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aping multiples?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi there, I'm Kristen. Mamma to Kye (8) and twin girls Eden and Avery.
They are five months old and a bit now.

They won't sleep with us any more, they just kept waking and staying awake at night, but when I put them in the crib they fall asleep again instantly. I dunno, but whatever keeps them sleeping is OK with me.

I want to wear them but don't have the stength or skill to wear them both and just feel plain old guilty only wearing one. I want to hold them more, but same thing, KWIM?

I feel like I can't gice the both the care and attention they deserve and wear myself down every second they are awake trying.

I do breastfeed exclusively and for the most part, I don't tandem b/c I want a little one on one time, but it doesn't usually work out b/c then I am feeding one and the other is lying there grinning at me or something, so I might just go back to tandeming.

I have been doing, for the past 4ish weeks, a modified sort of CIo, a whine-it-out really, if they cry I go and console them. I check every 5 or so minutes with the whining and just try to console in the crib. I was trying to rock them both to sleep but of course can't and they have only on a handful of occasions, since they were past 6 weeks, nursed to sleep. They go to sleep on their own pretty well actually, maybe a few minutes of whinging but usually little to none.

I don't feel very ap, I guess I'm not. I kinda want to be more so. I want to do my best. What tips and suggestions for gentle natural parenting of multiples have you all got for me?
post #2 of 17
APing IS harder with twins and more. But it is still possible
The important thing to keep in mind is the core value of your child's humanity.
Whether you have one baby or several. Any of us can only do our best at any given moment. None of us can EVER do better than that.
So if the best one mom can give one baby is different than one mom can give twins, they are still giving their best so in that respect it is exactly the same.
I dont parent my twins the same way as I did my older two because it is simply more complicated. But I am still AP because my internal values did not change, what changed is the practical ability to do certain things. But its all about who you are and your values and not about what you do.

My twins stopped cosleeping at 6 months. They had been sleeping very poorly for a couple of weeks in which I got no sleep and I was a wreck.
While I had kept their older brother in my room until after they were born (he was 16 months) and hated moving him (but had to because they were waking him). When they were 6 months it was time. I did the rotatign cosleeping, there was not room for all of us. And when the baby who was asleep in my bed started waking whenever I moved him or her, it was impossible to continue. It didnt make me less AP to use a different sleep arrangement with twins. I also started to let them fuss just a little, but would always go in for a real cry and start the nursing down over again.

What helped me at first was having dh take the baby who took the longest to nurse to sleep and I would nurse dd and get her down, and then I would nurse ds down. Then I would go sleep in my bed.
When dh wasnt home I nursed them together sometimes, apart others. But when he was home I tried to nurse apart more often.

As for slinging. I could not wear them both. And I would not leave one alone while I wore the other. So instead they were together. They were never alone. I use slings and a backpack when I go out. But I never wore them around the house just while I got stuff done.
Either I got nothign done because I was holding both sitting on the floor or couch. Or they stayed happily next to each other.

I was not less AP to not sling my babies all day. In fact it was because I am AP in my heart (and not just by following the 'list') I knew instinctively that my children need each other and they would be happier together than with me slinging one and the other alone.

Having twins is often just about survival. If you are doing that and they are happy and healthy you are doing well.

It sounds to me like your core values havent changed, but you just feel bad about how the actuality of taking care of twins makes it harder to live up to your very high standards.
The best you can do is all you can do.

post #3 of 17
Re-reading I can see you are also looking for some practical advice as well as some commisseratoin.
First of all, it sounds to me like you have found things that work for you and your babies.
It also sounds to me like you are still in tuned with their needs.
If you can get dh to hold one baby at bedtime maybe you might stop the sleep training and continue nursing to sleep.
(I found nursing to sleep at the same time impossible because you just cant put two sleeping babies down without wakign them up).
My twins usually nursed down to a really groggy state and then woudl finish falling asleep in their beds. (only because I didnt have the time to nurse them all the way down and then wait till they were limp one after the other).
Seriously that is the only thing that came across from your post as somethign that can be "improved upon" from an AP perspective.
I think you are right on by not wanting to sling one baby and leave the other on their own.
My babies liked to be eye to eye in bouncy chairs at that age, and they had better be able to see each other.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I feel betterafter reading your post.

