Need advice on co-sleeping with twin newborns! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 10-15-2005, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DSs are 3.5 weeks. Right now I sleep in between them and nurse side-lying. I roll from one side to another. This works great except when they wake up at the same time! I can only tandem sitting up with my giant EZ-2-Nurse pillow. I did that at one point last night, but I really hate it. If one babe wakes up and I am in process with nursing the other, dh comes in (he's sleeping across the hall for the moment) snuggles up to the baby that's not nursing and gives him a thumb to suck on until his brother is finished. I am also having a tough time with diaper changes. The baby getting changed usually yells and wakes his brother up.

Is there something I am missing? Is there a better way? Do you nurse 2 babies lying on your back? Help!

Trying to get my bearings...
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#2 of 21 Old 10-16-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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I was wondering if you had your babies yet, congrats!

My guys are only 5 weeks so I don't have too much experience. We sleep with one on each side also, snuggled up right next to me. They only wake up 1-2x a night and dh keeps gets up and changes one while I nurse the other and keeps him in the living room until I get the other one to sleep. We have the changing table in the living room so it works out well for us. I rarely nurse both at the same time at night, only if they are both really unhappy. We do use pacifiers so dh gives the baby that is waiting a pacifier until it is his turn. They don't usually wake up at exactly the same time so it usually works out well. I have been very lucky to have such great sleepers this time so it isn't much problem, I hope someone else has more suggestions.
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#3 of 21 Old 10-16-2005, 10:35 AM
 
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I wasn't able to nurse both at once, lying down until mine were over a year (& even then, I never found it comfortable). Mine rarely woke together so I just got up & used our double nursing setup (which varied depending on their age) if they both woke at the same time.

Trying to remember, we didn't do nightime diaper changes for very long, but when we did, I think dh would get up & change baby, then I'd feed her. I know at least for part of that phase I hadn't figured out how to nurse laying down at all, so when one baby woke, dh would change her while I got situated in the chair then he'd go ahead & change the other one & bring her to me so I could nurse them both while I was up. We had the changing station set up on the dresser in their room so it was down the hall from where we were all sleeping. So I don't think diaper changes ever woke the other baby up.

ETA: Meant to also say, this link has pictures of nursing 2 lying down if you want to try it. http://www.karengromada.com/photos.htm
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#4 of 21 Old 10-16-2005, 10:52 AM
 
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I slept sitting up with them on my nursing pillow for at least two or three months b/c I had a c-section and couldn't roll on my back or side. (My bottom was totally numb as a result, so I can't really recommend this.) Sometimes, one would sleep on me and one would sleep on my husband (not our choice, but the babies would ONLY sleep on another human till they were about 3 months.)

I couldn't get the laying down nursing thing till they were able to sit up by themselves and move a little on their own to help with positioning. Even before that, however, sometimes I could nurse one for a minute or two to appease them, then roll over and nurse the other (basically go back and forth till they were both asleep.) Ours woke eachother up for diaper changes too (and still wake eachother up now at two years).

So, based on my foggy recollection, it sounds like you are doing pretty well with your current system. I've found there is no perfect system with twins, but things change fast. Once I could nurse both on my back things improved dramatically.
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#5 of 21 Old 10-17-2005, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry I'm just getting back! Thanks for the advice. It sounds like there is no secret formula for twin co-sleeping that I am missing. Oh well! I just keep thinking back to when dd was this age...I know it passes quickly. I will not be this tired forever.

Sarah: I was thinking about you too, and congrats right back at you. I must admit that I am jealous that your guys are such good sleepers. Are they identical? My boys are fraternal, and Ben seemed like such a good sleeper at the beginning (was doing 5-6 hour stretches), but has regressed. I think this is in part a gas issue (spitting up after every feeding) and I am trying to tame my very strong let-down in hopes that this will help.

Thanks again to everyone. My post-partum doula just finished up last week, so I am home alone for much of the day. I am feeling pretty stressed and isolated, so this forum means alot!!!!

