Today I am so excited to bring you a guest post from Erin over at Goldylocks and Her 3 Bears. Erin is my first guest blogger in the So, You’re Having Twins… Series!
As I’m posting my twin tips I’m meeting so many moms of twins and I love their insight and advice as well. We all may do things a little different, but in the end, we all get the job done and all of the advice will help someone out there just finding out they are having twins.
Erin, who has twin boys (and they are so precious by the way) gives us advice on getting sleep during twinfancy (when your twins are infants). Her input is spot on and I love how she makes the twins’ NICU stay a positive for when it was time to bring them home and incorporate a feeding and sleeping schedule. I think you will also find that her advice speaks volumes to moms who will return to work after having twins.
The early years of twinfancy are somewhat blurred for me, but I will try to remember how I managed to get some sleep.
My twins were in the NICU for the first month of their lives. One bonus to that is they came home on a schedule, so hubby and I did not have to figure that out.
I do remember they needed to be fed strictly every three hours. It took an hour total to feed, so that meant two hours of sleep in between. I do remember clearly the counting on my fingers of when the next feed would be and what that would mean for my sleep. Do/did you do that?
Everyone always told me to sleep when they sleep. Really? Is that even possible? For some, maybe. For me it was not. I am not a napper. Never have been, never will be. I used nap times as a time to catch up on reading, chores, television, and relaxation in general. This is why you will only see my recommendations for nighttime.
My recommendation to all you new twin parents out there are the Three P’s. Plan, Prepare, & Pray.
Plan – Who feeds and when. Do you and your partner alternate feedings? Do you both get up? Does one take the night shift one night and the other the next? It all depends on what works for you and your partner.
My husband works second shift. That means he is gone to work from 2pm until 1am. I handled all of the feedings prior to his return home from work. If one of the feedings fell around 1am (I thanked my lucky stars) my husband would take that feeding as he was just getting home from work. That meant a straight 4 – 5 hours of sleep for me. If the feeding did not fall until 2am or 3am, I would get up for it as my husband had JUST fallen asleep. On the weekends, we would alternate.
Prepare – We formula fed our boys. Each night before bed, I would pre-fill all the bottles needed for night feedings. I also used two of those trusty formula containers where you can pre-measure the formula and pour into the bottles. The bottles and the formula containers would then be brought upstairs and put on the dresser in their room. Once used, they were placed on the dresser until morning when we brought all downstairs to be washed (only to start over again) That way my husband and I only had to walk into their room instead of going up and down stairs to prepare bottles and wash bottles. This saves a lot of time that you can put to better use by sleeping.
Pray – Pray that your children stick to the schedule. Pray they eat their whole bottle. Pray your husband gets home just in time to feed them. Pray they gain enough weight so that you do not HAVE to wake up every three hours. Pray that they are full enough that they start sleeping through the night. I kid, kind of J
A few other tips:
– Learn early on how to feed your twins at the SAME TIME. I did not figure this out until the boys were six months old. Because of this, I fed them one after the other. Each child took 30 minutes to feed & burp & snuggle, so that meant an hour total. With a three-hour feeding schedule, that meant two hours for me to sleep in between each feeding.
– If the other twin is still sleeping after the first one has been fed, wake him or her up. Always, always, always keep them on the same schedule.
– Do not have your twins sleep in your room. I know this is a subject of great debate, and of course, it is all a matter of what is good for you and your partner. However, for me, those babies were NOISY. They made all sorts of little sounds in their sleep that kept me awake. The first night they were home I had the baby monitor on\”¦.I did not get a wink of sleep. The following night, I turned the sound off. Honestly, they were in the room right next to ours so if they needed me, I would hear.
– If you are a full time working mom, like myself, try your hardest to stay home for the first four months of your twins’ lives. If you are lucky enough, as I was, your twins will almost be sleeping through the night by the time you go back to work .
My name is Erin. I am a full time working mom to 2 year old identical twin boys, and wife to my best friend for 5 years and counting. In my spare time (because I have so much of THAT) I enjoy photography, blogging, tweeting, and catching up on the latest in reality TV.