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HELP! They are crying A LOT!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi twins parents,

I have twin boys who are 5 mos. old (3 1/2 mos. adjusted age). They have recently become much fussier than before. I think it may be because they really want to sit up and stand up but can't quite do it on their own at this point, and they're frustrated. Also, my one twin has been showing teething symptoms for over a month and is always putting his hands in his mouth and shaking his head, trying to get relief. I don't know, though, with certainty what the reasons are for the change. Also, they used to sleep through the night and now they're waking 2 times each. They are breastfed and have had no change in diet except for a little cereal now and then, which doesn't make any difference in terms of their behavior or night waking.

Anyway, I am home alone with them and have really enjoyed it so far, but this new "stage" really is wearing me down in all possible ways. Most of the time one of them is crying (the one not being held). I just can't hold one of them all the time, as much as I hate the crying. I need a break and have to just put them down and go into another room sometimes, crying or not. Ideally, I'd love to have the patience and energy to give them attention all day long, but I just find that I can't. What do you do to (a) get through the day sanely, (b) help your babies be content, and/or (c) deal with the guilt that comes from not being able to hold and help them more/ hear them crying. And what's with things getting harder instead of easier as the months go by? People told me it would be the opposite. Will it get better once they can sit up by themselves? (By the way, having help in terms of a hired helper or family is not possible for us right now.)

Thanks so much for any insight you can give!!!
Julie
post #2 of 24
...ack, nursing one babe and other just woke up (you know how that is!) Back soon.
post #3 of 24
At that age, my boys were so much work. They weren't able to sit up on their own and wanted my constant attention. They would be happiest if they were being held, so I bought a sling. I never let my babies cry. I would move them from one activity to the next (sometimes every 5 minutes!). I read lots of books. But I feel VERY lucky to be a SAHM, so I took advantage of every day and was my babies slave! It is a problem that passes, but don't get too excited because there is always an issue. I wanted my boys to have as close to the same treatment a singleton would have. If I would have had one baby, I would still be working and bringing baby to work with me. I think babies are happiest when being worn, so they can feel movement and be able to watch you interact. It's isolating to have twins (for the twins as well). I feel for you and hope you guys find a way to make it work. It's exhausting, but they are here and so special! Good Luck! Oh, I remember lots of naps at that age, and I slept too.
post #4 of 24
I remember that too - at the exact same age... one would be fussing so I'd pick him up... then the other would start crying so I'd put down the first and pick up the crying one... and the one I put down would start screaming! oy. I cried. a lot. " i used to scream "I never asked for twins" to whoever out there is listening... and boy does G-d have a sense of humor b/c I found out I was pregnant when they were 6 months old!

anyway I laid on the floor with them alot... and I'd put one at my feet in the bouncer and rest my bare foot on his belly and bounce him gently while I held the other one...

are you on the apmultiples list? I got a lot of help there....
post #5 of 24
ok, I'm back. My boys (almost 7 months now) definitely went through a similar phase around that time. I remember the days when one would hang out contentedly in the bouncy seat or under their playgym while I changed or nursed the other. A friend who visited for a weekend said she had never seen babies that young play so independently...fast forward to around 5 months and we had fussing and crying if they didn't get constant attention. This has definitely improved since they started sitting independently. It's not back to where it was...now we are contending with separation anxiety and wanting mobility, but it is better. My recent sure-fire remedy is to get outside as much as possible. Now that the weather is nice, if they are fussy and needy and I really need a break, I get a blanket and we head to the backyard. They will sit and gaze at the sky and the flowers for 20 minutes while I have a bite to eat, read the paper, make a phone call, etc...

