Thursday, April 30, 2015

SleepShop | Giveaway

Last week I shared something big on Twin Talk's Instagram: An infant sleep training expert wanted to answer our twin sleep-related questions.  I was hoping Melissa would receive 8-10 questions.  She did... in less than five minutes.  I think we were both a little shocked. By the end of the night, Melissa had over 50 questions to answer.! I told her she wasn't allowed to answer all of them (can you imagine how long that would take?) and asked her to limit it to a few.

The great news is she answered 10 of your questions below!  And even better news?  I asked Melissa to become Twin Talk's official Sleep Training Expert and she happily agreed.  This means she will be back every couple months to answer your questions!  

I'm so excited to introduce you to Melissa.  She contacted me a month ago and told me all about her business - SleepShop.  Melissa is an Infant Sleep Consultant and Family Care Counselor, which means she has extensive training working with parents and families in times of high stress and transition.  She has four children (including B/G twins!) and offers several different services, including consulting, pastoral care/counseling, as well as creating schedules specific for your children's needs.  

I forgot to mention one tiny detail: Melissa told me she wanted to offer a giveaway on Twin Talk - $500 gift certificate toward one of her sleep consulting packages!

Before we get to the questions and giveaway, I asked Melissa to share her story with Twin Talk's followers...  

Hi, I'm Melissa!  Before I had kids I worked as a Hospital Chaplin. It was hands down the most fulfilling, heart-wrenching, sacred and significant experience of my life. Being invited into such vulnerable parts of people’s lives was an honor and I truly loved it. However it was also something that emotionally took its course when I started my own family.  

Fast forward - I got married, had two kids (Anniston and Grover, 17 months apart), suffered multiple miscarriages (one of which was twins) while trying for our third so I decided to open up SleepShop and give myself a new focus. I have my M.A., in Pastoral Care and Counseling and missed the counseling aspect so much. Now I get to work with families and support them as much as I can.  Getting everyone in the house sleeping and on a routine that works for them is a bonus! I am passionate about sleep and routine because I believe it gives kids security and breeds confidence. Also, well rested babies are happy babies, and well rested moms are sane.  

After SleepShop took off I still yearned for more babies.  We moved forward with IVF at the recommendation of our doctor and were blessed with our B/G twins. I will never forget looking at them in the hospital and thinking, “Oh my gosh, they are both mine. They are both here!” It was such a special day and I will never forget it! So here I am with four kiddos under five that drive me nuts, make me drink lots of wine, and make me laugh, but who I love more fiercely than anything in all my life. I feel so lucky to get to do a job I love and meet so many amazing moms along the way. :) 

Here is my little family: Anniston (4) Grover (3) and Augusta and Sullivan. This is my husband Eric who is the best person I know and the most patient since he gets to put up with me. :) 

Now my kids are 5, 4 and the twins are 1. :) 

Now for your questions...

What is the best way to transition 8-month-old preemies from rock n play to cribs?  Would you do just nap time first or nap time and bedtime? 
The best way to transition babies from rock n plays to cribs is to start with naps 3-5 days and then move them to the crib at night after that. Once you move them there at night make sure you are ready because you don’t want to go back.

I've heard and experienced mixed things on whether or not putting a baby to bed earlier helps them sleep better and/or later in the morning.  My littlest babe is now four months and we really struggle.  She's going to bed around 9-9:30 and up around 7 am, waking up anywhere from 2-5 times a night.  I'm wondering if an earlier bedtime would help? 
Yes, always put a baby down earlier at night rather than later. If she is getting up at 7 am she needs to be in bed and fed by 7 pm the night before. Sometimes it takes them a couple of days to adjust but going down earlier helps keep them better rested and transition through sleep cycles at night more easily. 

My son (Twin B) is 10-months-old and wakes frequently throughout the night.  He always has.  He just wakes up crying for no reason.  I'll pat his butt, adjust his blanket, or give him his pinky and he goes right back to sleep for another hour or so.  Could it be night terrors?  My older son had them, but not so young.  
I think he is too young for night terrors but think he is waking at each sleep transition. How you are getting him back to sleep is perfect but I think you need to go in less frequently. Doing that 1-2 times in a 12 hour period is fine but other than that I would let him kind of figure it out himself.  I think you will be surprised how he will do!

My 12-month-old G/G twins share a room and have pretty bad sleep associations - they need to be rocked or cuddled to sleep.  Can you talk about sleep training methods for older twins who share a room?
Since they are used to being rocked to sleep they are going to fight being put down awake because they have always been “put” to sleep rather than putting themselves to sleep. I would start by slowly weaning the amount of time you are rocking them and then put them down awake. Rock them both the same amount of time and put them both down at the same time. Then I would let them be. If you need to visit the room in intervals to help soothe (without picking up) that is fine! :) Just know they will be frustrated learning to put themselves down but once they are able to learn, it will help them tremendously! 

How do I get my 6-month-old twins to take solid naps instead of lots of 20-30 minute cat naps during the day?
Oh the dreaded 20-30 min! It is them transitioning to REM cycles and the only way to get them to transition is to help them go back to sleep right away or leave them and let them figure it out on their own (depending on what you are comfortable with).  Make sure they are not going down for their naps overtired or hungry.  If that is the case that might be what's waking them up.

