Our twins are 5 weeks old. They slept a LOT in the first couple weeks and now that they are awake a bit more, there are a lot more tears.... nothing like when my older DD was a newborn and cried for hours everyday... but more tears than I can reasonably respond to in the way that I could with DD. I hear some variation of the phrase "tolerate some crying" a lot when other parents of multiples talk about the infant stage and I'm wondering what this means... Is there a certain quality of cry that always gets responded to? A certain number of minutes you feel okay with them crying? How do you handle the necessary tears when you can't get to them right away?
It absolutely eats me up inside that I just can't respond to their cries all the time right away. I know I need to let some of my angst over this go, but I'm not sure how to. There are times when one is crying and I just feel panicky inside.
I know just what you mean. It's heartbreaking, and I hated it. Over time you'll come to understand which cries are emergencies ("I've fallen and hurt myself badly") and which are serious upset, and which are just lonely whimpers. With more than one child (and even with one at times), sometimes it's a matter of triage.
I hate it when my girls cry, but sometimes I am in the middle of changing a diaper or sometimes I am peeing, or sometimes I'm making lunch and the crying is because someone wants lunch.
I do a lot of singing to comfort a baby I'm not holding, and talking about what I'm doing, but sometimes someone just has to cry for a minute.
I had no rules of thumb. I tried to make sure one baby wasn't always the one left crying. I held and rocked two at a time whenever I could. I tried to respond immediately if I thought someone might be injured.
You have to let go of some of the angst. You can't raise two babies the way you raised one (or even a second the way you raised the first). They have each other, and they will be okay. You do your best, and that is good and it is enough and no one is keeping score.
I didn't leave anybody to cry for lengthy periods when the babies were small, but there was some "turn taking". It sometimes made me feel better to talk to the other one while busy with the first, as in "You're next" or "be there in a minute!"
I did feed them tandem, and that helped. It isn't easy, though. I remember seeking out AP information for twins, and being very frustrated with the lack of useful information. But honestly, there is no way to make parenting multiples like parenting one baby. There will be turn taking and waiting.
Ditto everything RedPajama and others have said. I try not to let anyone cry for too long, especially if it is really distressed crying. But occasionally, they do end up crying a bit on the days I am with them on my own. Otherwise I would never eat or pee or anything. They both get really upset when I leave the room, so there is really no placing them in a safe place while I grab a sandwich, w/o some crying. I have a bad back and am 41 years old, so baby-wearing two rapidly growing twins is just not going to happen for me. It's been hard to let go of the parenting dreams I had, and accept that I'm going to have to do things differently with twins. But I think, at the end of the day, we are all just doing the best we can, and our children will feel the love, and will be just fine :-)
I still feel awful about the crying. When my older daughter was a baby there wasn't really any crying. I wore her and napped with her...sigh...With the twins I used to rock one in a chair thingy and nurse the other while talking to the crying baby. Nights were the worst. I couldn't tandem nurse for a few months as youngest daughter wasn't gaining weight and the doctor wanted to be sure she wasn't just waiting for her brother to initiate letdown and then just stop drinking. Once I could tandem nurse and they were eating food it was better. Now that they're older (2.5) and verbal they get mad about waiting but understand that it's just the way it is. I don't think there is a "tolerate some crying" there is just damage control sometimes.
Montessori teacher working part time and trying to keep up with the kiddos. DD1 (June 08) DS1 (June 10) DD2 (June 10)
I just saw the title of this from the parenting page. I just wanted to add that "tolerate some crying" is not just multiples, but more than one small child of any age.
I never left them to cry, but you can only do so much at once and someone is sometimes left out. Or sometimes everyone is in your lap and everyone is crying (in which case, it is time for all of us to get into the bath).
My great crying advice is to stop for a second and listen. Just that pause teaches you a lot about what is being communicated. Now they are a little older, it is clear as day the fighting over a pacifer cry from the ran in to the table cry.
Mama to Monkey (Jan '09), Bee (May '11), and Cat (August, '13)
Ditto on what everyone said. I don't think it is tolerating, as I hate it, but more of doing the best one can. I spent 4 months alone during the daytimes on maternity leave. You do the best you can. Talking to the crying one helps. We have also doubled up on the changing table when one is inconsolable. I can wear one, and work with one but that still leaves one. It's really hard when all three cry but we do the best we can!
Mama to five, not 13. I just like pumpkins and thought that number would not be taken.