Charlie arrived home from work just as Henry was waking up from his afternoon nap at 3:20. This was unusually early for him to come home, but I needed some time to go to the store before Charlie headed out of town on a 3-day business trip.
While Henry stayed behind with Charlie, I took William shopping with me, because he had also just woken up from his nap. We left at around 4:00 PM and when I called Charlie at 5:15, he said the baby was getting fussy. I suggested that he feed him dinner and by the time he finished, I'd be home.
When I arrived home at 5:45, Henry was rubbing his eyes and visibly tired. I cleaned him up, changed him in to pajamas, nursed him and sat cuddling the most beautiful baby in the universe until around 6:30. He never did take a third nap today, so at 6:45, I put him in to his crib, awake, and went to give the triplets a bath. He fussed for no more than five minutes and fell fast asleep.
He continued to sleep until Molly started barking and woke him up at 9:10. I went in to check on him, rub his back and see if he'd go back down, but instead, he crawled around the crib, grabbed a hold of the sides and standing up said "PICK ME UP AND NURSE ME, WOMAN!"
Well, he didn't say that, exactly.
But his eyes certainly did.
So, I picked him up, nursed him for a few minutes, and then put him back in to his crib while he was awake - but entirely milk drunk. He opened his mouth to cry, but instead passed out cold and landed face down, snoring.
I'll be curious to see how he does sleeping, tonight. If the past is any indication of the future, he will be awake by no later than 5:15. As much as I'd like him to sleep in until at least 6 - I'm not really struggling as bad with that wake up time as I was yesterday.
Meanwhile, the triplets were put to bed at around 7:30 and I suspect that they will be awake by around 7:00 tomorrow, morning. William napped for an hour and a half today (typical for him) but the girls napped for more than three hours. When I called Charlie at 5:15 and told him to feed Henry, I also told him to wake up his daughters FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
This concludes day one at sleep school.
But before I sign off, here are a few other tidbits.
1) I didn't nurse the triplets on demand like I do with Henry. Although I nursed them, they primarily received bottles and were ALWAYS put to bed wide awake. With Henry, he is typically put to bed after he nurses and is generally in a drowsy or semi-drowsy state.
2) Today I think was rather successful. But it is important to point out that it was about two months ago, that I first began putting Henry in his crib while he was awake for naps and at night. There has been some crying, for sure - although it has significantly tapered off and he is coming to realize that when he is in his crib, it's time to sleep. The purpose of my "sleep school", is to get him to sleep for longer stretches during nap times, and hopefully, a longer stretch at night.
3) Regarding the triplets: Once they were easily climbing out of their cribs (circa ~ age 26 months), nap time and bed time turned in to the absolute worst times of the day for me. We transferred the children from their cribs in to "big" beds late last year, and moved William in to his own room. William has done extremely well sleeping since he has had his own space. He goes down with out any resistance and doesn't cause any disruption. The girls on the other hand, heaven help me, it would take at least an hour before they would go to sleep once they were tucked in and a lot of frustration on my part. Recently, I began splitting them up and nap time has instantly become the most peaceful time of the day for me again.
4) To answer Jennifer's question: I split the triplets up because there wasn't enough space in the room for a double bed and a toddler bed; and (more importantly) the three of them in the same room was turning in to an insane free-for-all. Unless, I wanted to stay in there with them until they fell asleep and no, I don't want to do that because I have a million other things to do while they rest. I split the girls up at bed time and nap time because I have found that they go right to sleep without an extended social hour. At night, before I go to bed, I'll move whomever is in our bed - back in to their own room. For us, it is working well to have each of the kids in their own rooms during bed time. William and Henry are sleeping in the same room at the moment, and at least for today, there have been no issues. I suspect this arrangement will continue to get even better with time.
5) To answer Casey's question: I would suggest that you let your daughter take a pillow and nice blanket with her to bed, if she doesn't already. Maybe something new to spruce the crib up a bit. And then, if and when she wakes up screaming - go to her and tell her that although you love her - she cannot come to bed with you. And then - leave. Shut the door. Go to your room. Shut the door. Put the pillow over your head and go to sleep. It may not be easy. She might scream and wake up the whole house. But if you don't lay down the law now, it isn't going to get any better. The longer you allow her to control where and when she sleeps - the more control you are going to lose. I know how painful it is to hear your child scream at the top of their lungs - particularly when they are 2.5 and can scream really loud - but, you have got to nip this in the bud. Maybe you can move your other two girls out until you get over this hurdle, but I'll bet that within one or two nights, Makena will quickly realize who is running the show, and it ain't her!!