babywearing for twins? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 11-12-2006, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having a parenting philosophy crisis, the more I face the reality of having twins in just a few months. My daughter spent most of her first six months in a sling or carrier. I put her down for short periods to play as she got more interested in playing, but by and large until she could sit up alone I held her all day. I fed her in the sling, she slept in the sling, and I had my hands free for other things. I don't really know any other way to take care of a young baby without a sling, but how in the world do I sling two babies? Is it inevitable that one twin will always have to be put down while the other is being held? What if they're both crying at once? How do I handle that-- I can't, just can't, let a newborn baby cry and not hold it, but everyone seems to be telling me that with twins you just have no choice besides compromising the "no-cry" philosophy. And with a toddler in the house, too, I cannot be sitting around all day nursing and holding babies-- I'll need to have my hands free sometimes, while still caring for my babies well.

Thoughts? Is it possible to wear two babies at once? How have other dedicated AP parents handled multiples?

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#2 of 12 Old 11-12-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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I had a 16 month old and a 4 yr old when I had my twins so I was caring for 2 small children as well as two infants. I tried to feed the babies at the same time and they napped together in their bassinet at the same time. I did carry them alot but you do need to get things done so carrying the two of them all day was really not feasible. I did have two "neglect-o-matics" that I used. Often my 4 yr old would entertain them and such but I never let them cry in them or leave them in there for long periods of time.

There are going to be times where both babies are crying and you are dealing with your older daughter or one baby. I know its sad to let your little one cry but as long you get to them as fast as you can they will be just fine. Do your best and you will be great with your twins.

Sarah
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#3 of 12 Old 11-13-2006, 02:44 AM
 
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I didn't have other children, so I spent the first year of my girls' life pretty much living on the floor of our family room so that we all hang out together. That said, I DID use slings extensively when we went out. Here are two articles I wrote for thebabywearer.com about wearing twins (keep in mind there were a LOT less carrier options 3 1/2 yrs ago than there are now LOL).

http://www.thebabywearer.com/articles/HowToO/Twins.htm
http://www.thebabywearer.com/articles/HowToO/Twins2.htm

There's also info on the mayawrap video about wearing two & I believe at least pictures, if not instructions on the moby wrap site about wearing twins in the moby. There's also information on wearing twins at www.mamatoto.org (you might have to hunt for it a little though).
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#4 of 12 Old 11-13-2006, 12:27 PM
 
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I know how you feel, I had a four year old and six at the time I had my twins and I spent most of my time in the beginning on my bed with them. I did as the PP said nurse at the same time and sleep at the same time so I could spend time the my other two. I wanted to sling them but just didn't know how. You have ups and downs, but you'll find a way. At the time we lived with my inlaws so the only times they cried a little was when no one was home. It all worked out in the longrun. Try not to worry too much.
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#5 of 12 Old 11-13-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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Ditto on the not worrying about it. It'll work out. I had one of those Infant-to-Toddler rockers that I would put one of the boys in while I fed the other, so if they fussed I could rock it with my foot. You do things to get by!

The slinging part is tough. When they're teeny, you can use two slings and cross them over each other. When they get bigger, you can use an Ergo in the back/sling one in front, or stroller one/sling one...
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#6 of 12 Old 11-13-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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there are lots of options. two front carriers (baby biorn style) the twin version is maximom. or two slings, slingset.com has really cool pics of a mom with newborn twins in slings. i used a backpac when they started holding their head up. i would put one on my back and hold the other in my arms, you could also sling the front one. i didnt let them sleep in my arms, i would get them to sleep or put them down tired and they would sleep in their bed together. I had to have time to devote some attention to my toddler. i also fed them separately most of the time which allowed me to nurse and play with my toddler more easily. You may have to compromise a little, believe me even if you could you wouldnt be able to hold twins all the time,,,even little babies get heavy!! that doesnt mean however that they have to cry.

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch way.....hospital. C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#7 of 12 Old 11-13-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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When mine were small, I put them both in a mayawrap. Actually, I found two babes in a mayawrap more comfortable than using it with my singleton! I also got kind of creative and used a bjorn and a mayawrap and had one in the front and one in the back. You will figure it out -- moms of twins are very creative!

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#8 of 12 Old 11-14-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Yes, you will figure out ways to deal. I occasionally put both of them together in a ring sling. Then, I put one in the sling on the back of my hip, and held #2. http://dahlgaards.blogspot.com/

However, my twins where huge (19 lbs at 6 mo), so I just couldn't go long stretches with both of them. I put one in the sling, and one in the swing. That way I could help ds1, or cook.