Trying to get my bearings...
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#6 of 21 Old 10-17-2005, 07:38 PM
 
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Jenny - Mine are identical, but I don't think they look like it. I guess as they get bigger they will look more similar. Mine spit up a lot now also, they didn't at all at first, but it just gets worse and worse as the weeks go by. I am very lucky that they sleep so good, although they have started to be awake wore durring the day and I don't get the whole afternoon with them sleeping anymore. It was so nice to be able to get things done or just rest while they slept. I am also very lucky that dh got to take 7 weeks off work, so he is still home with us. I don't know what I will do when he goes back. I think I could handle the babies if I didn't have ds also.
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#7 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 01:55 AM
 
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I sleep with my twins on one side of me and a guard upon the other so they don't roll off. When they were really little we would prop up pillows on either side of me, laying on my back and nursed that way. As they got a little bigger (a month or so) we started nursing with me on my side. You can nurse the bottom baby like you would normally nurse while side lying. the second baby you just pile on top, you can support the head of the top baby with the arm of the side you are lying on. We still nurse this way and they are almost 9 months
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#8 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 02:56 AM
 
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Do you mean you put one baby on top of the other? It doesn't squish the bottom one? I can't picture it.

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#9 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 07:31 PM
 
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I slept on my back with a pillow under each arm and a baby on top of each arm They were right at breast level and it was easy to nurse one or both of them at night. We slept that way until they were 5 months and then, wow, did it ever feel good to sleep on my side again!!
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#10 of 21 Old 10-19-2005, 02:27 PM
 
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It is kind of hard to visualize. You leave space between your body and the bottom baby. Then the top babies body goes there and so the only thing that is on top of the bottom baby is the other's head. Since you are supporting the top head no one get squished. If that wasn't clear I'm sorry.





Mother to Rowan Love and Edwyn Love born at home 2/4/05
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#11 of 21 Old 10-19-2005, 09:12 PM
 
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i'm sorry if i am repeating someone but i only read the first few replies.

here's how we did it:

side lying with one baby
the other baby draped over my side and latched on top with my top arm giving some support under the top baby's bottom--she would bend her knees which would "sandwich" my arm. i needed a pillow behind my back to help prop the top baby. so from top to bottom behind my back it went like this:
mattress, pillow, baby's calves, my arm, baby's thighs. having my arm there alerted/woke me if she moved at all. the other arm was over the side lying baby's head so i would feel if the top one ever slipped down on her. she never did, it was just a safeguard because i am paranoid like that.

does that make sense at all?
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#12 of 21 Old 10-19-2005, 09:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellie'sMom
Ben seemed like such a good sleeper at the beginning (was doing 5-6 hour stretches), but has regressed. I think this is in part a gas issue (spitting up after every feeding) and I am trying to tame my very strong let-down in hopes that this will help.
if you try the method i outlined in the previous post i would suggest trying ben as the top baby.
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#13 of 21 Old 11-03-2005, 04:16 PM
 
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Ok, I'm confused... I've got newborn twins and my son was in NICU until this past Sunday. DD took straight to bed sharing and night nursing, no problems.

DS though is bottle fed right now, because we're working on the breast, so night nursing isn't really working in that respect for him right now.

My problem is that DS wants to be next to a big person - the only way to calm him down. DH is the one holding him at night and I feel like I"m missing out totally.

DD is totally a booby girl. She has to be next to the boob or she sqwacks (sp). I mean that she literally has to be touching my nipple all night long. She will keep her hands on it or her face next to it. It's really cute, but not practical to be fair to my DS.

I read in some of your posts that you put one on each side of you. HOw do you do this and not feel 'squished in'? My fear is that I'd still end up on my side with one and not the other.

Worried of course about the bonding thing too. I love the bed sharing and it really works for us. Our twins are sleeping longer intervals at night, which really helps DH out, since he gets up so early.

I'm also a new mother all the way around, so any info is really appreciated!

TIA!

Christy
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#14 of 21 Old 11-03-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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Christy - Congrats on your babies! That's great that you are all home now and doing well. I do sleep with one baby on each side and just roll back and forth. I do feel squished, but it is not too bad, and I do feel a little distant from the one I have my back to, but it is the best situation I have come up with. I would think you would want to spend as much time with your ds next to you to encourage nursing, but that's hard if dd has to be against you also. I sleep sometimes with one right next to me and the other next to that baby and switch the one next me depending on who wants to nurse. Sorry I don't really have much advice, just do what works best for you. My twins were not my first baby, I can not imagine how hard that would be. Keep up the great work
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#15 of 21 Old 11-04-2005, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry to be absent from this thread for awhile. Thanks for all the excellent responses. Things are still tough at night here. The babies don't always wake at the same time, but they often do. I am doing some sitting up in bed nursing...I am still looking for a better way since at this point I am really exhausted (although that is probably par for the course ).

