tell me how you do it!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-08-2005, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi! I'm new to MDC and am so eager to get some support! I have twin boys, 8 months old now. Twins are not new to me, I was 12 when my twin brothers were born, so at least I had SOME clue what life would be like!

Dh and I had pretty strong opinions on how we would raise our least for those first few months. But they became quite ill and we spent 3 wks in ICUs hoping and praying they would be fine. When they were, we just couldn't stand the thought of our original parenting ideas! We didn't want to squeeze our newborn miracles into our convenient lives, we wanted to bend to their needs and raise them as responsively as we could. It's so hard for me to articulate how this whole change in thought happened...

The first many months have been surprisingly easy! We have good sleepers and great temperaments and so the days are usually pretty fun! But there are always those days and hours that AREN'T so enjoyable. They are both crying. They are both hungry. They are both tired. Whatever.

So how do you do it? How do you tend to them both at once? I just can't stand allowing one to cry while he waits his turn! I realize I am one mom with two arms, but there's got to be a way to care for them simultaneously! Lately, our biggest struggle is bedtime. They are both tired and hungry and I just can't give them what they need together. So I try to choose the one who needs me most at that moment, but then the other is upset for the next 15-20min until the first is in bed. Am I making sense?

I try things like sitting close to the one I am not holding. I wear one of them (alternately or whoever needs it most just then) for the better part of the day. i just don't know what else to do! I feel like my poor boys are being jipped of the parenting they deserve and I so badly want to give them just because there are two of them and just one of me
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#2 of 6 Old 06-08-2005, 06:34 PM
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Hi there hsvmom!

I know it is hard. For me I just have to hold, feed, rock both of them. More often than not they both want me/need me at the same time. So for nursing I do it simultaneously. For naptime/bedtime the same. I'll either lay in bed with one on each side or sit in a rocker with one in each arm and nursing them both till content. This gets more challenging as they get bigger and much much more mobile. There are times where one is diving off my lap and the other is trying to climb over the back of the rocker. When it gets dangerous like that I move to the floor or bed (mattress is on floor). And those times that I just can't get to them yet I need them safe or stationary, I put them TOGETHER in their crib. We cosleep but sometimes use crib for naps. So for example if I know they are tired and they are both fussy but my 2 yo is in the middle of a meltdown from REALLY being overtired or whatever...I will put the girls in their crib with their fav toys and music and tend to ds until he is calm. Then I go back to the girls and nurse them simulantenously till they fall asleep or are content. Somehow leaving them together while I take care of ds makes it better. They aren't all alone for those few minutes while they wait for me.

So are you able to nurse/feed them at the same time? Or can you lay on floor or bed with them both? Make life easy for yourself. Have the mattress on the floor. We also keep lots of pillows on our family room floor for nursing and laying together.

I hope that helps! And welcome!!
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#3 of 6 Old 06-09-2005, 08:44 AM
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It's frustrating, I agree. There's always that feeling of guilt you're describing with twins, but from your post it sounds like you are doing a great job.

No, it's not ideal as you imagine it might be with only one baby, but I believe (hope) they sense that you are doing your best and that you care for both of them (even when they're cranky, crying, etc.)

I agree with the previous poster . . . nursing simultaneously, staying on the floor a lot and having our mattress on the floor really helped me be near both of them at the same time. Once they are more mobile it gets a better, b/c they can come to you to have their needs met a little, and can hang on better for group hugs
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#4 of 6 Old 06-09-2005, 08:55 AM
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It's kind of a "case by case" thing. When a situation came up I just worked w/ figuring out the best way to keep both babies happy. We spent lots of time on the floor. It's easier to be close to both babies when there's no worries about falling. So starting pretty early I set up a nursing station on the floor (w/ various configurations of twin nursing pillow, boppy(ies) and regular pillows). That way when one was done I could set her on the floor next to me & give her toys to play with, read to her, etc. while her sister finished nursing (or slept at the boob, which they both did lots of as babies. Now once they're asleep I can slide the pillow off my lap & let them sleep there on the floor (naps) or carry them up to bed (night). For diaper changes, I found it worked really well to use the changing table attachment for our pack n play. I'd put the other baby in the pack n play and that was she could see me & I could see her & talk to her while I was changing sister's diaper.

Ummm . . . they both really liked to "stand", being held up from a very early age so we started using doorway jumpers quite early because that was a way they could "stand" w/o me having to hold them, since I couldn't hold them both to stand at the same time. We put the doorway jumpers side-by-side in the double doorway into our bedroom & they could "talk" to each other & bounce toward each other & such in them. Those remained a hit for most of the first year (took them down when it was getting dangerous because they were bouncing so "hard").

