If you are breastfeeding and cosleeping, what is your nighttime arrangement? Do you get up to feed the babies? Tandem feed or one at a time? What is the setup in bed?
Cosleeping and nursing at night
My twins weaned a few months ago and are nearly 3 but I can tell you what we did when they were babies. We co-slept right from the start. A king size bed on the floor and pushed into a corner of the bedroom. The order was baby dd, me, baby ds, dh. I would nurse them whenever they woke. Dh would usually change any diapers if needed. Most of the time I ended up tandem nursing. I would lie on my side and latch ds to my lower breast and I would position dd perpendicular across my chest so she could access the top breast. I used a pillow to help support dd's body behind my back. If one baby was sleeping soundly I might not wake them up. As they got older I was able to tandem nurse holding one on either side in the crook of my arm with their heads resting near my shoulders. Once dd started sleeping through the night I would just lie on my side and nurse ds when he woke. I nightweaned them when they were just over 2 years old and fully weaned them when they were 2-/1/2 years old. Now we just get lots of snuggles when they leave their bed and join us in the middle of the night.
At first I put one baby in a swing and nursed one to sleep on one side and then got the other baby and nursed that one to sleep. So we were side by side. Then when one baby wakes up I can roll to that side and nurse the awake baby. Seems to work for us. When they were super little and they weren't nursing so well I had to sit up to nurse, but we got comfortable pretty quickly. Gotta go put them to bed right now actually.
For the first few weeks, I'd sit up in bed with the EZ2nurse pillow. That was until my tinier twin had a really good latch. After that we put a bedrail on the bed. Then it was bedrail, baby, me, baby, DH. I'd either roll over and feed one, then roll the other way and feed the other. Or if both hungry at the same time (which I preferred, I'd either sit up and nurse or have DH help me into a good laying down position with them.
For the first few weeks, I'd sit up in bed with the EZ2nurse pillow. That was until my tinier twin had a really good latch. After that we put a bedrail on the bed. Then it was bedrail, baby, me, baby, DH. I'd either roll over and feed one, then roll the other way and feed the other.
I never was able to nurse them both while lying down, so they had to take turns. I found it most restful to have one on each side of me when they were big enough.
Mine were preemies, though, so I kept them swaddled in the cosleeper for the first several months, before moving them into my bed. I was too sleep deprived for it to be safe to sleep with 2 preemies until they were bigger and stronger.
We used the EZ2nurse pillow at bedtime and naptimes, and still do (they're 2 1/2). I tandemed them all day and nursed one at a time all night.
From day one (at home) we've used the co-sleeper bassinet beside our bed.
Sophia, my oldest doesn't like to nurse at all and has always had trouble feeding.
Both girls are preemies (36w) and we brought them home after 3 days. They hate
being swaddled! Grace, my youngest and formerly smallest has never had a
problem latching on and primarily nurses. Sophia, bottle feeds with breastmilk.
We supplement both with a formula/breastmilk cocktail at night. We wake Sophia
up first at night/during the day because she only drinks from the bottle and she
is the hardest to please. Her sister sleeps right thru her cries! Grace tends to wake
up about 30 mins later on her own and I nurse her from the rocking chair. My husband
usually feeds Sophia at night which gives me a few more precious moments of sleep.
I'm not ready to have them in our bed just yet. I'm not getting much sleep and if I
rolled over on one of the girls, I'd probably think it was just another soft pillow. :/
mine are 3 months now, an sleep in a arms reach co sleeper right next to me swaddled.
in the first 6 weeks when my mom was here she had them sleeping a shift in the other room and brought them in at 3am after a EBM bottle, they would feed again at 5,7,9 or about that. the 5 would usually be another bottle from me and the 7 and 9 from the breast when they got bigger and started figuring that out.
