Twin/Multiple Tip of The Day – Treat All as One

August 6, 2012 at 9:02 PM Leave a comment

When my husband and I found out we were having twins we were thrilled, we had never imagined we would be having twins.  Talk about best shock of our lives.  We walked out of the doctor’s office excited and anxious but during the car ride home the panic crept in.  While my husband had visions of University tuition dancing around in his brain, all I could think was I. Am. Never. Going. To. Sleep. Again.

Yes my twins were my first set of twin clients, since then of course I’ve gone on to helping countless other multiples, but the first time around can and did appear completely, and utterly terrifying.  Fear not multiple mom’s and dad’s, the basic fundamentals of healthy sleep are the same, whether you’re dealing with one baby or two babies.  We still need to focus on the 5 Sleep Basics: Sleep Routine, Early Bedtime, Naps, Manage Sleep Associations, and Consistency.  With multiples it’s all how you execute your plan, as well as consistency and organization has never been more important than now.  Here are a few tips to help you down the right road.

  1. Keep Them on the Same Routine – I’m sure you’ve heard this before.  Well it’s true!  You want to get into the habit of putting them on the same sleep and feeding schedule right from the start.  If one wakes up, then wake the other no later than half an hour later.  You’ll want to put them back down at the same time and if you don’t wake the sleeper up to keep them on the same routine as the non sleeper, you’re always going to have a baby awake with you, and really, where’s the fun in that!  Many twin moms I speak with struggle because a lot of the times they are on their own at bedtime because husbands are working.  When it’s just you don’t worry too much about having them exactly on the same schedule in regards to when they sleep and eat.  A half an hour difference is no big deal.
  2. Stay Organized! – Some of you may not agree and may think it’s not necessary but if you are that person that needs some control in life when it’s almost impossible to have any, you have to stay organized.  I found that having every half hour accounted for something made things easier.  I scheduled in cooking, cleaning, laundry (washing, folding, putting away), SLEEPING, showers, brushing my teeth (yes it was scheduled), feeding babies, sleeping babies, playing with babies, feeding toddlers, sleeping toddlers, playing with toddlers, EVERYTHING was scheduled in.  It had to be.  But that was what I needed to do.  While I do recommend it, you may not feel it necessary to shower or brush your teeth everyday, or have clean clothes to wear.  That’s cool.  Whatever works for you 🙂
  3. Keep Them in the Same Room – If you want to or unable to separate them then keeping them in the same room is okay.  If they are in the same crib I would recommend putting them into their own cribs around 4 months of age.  At this point they start moving around more and trying to roll over and they could start waking each other up.  If one cries don’t panic!  Don’t feel like you have to spilt them up.  They will get used to each other’s sounds and cries and this is something you want to encourag.  For the most part the other will sleep through it.
  4. Get Help! – I can’t stress this enough.  Husbands need to get on board when dealing with twins.  It can’t always be you and two babies.  You need the help and your need the relief every now and then.  Your babies and the rest of your family need you strong and healthy, don’t try to take it on yourself.  If you are fortunate to have grandparents around or other family then enlist them too!  Especially if you are dealing with other children as well.  At least the grandparents can help with your toddler while you deal with the babies.
  5. One Day You Need to Take a Chance – Even knowing what I know and doing what I do I was terrified of letting the night just play out.  I knew I had to.  And I tell parents to do it all the time.  Don’t wake a baby in the middle of the night to feed them.  They will naturally push out these feeds themselves but we have to give them a chance to do it.  I was so scared of both babies waking at the same time and screaming their heads off because they were hungry.  One screaming baby – not fun.  Two screaming babies – not possible!  So I was waking them to feed them for their 2am feed until one day I said this needs to stop!  It may have meant I was going to be up all night for a few nights because they may not be on the same schedule for night feedings but so be it.  And that’s all it took.  2 nights and that 2am feed was gone and they were sleeping through.  Yes guys, it can be that easy just by simply giving them the chance to self soothe and stopping interfering with their sleep!

So those are my top 5 tips on surviving the first few months of twindom.  Here is what you have to remember, you will get through it!  It may be double or triple the work but it’s also double or triple the love.  It really doesn’t get much better then that.  It may not seem it at the time but enjoy your newborn twins who sleep a lot and eat a lot because in a year or so they are going to be walking a lot, climbing a lot, talking a lot, and fighting a lot.  But you’ll survive that too 🙂

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Entry filed under: Talkin Zzzz's..., Zzzz Tip of The Day, Zzzz Tips. Tags: , , , , .

Twin/Multiple Tip of The Day – Stop Comparing! Day 1 of Transition to One Nap

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Alanna McGinn

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