Nursing, Holding, Rocking...ALL night!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-01-2004, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All,

Last night I had complete meltdown. My girls are 5 mos old. And I somehow need to figure a way to get 1 free minute each night. I usually work 3 days a week but have picked up a 4th day since we are trying to catch up from my dh being out of work awhile ago. So M-Th my nights are filled up! For example last night I picked up kids after work and got home about 6:30. Ran to grocery store. Nursed girls and played with Dominic. Dh gave Dom bath and put to sleep while I gave girls bath. Dh left for work and I played with girls. Then in "The Chair" all 3 of us for our nightly never ending nursing session. That lasted from 9 to 11:15p. They fell asleep on me as usual but getting them both upstairs and laid down without them waking is impossible! So back in the chair for more snuggling and nursing. Dh got home and took both about 11:30p. I knew I should of ate dinner or made bottles for next day but too exhausted and went to bed. Dh woke me at 1:00a to nurse again and I wasn't able to lay them down till about 2a. Nursed one again at 3:30 and up again at 4:30 then up for good at 6:30a.

I need some help on keeping them occupied for a bit in the evening and getting them to stay asleep when I lay them down. They don't seem to like sitting in thier bouncy seats anymore. They want to sit upright. And playing with toys on a blanket keeps them happy long enough to change/bath the other one...but that's about it. I just want few minutes to eat dinner and do a bit of laundry and make bottles. And I swear they just won't sleep unless I'm holding them!!
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#2 of 5 Old 12-01-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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Dear Carmella-- . Please know that I did not work with my twins this young, so I cannot help much with that. However, my advice to you is family bed . We did the sidecar thing with the crib, and our ped had advised us to assign one breast to each baby each day, and then swap. So at night, one baby on one side, one on the other, they nurse to sleep, you sleep, they unlatch, you sleep, they fuss, you wiggle so they can relatch, they sleep, you sleep. My boys are 8 now and they still sleep together.

I decided with twins that my sleep was a very important thing, so whatever I had to do to get some, I did. Mine slept on me every time they nursed in the day, so my DD got really good at getting snacks for herself, and finding books for us to read, and the like. Mine always nursed together, at the same time. When they were ready to sit up, like yours, I used the exersaucers, and high chairs. They sat in those high chairs, strapped in with the tray mushed up against their tummies, with spoons or cups or whatever kept them occupied, while I made dinner or folded laundry, or whatever.

I know it's hard to believe and it doesn't help a damn thing right now, but it WILL get easier. Every day they are closer to entertaining themselves, sitting up by themselves, etc. Soon they'll be crawling--and watch out for that!!

Good luck and PM me if you want to talk some more.
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#3 of 5 Old 12-02-2004, 03:18 AM
 
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Yowza! I'm a fellow mom of twins and I still had to read your post twice just to follow your evening! Sooooo busy! Lots of ((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))) to you!

Like above pp, I didn't work at this stage, so I first of all want to commend you on doing all you're doing. It's really tough not to have enough money or time, and added to that the twin sleep deprivation thing is almost unbelievable even when you yourself are going through it.

I do have some suggestions which I'll throw out and if any work for you or give you some ideas, then great! I also agree with above pp that your life is just about to get easier. At six months things really start to turn around. You won't have blurry vision from exhaustion too much longer, really. And you will get one, then three, then five, then 10 or 20 minutes to (gasp) eat, pee, and possibly even SHOWER!! It really will happen, please hold on to that hope from those of us who have been there.

