HOW DO I DO THIS?!?! naptime and nighttime parenting infant twins with 3 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 09-19-2005, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry that I keep coming here with my troubles....but I am at a total loss as to how to put my 6 month old twins to bed. It just keeps getting harder and harder as they get older. I don't have a lot of time to go into details but please can you tell me how you do it?

Thanks, Mary
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#2 of 23 Old 09-19-2005, 08:13 PM
 
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I'm not sure what your sleeping situation is - I have twins that are now 2.5. My older daughter was 3.5 when they were born. We had a huge family bed - queen and full pushed together) so we all laid down together. Me in teh middle of the twins - them nursing on each side, pillow behind my head and my daughter on the other bed in a nest of blankets with my dh. All of us being together seemd to help. When the twins fell asleep, my dh took one and slept with one on his chest or next to him and I had the other. When they woke up, he would keep the sleeping one and I nursed the awake one - well we both fell back asleep together. When they both woke up I tandem nursed. It does get easier and easier. Mine are now night weaned and just about totally weaned.
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#3 of 23 Old 09-19-2005, 09:19 PM
 
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mary - there is a really great yahoo group called apmultiples. i believe this is the whole url: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/apmultiples/

People there will give you great advice. (I'm sure people here will too, there are just a lot more people there )

I remember 6 months being a really difficult time for naps - we drove around sometimes or took walks with the stroller. It was difficult for my 4 year old but he was in pre-school part time and sometimes I would give him a treat and a book if we were stuck in the car. It was not a good time!

My 4 yr old was a good night-time sleeper so he wasn't an issue then. One twin went to sleep easily and the other was attached to me all night long until about 15 months. Dh was responsible for the "good sleeper" if she needed him at night because the other was much more difficult to deal with.

I don't have much advice but I understand and you have my sympathy!! But remember - this too shall pass! My twins are just 2 and have been sleeping through the night in their own beds for about 5 months.
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#4 of 23 Old 09-19-2005, 10:28 PM
 
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I don't remember specifics of that age but I know that many days we all slept on a big blanket & pillows in the living room floor during the day.
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#5 of 23 Old 09-20-2005, 01:05 AM
 
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OT mary - I love your sig and I remember your story and I still get choked up when I think of that happening!! I adore having twins so much and the thought of having surprise twins is so incredible and hilarious and wonderful! (Now I'm sure there are moments when it doesn't feel so wonderful! I would say I had a moment or two of crying at least several times a week for their first year.)

It's such a great story.
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#6 of 23 Old 09-20-2005, 01:23 AM
 
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When my twins were 6 months old cosleeping stopped working and so did putting them down at the same time.
I started nursing them to sleep one at a time (easiest down baby first) with daddy holding the other baby and watching our toddler. WHen dd was asleep in her bed I would nurse ds down until I could put him down as well.
It took time but it did work for us.
5-6 months was a big change for us sleep wise with the twins.
As for naps I think I used a swing or exersaucer while putting one baby down (for some reason I have no clear memory of naps! LOL)
JOline
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#7 of 23 Old 09-20-2005, 03:35 PM
 
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Here is Mothering's stance on CIO, Co-sleeping and the like

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=287116

Kristina; wife to Max, Mom to Tristan (17) and Zackariah (7) and Lillian (5)
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#8 of 23 Old 09-20-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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I removed the posts discussing CIO. Mothering doesn't support CIO as a valid option nor does it allow posts advocating that approach. Please take personal conversations to PM and feel free to complain to the powers that be. Continuing to discuss it here will result in alerts being issued.

