What *stuff* do/did you use? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-03-2003, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When Luke and Jazz were 3 weeks old, I sent Dp to the store to buy a baby swing, one item I had sworn I'd *never* use. It depressed me for a little while, but now I am just grateful to have something to put the babies in to keep them from crying during those moments when I just can't hold two. We also have a bouncer (thankfully non-electronic) that I use when I'm changing one baby (I bounce the other baby with my foot--sometimes works). And I just bought a stroller, too. I just got a single for now because I figure I can sling one and push one (which also really cuts down on the twin comments) for a while. But a twin stroller is probably somewhere in the not-so-distant future as well. Oh! And my mom got the babies this hideous "sunshine symphony" stuffed toy thing that play music and lights up, and the boys actually love it. So usually once a day I lay them on a blanket and let them watch the sunshine symphony for five or ten minutes.

What stuff have you resorted to? If you've gotten by without stuff, how have you done it?

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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Old 04-03-2003, 12:53 PM
 
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We used all kinds of stuff. I was just careful not to use it when it wasn't a matter of necessity. I use "stuff" to help when I can't help two babies, and when it's not practical to do anything else, like the stroller. I loathe the stroller and if there's one thing I'm jealous of singleton moms for, it's the ability to just scoop up a baby and go. I have been so excited for my kids to walk so we don't have to open up the stroller to just leave the house.

I definitely had weird feelings about the swing in particular, and I didn't use it very much, though I think I should have just done it in retrospect. I would look at the baby zoned out in the swing and feel incredibly guilty for "plugging" him/her in. But in the end I think that a plugged in baby who's happy is better than a crying baby. For me, the hardest thing about having twins is having to make these tradeoffs.

We didn't get the right kind of bouncy seats--ours were rockers, not bouncers, so they didn't like them as much as the bouncy kind. We finally got a bouncy type one when they were almost out of them, and that was much more appealing to them. We didn't use them much. I actually would often sit on the couch with one in a boppy on the couch, nursing the other, and then switch. That's how we spent a lot of time. And we used a double stroller from the start. We also had a musical mobile that they loved. As long as you don't use it to neglect them, I think it's fine. I think being a purist is for those with one child and not much experience, LOL! (Donning flame-proof suit!)

All that said, the best "stuff" we had was a 14-year-old mother's helper. My partner took the first 12 weeks off with me, so we were 1 on 1 for almost 3 months. Then for the next 2 months this teenager would come over once or twice a week and help hold babies. That was wonderful. I just tried to piece together a lot of help. I decided early on that I would not try to do bedtime alone, and I haven't done it alone since November, despite the fact that my partner travels for business. We have friends come over to help. Another pair of hands is the very best thing you can have. We paid the teen $5 an hour.

HTH!

Cate
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Old 04-03-2003, 03:04 PM
 
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swing,bouncy chairs,stroller,crib,jolly jumper,exersaucer,play toys



We had them all and used them all.Not always proudly,but sometimes greatfully.Especially with two babies who had colic for 6 months.
My thinking is much the same as mamacate.Id rather have a baby whp was content for a while than a baby who just had to lay there and cry all the tiem bc I was busy with her sister.You need to do whatever works best for all of you at the time and that can change from one minute to the next.
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Old 04-03-2003, 04:47 PM
 
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I didn't have a sling, but I did use those little Snuggli type things when they were tiny. Had a swing but didn't use it because dragging it out of the closet was a hassle. Some babies really enjoy that motion though. And if you can't be holding them right that minute, I found that mine were content to be able to see me & interact with me, so if that meant letting them sit up in the walker or high chair for a little bit then I was okay with that. High chairs. We had walkers (back in the day when they had wheels!) that they would race each other & play bumper cars in the kitchen while I cooked or did the dishes. And I did have a double stroller that was used A LOT because I always took them out by myself. Other than that, I usually kept a couple of quilts plunked down on the living room floor for lounging. I did get a Boppy when dd was born & she got lots of use out of that.
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:45 PM
 
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Both of my girls really enjoy snoozing in their swings so I do use them. I also use their bouncy seats (which vibrate) when I'm cooking dinner. I put them in their seats and bring them into the kitchen so that I can talk and interact with them and cook at the same time. I also use my Bjorn carrier almost daily...I couldn't do outings without it. I'm trying to get use to using the sling but my first dd hated it so I'm pretty new at it. My tandem stroller is also a lifesaver with the babies and my toddler.