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#9 of 12 Old 11-14-2006, 02:32 PM
 
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toh

There is nothing like having multiples to challenge your deeply-held parenting philosophies. You will probably never again be able to look at many of the discussions in places like the 'Life With a Babe' forum here w/o feeling either horribly alienated or outright laughing out loud at the absurdity. That said, it is certainly possible to sling or carry both at the same time, but after a point, it's not exactly helpful for getting anything else done except soothing babies or walking somewhere. Check out thebabywearer.com for some hints on wearing two at once--different products work well for different phases/ages/sizes. Stretchy wraps or ring slings can work well to hold two in the early days, then moving on to things like pouches or mei tais is nice. My current favorite is two pouches w/kangaroo carry on the front. Am trying to get my boys to like the mei tai while on my back (and another in the pouch on the front), but the love's not there yet!
While we never had a swing or other "baby container" besides a bouncy chair for my daughter, the swing has become indispensible for my boys--I can soothe one to sleep, place him in the swing, then wear the other. Another current favorite is the aquarium bouncy chair my SIL just lent us--it's the most gaudy, overdone piece of baby junk I've ever seen.....but they love it....:
So, in the end, you will certainly find your way keep them happy or soothed as best possible, but it's unrealistic to expect that you can calm all cries immediately. If you set that as an expectation for yourself, you'll most likely end up fairly guilt-ridden. I'm still of the mind that if my 2-yr old dd is truly upset and crying at the same time as one or both of my boys, I need to attend to her first, as she's most likely to be hurt by or remember the event if I always rush to the babies first. I guess it's triage in a way.
Don't worry...relax...it'll all work out and you'll find what works best for you fairly quickly!

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#10 of 12 Old 11-14-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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necessity is the mother of invention and twin moms are the queen of them all. babywearing is still helpful with twins but isn't the same as with a single baby. it is more to soothe them and bond vs. allow you to get anything done. my best advice is to try to get your hands on a variety of types of carriers (second hand for affordability) so you can experiment with what works best for your twins as they grow. i've found babywearing my twins to be a great way to calm them, get them to sleep and bond with them, but it's not very helpful in being able to spend time with the toddler or accomplish housework/chores/errands. although now that i have two wraps and they are bigger it's getting better. i wrap one in a front pocket wrap cross carry and one in a hip cross carry and away we go at the park or to the grocerey store or to reheat lunch, but this has been a recent development. as tiny babies i prefered cross pouches in the cradle hold or one pouch and one ring sling. then we went to cross pouches kangaroo carry or both in the same ring sling. now we're at mei tais, the ergo and wraps or even cross pouches in the hip carry. there are lots of ways to make this work for you.

the hardest part for me has been dealing with the one baby that wakes up and needs to nurse while the other baby is slung and i have to take the slung baby out and disturb them to take care of the first hungry baby. that's tough. but you deal and your toddler deals and your babies deal. you do the best you can as best as you can.

and you come here when you need support!

Crunchy Mama to the Triad of Chaos-- DD1 (9/03) & the Twinadoes- DS and DD2 (6/06)
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#11 of 12 Old 11-16-2006, 04:32 AM
 
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It definitely can be done but it does take patience & creativity. I *can* wear both mine together but honestly I don't do it that often (they're awfully heavy). I do it when I need to (to calm them when I'm home alone, etc.) but generally not just for fun. What the pp's said is right - it tends to be more for soothing then for convenience. And what works is different depending on how old and/or how big they are. I still believe you can be AP with twins, but it's just not the same as with a singleton. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do (swings, exersaucers, etc.). If I can keep both babies from crying throughout the day then I generally feel like I'm doing pretty good by them, even if it means they weren't worn all day long. They each get their turn throughout the day though. Mine are about 7 1/2 months old now and the only way I get them to sleep is in the pouch, but I wear them one at a time for this. Once asleep, I slip the pouch off over my head and lay the baby down in his Amby bed (we have 2). Then I repeat with the other baby.

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#12 of 12 Old 11-16-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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I rarely wore my twins at the same time. It was impossible to get anything done while wearing two, plus my back and stomach muscles were extremely weak. They were more content to just lay on my lap, so that is what I did. I spent the first 4 months permanently glued to the couch nursing the babies on my EZ 2 nurse pillow. Whenever we went out I wore one in a pouch and dh wore one in a pouch. That is still what we do, only now I use the Mei Tai and dh uses the Ergo. Now, I am losing my train of thought-what was I saying?

Oh well. Anyway, if I absolutely had to put the babies down (like to wipe my 2 year's old bottom or to get him some food, etc.) I put them in their vibrating bouncy seats or their Baby Papasan swings. They LOVED the papasan swings while they slept-hated them while they were awake, but they could sleep a long time in them if they were well fed and sleepy. So basically my alternative to wearing the babies all day was to just hold them all day on the couch. We even had to have the couch people come replace the foam in the cushion because I had flattened it from sitting in the same spot for months on end.

If double slinging works for you, do it! But you don't win AP brownie points for slinging 2 at once, so don't feel bad if it's not comfortable for you or your babies. The goal is to meet everyone's needs as best you can, and if that means using "neglec-o-matics" (as shimmermom calls them ) then you do what you gotta do.

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