As far as the OP goes, I have had infant twins and an older child (not a toddler though) while I had severe ppd. I nursed both twins to sleep until they were 16 months old. We also coslept until then. We did nightwean and quit cosleeping at 16 mos only because of the stress of sleep deprivation, but it never involved CIO alone. We went to Dad putting them to bed most of the time because he didn't have breasts- but there was crying and comforting. After a couple of months, we went back to cosleeping. At 2 1/2, they got their own queen bed. I lie down with them every night and read them to sleep then they sleep in their own bed (sometimes with brother). Hope any of this helps. If you can be specific about what isn't working we can give you better advice.
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#9 of 23 Old 09-20-2005, 08:17 PM
 
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I wanted to add that a great place to get support for AP ideals while parenting twins and higher order muliples is the yahoo group, apmultiples. There are several twin and triplet moms who give great advice on how to deal with sleep issues without CIO.
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#10 of 23 Old 09-20-2005, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, thank you mamas. It seems whenever I'm just about at the end of my rope about something, I come here to these forums and can hear from others who know just what I'm going through. And lo and behold, it is 7:30pm and all three little ones are asleep!!!! I'm sure this will be happening every night from now on HAHAHAHA!

I guess my toughest issue is the fact that one twin, Lucas, has had sucking problems from the get go and cannot nurse side lying - he gets all fidgety and gassy. It's like he can't swallow lying sideways. So I always get up with him and need to make sure he is well burped (which always makes him cry because he doesn't want to ever unlatch) before sleeping otherwise he'll be awake in 15 minutes. Ah well, at least he is relatively easy to put down once he's nursed and burped and rocked. Emily, on the other hand wakes only a few times for just a few minutes and I barely wake for the feedings. But, getting her down the first time is the miracle I must perform each day.
She's a lover of life and doesn't want to miss anything.

Thanks for removing the CIO posts. I was lucky enough to have missed them totaly!

Question:
How did you mamas tandem nurse in bed? I mean at the same time. I tried this once a while back and it worked great for the twins but my boobs were killing me afterward.

Thanks all, Mary
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#11 of 23 Old 09-20-2005, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh yeah, does it cost a lot to get hooked up to the yahoo groups?
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#12 of 23 Old 09-21-2005, 09:45 AM
 
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Yahoo groups are free, you just have to deal w/ advertising if you read it as a board.

I never found a way to comfortable nurse mine at the same time laying down. I just did lots of rolling back & forth between them. And at various stages dh slept for all or part of the night holding one (& just trading w/ me when the one he had wanted to nurse) which I think probably helped them sleep longer w/o wanting ot nurse since they weren't right there where they could smell me. Dh preferred to sleep in our recliner sofa when he was holding a baby.
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#13 of 23 Old 09-21-2005, 07:54 PM
 
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/apmultiples/

Here's a link. Karen Kerkoff Gromada posts there (author of LLL book, Mothering Multiples). Her personal site has a great page with pics of nursing positions: http://www.karengromada.com/photos.htm

You can't ask for a better support system than apmultiples. I don't know if I would have made it nursing without them. I hope Karen still posts there. If not, email her directly. She rocks.

I never could tandem nurse laying down until they were older. Several people on apmultiples have mastered it (from what I understand it takes stretchy boobs) though. I did try sleeping in the recliner with both though.

I wish I had better advice! I can only tell you that (no matter what anyone tells you) it gets easier every second they get older!!

Congrats on the vbac and full term! That is awesome with twins. I wished we hadn't found out and it would have been a homebirth for me too, but that is another story.
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#14 of 23 Old 09-21-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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The No Cry Sleep Solution has been REALLY helpful for us. I nurse the babies one at a time and then walk them until their drowsy, then lay them down and they sleep. While I am doing one, Dad is often bouncing one to sleep in front of the computer or he is in the swing.

It is now that we have a sort of routine, it really helps cut down on how long it takes them to go to sleep. From an hour of pacing to about 5-10 minutes. MUCH better.

Having them nap at slightly different times is good too (for now). THat way I only have one needing to be nursed down/walked down at a time. I hope to change that in a couple months, but it works well now. I can do anything with one baby in a sling, but 2 take all of my strength time and attention.

Nursing them at the same time in bed: I stack one on top of the other!! Seriously, I lay them side by side, then pull the front babies head up onto the back babies tummy. Then I lift up on an elbow and nurse them together . Not comfortable, but very efficient and quick. They can even fall asleep with the other babie still wiggling and nursing

Or I lay sligtly on my side and nurse one laying on top of me, and one lying beside me. But this one is very hard to do if either one is wiggly!! Luckily they usually only nurse a couple times a night.

