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#1 of 35 Old 09-29-2008, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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with twins
With ds it was so simple- one baby in the bed, nursing every two hours or so, one baby in the sling so I could get a few things done & wear him down for naps...
With two, co-sleeping is hard. I am always worried dh will roll over on one, and I am sandwiched between two which is uncomfortable as I have little room to even move an arm (and we have a king!). The girls are waking up from naps 15 minutes after I put them down (yes, they are swaddled and we are using white noise, etc.) so if I have to pick one up and try to soothe her back to sleep, the other is usually crying.
I guess I just feel discouraged. They are too little for me to wear them both at the same time- they are not really big fans of the sling anyway- I am exhausting myself just holding one after the other all day trying to get them to sleep. My back is killing me, and I am really tempted to say forget AP and do some sort of sleep training
Not to mention that I have a 2 year old to try and give some attention to as well. So, HOW do you do this?? Is it realistic for me to believe that I can maintain my AP practices/philosophy in this situation?

sarah, mama to e & j 8/08, and big brother 8/06
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#2 of 35 Old 09-29-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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i had my first babies on 8/8, and feel your pain! i'm a single mom, by choice after 15 years of infertility, and twins has reeally transformed the kind of parenting i'm able to offer. it's really hard and it's disappointing to miss out on the experience i'd imagined all those years. i'm looking fwd to reading what the more experienced mamas have to say!

celeste terra, single wohm to twin toddler boys max and shoghi. bamboo village press
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#3 of 35 Old 09-29-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sarbear View Post
with twins
With ds it was so simple- one baby in the bed, nursing every two hours or so, one baby in the sling so I could get a few things done & wear him down for naps...
With two, co-sleeping is hard. I am always worried dh will roll over on one, and I am sandwiched between two which is uncomfortable as I have little room to even move an arm (and we have a king!). The girls are waking up from naps 15 minutes after I put them down (yes, they are swaddled and we are using white noise, etc.) so if I have to pick one up and try to soothe her back to sleep, the other is usually crying.
I guess I just feel discouraged. They are too little for me to wear them both at the same time- they are not really big fans of the sling anyway- I am exhausting myself just holding one after the other all day trying to get them to sleep. My back is killing me, and I am really tempted to say forget AP and do some sort of sleep training
Not to mention that I have a 2 year old to try and give some attention to as well. So, HOW do you do this?? Is it realistic for me to believe that I can maintain my AP practices/philosophy in this situation?
Don't try to maintain some philosophy. Be kind, be attentive, meed their needs and know that this is a really really hard time for you. I was in that stage for a long time and had no help. What did I learn? I, and my instincts, are best for my kids. Not my impulses mind you, but my good mothering instincts that tell me to pick up a crying baby, to nurse on demand, etc...

You'll know what is right and loving to do. And you'll be drained and exhausted...your kids are really young and they need you.
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#4 of 35 Old 09-29-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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I started with twins, so didn't have the one-baby experience to get used to - I just dove right in to being outnumbered.

And, true confessions here. I'm a fan of what works. What is best for the child(ren) and what works. For example, using a swing is very non-AP but for a while my son wouldn't nap without it. His napping was more important to me so I used it. Eventually he grew out of that need.

Sarbear, your twins sound too young to sleep train right now. I understand the desire to try something else, so hopefully there will be more ideas from others that you can try.

I recall several weeks of life with babies that didn't nap. Those were the toughest days, IMHO and in my short momma career so far (7 months). Fifteen minutes and there would be tears - meanwhile I was still fixing a salad to eat! So try a cradle swing and other than that, good luck.

You WILL get through this time and your babies WILL start to take better naps. Trust me. It goes slow - from 15 minutes to 30, then slowly upping from there (if yours are anything like mine were). And don't beat yourself for doing things differently with your twins than you did with your singleton. You have to - especially since you now have 3 to care for. Hats off to you!

Sorry to endorse a non-AP method on an AP board. Maybe you were looking for encouragement to stick to the methods. But as you see, multiples are different than singletons and so (IMO) a little bending of the rules, or even major bending of the rules, can be necessary for survival.
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#5 of 35 Old 09-29-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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Be gentle on yourself, Mama. I imagine it is really different with more than one baby at a time. As with the PP, I started off with twins.

My girls had a rough go with sleeping. At night they slept on our chests pretty consistently for the first 3-4 weeks, as swaddling and back sleeping did not work in our house AT ALL. Also, mine were so very awake from birth and rarely just 'fell asleep'. It always took a lot of motion - rocking, bouncing on the exercise ball, walking, etc. And then to set them down and them wake up again, AHhhhh! I remember it all too well, including the aching back. Do you have a tummy support band? That helped me immensely.