I can't nurse them to sleep. They don't/won't nurse to sleep. My mum had five kids and she says it is just weird. Even as preemies they rarely fell asleep nursing????? I think they are just way too social to ever fall asleep in the presence of someone who just might smile and talk with them. LOL. I can't even rock them to sleep. They start to fuss and when I put them down they go to sleep? So I dunno. I guess I am respecting what they desire and prefer right?
post #5 of 17
I found my daughters slept better when they slept with each other. I had to lay them down together in the same crib and leave for them to sleep. I APed them but it was Twin AP and I had to allow them to be attached to each other most of the time. Tune into your babies they will tell you what they need. Trying to force them into what you need will only make it harder. I know the guilt is strong you can't fill the needs of one without feeling like you fail the other but they are realy young and will get easier. I found my daughters liked story time to snuggle and they would realy let me into their world then. Most of the time I felt like the cook, and house keeper but they had a bond that was so intence and that was so special so I didn't force my way into it but rather waited for them to tell me what to do. Since my daughters slept together and had the same routine I had to alternate the sling time I carried one while the other was in a swing and we switched places alot in the day. Just because one was down didn't mean they were alone either I was so animated that they both had fun all the time. Goodluck, I know these days are touch but cherish them they don't last long and then all we are left with is memories.
post #6 of 17
Remember that the core of AP is to respond to each child's cues & do what is best for him/her. Cosleeping w/ a baby who doesn't want to cosleep is un-AP because it's not following that baby's cues.

So, it sounds like you're doing things just right. Do what works best for each baby.

It depends so much on the kids, what works w/ twins & AP. Mine were pretty content to comfort nurse all day for the first several months so that made my early days pretty easy (once I got a set up where I could be on the computer & such while nursing & resigned myself to not getting anything done BUT nurse babies). As they started to want to interact more, we spent lots of time on the floor. It's much easier to juggle 2 babies if you don't have to worry about them falling. So we just spread the toys & bouncy seats & toy arch out on the family room floor and hung out there.

From the very beginning both of mine liked to "stand". Since I couldn't hold both of them so that they were "standing" at the same time, we started using the doorway jumpers very early, long before they could "jump" in them, they loved to just stand & look around and "spin" them. I could put one in teh doorway jumper & sit on the floor in front of it w/ the other one. Once they learned to jump in them, they really enjoyed having the jumpers together in our double doorway (into our bedroom) so they could jump toward each other & such.

I used the changer on our pack-n-play for diaper changes & would put the other baby in the pack-n-play while I changed the one. That way I could see & talk to both so I didn't have to deal w/ one screaming while I changed the other's diaper. . .

I guess the main thing is to "think outside the box" and find ways to meet the needs of both babies to the best of your ability. But also realize that there ARE two of them, there are times when one's going to have to cry for a few minutes. There are things you'd be able to do w/ one that you won't be able to do w/ two. The older they get, the more easily you can see the off-setting benefits of twins (sure, they don't get as much 1 on 1 mom time, but they have a built in playmate).
post #7 of 17
I can't even rock them to sleep. They start to fuss and when I put them down they go to sleep? So I dunno. I guess I am respecting what they desire and prefer right?

You've got it!!! If they dont nurse to sleep, nursing to sleep is not meeting their needs.
At about 3 months my dd would start whining and crying and arching her back when she was tired. And she was only satisfied with being put down and left alone. I wanted to cuddle/rock her to sleep. She wanted to fall asleep in her own bed.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I feel much better. Thanks. I guess I just hear people, or rather read posts where people mention things they do and it leaves me feeling less than adequate. Not to mention what a bad mamma I feel like when I am attending to one babe and the other is crying. It make me feel so icky and bad.

I'm doing my best but I get so tense when I can't do it all KWIM?
post #9 of 17
I just wanted to warn you against putting your daughters in jolly jumpers or exosaucers they are very bad for prems they encourage the hiperextend and as all us preemie moms know this is something we want to avoid. I would encourage swings or bouncy seats but nothing that encourages standing and tightening the muscles.

I hope it gets easier every day for you. Remember triage works and you can't do it all. This is just a short fase it will change and it will get easier. Crying won't hurt them as long as you talk to the one that is waiting and let her know that they are loved and you will be with her asap. I often had one upset but I sang songs to help calm her and did my best, that all anyone can do after all.

I started to change diapers in the crib with the rail down so I could have both babies side by side that way no one felt left out of the loving. I had one baby in a bouncy seat while I bathed the other. Looking back I don't know how I ever had time to breath but I got though it and now my girls are 8!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just got a jollyjumper thing and a exersaucer in the last week, they love them and have a few 10-15 minute periods throughout the day in each. They are 5.5 months old, surely it is OK for them at this point? 4 months corrected. This is the age specification for theses toys.
post #11 of 17
I was told by the child development center that these toys can do damage to the development of babies.These toys are produced to make money not to help babies. My babies were all born premature my twins were 11 wks and I was told that in no way should they go into those toys. I however didn't listen and used those exosaucers for no more then 10 minutes at a time also. The development workers that helped my daughters to develop normaly wagged their fingers at me every time they saw them. My daughter Eliza had many issues with sitting and walking, it was the hipperextending that she did. I know that sounds harsh and our minds always say "a few minutes won't hurt" A few minutes will hurt though The Childrens Hospital in our Province is saying that no baby should go in these toys not just prems. My advice would be to do tummy time, and toys that encourage curly not hipperextending. I used breastfeeding pillows to help my younger son and youngest daughter sit this helped them curl their bodies in a healthy way. Ultimitly we all make the choices we feel best with, I just wanted to pass on that it can harm your babies development in the long run with these toys. I hate to be the stick in the mud that shares this but I sure wish I had listened and I feel I have to share with others now.
post #12 of 17
I agree with what the others have posted - doing what your girls *need* is the key to ap-ing them, not what's on someone else's checklist.