As far as the guilt, I don't have an answer except that you are doing your best and your babies will grow up knowing that. We mamas can be really hard on ourselves.
post #6 of 24
First, Lots of hugs!!!!
My girls are almost 11 months and that stage already seems so long ago... so take heart that a stage is just that - it will pass. What I have heard from many moms of multiples is that it doesn't always get "easier" just different. My girls are now crawling all over and getting into everything, but they are also getting more and more personality everyday! I have found (with other's help, of course!) that usually when I am getting worked up or frustrated with something that is going on with the girls it is because something other than what I expected is happening. For example, this morning at 5:30, Katherine wanted to nurse for an hour instead of just the usual 5 minutes and then back to sleep. It was really no big deal... all I had to do was lie there. Of all the things i had to do, it was the least stressful and could have been one of the most enjoyable, but I was frustrated becuase I was EXPECTING it to be just like it has been for the last month. For me, once I realized this, I was able to go with the flow a little better (obviously not completely, as evidenced by this morning, but I digress! )
Okay, here are some concrete tips: slings or other carriers!!!! These are life savers! I will sometimes put one on my back and one on the front and walk around the house reading a book. It sounds like at this point for you, any departure from Babyland is welcome, even if it is just mentally. Also, going for walks was a big help for me! When things would get too much, i would put them in the stroller and walk down to the supermarket. Even if I didn't buy anything, seeing other people, looking around, the fresh air did wonders for my sanity. I found, too, that the girls were very perceptive to my moods and when I was feeling on edge, that would make them worse. Hence, when we got outside and I felt better, they would calm down too! It may sound silly, but the constant barrage of "Ooohh, they're soooo cute... are they twins" conversations would remind me what a blessing they are!!!
I hope all my ramblings were helpful. Know that you will get through this and that we are all here to support you through it.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by OR Mom
I never let my babies cry.
Just curious, what did you do when you were putting one down for a nap and the other was upset? I do all I can to not let them cry, but when one is nursing down, often the other will be crying....if I can't get the one I am nursing down to sleep within about 10 minutes, I give up and go comfort the other one. I feel horrible for the baby left to cry, but what the heck do you do?

--Amanda
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by OR Mom
At that age, my boys were so much work. They weren't able to sit up on their own and wanted my constant attention. They would be happiest if they were being held, so I bought a sling. I never let my babies cry. I would move them from one activity to the next (sometimes every 5 minutes!). I read lots of books. But I feel VERY lucky to be a SAHM, so I took advantage of every day and was my babies slave! It is a problem that passes, but don't get too excited because there is always an issue. I wanted my boys to have as close to the same treatment a singleton would have. If I would have had one baby, I would still be working and bringing baby to work with me. I think babies are happiest when being worn, so they can feel movement and be able to watch you interact. It's isolating to have twins (for the twins as well). I feel for you and hope you guys find a way to make it work. It's exhausting, but they are here and so special! Good Luck! Oh, I remember lots of naps at that age, and I slept too.
How did your babies never cry? One of mine seems to always be crying (or they were that way anyway, esp. at the beginning) and there was only one of me, so I don't know how it could possibly be avoided. I own 4 carriers and I am always slinging/MT'ing whatever it takes but I can't physically be everywhere, so I don't understand how you do it. I, too, also feel lucky to be a SAHM but I am not a slave and I think that implies some sort of imbalance/obligation, well, I am not sure what but the word slave has a negative connotation to me.

Anyhow to the original poster, we just get through each day as best we can. I love my 3 kiddos and they all need me all the time and I just do the best that I can to do right by them. I wish we hadfamily closer to help out more but we when they are around.....

Danielle
post #9 of 24
I wanted to say I would rock one in the car seat/bouncy seat while I nursed the other.

Sometimes (gasp) I would have a drink at 3 pm. Call my DH to come home early, call a friend, leave the room, anything to get through the day... you are normal!

Im also a member of my local parents of multiples group and they were/continue to be a great sounding board.
post #10 of 24
I am going to assume that ORmom meant that she never intentionally let her babies CIO? It is impossible to serve everyone's needs all the time. Babies cry, and twins (in my experience) cry more than most because they have to wait to get their wants/needs fulfilled. One of my issues with some AP literature is the implication that it is possible to be so in tune with our babies that we will always be able to fulfill their needs. It wasn't true with my high needs singleton and it's not true with my twins. They cry all the time. It is their most powerful tool for communication and so they use it! I do my best and I will not be made to feel guilty because of anyone else's unrealistic expectations. Sorry for the vent. I just think that twin moms have so much to deal with as it is, the last thing we need is to think there is actually some magic formula to keep babies from crying!

Yikes, Sorry for using the word "needs" 1000 times in that post!
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by danibu98
I wanted to say I would rock one in the car seat/bouncy seat while I nursed the other.

Sometimes (gasp) I would have a drink at 3 pm. Call my DH to come home early, call a friend, leave the room, anything to get through the day... you are normal!