Lately with mom gone, we go to bed around 11-12 together and DD now sleeps thru till the 5am feeding with DS (the bigger one) still wanting something around 3. so 3 usually is a bottle and 5 is nursing for both one at a time, they thankfully usually dont both wake at once. i have a normal pillow that i just curl up with in bed and prop them on, i leave them all swaddled and feed then place them back in the cosleeper.
at 7 or whenever around then when they wake i slide them into bed (DH has left for work after the 5 feeding) and do the roll over to each one whenever they wake, we stay like this snoozing and nursing till sometimes 11, longer now that i closed the drapes.
by 10 or 11 when i nurse i will sit up and grab the EZ2nurse pillow and tandem, while reading email and news on my ipad, i've learned how to eat breakfast, surf the net, fold laundry and with the help of a neck pillow even nap again with them all on the EZ pillow, my ass hates me
i have done what 4Marmalade describes with laying down tandum, but mostly to figure out if i could, since they do not have full head control yet, it is not very workable.
what i keep dreaming of is building some sort of bunk beds for them that lets my lay on my side and fit a boob in each of them on two levels!
We co-sleep (queen-sized bed and a sidecarred crib, but that's more to hold stuff than babies). I have a baby on either side. I nurse them one at a time, sidelying. They're pretty good at not waking up at the same time-- the down side of this is I feel like I am nursing all night long; the upside is there is very little yelling, When they do wake at the same time, DH handles one. Also, one will take a paci. At least he used to. Now that I am typing this it occurs to me we haven't offered it in a month. Anyway, it's working for us I guess. I wish they would sleep longer stretches, but I'm afraid the fussing baby will wake the non-fussy one and it's just easier to stick a boob in his or her mouth.
Haha, I love it! I know exactly what you're talking about. I watched this video on tandem nursing and learned so much. I immediately went out and got an EZ2 nurse pillow. That thing is a dream. And like the video I watched, today I put each baby in a boppy until I was nice and ready to nurse. Man, it takes some preparation. I need something that holds my arms above their bodies comfortably because 80% of my work on is done on my laptop. Agh.
A few hours ago my allergies kicked in so I think I'm going to skip the nursing for the night. I'm pretty sure my nasal spray enters my bloodstream and therefore my milk so, it's refrigerated milk for the twins tonight.
One more thing - I feel really guilty that I feed my twins on a set schedule, I guess I'm supposed to feed on demand but that is impossible! I wouldn't get any work done!?! What's a working mom to do?
I did what pp's have done. When they were teeny preemies they had to be swaddled constantly. We have a queen, and started out with an original size cosleeper. I would tandem them on the twin size brest friend pillow, then gently lie down one, then they other, as they fell into their solid sleep. Usually one would wake up during the transfer, so I would re-nurse him. Oh, also, the first 3 months or so I alternated nursing and bottles of pumped milk until we got good at nursing.
During the first few months it was musical babies at night. One in the cosleeper + one by me on the outside (not between me and DH). Both in the cosleeper horizontally. Both in the cosleeper vertically facing opposite directions. Swaddled individually or all wrapped up together. Both in the bed above my head. This one was fun -- I am short, so I would scoot myself and my pillow downwards, then put the swaddled babies up where the pillow normally goes. Then I would nurse one or both thru the night, sliding him down to me and back up when he finished.
Then we sidecarred a crib, and that is so much nicer than the lame cosleeper. So we have baby, me, baby, Daddy. Now that they're big enough DH isn't freaked out to sleep next to one. (But he does complain that he's scrunched up on his side of the bed with his butt hanging off -- he just misses being able to totally sprawl out over 75% of the bed like he did pre-baby.) The baby on the crib-side sleeps kind of on the crack - half crib, half bed - so the crib is mostly storage for some toys, clothes, phone, nightstand-type stuff.
And it is just in the last couple months that I faneggled (sp?) a way to nurse both while I lie down. I'll sit on the bed with a baby on each side, arrange one baby to be side-lying, cradle the other baby, latch him on, then lie back, making the cradled baby lie face down on the boob and pretty much vertical along my stomach. Then I stick the lower side boob into the lying down baby's mouth. This is AWESOME. So much more relaxing than using the nursing pillow and having to sit up. But this arrangement couldn't be done earlier while they were floppy. Plus my boobs are huge, so whenever I attempted the "biological nursing / lied back nursing" position they couldn't keep the boob in their mouths because it was so heavy and wiggly. Like a dang jello mold, I tell ya!
Best of luck! Just experiment, do trial and error, see what works for you and your fam!