I truly wish I didn't have to use so many "artifical" things with my girls but with having a 2 & 1/2 year old and two 3 & 1/2 month olds it does make things easier. It's SO difficult trying to divide myself among my three girls. But, I do insist that if they aren't snoozing that they are in someone's arms or at least on the floor getting tummy time, etc. I HATE seeing them awake and in the swing.

Let me ask you all a question. Do you sometimes look at other people's parenting styles and feel sorry for their children? I go to another bb (Lex...you know which one I'm talking about) for parents of multiples and lately all I seem to read is debates on CIO, formula, etc. I try to very nicely point out why AP'ing is actually EASIER then the other parenting routes but no one ever seems to get the message. I truly feel sorry for these babies - and mommies - who are missing out on such a beautiful parenting experience. What do you think?

Karen - Mama to Haven (9/00) , Lillie & Faith (MZ - 12/02) and my first homebirthed baby, Willa (3/08)
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Old 04-05-2003, 01:57 PM
 
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We used lots of stuff, too, sheerly out of trying to keep everyone happy. Also, if one of them was content in the swing for a few minutes, the other got to have some rare "single" time with Mommy.

Actually, though, most of our time was spent on our bed. Each morning, we'd clear off the blankets and turn it into the "playground" I had a stack of pillows, a boppy, some stuffed animals and rattles (the Whozit was a favorite, and Sassy rattles), the telephone (with a hands-free headset), the TV (which I don't usu. watch, but which happily saved my sanity during the early days!), bottles of water and munchies...basically everything we needed. Both of my babies were super high-needs lots of holding kids, so that's what we did. And lots of times I would put them on the bed next to each other and then play hand games or sing to both of them at the same time, or get up and dance for them, or anything I could think of!

My biggest lifesaver was our double stroller. We have an Inglesina, which is huge and expensive, and worth every single penny. I had a c-sxn, so I couldn't sling either of them for long, and the stroller let us get out for walks every day. Moreover, we still use it and they love going for stroller walks (nowadays, they are apt to get out and walk for a while, and hop in when they're tired and need a break). We also have a double Combi stroller, which is lightweight and fits in the car, and we use that a lot, still, too.

And, I tried to line up as much human help as possible!
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Old 04-05-2003, 02:04 PM
 
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We had to have an exersaucer because I needed somewhere to put the baby down where she is safe. There were times when we had potlucks for the playgroup and I put her in it outside and she watches all of the kids play while snacking on something in there so that I can do some serving or greeting after I had been carrying her around in a sling for a hour.

She also slept in a playpen for naps in the living room since she didn't have a bed because we co-sleep. Now at 18 months she sleeps in a sleeping bag on the living room floor. Yes she has learned to sleep like a log because we have a 4 year old too. LOL.
No swing, we have a simple stroller I think that I like mainly to carry my stuff places.
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Old 04-06-2003, 04:41 PM
 
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Yep, me too! It took me a long to get over the guilt of having to do things differently with my twin daughters then I did with my first child. The reality that I was not going to be able to do it the same way was one of the hardest things to deal with in the first year of their lives!

Now that they are 5 1/2 years old I see that the beauty of their relationship and know that it makes up for anything that they may have missed out on by not being a singleton!!

I now wish that I would have been less hard on myself as a Mom, it would have made me more relaxed with my daughters.

~Jill
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Old 04-07-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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It is tough being a mom to twins. You are so torn trying to keep your family happy and having no time for yourself. We used our swings daily. They loved to nap in them and it was tough to make the transition out of them when they were to big to stay in them.
We also tried the vibrating bouncy seats but only for short time. They didn't like them very much.
I had 2 johhny jump ups which they hardly used but did like.\
We have a twin stroller that I coul dnot have done with out. I used it everywhere we went. now they want to walk and it is much easier. That is if they will stay with you!
We also had 2 activity center and they loved those. I know this is terrible but I also invested in The Baby Einstein tapes and would sit them in their seats and could spend 30 minutes with my son or other children or get something accomplished around the house.
We have 2 high chairs and use them still daily.
I did only get one bath tub but kind of wished I had two so my husband and I coul dhave washed them at the same time to speed things up.
We also had 2 bassinets (that they hardly used) and 2 cribs. My son loved to sleep in his but my daughter decided at 8 weeks she only wanted mommy!
They now have their own toddler beds and are gradually starting to sleep a few hours a night in those.
Over all you just need to let go of all your beliefs that you have with one child and do what works best for you and your family with twins!
Angie
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Old 04-10-2003, 02:07 AM
 