I have two-year-old B/G twins.  We've been wanting to get them toddler beds & transition them from their cribs.  Will it be OK to close their door at bedtime?  Will they not feel scared of being "locked in"?
Yes, it is OK to close their door at night, just as long as you make sure their room is safe and there is nothing they can get into that is dangerous. Make sure all furniture is secure to the wall so they can’t climb all over it and pull it down on them. You can also try a nightlight to help them or put music on while they are going to sleep. I have a lot of clients who actually make the kids room a dutch door - they keep the top part a little open but close the bottom portion of the door so the toddlers can’t wander around the house.

I have 10-week-old twins, at what point do you suggest them napping in their cribs for each nap time (versus a swing, rock n play, etc.)?
I think right now is a good time to start allowing them to take 1-2 naps a day in their cribs (in a dark room that is a good temperature with a sound machine that goes all naptime). As they get older and you get more comfortable, you can increase the amount of times they are napping in there. 

How soon do I get started on sleep training? We didn't start until four months with my now two-year-old son... But I'm expecting twin girls in a month and a half and am feeling really intimidated!
You can start “sleep training” whenever you are ready. I don’t refer to it as training when they are so young, focus more on keeping a consistent routine and implementing good habits. With twins it's important to try and keep both on the same schedule. If you have them feed and sleep at the same time that will help a lot! 

I have two-year-old twin girls who share a room.  One of them wakes up several times a night with heeart dropping screams from night terrors.  We try comforting her the best we can but if she cris too much she wakes the other one and they are both hard to get back to sleep.  So do we just let the one with night terrors cry and wake her sister up or are we creating a bad, hard to break habit of removing her from the room so her sister can sleep?
Night terrors are the worst! I would immediately go in and try to calm her in the room. If the other one wakes up, comfort her as well and try to get them both back to sleep. Overtime my guess is the other twin will learn to sleep right through it. Overtired and overstimulated babies have more night terrors so for that twin I would make sure she is getting enough rest during the day and taking solid naps. That will make a huge difference and hopefully cut down on the night terrors. 

I have 4-month-old boys and I need help with a nap schedule for them and tips for getting them to nap in their cribs.  They sleep in their cribs at night but do not what to nap in them during the day.  They only want to nap in their swings!  Help!
Oh no, I hate to say it but you have to take the swing away! :( I know it's so hard but that is what’s putting and keeping them to sleep for naps and they need to learn to do it on their own - preferably before they get much older because they will fight it even more! One nap a day is fine but other than that I would put them in their cribs! 



Melissa is graciously giving away a $500 gift certificate toward one of her sleep consulting packages!

There are two ways to enter this giveaway...

1. Visit SleepShop and then leave a comment letting us know your biggest sleep concern with your kid(s)! Include your email address!! 
2.  Follow SleepShopOC and Twin Talk on Instagram and tag two friends on Twin Talk's giveaway post!

That's it!  You have until Sunday at midnight to enter and the winner will be announced on the blog next Monday!


  1. Baby B is really having a tough sleeping time. Since 6-8 weeks he's been colicky and wouldn't go to bed until 11:30 at the earliest, even though we put him to bed at 7:30. Then he hit 4 months and will go to bed by 9:30 at the latest but is up hourly til 11:30/12:30. From that point, he will sleep 2.5-3.5 chunks. They are 5 months old now, born at 36 weeks.

    I think we are doing most things right, according to what I've read. Baby E sleeps very very well. B's lack of sleeping is taking a toll on our house, and my marriage. I would love a personalized sleep consultation. We really really need it! Thank you for offering this giveaway!

  2. I have a 2 1/2 year old who sleeps wonderfully well but I am 36 weeks pregnant with B/G twins and we are hoping to start with good sleep habits from the start! With our first we learned as we went along and had to trouble shoot poor sleep habits after they were already developed but this time around we would like to start off on the right foot and develop good habits from the start. I'll deliver in less than 2 weeks!

  3. I have 6 mo old twin boys. They have been sleeping 7p-7a but have recently been waking up between 5:45 and 6! Also need help with transitioning to 2 naps. Would love to win the giveaway!

  4. Our Boy twins are 8.5 months old and have periods of good sleep, and periods of horrible sleep. I work from 6:30am to 3pm , so we leave the house at 5:45 am (get up at 4:55)! The twins go to bed between 7:30 and 8 because most nights we aren't done with dinner until 7. For the past week, one or both of the babies have been waking between 2 and 3 am and will be wide awake! If it is just one, we remove him from the room to try to keep the other from waking up. I still nurse before bed time, and before I take them to the sitter. My husband will usually get the babies if they wake in the middle of the night, because if I pick them up, they immediately want to latch on. I'm always astounded when I hear people say they have babies that sleep from 7 to 7. It seems like the babies and their older brother could never sleep that long - maybe it is because of my work schedule. I would love to have a consult to talk about the myriad of other issues! ;) Thanks!