How do you feed your twins at night? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Up to now, I have been feeding the girls as they wake at night (one at a time). During the first few weeks, they would go stretches of sleeping 3/4/ sometimes even 5 hours at a time. For the past week or so though, they have been waking every two hours to eat, usually one right after the other. This means that by the time they are fed and diapered I am awake for at least 1/2 hour every two hours- usually it's an hour before I can fall back asleep. They are co-sleeping at the moment.
I am thinking of pumping before bed and having DH give one of them a bottle at night when I am nursing the other. It will mean a little more getting up at night, but I am hoping that getting them on the same nighttime feeding schedule will mean a little more sleep for me, and them too eventually. Tandem feeding is difficult as they are still so little and it takes forever for me to get the dumb nursing pillow set up so that everyone is comfortable. I really don't want to have to that at night.
So, what have you found works best at night to get everyone the maximum amount of sleep??

sarah, mama to e & j 8/08, and big brother 8/06
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#2 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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Honestly, that first 6-8 weeks was sleep HELL at our house. I had a hard time tandem nursing at night as well and so dozed on the couch with them co-sleeping in the pack n play and got up in turn to nurse. I think one night I slept for a total of 2 hours, broken. It was really, REALLY hard. I had some help though so I could nap a bit during the day.

At about 4-6 weeks Claire started sleeping 6 hours at a time and so I was able to sleep lots more between feedings with Ben. Then at 8 weeks he started doing it too, and then my WHOLE WORLD got better. I have no idea how this happened because my other nurslings never did that. God is being nice?

Ah, well, Ben is now starting to reverse cycle so it's back to all night nursing. At least he just latches on and we go back to sleep! When Claire wakes up I roll over and nurse her. She's on my right in the cosleeper and he's in bed on my left.

They could just be going through a big growth spurt. It might smooth back out for you after a week or so.
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#3 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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I always woke up one of the other woke for the first few months. They were on a predictable every 2 hours feeding schedule. So rather than have the 2nd twin wake up 20 mins later, I just woke her up. I'd have to sit up with the ez 2 nurse pillow. let's just say i saw a lot of late night tv!!

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#4 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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Mine are now 3.5 months and sleeping REALLY well, but for the first 2 months I would wake both up to tandem nurse them at night - I found that the nursing pillow never really worked for me and thus I just use nice big pillows tucked under each baby. I found that after about 3 weeks of waking the sleeping one up, they really got on the same schedule and by the time that I had finished changing one, the other would start to stir. I thought it was pretty remarkable - and has seemed to work out for us already as they are both sleeping 8 hour chunks now. There are always growth spurts that you have to deal with at the time, but they are short lived - that I know all too well from my first.
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#5 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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I really think this is just a normal part of things but that it WILL get better. In the beginning I would prop myself up, get out my EZ-2-Nurse pillow, and tandem nurse them when they woke at the same time. But I do remember it being one right after the other for a long time. What really helped me was keeping them swaddled. Do you do that? Once I started it made a pretty great difference in how well they slept. Here's how I positioned them for the first - oh - 8 to 9 months (when they no longer needed/wanted the swaddling blanket). So what I'd do is to sleep on one side of them, dh on the other, and we'd swap sides as needed throughout the night. Yes, sleep deprivation was (and still is) very involved but I survived it. Once they outgrew the swaddling stage then I slept between them and was actually able to nurse them both while lying on my back (cradling them up on my arms/shoulders). I really, really think that you'll be doing yourself a disservice by pumping. Stick with it - you can do it, and the MoM's mantra, "this too shall pass."

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#6 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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yeah that!
i hear swaddling works wonders. i never swaddled(but omg, that photo ALMOST makes me want newborns again!) and either tandem nursed them at night or did the roll between them thing and nursed them lying on my side. i just used bed pillows instead of a nursing pillow for tandem. both on my lap in the football(?) hold. now at 23 months, i nurse them while lying on my back, one on each side as pp said. they got on the same schedule very easy, maybe just lucky though. that IS a hard age sleep-wise and things WILL get better.
oh and i never pumped, way too lazy!
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#7 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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I am no expert on sleep. But I can sympathize with what you are going through! When mine were that age, ds was not breast feeding, he was taking a bottle of ebm. So often, dh did get up and feed him. I am petite, and always hated the ez to nurse. I also used bed pillows, two on each side. If I was alone, I would lay one down, and then the other, then kinda drag the pillows to position.


I didn't like tandem nursing until a few weeks ago when I discovered I could straddle my legs, sit them up inside of my knees and feed both.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#8 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 11:58 PM
 
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I love that picture, too!!
We start out the night (like tonight) with both boys in the Pack N Play, beside our bed. When baby #1 (probably Adam, since he ate first before bed) wakes up, Brett will bring him to bed. He will eat there, and fall asleep. When baby #2 wakes up, then we rotate. Baby in bed goes to the PNP, and hungry baby stays with mom. Repeat til morning.
In the mornings, I usually wake up with both boys in bed with me, and I assume that the one lying closest to me is the baby who ate last. I don't bother with keeping it straight during the night.
This looks like our bed in the morning, just picture me in the empty spot to the right of the babies.
looks like our room!