With us, the magic started at about 3 weeks when we began to place them on their tummies for sleep. That was the ticket to the start of better sleep for all of us. They were in a co-sleeper and at 2 months moved up to a bigger crib beside our bed. I was comfortable with tummy sleeping b/c it worked and b/c my girls had fairly decent neck control very young.

Up until 4 months, we used pacifiers for naps and sleep - this really helped to extend the naps longer than a few minutes!

If your twins are a fan of a swing, that can be a really good soother/napping spot. My girls like the fisher price nature's touch papasan swing.

Do you have someone who can help with your older child so that you don't feel as guilty devoting all of your energy to the two littler ones?

Remember that this beginning adjustment phase is short. You will get through it. You will figure out what works for you, your babes, and your entire family. Things got better every week here, but markedly better at 3 months, and then even better at 4 months. Hang in there!

And for what it's worth, my girls were way too fussy to be worn - particularly both at the same time - when they were wee bitty babies. They are much better with baby wearing now!


Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#6 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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I believe you can be AP with twins - it's just a lot harder and it won't always be *as* AP as you'd like. You won't always be able to answer both their cries. Someone will get left out. But what matters is that you're as responsive to them as you can be. That's all you can do. They're still so very young. It takes time - lots of time (IME) - to grow into parenting twins. Try to relax and take it day by day. Have you seen this page of babywearing photos? You said that they were too small but this would be the perfect time to wear them both in a wrap. I'm sorry it's so hard right now. It does get better. Oh, and here's an article you might want to read.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#7 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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yes, 2+twins nailed it. it is possible but difficult and *different* than ap with one. you have to loosen your ideals a bit, get more creative but it is sooo worth it, so totally worth it.
i agree that it does not get any tougher than that stage you are at right now. the sleeping ssllllloooowwllly gets better and you and your body get more used to things. my house wasn't clean and some days were pajama days. MANY actually!
wearing two in a wrap saved my sanity with newborns. even wearing just one, but a bit to the side in a mei tai, so that i could hold/nurse the other, too, was a lifesaver. after that it was all about getting one on my back so i could nurse the other on my front.
i remember putting a (at times fake) smile on my face to get through the hard times. i would wake up in the morning, say some positive thing, smile and get to it. i willed myself to do my best and to do it with joy because my son was always watching me, watching how i handled things, calm under pressure. i had little mantras to get through the bad moments... "breathe in i calm, breathe out i smile"
my dh was never home, military and no family anywhere near us. you will get through this and you will learn some things about yourself! i remember that feeling of accomplishment when all three kids were fed, dry, happy. felt like a superhero.
keep at it mama, your best will totally be good enough!
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#8 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the encouragement ladies. I think the reality is just setting in for me that parenting these girls is gonna be really different from parenting my son...

About wearing both, I have a wrap that I used all the time w/ds, but I don't know how I would wear 2 in it? Could you describe how you did it- or maybe a pic?