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We have in total:
2 slings (especially for walks or grocery shopping, but anytime both babies want to be held)
2 swings (usually used so I can go back to sleep in the morning while they "chat it up")
2 bouncy seats (they sit in front of my nursing chair, one on each side, so I can sit one down to change the other's diaper, or sit both down to get refill/seconds or go to the bathroom- they do not like these so I can't leave them there for more than a second)
bassinet (for naps)
exersaucer (awesome! this will entertain one, so I can get dinner made, etc.)
johnny jump up (this is too big for them, but I'm hoping it will someday be entertaining for dinner time too)
double stroller (I prefer to take this in if I am going to be somewhere for awhile, because otherwise I don't have anywhere to safely sit one baby down if I need to if I am slinging)
pacies
nursing pillow
quilt on the floor for tummy time/rolling around time
pack'n'play (used just as a changing table for now)
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:35 AM
 
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Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off topic:
Oh Karen I know what you are talking about. There is a thread over there that is really bugging me, but I am scared to mention it here out of fear of offending someone. Mostly I just try not to read stuff that will make me sad.
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Old 04-21-2003, 01:03 AM
 
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My biggest thing is a million and one ways to trasport the my munchkins and my 3 1/2 your old. I have a single jogger, a double jogger, a double back to back stroller, 2 slings, a baby bjorn, and two back carriers. My partner teases me but I use them all on a regular basis in and/or out of the house. I have kept the other things to a minimum. We have a huge bassinet that they both fit in the first few months, a swing that I have used maybe twenty times, and a johny jump-up. I most often wear them or leave them on the floor or our futon mattress on the floor with each other and toys. There are times they might cry less if I have more baby gear or used the swing more often but I am afriad I would get lazy and overuse it. I think they have learned to entertain themselves simply.
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Old 04-21-2003, 03:21 AM
 
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we had a swing, 2 slings, a bouncy chair, gymini, and pacifiers.

l adore my double stroller, a maclaren side-by-side. i would've gone bonkers without it. my guys wanted to be held all the time as infants but hated being held at the same time if i sat down. this problem was solved with the stroller. we took so many walks which was really therapeutic for me. i used my slings a lot too, never double-slinging though. now i found out it's bad for my prolapse to carry them so i'm really not doing too much of that anymore.

if i had it do over i totally would get a mother's helper. i dont have any family or friends to come over and help out. that's not a big deal now that they're 19 mos, but as infants another pair of arms would've been gold!
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:01 PM
 
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I completely agree about having a mother's helper. I have also had to do it without much help and I wish we had hired someone for some relief. Having twins is so much for one person to handle.
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Old 04-25-2003, 12:22 PM
 
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Our couldn't-live-without list...

1. Chicco baby seats (non-bouncy) - great for low-stimulation play while feeding the other baby. Back when I was bottle feeding in first days home from NICU, I could also feed them at the same time this way. Lifesaver.
2. Peg Perego Duette stroller. Down with those who bash strollers!! :LOL I could put their carseats in, and made all those doctor's visits so easy. Now they love riding around our neighborhood on walks. Their combined weight is 45 pounds, so no way I can sling it anymore!!
3. Baby Bjorns. I loved how secure they felt next to me when they were teeny. Enabled me to move about house and do chores with one of them. Reminded me of our "kangaroo" days. I also love our Maya Sling, but only now that they're older for side-carry at grocery store, etc.
4. Peg Perego high chairs. These should probably top the list. I can feed them both at the same time with ease. They also love playing there with some blocks for a few minutes while I do dishes.
5. First Years' tub rings. Enable me to bathe them at the same time. No I don't walk away and leave them there for an hour by themselves. :LOL They're quite safe, but duh you can't leave them alone in bathtub just cause they're in the bath rings! (some people freak about these things)
6. Gymini. Oh what a blessing this was. Me and dh could eat a meal together (albeit a quick one) while ds and dd played next to the table.

So many, but these were/are our favorites!
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