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#9 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 05:01 AM
 
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I sat up (and slept sitting up) a lot at night with the two doing tandem on the EZ2nurse. I think that was the first 3 months? By then they had better head control and I could side-feed while half-awake... roll over and feed one, then roll over and feed the other. By 6mo old, I could feed both if I had one draped over me.

When I feel like I can't go on, I figure it could be a lot worse....
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#10 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 07:55 AM
 
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I sleep w/ them, tandem them while sitting w/ my knees crossed (no pillow), one in cradle hold, one in football hold. Really early on I used the EZ2nurse pillow, or a bed pillow, but this is easier. I think my knees raise them up a bit. We used to do diaper changes, but stopped that gradually. They are pretty wet by morning, so we give them diaperfree time. I do rollover and nurse whoever is fussy, or whoever didn't fall asleep right away, but sometimes it seems one upright feeding equals many mini sessions.
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#11 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 08:22 AM
 
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^^^ I totally agree! 1 upright feed is definitely = many mini bfing sessions!

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#12 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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I cosleep with our babies and nurse them lying down in bed. I've done this from birth. I am a light sleeper but at the same time I can sleep through the nursing. Many times I have them both latched on and am not aware of when they unlatch. I am guessing that they nurse maybe 3-4 times/night each but am not sure. I think baby dd would sleep almost through the night if baby ds didn't wake up. I just go by how rested I feel in the morning. I usually nurse them at the same time. I have baby ds side-lying beside me and baby dd draped across the top of me (with help from a pillow) at the other breast. Once baby dd unlatches she settles into the crook of my arm with her head on my shoulder. They are 3 months now and we are only just now starting to see a "routine" throughout the day. I keep meaning to take mental notes at night but I can't keep track.

We also use disposable diapers and only change at night if they poop, which is rare.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#13 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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We also had a few weeks of 5 or even 6 hour stretches followed by weeks of 1.5 or 2 hours. I don't know why exactly. Recently we've gone back to some 3 hour stretches, which is nice!

I swaddle my guys. 2+twins, what are you using to swaddle in that picture? SOOO cute, and they look like nice tight swaddles. We do a half swaddle of the arms only, but it's not as effective as I'd like. The babies do love to be swaddled, although Ari seems to be outgrowing it some.

Lots of people have told me to wake up the other guy after nursing one, but I don't because what if the other guy wants to sleep another 3 hours? I mean since we do sometimes get good stretches, I don't want to disturb that. Often they wake up one after the other of their own accord. So what we do is put them down for the night in their crib in the other bedroom. When they wake up for the first time after I go to bed, I bring them to our room and nurse and then put them down in the playard next to the bed. Usually at some point in the night I end up falling asleep nursing and then I put that guy down only when the other wakes up. I really prefer not to nurse them laying down because they sleep better that way, but I end up doing it out of exhaustion! I'm a lot less tired now that I'm bringing the babies into our room. I had been putting them in the other room because I was hoping it would help them sleep better, but since it didn't work I gave up on that

Oh yeah and I also don't change diapers at night (they stopped pooping at night pretty young, thankfully). Sometimes Ari pees out of his (because he nurses so darn much lol) and then I do have to change.
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#14 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mama_tigress View Post
2+twins, what are you using to swaddle in that picture? SOOO cute, and they look like nice tight swaddles.
I used Miracle Blankets to swaddle and then put those little back positioners around them to help keep them from moving around. I think the combination really worked. And those blankets are not meant to be used on 9-10 month olds and mine were pretty tattered by the time we were through (as in, I could only toss them out) but I made it work!

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#15 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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ok, you guys are freaking me out can i just sleep through pregnancy, to up my sleep reserves for when they're born?

i was thinking that i'd have them in a co-sleeper type of thing next to me, and just grab one to nurse while lying in bed when needed. wouldn't that work? or do you really need to get up and out of bed to do it? i need to start reading up, eh?
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#16 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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I slept SO much better when I had them OUT OF ME! Sleeping at the end of a twin pregancy is more like dozing between trips to pee and BH contractions. Oh, and rolling over in bed with SPD (which I had at the end) is torture so I'd wait until that entire side of my body was numb to get up and pee and then doze back off for another 30 minutes! It's like preparation so waking up with twins isn't so bad!

And yes, I have a cosleeper on one side where Claire sleeps and Ben sleeps inbetween Dave and I. At first though, they were up so much opposite each other it was easier for me to just doze on the couch while they slept in the pack n play. Now I just roll over, nurse, and go back to sleep.