sarah, mama to e & j 8/08, and big brother 8/06
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#9 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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pics in post #6
and isn't there a wearing multiples forum/sticky here at mdc on the babywearing forum? thebabywearer.com has a wearing multiples forum, too.
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#10 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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What is attachment parenting to you? And what does it look like to you? I have come across other names for parenting styles that I like, and a different phrase might help you to welcome some new ideas. I like the "connected parenting" philosophy. It's about trusting your instinct, and looking at ways to be creative and parent the best you can.
I personally can't think of anything more delicious than sleeping with babies. I also love nursing them and nuzzling my nose into their heads and just breathing baby. I love having at least one baby on me when we're out and about, and absent-mindedly bending my head to kiss that baby every 30 seconds or so. I love bouncing with baby in my arms, or swaying. I find myself in checkout lines at the grocery store bouncing or swaying if I have to wait and I don't have both babies with me. My daughters are somewhere in my every thought, my every motivation, and my every breath. I love them fiercely and would do anything for them.
That being said, that's not the hard part, is it? It's the hours on end of inconsolable crying, that just starts up in the second baby once you've calmed the other. It's the growth spurt nursing where you just want to cry (or do), because you just so wanted to make some food for yourself, but you are stuck on the couch. It's the car rides with the screaming and the blood pressure rising high enough to explode out of the roof.
You know you love your babies, and if you trust your instincts (and some other wise twin mamas), this too shall pass and maybe your "attachment" parenting won't look like someone else's, but you have to make your choices to see what best serves your family.
Just a couple practical things: I sleep with both babies next to eachother, and sit up to tandem nurse them. If one is having a hard time sleeping, I'll move her next to me and let her nurse and sleep. I don't like being in the middle of the two babies, as I don't relax as well. I would totally use a swing to get your babies to sleep, as I think that finding ways to get your babies content is important. I think the side to side papasan is best, as well. Since your babies are small, I would try the Moby wrap for those times when you need to hold both. You may be immobilized a bit, but you could sit down and read or watch tv, and rest your back, and they will probably stay asleep. I also agree with Kjoy on the tummy sleep. Man, they sleep sooooo much better that way! My DD1 was a challenging sleeper, as she only slept 10 hours a day, and you had to work to get her those 10 hours. Is there a babywearing group in your area? It would be nice to try a different carrier, as there are MANY out there, and you might find one that's perfect for you.
Lastly, I remember lamenting about sleep issues at a La Leche League meeting one time, and the leader encouraged me to ask people who bottle fed, or sleep trained what their experiences were. Let's just say, a baby is a baby and will cry and make your life sleepless for a while, regardless of anything Oh, and LLL meetings are a GREAT place to brainstorm ideas about your questions, and I'm sure you'd get to try a lot of great carriers too!
Good luck to you mama!!!
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#11 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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Oh yeah, and the two year old??? It WILL get better. To put it bluntly, that part SUCKS during the first month or so!!! Your babies will start to eat faster and sleep better, and you will have time for your little one
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#12 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Mamaeliz nailed it! GREAT posting.

Attachment parenting twins is hard. I don't feel like any of my AP singleton friends can really understand and I've felt a little judged. When I start to get that panicked "OMG they are screaming AGAIN" feeling I take 2 deep breaths, remind myself that crying won't kill them, and go through the steps (again!) to try and soothe them back to a state of calm.

I liberally used my swing and the car seat (to rock with my foot). I got good at carrying them both. I felt like the less screaming the better was the goal so I did whatever took us there.

I'm just now, at 4 months postpartum, starting to get a handle on how to manage the twins and my older children all at the same time. The best part is that when they hit that magic 3 month milestone your 2 year old can be employed as "entertainer". I love to sit on the couch and nosh on my lunch while my older kids play with the babies. I have to watch my 21 month old or she does stuff like this, but for the most part it's gotten SO much easier this past month as the babies have gotten more interested in their surrounding. Just this past week I've noticed a huge difference in their awareness and ability to be left on the floor to "play" while I do things in that room or close by.

It's so hard. That first month-6 weeks was seriously difficult and I've had FOUR children all closely spaced. It gave me a run for my money and I actually felt prepared for the experience. Give yourself some grace, Mama. This is a very hard job with seriously intense on the job training. There is room between complete AP parenting and sleep training.
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#13 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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AP what you can and throw the rest out. I resorted to using two swings. I also had two bouncy seats that rocked or rolled back and forth. I had them going at the same time with my feet just to give my arms a greak. You're at the hardest stage right now and it WILL get better!

Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to love.gif DD (9yr), DS luxlove.gif (3yr), & 2twins.gif UC twin DDs (5yr)

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#14 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 03:50 AM
 
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joy.gifspread a lot of love joy.gif

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#15 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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It is hard. My twins are #3 and 4 and so much of what I used to do with my first two have gone out the window. I am trying to do what I can but they do cry a lot more than my single babies ever did. We've had accidental CIO where one cries themselves to sleep while I am dealing with the other baby (poop explosion comes to mind). But I do what I can to get to each baby as quickly as I can and do what I can. And having older children means that sometimes the babies need to wait too. We use a swing and bouncy chairs. I cosleep with them and while it's not always comfortable it helps me with the guilt factor of not being able to hold them as much during the day. One of my babies also does really well sleeping on her belly.

For the first 2-3 months I did wear them together in the wrap. I just tucked them in on either side in the upright position. Now that they are 3 months and 28lbs combined it's not feasible (for me anyways) so I am trying to figure out what I should do next in terms of babywearing both.

Take care of yourself and do the best you can. Your babies will thrive on that!

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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#16 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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I have 3 mo old twins. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, mine miraclously moved forward and started sleeping better, going for longer between feedings, etc.