As newborns, we went through a period where Lexie was fussy in the evening & needed to be carried laying stomach down on someone's arm. Ashlyn wasn't as fussy but wasn't content to be totally ignored during that time, so I figured out to pop Ashlyn in a sling (sitting facing out so she could see what was going on) before she got fussy, then carry Lexie on my arm & we'd go outside & do "laps" around our cul de sac until Daddy got home.

Once they were big enough for hip carry (which I started really early by snugging hte sling really tight up around their neck) I could carry them both (& nurse them both) in the slings so that helped, couldn't do much else while I had them both in slings, but at least had them both happy

Up until they got too big (around 16 mo I think), we "coslept" w/ dh at least starting out the night in the recliner part of our sofa holding one baby (he put pillows under his elbow & held baby cradled there while he leaned back & slept, he felt "safer" that way than having a baby flat in bed next to him where he might roll) & I'd take the otehr baby to bed w/ me. When "dh's baby" woke up to nurse he'd bring her up to me & (when they were tiny and would ONLY sleep touching someone) take the other one back down w/ him. Once they got older they would sleep ok just being in bed near us so then when "his baby" needed to nurse he'd just come up & we'd spend the rest of the night w/ all 4 of us in bed (queen bed w/ twin mattress "cosleeper" attached) - we'd start the night w/ the baby I had in the cosleeper & me right next to it in the regular bed, then when dh brought the 2nd baby up we'd put her in the middle of the regular bed & dh would sleep on the other side of her.

Those are the situations I can think of at the moment, hth
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#5 of 6 Old 06-09-2005, 02:22 PM
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Tell you what, at 5-8 months or so, mine were so cranky I wanted to run away from home! I was bottle feeding, so feeding both simultaneously wasn't difficult - I think that was the point where they started feeding themselves a lot, and could hold their own bottles in their cribs (we began putting them down in the cribs at that age, but still take them into bed w/us if they wake up). And my husband & visiting relatives would help hold & cuddle.

I think that until they're about a year old, babies are just mostly a PITA!!! It's a good thing they're so cute! I doubt that you're doing anything "wrong" at all, you sound very attentive. I'm wondering if yours are teething & that's why they're so cranky at night. Or it could be growing pains. Or not getting enough sleep. Or wanting to crawl. Or just being 8 months old!

IMHO, relax. Time is your best ally. Once your kids can move around on their own & start having some independence, everything changes. I wasn't any too fond of mine for big parts of their first year - I kept attending to them, trying to soothe, and they fussed anyway. And I'd give them affection and attention, food, diaper, whatever. And they'd continue fussing. Very ungratifying! Truly, it sucked!

But nowadays we're really close - they respond totally differently and we have a lot of fun. We laugh and play all the time.

It's like the first year was just putting money in the bank & now it's coming back with interest.
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#6 of 6 Old 06-10-2005, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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You all are FABULOUS! I was feeling SO bad about my parenting and I just knew I had to be the worst twin momma out there! It feels SO much better to know that I am by far not the only mom to deal with it!

The suggestions are great, thank you. I do leave them together anytime I can't be with either of them. They still seem to think of each other as an interactive toy, so it keeps them happy. I love hearing that so many moms are spending so much time on the floor! I swear there are days when I think I've spent 10hrs on our living room rug!

Feeding simultaneously (sp?) is a challenge here. Ethan is breastfed but Anthony is gets formula since he was 3.5 mo old It's not ideal, I know.... I used to be able to feed them both together anyway, but not since they started getting so curious and mobile. So feeding times are REALLY stressful! Luckily, dh is around for the morning feeding when Anthony wakes up starving and Ethan wants a nursathon, so that helps a lot.

I think in the evening the problem is just tiredness. They pretty much meltdown if they aren't in bed by 6:30, so after about 5 they aren't so cooperative. I do suspect they are teething, which doesn't help, of course! Poor guys. They don't cosleep anymore I wasn't ready to move them out yet, but it was SO obvious they were ready! They do love laying around with me in the bed or on the floor though, so that's part of our bedtime routine...just some relaxing time with mom laying down and playing quietly. I get my cosleeping fix that way, I guess.

Thanks for the tips and even more for the encouragement. I need it!!! I'm so glad to find a group of twin moms with more in common!
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