Im also a member of my local parents of multiples group and they were/continue to be a great sounding board.
LOL! Just last night I poured myself a glass of wine and every time the kids started aggrevating me I had a sip (they are 6 (twins) and 5 (singleton) now)
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. It helps just to know that others out there are struggling/have struggled with the same issues. I've been thinking about all this a lot over the past couple days, and I think part of the problem is that I began to question my own instincts on what to do, which have been pretty strong so far. I guess it's natural when things get really rough to wonder whether you're doing it all wrong. But after reading your replies and talking with a friend, I feel better and more centered again.
I think the best I can do is to give each of my kids the attention he needs when he shows he needs it and live with the consequences of what that means for the other one not getting the primary attention at a given moment, trying not to feel badly. Feeling badly doesn't help me, and it doesn't help them. The fact is, as I see it, I cannot treat them like they are singletons because that's not how they came into this world. That will have its drawbacks but many more advantages too, I think. We have to learn to live together in the situation we have, and I guess these are growing pains for all of us as we learn to adjust to the next stage. I lost sight of that and began to think, "Holy cow, I'm never going to get through this if this is the way it's going to stay!" You lovely ladies reminded me that it won't stay like this and, like it or not, I WILL survive! And I do love love love having twins and think my boys are the best in the world. If you knew our story (endometriosis, difficult preg, NICU, PICU), you'd know that there is not a day I take them for granted. But that doesn't mean it isn't SO HARD sometimes. Thank the lord they're so darn cute!!
Below I've responded to everyone. I'm holding one of my babes, and he's getting squirmy. Gotta go!
Julie

OR Mom: I think that you are right that they like being held/worn the most. However, being at their constant disposal ("slave" to them) is not right for me. I don't want to be a martyr. Perhaps you can do it without feeling like one, but not me. I need to have a little break to be my best for them, even if that is 5 minutes, and I think that is okay. I admire that you were able to keep your boys from crying (really I do!), but I don't think they should never ever cry. Crying is natural in my view. It's just the crying all day that's no good for me or them. Unlike you, I don't have the energy to change activities every 5 minutes all day, though being a teacher I do know what you mean that babies and little kids need constant redirection to keep their attention. Just can't do that all day. They don't really nap much, you see . Thanks for the input, though.

flminivanmama: I love your sense of humor! I do love having twins, but it certainly is a challenge at times. My kids don't like the bouncy seat, but I'm thinking of trying a swing. I was avoiding it because we live in an NYC apartment with little space, but I think it may be time!

Ellie'sMom: It's good to know that your kids went from independent playing to being very fussy at 5 mos. I am relieved that this has happened with others, too. Thanks for sharing. Yes, getting outside is good advice. We don't have a yard, but now that the weather's nicer, maybe we'll go to the park more often. Also, thanks for this:
They cry all the time. It is their most powerful tool for communication and so they use it! I do my best and I will not be made to feel guilty because of anyone else's unrealistic expectations. ...I just think that twin moms have so much to deal with as it is, the last thing we need is to think there is actually some magic formula to keep babies from crying!
Yes! I agree, and thank you for reminding me. That alone made me feel a whole lot better and made me realize that I am doing a pretty good job given the circumstances. So THANK YOU!

mjbc_1979: I totally agree with you that being frustrated that things are changing from what was expected makes everything worse. Thanks for reminding me about "going with the flow." Sometimes I forget.

twins10705: You're right, sometimes they just cry. You'd have to be a miracle worker or have constant help to never let them cry. Or you could have very calmly demeanored babies, I suppose. But what's the fun in that?

danibu98: HAHAHA! Your drink suggestion is great! I usually wait until DH gets home. I guess that's the problem. Why wait when I need it most an hour before that???

Thanks again, everyone!
post #13 of 24
Do you have an exersaucer? At that age it was a lifesaver for me!
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I just saw them on a website, and I thought my one baby would really dig it. I'll have to try it out!
post #15 of 24
yeah my twins loved the excersaucer at around 6 months or so (and they were 11 weeks premature... my singleton started liking it around 4 months). my singleton also loved my doorway jumper thingie - I can't remember if the twins did - I have to ask my dh. we might not have had it for them??
post #16 of 24
One of my twins really really loves the doorway bouncer too. He gets all excited and giggly when we put him in it and he jumps like crazy all over the place. Forgot that one!