My AP with twins is to remain plugged into their needs and do whatever works for them. Mine sleep much better apart and not in our room (one twin is a very light sleeper). Totally different than what I intended and what I did with DD but it works & the babies are happy. One twin slept in a bouncy seat in the bathroom with the fan on for a month, but it stopped his crying almost immediately -- constant holding and rocking by me just didn't do the trick.
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#17 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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did most of you who note a change at 3 mo have your babies at term, or were any born early? just wondering if i have to think 5 mo insstead of 3?

celeste terra, single wohm to twin toddler boys max and shoghi. bamboo village press
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#18 of 35 Old 09-30-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by celesterra View Post
did most of you who note a change at 3 mo have your babies at term, or were any born early? just wondering if i have to think 5 mo insstead of 3?
Mine were born at 42 weeks. I think that most developmental milestones are supposed to be age-adjusted based on EDD. Maybe you should think 5 months and then be pleasantly surprised if your boys seem to even out earlier! You will get there, mama, promise.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#19 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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You know mine were term. I'm hoping that your boys will shock you and get there at 3 months anyway! <~~~hugs for each of you

To everyone having a hard time~~~>
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#20 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 02:42 AM
 
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I was just going to post the exact same thread! The first 2 weeks the girls slept like champs for 4 hours, ate, pooped, then right back to sleep. The next week was kind of weird, they'd only sleep 2 hours, and took longer to get back to sleep. It seemed like one baby was always up and I never got a break. The past week it's been really wearing on my nerves. I'll rock and bounce for 30 minutes, lay them down just to have them wake 10 minutes later! At night is better, they'll sleep 2 hours at a time but not at the same time, so I'm catching about an hour sleep every couple of hours.

I also have a 19 month old son. People ask me if I meant to have my kids so close together... Like I knew I was going to have twins! It makes me so mad.

My back hurts, and I'm tired, hearing it gets better at 3 months feels like 3 years.

One thing that does help, one of my daughters sleeps really well in a swing that swings side to side not just back and forth. The other sleeps in bed with me, I can nurse her at night and she usually stays asleep, but it's the diaper changes that wakes them up the most. And they poop about 3 times a night.

I've found that bathing them at night makes them sleep longer, or harder. Maybe because they do so much crying during it that it wears them out.

I love my girls to peices, but I feel guilty because I wish they had come seperatley. People always say "I wish I had twins" but they don't understand how hard it really is. I really love my son and feel like I'm missing out on a lot with him too, he's just starting to talk I wish I just had more time for them all.
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#21 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 08:15 AM
 
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I'm there too. My twins are just a couple of weeks older than yours, and I have a very energetic 3yo. I also work FTOH, which probably isn't AP, but it's the only way we'd still have a roof over our heads.

I am totally touched out, stressed out and have abandoned any ideas of actually doing AP. Okay, not quite that, but we do what works. And, what works right now is both babies in the crib, because our 3yo still sleeps with us. He's really been affected by the new additions (even though he absolutely adores them) and continuing to sleep with us really makes him feel more secure. Problem is, he rolls all over the bed thrashing and stuff, so it's not possible to have 2 babies there too. Not that there's any room. We tried, and it just didn't work, even with a king bed. of course, dh and I aren't exactly small people, so we take up our fair share of space.

We're just now getting to the point where the babies will sleep much better at night, we get about 4 hours the first stretch, then 3 hours after that. I am sort of breastfeeding. Mostly pumping and giving bottles. Baby boy hates nursing and baby girl can't nurse (she has a heart condition and tires too easily). Usually they're both screaming at the same time, so I can't nurse one and bottle feed the other, I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Dh works crazy hours, so I"m often alone trying to do it all myself.

Anyways...I totally agree with the swing idea. We use ours so much I'm constantly buying batteries to keep the thing going. We also have a bouncy seat that I put on vibrate, that seems to work fairly well too.

We are lucky enough to have a nanny, she is very AP and holds babies all day long.

I'd love to say more, but one's screaming......

**ETA: Usually the babies sleep in their crib the first "stretch" of the night, then end dh and I end up each holding one the rest of the night. They don't like to go back to the crib once they've gotten up to eat around midnight. I usually am sitting up in bed holding one, adn dh is usually on the couch with the other on his chest. I can't wait until they get a little bigger (they weigh 8 and 9 pounds right now, born at 38w, but were only around 6lbs each) so they are physically able to sleep longer and maybe I can have a break

It's really great to read the posts from all you experienced twin mamas, it really is making me feel so much better........