MamaRabbit, I'm DYING over here! I had a cat who used to run away from her kittens! I sure do feel like that some days!
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#17 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama_tigress View Post
Lots of people have told me to wake up the other guy after nursing one, but I don't because what if the other guy wants to sleep another 3 hours?
I still nurse them both at the same time when one wakes, and I do this by using the EZ2Nurse pillow so that I'm nursing both at the same time. The 'sleeper' normally doesn't wake, so it's just like a dream feed - suck suck suck and then back in the crib that is next to our bed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dividedsky View Post
i was thinking that i'd have them in a co-sleeper type of thing next to me, and just grab one to nurse while lying in bed when needed. wouldn't that work? or do you really need to get up and out of bed to do it? i need to start reading up, eh?
It all depends on you and your babies. You'll figure it out when they arrive! But no, you rarely need to get up out of bed at night if you have the babies sleeping next to you or in bed with you.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#18 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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I have both babies in my bed and just nurse whoever wakes first. I do it in a side-lying position so I can sleep through it as much as possible.

Heather, Army wife & Mama to M (10), J (9), L & S (my HBAC babies are 7!), N & R (5), and A (born 11/30/12 UBA2C)
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#19 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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Sleeping at the end of a twin pregancy is more like dozing between trips to pee and BH contractions. Oh, and rolling over in bed with SPD (which I had at the end) is torture so I'd wait until that entire side of my body was numb to get up and pee and then doze back off for another 30 minutes!

OMG, you just described me to a T!

Kim, mom to : Katie (2/06), : Tommy & Amelia (10/08)
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#20 of 22 Old 09-25-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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I slept SO much better when I had them OUT OF ME! Sleeping at the end of a twin pregancy is more like dozing between trips to pee and BH contractions. Oh, and rolling over in bed with SPD (which I had at the end) is torture so I'd wait until that entire side of my body was numb to get up and pee and then doze back off for another 30 minutes! It's like preparation so waking up with twins isn't so bad!
yup yup yup!
I am SO glad you wrote this .... people think I am nuts when I tell them I sleep SO much better now.
When I was PG ....
couldn't get comfortable position
when I was comfy, then have to pee
after peeing, get back in bed, then DH gets up with the dog --ARGH
my brain wouldn't shut off
contractions .. yuck
Oh .. and dozing off to sleep, then the babies would start kicking!!

You forgot the last one, Chantel!

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#21 of 22 Old 09-26-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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I'm reflecting into the past, as my twins are 3.5 and no longer nursing and for the most part, sleep without waking me at night. When they were small, I would nurse them to sleep using the EZ2 nurse pillow. They would go to sleep in thier crib, swaddled. When the first baby woke up at some point in the night, my husband brought both boys to me on the nursing pillow. He would take both back to their bed when finished. Asleep until next waking, when both boys would get up again. We did this to minimize the number of wakings, figuring that if one was up we might as well feed both.

When the boys were older, but I can't remember how much older, I would get the baby that was crying, nurse lying down, and cosleep with that baby until the other woke up. At that time, I either gave first baby to my husband to cuddle, or took first baby back to bed and nursed the other.

I don't know if that rambling memory will help you, but it's what worked for us.
Enjoy your twins.

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#22 of 22 Old 09-26-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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i hear swaddling works wonders. i never swaddled(but omg, that photo ALMOST makes me want newborns again!) . . . .
That picture is so cute! It's how my boys look RIGHT NOW as they are lying alone on my bed, swaddled in two Miracle Blankets (only ours are natural with green trim and green with natural trim. We also have a pair that are blue with green, green with blue. Because I have to be able to use a pair while the others are in the laundry.) My twins are 9 weeks old and have to be swaddled to get good naps, too. (As I discovered today, after just giving it a try to let them go without swaddling for the convenience of it.)

They nursed great and usually do fine with being drowsy after unlatching, and dozing off. They had been out and about with me this morning and didn't get great naps in (catnaps only) so I thought they'd be likely to crash easily. But I didn't swaddle them, and they woke up after maybe 6 minutes. I grabbed the first one and the second one stayed asleep, but woke a few minutes later. I think it's the flailing arms. I had to break down, go get the Miracle Blankets from the clean laundry, swaddle them, then nurse them again and get them drowsy....and they've been asleep 5 hours and counting.

It's a miracle.

I feel like they spend a lot of time swaddled, though. Pretty much every time I think they're going to be going to sleep, I wrap them up. Half the time, I take their cues and unswaddle them and let them play. But on the occasions that they do crash out, having them swaddled from the get-go always is better.

Anyway, that picture is a lot like how they look when they are bundled up together on my bed.

I typically nurse them when they wake up, and it's almost always (and definitely preferably) individually. Sometimes it's hellish and it's a marathon of nursing around the clock. But usually, one twin sleeps for longer stretches and I nurse his brother once in between his wakings. Last night, I did actually wake one twin (the long stretch sleeper) because he just hadn't woken up (I'd nursed his brother twice) and my breast was hard and leaking when I turned slightly in bed (and I NEVER, NEVER leak.) I think he slept almost 9 hours without waking.

I had heard the "wake one up when the other wakes" thing, and during the day we've moved toward tandeming almost every time (except when it's one waking from a nap before the other....then I get the luxurious solo feeds!), but I'm happy NOT to tandem at night. If I had to do so for sanity's sake, I would, though. If it got to be more practical ALL the time to tandem at night, I guess I'd have to.
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