading and not at all prepared for!
For now, it helps to take advantage of power naps and cappuccinos.
And during bad spurts, my husband and I alternate as to who will get up in the night. This allows one of us to sleep through. If you and your partner are able to do this, I highly recommend earplugs to ensure a solid snooze when you are "off duty"!
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