Denise, mama to ds1 (03/26/05) and boy/girl twins born 08/12/08
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#22 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 08:56 AM
 
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Mine were born at 38 1/2 wks. At around 6 wks, they started sleeping longer during the night (between 4-6 hrs). Slwoly they started sleeping 45-1 hr at naps. At around 10 wks, they started to take a longer morning/early afternoon nap of 1.5-2 hrs.

Now, at 13 wks they're down to bed at 8 pm (after a bath and long nursing session), up around 2-3 am, and then awake again at 7 am. So doable and they did it all on their own - no sleep training, little crying.

The only thing I do is sit up to tandem feed at night (b/c otherwise I found they would snack all night) and during the day they're not up for more the 1.5-2 hrs. One is generally asleep anyway but I actively swaddle and put my non-napper to sleep then too. He's so much happier (but too busy to let himself fall asleep).
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#23 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 09:03 AM
 
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Parenting twins is a tough job but youc an still meet their needs. It may not fit the definition of AP some days. Sometimes a baby may cry while you have your hands full with the other children. It's just reality when you have more than one baby with the same needs.

My younger set are 4 weeks old tomorrow and we hve good days and bad days. Mostly good... but the bad can be downright awful. I try to keep a hand free at all times because it never fails that someone will need me right when I've sat down to take care of someone else. I have been keeping the babies in a sling (either together or separate) until they fall asleep. Then I lay them down and hopefully have a few minutes to take care of everyone else.

Just hang in there! The sleep thing will get better. It will get easier. Trust me!

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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#24 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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Don't have time to read all the other posts right now.

AP w/ twins is a little different than w/ one I think. Our version of cosleeping is two twin mattresses on the floor and I go back and forth all night. I don't babywear much. Just when out of the house and someone else is with me. dH does it when I am gone since he doesn't bf. Breastfeeding on demand is still possible and more conveinent than bottles, imo. Gentle discipline when they are older is doable.

DS slept in the swing for naps and night for the first 3 months of his life. I agree, his sleep was more important than the location. And for pete's sake, you have to go to the bathroom and eat too.

At that age, I didn't have tandem nursing down unless someone could help me get them in position. I can do it now at 7 months. But I could nurse one for a few minutes, massage the other one, then nurse second baby, massage first etc.

And trusting your mothering instincts is great advice. You know your babies, the author of a book does not. You will have some rough patches (I had a bad spot two weeks ago), but you will live through it. Promise!

Having multiples is sometimes hard, you just do the best you can. Take the ap mindset and find what works best with your family. I think ap is about listening to your children's needs and meeting that. Even if you don't follow some "guidelines", you can still meet their needs. In the end, I think the most important thing you can do for you children is love them like crazy.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#25 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 10:38 AM
 
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This was the hardest part of having twins for me. With my first, I was all die-hard devoted AP, ya know? I carried DD1 all day and we slept with her all night. She was also a fairly mellow baby, so she really never cried, and I got to thinking that was how babies should be. I was full of philosophies and convinced that AP was the only way to go.

Then I had my twins, and DS was an extremely high-needs baby, and DD1 was still only 2, and reality set in. And it was hard. It hurt me badly that they didn't get the perfect AP babyhood that I'd imagined. It hurt me badly when one of them had to cry while I tended to the others, especially since it was usually DS doing all the crying. It hurt me when I realized DD2 had to sleep in a crib, because the cosleeping just wasn't working. There were days when I was convinced I was damaging them for life, and days when I was ready to run away from home because I was so overwhelmed.

And they're fine. DS has turned into a smiley, happy, jolly toddler, and obviously doesn't hold it against me for the times I put him in the bouncy seat or turned him over to my neighbor to hold for awhile, or gave him to DH at night so that I could get some precious sleep. You do what works, and what seems to keep everybody fed and clean and happy as much as possible. I counted it as a good day if everybody was fed. That was my goal for the day-- keep everybody fed. For the first few months, everything else got thrown out the window. We shuffled our sleep arrangements a dozen times-- at one point, DS was sleeping with me upstairs in my bed, DH was downstairs on the guest bed with DD2, and DD1 was in a cot near him. Halfway through the night I'd slide downstairs to nurse DD2, and bring her up to me, and DD1 would wander into bed with DH. You do whatever works, until they get older.

You have to find a way to forgive yourself for not doing things "perfectly," and focus on just meeting their needs as best as you are able to while keeping yourself healthy and okay. Take it one hour at a time.

I had good luck with putting them both in the double stroller and pushing them up and down the sidewalk until they fell asleep. Then I'd sit down on the porch and relax awhile. They seemed to nap longer outside, for some reason, in the fresh air.