Danielle

Great ideas from everyone by the way!
post #17 of 24
I was going to suggest some sit up toys too. My boys also like to sit in their high chair, bang spoons, and watch me cook dinner. You may want to get high chair that can recline a bit (If they aren't sitting real well).

DOn't buy new Exersuacers or jumpers, their are gobs of second hand ones. Just get on Craigs list or check out garage sales. Then when you are done with them, you can resell them to another mom for what you paid for them.

Also, you might want a swing for naps. I put one in the swing, and then I wear the other baby to sleep (or you could nurse one down). Then in the afternoon I switch. THey sleep WAY better that way. Here again, get it used. SOme kids hate swings, some love them, some like the sideways swing, some like the tradiditonal ones. . . not something to invest hundreds of dollars in!!
post #18 of 24
I didn't check this post for a long time, sorry. It seems many people have different views from myself about crying. I did all I could to keep my boys content and although the first year was pretty much a blur, I don't remember it being horrible or even outragously hard! My boys would stop crying if I nursed them, had them in my lap, changed their scenery. I nursed both at the same time and still do at 2 1/2 years old. Maybe I would have done things differently if I lived closer to family and had more social obligations, but we live in a rural area and I was completely (still am) into taking care of my boys. It can be done. I have loads of help from my hubby. Before my boys turned one, he did most of the grocery shopping, cooked dinner, and some cleaning (mostly all dishes). Some may not want to hear this, but after having my boys and parenting the way I have, I know that babies don't have to cry....ever. Of course some babies cry more than others, but I think mine were pretty normal. They certainly weren't content babies to just lay and play. Every parent makes their own choice about crying and I guess I'm on the extreme of that choice. I just don't feel babies should cry. Good luck to all of you. They don't stay babies for very long!! I already miss that baby time!
post #19 of 24
Hi, I hope it's ok for me to barge in here I'm a mother of 2, but they're not twins.

OR Mom, this is kind of an odd place to post something like this:

Quote:
but after having my boys and parenting the way I have, I know that babies don't have to cry....ever.
The OP is going through a tough time, which is very understandable...mothering at any age can be a challenge, but that first year can be exhausting and I can't imagine with twins! OR Mom, it's great that this comes easy to you, and it sounds like you have two very happy sons. But that statement above implies that you are parenting correctly, and therefore, since you know how to do things the right way, your babies are happy. It's a normal, first time parent mistake, and I'm sure eventually you'll learn that this is not always the case. I encourage you to recognize that different kids have different temperments, and to be careful to what you say to a new mom. She's doing the best she can right now, and i happen to think she's doing a great job.

And babies DO cry. And sometimes, there is nothing you can do but hold them and be there for them. With twins, I don't know how that works and I won't pretend to! But they cry, and sometimes, as much as we try, there isn't much we can do. There is a difference between letting a baby CIO and being there for the baby while she cries. There was even an article in Mothering about this.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaley
Hi, I hope it's ok for me to barge in here I'm a mother of 2, but they're not twins.

OR Mom, this is kind of an odd place to post something like this:



The OP is going through a tough time, which is very understandable...mothering at any age can be a challenge, but that first year can be exhausting and I can't imagine with twins! OR Mom, it's great that this comes easy to you, and it sounds like you have two very happy sons. But that statement above implies that you are parenting correctly, and therefore, since you know how to do things the right way, your babies are happy. It's a normal, first time parent mistake, and I'm sure eventually you'll learn that this is not always the case. I encourage you to recognize that different kids have different temperments, and to be careful to what you say to a new mom. She's doing the best she can right now, and i happen to think she's doing a great job.

And babies DO cry. And sometimes, there is nothing you can do but hold them and be there for them. With twins, I don't know how that works and I won't pretend to! But they cry, and sometimes, as much as we try, there isn't much we can do. There is a difference between letting a baby CIO and being there for the baby while she cries. There was even an article in Mothering about this.
ORmom: Mamaley pretty much summed up my feelings here. I had a high-needs singleton before I had my twins, and trust me, there were many times when no matter what I did she would cry. I'm glad this comes so easily to you, but the tone of your post is pretty condescending. I think your babies are easier going than you give them credit for. I know babies grow up fast, as I'm sure the OP does, but that doesn't always help when you're in the thick of it. I'm going to wrap up because I don't want you to feel attacked, but I do think time will reveal to you that what works for you does not work for everyone.
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