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#15 of 23 Old 09-21-2005, 09:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdahlgrd
Having them nap at slightly different times is good too (for now). THat way I only have one needing to be nursed down/walked down at a time. I hope to change that in a couple months, but it works well now. I can do anything with one baby in a sling, but 2 take all of my strength time and attention.
I always aspired to do this, but I ended up feeling like I had one baby that never slept. Ever. It made me cookoo. I wish it had worked like that for me so I could have slung them more.
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#16 of 23 Old 09-23-2005, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Courtney - i'm trying to visualize the first position you described!! Sleep deprivation has limited my brain function! But thanks for the info and advice. And I know what you mean about having one baby awake at a time. But other times I just want to have time I can totally dedicate to my 3 year old. Unfortunately that rarely happens except at his nighttime routine when dh is home.

Lara, thanks for saying that it gets easier as they get older. I had my doubts - was in pediatricians office a few weeks ago and saw a mom of humungo 8 mo old twins and she looked ready to pop a vein if you know what I mean.

Someone once mentioned to me that "your worst day this month was like your best day last month" and it helps me to keep things in perspective.
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#17 of 23 Old 09-23-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcrafter
Someone once mentioned to me that "your worst day this month was like your best day last month" and it helps me to keep things in perspective.
That is so true! Especially during the first year.

I gauge it by how often I cried (since I had ppd). I cried every day the first six months. Every other day from 6-12mos. Once a week until they were 18mos. Maybe once a month until they turned two. Now I never cry at all (because of how hard it is). So I know it is easier. In fact, now I think it is nice having twins. I love that they have each other to play with. I would do it again, but I'd want more help that first year (had none).
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#18 of 23 Old 09-24-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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HI Mary

I'm glad things are getting a bit easier. I found in the first year that I worried the most about my older child. There were a lot of nights he didn't get stories or even enough cuddles because the logistics of getting 2 kids down to sleep was so daunting. (My DH was working crazy hours that year and often wasn't home at bedtime)

For my older one, we listened to a lot of books on tape together as bedtime stories and as soon as one of the babies went to sleep I would maneouvre so that he could get some cuddles too. Or I would get us all situated on the couch and we would watch a video together and eventually everyone would fall asleep.

Tandem nursing laying down for me required large amounts of pillows under my arms to raise both babies level with my body and then I would roll them into me. It gets easier - then it gets harder for a bit when they get more wiggly.

You are doing great - keep telling yourself that you are providing your kids the most awesome start and that it will get easier. I found that milestone months of 3, 6 and 12 were huge in terms of my abilities to manage...and then they start to walk - :LOL

Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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#19 of 23 Old 12-02-2005, 10:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcrafter
I'm sorry that I keep coming here with my troubles....but I am at a total loss as to how to put my 6 month old twins to bed. It just keeps getting harder and harder as they get older. I don't have a lot of time to go into details but please can you tell me how you do it?

Thanks, Mary
hi - so I was desperately searching the boards for some sleep advice for my 5 1/2 old twins and saw your post/replies. now that you've gotten through it, any advice? one of my girls just fights sleep so much, won't let you put her down, will go all day fighting the naps then is in hysterics by the end of the day. someone gave me the "healthy sleep, healthy child" book, which has lots of good advice until you get to the CIO. I need help and some other alternative! she is so sleep-deprived and I am absolutely hitting a wall of exhaustion from getting no break. she will nurse down if I give her about 45 minutes to an hour. unfortunately for her, she has a sister and a 4 year-old brother I need to attend to also! I am ranting thanks in advance for your input! I've gotten such great support from these boards they make me feel slightly less insane
____________
Sarah, mom to 5 1/2 month-old twins Sasha and Ruthie (Gemini in Gemini) and 4 year-old Will
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#20 of 23 Old 12-03-2005, 11:19 PM
 