OK now some ideas that may help (or not, I know how it is, sigh...):
1. Make a nursing nook close by the bed they sleep in. This is worth a weekend and bringing in neighbors to move furniture. The idea of nursing them to sleep on one floor and then trying to move them to another gives me the willies - sooo hard! We put a love seat very close to the bed and I practiced during the day moving them from pillow to crib and later our bed, without waking them up. Yes it took 1-2 hours to get them fast asleep enough to move but the trip was a few steps rather than an entire floor. This is worth rearranging your house for, promise.
2. Dittoing what above poster said about family bed! As soon as you feel able, bring the babies into bed with you. We put a single mattress next to a Cal King mattress on the floor, got Safety 1st guardrails at Walmart, and got the following arrangement: wall, dad on single, Alicia, me, Annika, guard rail. The other guard rail is at the head of the bed so Alicia doesn't roll off (she's a thrasher, he he). You absolutely cannot believe how much more sleep you will get. You can turn from side to side to nurse them all night long and barely wake up. It's a miracle, it really really is. Then, as pp said, you can switch them to the other breast during the daytime. If you're like me you'll still have to get up and put them on the nursing pillow when they wake up at the same time for a while, but it's so much easier to attend to them starting from the same bed. And having the nursing area a few steps away makes your commute in the middle of the night that much easier.
3. During one of those endless nursing sessions, think about how you can re-do your routine to avoid those early evening trips to the grocery store. I don't know enough about your routine to suggest anything specific here, but if you could arrange the grocery trips some other way then that would free up that time in the early evening.
4. You may not like this one, I don't in retrospect but it worked. For about the first six months I ate almost everything wrapped in a flour tortilla. I would have someone else make something (or cook it in a crock pot so there's no fuss - chicken with mushroom soup; chicken with barbecue sauce; chicken with salsa; chicken with... you get the drift). Then either they or I would take two seconds (ignoring the inevitable screaming - even Mothering mag says five minutes of screaming doesn't damage them emotionally and they don't usually write about how to deal with twins!) to wrap the food in a tortilla, balance it on the edge of the nursing love seat, latch the girls on, and munch. Not private, not gourmet, but I got full. And I also kept lots (like five) of bottles of water on the love seat.

Just to let you know that one day it will end - my girls and I finally figured out how to do all our nursing-to-sleep in bed together, at 13 1/2 months! Tomorrow at LLL meeting I plan to bring my EZ2 Nurse pillow out (I host the meetings) and have a small retirement ceremony for it. Sniff...

Hang in there, hugs, it will get better soon!
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#4 of 5 Old 12-22-2004, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Library mom and AmyY- Thanks for your suggestions and support! Your words of encouragement are so helpful!!

I have 1 exersaucer and 1 highchair that I am now using (they just turned 6 mos). It is very helpful at keeping them entertained. I am going to get another of each soon so I have 2. Last night was another late one (as usual). I decided to say forget getting them to sleep and we put each one in exersrcr and highchair while we wrapped presents and cleaned up. They played and watched us till they got REAL tired, then I nursed them to sleep. You are right. It is getting easier in terms of them entertaining themselves a bit more while I do dinner, etc.

Regarding the Family Bed. We have always done a combo of family bed and not. My ds slept with us till 9 mos, then wanted to sleep in his crib, wanted to move to a big boy bed (single bed on floor in his room right acroos from our room), and now he wants to be back in bed with us. This is great except he is a big time squirmmer. I mean you get kicked in the head about 5 times a night. So I'm concerned about him kicking or laying on the girls. He loves laying on them. Plus all 3 want to be close to mommy. With a girl on each side of me and then Dominic trying to lay on top of us all...it makes for a sleepless night (for me anyway). We have a king size for the purpose of having room for all kids. But right now it ends up being me and 3 kids on one side and dh on the other. Our solution right now that we are trying out is that daddy and Dom sleep in his room on single bed and me and the girls sleep in our room in king. Dominic still wants mommy sometimes though so I usually lay with him till he falls asleep then dad takes over.

When I wrote the previous post my solution was to put girls in their crib. It wasn't working obviously so thanks for reminding me how better off we all are using a family bed!

Oh and the nursing nook by the bed. Good idea! Thanks! We moved 'the chair' from downstairs to our bedroom. This is great for nights when dh is working. Dom lays in my bed and I sit in chair right next to him and nurse girls.

I do still need to get safety rails. Right now I use pillows side of babies (bed is on floor) and tuck sheet under them so can't roll. I know rails are needed now though and will give me more peace of mind. Or should I rig the crib sidecar? What do you guys think?

Oh and AmyY - the EVERYTHING in tortilla wrap cracks me up...but great idea. :LOL

Thanks you guys!
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#5 of 5 Old 12-23-2004, 04:09 AM
 
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Yeah! So glad to know things are evening out! From here on out it just gets smoother, so you're on a roll.

We tried the sidecar crib thing and it just didn't work. Our crib, when brought directly up to the side of the bed and the sliding side taken out, still left a gap between crib and bed. Very frustrating because I had thought this was going to be a no-brainer solution.

We ended up with a succession of mattresses on the floor and the Safety 1st guardrails (which I take down and put in the closet during the day by the way since the girls try to climb over them, yipes!).

If your crib is constructed differently than ours the sidecar arrangement might be a cheap way for you all to get more room. In our case we had to go out and buy a single bed. The crib idea just didn't work.

Glad things are looking up!
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