Welcome Christy! I too sleep between my babies. Our king sized bed helps some with the "squish" factor. DH often slides one baby closer to him so I have a little breathing room. Each baby gets lots of snuggling time during the night, so I am not worried too much about bonding.

Please wish me luck everybody...Dh is out of town on business this weekend. SIL is coming to help, but I will be on my own for the nights! We may end up sleeping in the recliner so I can just tandem all night!

Trying to get my bearings...
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#16 of 21 Old 11-14-2005, 05:41 AM
 
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You've gotten great advice, but I would be very cautious about letting DH cosleep. Men just don't have the saame instincts that we do, and they tend to sleep heavier and be less aware of the baby. My DH freaked me out enough times, including one when he "forgot" dd was sleeping on his chest and he woke up startled, sat bolt upright, and yet managed to catch her head 2 inches from the floor . That was the final straw and after that I made sure I had one each on my arms, so the couple of times when he rolled over I felt him on my hand and pushed him awake.

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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#17 of 21 Old 11-17-2005, 08:19 PM
 
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We still co-sleep and have since birth, love the "down under" position, saved my life as I could sleep. I have pics, if you need an idea, but it is on Karen's site too
Dh never had any issues and has co-slept since day one, his instincts are as strong as mine.
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#18 of 21 Old 11-17-2005, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great advice. We are still figuring it all out. I have tried the down under position, and I think I won't be able to do it until the babies have more head control. I actually think I would be more successful if I had bigger, saggier boobs! First time I ever wished for that!

I have no worries about DH. He is very aware of the babies.

I'm at that point (almost 2 months old) where I am so tired, but also so in love with my guys. Bittersweet!

Trying to get my bearings...
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#19 of 21 Old 11-27-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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Our twins slept between DH and I. I don't buy the "men aren't as careful" theory, I think it entirely depends on the individual. DH did all the diaper changes, I did the breastfeeding. That division of labor saved me as I was able to get more sleep. When one would wake he would get changed and then fed and while I was nursing the first one DH would change the second baby.

I wasn't able to sleep between the babies because I don't sleep well on my back. That being "SO TIRED" feeling is something that does get better.

One thing we had near the bed was a pack & play with a full length bassinett. It's about the right height so you don't have to bend far or lift much. The babies stayed there unless I was in the bed with them.
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#20 of 21 Old 11-28-2005, 04:24 PM
 
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I know this goes against usual advice about sharing sleep, but a twin mom needs her sleep:

Use a recliner. Keep it in your bedroom. When the babies needs to nurse, put them on your big EZ2Nurse pillow in football hold, recline, and go for it. You might fall asleep too. Since the pillow slants in towards you, this should be safe for not too wiggly newborns.

A triplet mom I knew used a love seat with a footstool and a traveler's pillow under her neck. She would rotate the not-nursing baby to a boppy next to her. Repeat all night.
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#21 of 21 Old 11-29-2005, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for continuing to reply to my thread!

I did the recliner 1 night when dh was out of town and I didn't want to have to wake my sil (who stayed for the weekend) to help me. It did not work for us. The proximity to my breasts caused them to just latch on and off all night long. It was really uncomfortable for me (I'm a super light sleeper).

We are at this point, part-time co-sleeping and it is working well. Ben starts the night in a crib (in our room) and Gus in a bassinet next to our bed. Gus wakes up after 3-4 hours and I just reach over, bring him into bed, latch him on and lie down to sleep. Ben will sleep anywhere from 5-7 hours. When he wakes up, I put Gus back in the bassinet,or if Gus is wakeful I sit up with the nursing pillow and nurse them both. Ben usually stays in bed with us for the rest of the night, and I try to put Gus back in the bassinet since he will just want to snack at the all night mommy buffet if he is too close. Sometimes he really won't settle in the bassinet, so he stays in bed too. The 3-6 am time seems to be the hardest (when both babies have a harder time staying asleep), but if I don't stay up too much later than they do in the evening I can often get several hours of sleep in a row.

Being a mom to twins is so different than to a singleton. I beat myself up for not full-time co-sleeping with dd (dd inherited my light-sleeping tendencies and we were a poor co-sleeping couple). Now I am definitely in the "go with what works" camp! This works for now and I'm sure it will change.

Thanks again, and DaryLLL I am honored that you replied to my thread! I always enjoy your insightful posts!

Trying to get my bearings...
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