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Basically I found that you have to sometimes do unorthodox things when trying to manage 2-3 bedtimes. Like sleeping on the living room floor, using swings/car seats, doing bedtime ridiculously early or ridiculously late, one babe at a time, etc. One at a time works best when you have a partner there to help. I rarely did, so even the times DH was home for bedtime he wasn't much help - the babies wanted me. We had a small house where sound echoed, so the only option was trying to get both down at once.
A routine helps - I finally realized by 7 months that I was waiting for them to look tired before I tried bedtime. What I should have been doing long before was establishing a nice, easy routine leading up to bedtime when we'd all lie down together. I also found that baths were terrible at night - especially for my dd, and they got her so upset she was hard to get to sleep. So we switched to morning baths and bedtime became easier.
Since our nursing issues prevented bf (long story, I tried 1000% but due to prior breast surgery, very poor supply, NICU stay, poor latches and PPD I pumped what I could until 5 months), I would feed them bottles, holding both at once, and then lay them on either side until they fell asleep. I'd play soft music, and we always ran an air filter to hide any miscellaneous background noise (cars, etc.)
I don't have a problem with things like the Amby bed, swing, etc., being used to help moms of multiples get their babies to sleep as long as there's lots of cuddling at other times and the babies' needs are being met.

Christine, mama to Daniel & Abby, 9 and Patrick, 4. Wife to a rockin' train engineer. Gluten and nightshade-free. Multiple kiddie food sensitivities.

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#21 of 23 Old 12-04-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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Sara, have you tried a sling? have you read "no cry sleep solution"? Both of those have helped me. Also, is your daughter trying to transition to just 2 naps a day or does she still need 3? My boys JUST went to 2 naps a day, last week. THey are almost 7 months. Also, sometimes I wear a baby for awhile, then put them in the swing and they will go to sleep. Or I put them in the swing with a very cool toy and then I get out of their sight. If they see me, they will fight going to sleep.

After doing the No Cry stuff, I am now able to put them down to bed drowsy, but still awake. YEAH!!!!

Also, I have to swaddle my fighter. If he isn't warm enough or cozy enough, he wakes up.

Lastly, have a friend come over and observe what is happening. Sometimes we get so wound up in the chaos, we lose sight.

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#22 of 23 Old 12-05-2005, 01:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdahlgrd
Sara, have you tried a sling? have you read "no cry sleep solution"? Both of those have helped me. Also, is your daughter trying to transition to just 2 naps a day or does she still need 3? My boys JUST went to 2 naps a day, last week. THey are almost 7 months.
Also, I have to swaddle my fighter. If he isn't warm enough or cozy enough, he wakes up.
Thanks Courtney - I have the "no cry sleep solution" on hold at the library, and I do sling both of them whenever I can, but my little sleep-fighter will go to sleep in the sling only after about 30-45 minutes, and then its about 50% chance she wakes right up if I try to put her down. Can I ask a silly question? Do some moms just sling their babies for their whole nap? 1-2 hours? My back can't take that, and I'm getting no break since my sleeping daughter will be about done w/her nap by the time I'm getting the second one down.

the discussion about developmental growth really struck a chord, as I can see both girls going through that right now, so I'm just hoping this is temporary! I can count on one hand the number of times Sasha has taken 3 naps in one day, mostly because I can't get her to sleep that many times + bedtime in one day. Her sister Ruthie gives me hope - just like your son, when I swaddle her tight, she nestles in and looks up at me drowsy-eyed and thankful, and after nursing or rocking, I can put her down awake and sleepy most of the time.

Whew!! I'm exhausted but boy do I love my babies!!!
__________________________
Sarah, mom to 5 1/2 month-old twins Sasha and Ruthie (Gemini in Gemini) and 4 year-old Will
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#23 of 23 Old 12-06-2005, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I can tell you that my intense, hair ripping period is over. The twins are almost 9 months now and things seem so much easier as far as sleep. I have one who will go down easily (even if a little awake or if other babe cries for a sec while I put him down) then the other I nurse to sleep. I have all three (twins plus 3 year old) take nap at same time in afternoon, almost daily. I never would have believed I would be saying this!!!!

As far as the morning nap, the easy one goes down. The other cat naps once or twice in chair while I nurse both twins and read to the 3 year old.

I can backpack until I'm blue in the face, have it on most of the day with one or the other, but I am not as comfortable slinging while having to lift and care for other. I like having both hands totally free to haul the other! Neither one will nap in sling anymore anyway.

Things will improve!!!!!!! Blessings and serene thoughts your way...
Mary
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