If your girls don't have a muscle tone problem then I wouldn't worry about moderate use of exersaucers/jumpers. I was intrigued by the idea posted that they were harmful and did a quick search, this was all I found: http://www.pediatricphysicaltherapy....umID2/472.html
It seems that use of these seats can exacerbate an existing problem, but it doesn't create them.
post #13 of 17
Faythe I am so glad you found a link I was looking all over for the paer work I was given so I could scan it and blah blah blah you get the idea. You sure saved me time thanks
post #14 of 17
Hi Kristen.

I know somewhat how you are feeling. I have 4 months old twins, Lucas and Emily. I have been sad about not being able to wear them as much as my 1st child. I double slinged for a while but that is just not comfortable for me although it works in a pinch and I still do it once in a while. I've found that rotating in a sling works for me. I try to make sure each babe spends a good time in the sling each day. I notice after slinging they each like to stretch out and have floor (or crib) time, with me right there of course. I still rock them to sleep after nursing and that has been working but more and more they are awake when I put them down and they do well. I have co-slept with them since birth but do naps in the crib. I have noticed also they sleep best when together in the crib. I have started to put them down in the crib together the first time they go down at night. Then when one wakes move them to the bed.

Ap'ing is so much of a challenge with twins, isn't it? But I do believe that even though they are getting less body time, they do have each other and that makes things a bit different.

Since you are nursing, THAT is AP'ing in and of itself and I'm sure you spent plenty of time doing that!

As far as slinging, I try to do it first thing in the morning, throw one in the sling and one goes in the swing or propped up sitting somewhere. I am luck to have a 3 year old for entertainment (the SHane show) and the sitting babe I plop down where they can watch him play. When the sitter or swinger as had enough I'll put the slinger down to play and sling the other.

Another thing I have been trying is to put my rocking chair in front of the stereo, play some nice music and rock with them sitting in my lap, propped somewhat for my comfort with pillow but my arms around them. Just something different for all of us.

I tandem nurse a lot in my big comfy chair. But sometimes if I need to lie down, I do so on our bed, nurse one and play with the other. Usually the "other" is happy to have my hand and arm to play with/chew.

I find that to just keep trying new things make me feel like a good ap mom.

Oh, and one more thing about the slinging - it seems to me that if I start off the day with lots of body contact and slinging, (when we all have the most energy) the whole day goes better gotta go
post #15 of 17
I spent a lot of time feeling guilty that I couldn't wear my two, tandem nurse (despite my best attempts, I never really got it), or any of the other "AP-recommended" things. Then one day I was at the mall getting some 'get out of the house finally' time when they decided they were hungry. RIGHT THEN. They were maybe 4 months old. I nearly RAN into the closest department store and asked to borrow a fitting room (this was before I was comfortable nursing in public). I sat there in the fitting room, all three of us were crying, I was so stressed out, THEY were stressed out, and right there and then I said 'ya know what guys? we're in this together. I swear to do the absolute best I can by the two of you, but unfortunately that sometimes means someone has to wait. If we can all work together, we'll all be ok." My philosophy became a stressed out momma is good to NO ONE. In the words of Laurie Berkner (a children's singer) "I do my very best each day. I'm not perfect, but I love me that way". I swear, once I gave myself "permission" to NOT do everything the book said, life became so much easier. I could devote more energy to each child. "It's not your turn right now, but it will be your turn in a minute" was said so many times - more like a mantra. So far, they're turning out ok.

Hang in there. Do what you can, and don't feel guilty about the things you can't.
post #16 of 17
My only suggestion is just go with your gut & listen to your heart.
If it feels right, do it. If it gets you sleep or relieves stress, do it.
If someone offers you help, take it.

It is a monster sacrifice to give all that you have to two humans, a task only those who go thru it can understand, and I know how you feel....

So I guess I am AP as my twins think they are
At 28 months it is evident in their health, confidence and secure happiness, so the exhaustion has paid off for us.

BTW, I just noticed our kids are the same distance apart, and I thought that was so neat... 1995/2003


Our Twins
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone, I just re-read all the posts b/c I am having a really bad day! I think we are teething but who ever knows anything anymore!
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