You can do this. You really can. And afterward, when you've made it through the hardest part, you'll look back and realize it went so fast. And forever after, you'll be convinced that after newborn twins, there's nothing in the whole world you CAN'T handle!

me knit.gif, he bikenew.gif, my three reading.gif, sleepytime.gif, and fairy.gif-- and the one we lost angel2.gif
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#26 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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Celesterra, my girls were early, and I noticed a "hey, we can amuse ourselves some now" change later than 3 months. Maybe 5? Hard to tell, it's so blurry now!

I also say AP what you can, and do the rest as best you can. I'm not super-crunchy myself, but my big things were breastfeeding and babywearing. And I've managed to do both of those with twins (with a lot of good advice I found here! love y'all! : ). I think you need to set your priorities and concentrate on those, and then don't sweat the rest too much. Make sure everyone's taken care of as best you can. Love those babies. They'll be okay.

And when you get down on how they're getting a bit less mama time than singletons, remember that they have a rare advantage singletons never had: they've never been alone (except maybe in the NICU). But from the earliest, in-utero months of their life through the present, they've known what companionship is. I can't help but think that's a great gift. I've heard someone say once that the twins she knows have a better conception of God, a very secure feeling that they are not alone, that they are loved. That's what I'm hoping the twin experience brings my girls. Just think! To have such an early experience of what it is to have someone always there. That's got to be good for you.

So there are bad parts and good parts to being a twin, but I think it's more good than bad, and I bet your kids find that to be true too.
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#27 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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My twins were born (39 weeks, 2 days gestation) on July 20 and jiminey, I am so glad to read that others have had napping issues, too. I know it's developmental (you can sort of see it predicted to the week in a book like "The Wonder Weeks") but it can shake your sanity when it happens. I actually screamed at my 4.5 year old for going in my room and waking the sleeping twin (and that "episode" of mine woke the other twin, who was snoozing on my lap. That was what made me feel so broken and livid...the knowledge that one really was out and the other was settled to the point that I was about to transfer him to the bed, too. And now we were back to tandem nursing, or just getting up, and I felt so frayed, frazzled, betrayed.) I think that emotion was born of all those days of desperation about the fragmented (at best) or non-existant napping.

I liked the comment about instincts, not impulses, being valid and trustworthy. My impulses have been all over the map lately. I find myself trying to reason with a crying baby, sometimes feeling edgy. It's worse with my older daughter, and I didn't expect that.

I have not worried about using the swing. We have the cradle type swing that goes forward or side-to-side and it was great for naps early-on. During those dreadful napless weeks (they've been napping for several days again, so I'm hoping it was a phase) the swing wasn't golden anymore. But the last day or so, I've been able to put a sleepy or just fed-and-contented baby in the swing and he'll do more than just sleep. He'll look up at the mobile or light show (we have the one with the lights & stars, because it has an electric cord & not just batteries) and smile. He'll either just spend a few wakeful minutes happy, then ask to get out, or he'll contentedly watch and zone out, until he snoozes.

I used to slip a sleeping baby into the swing and get a solid nap or a big chunk of nighttime sleeping, but now I'm able to keep a baby happy while I visit the bathroom or change a messy diaper, so it's also working as a short-term prop. I figure it's "AP" to get them from the swing when they tire of it, because that's responsive. I don't know....

The swing actually helped me feel more sane about our co-sleeping arrangement early on. I could get one baby sleeping solid and have him in the swing when I went to bed. I'd snuggle with the other like a singleton in bed, and nurse him when he needed. When the twin in the swing would wake for feeding, I'd cuddle with him and feed him (once in awhile I'd try to switch the other twin into the swing, but mostly I'd just try to keep the other baby asleep while I grabbed the swinger and started him nursing.) I assign a breast to a baby (alternating each day) and so I put the babies on the side of the bed that allows me to be on the outside edge turned in toward them. That helps me keep straight which baby is feeding on which side (in the night, when I wake groggily to nurse.) I then walk from one side of the bed to the other, or crawl over the foot of the bed to the other side (if I don't have dipes & wipes plus laundry or whatever piled at the foot of the bed.) My husband has been sleeping in the other room with our daughter, and he gets up if I call him or if he hears crying. Once our king sized bed comes out of storage, he'll join us, but in the queen it feels too crowded.

Anyway, I've felt this same frustration you describe and I often still feel it (though they are napping more than 7 minutes at a time, now, so the desperation isn't so sharp.)
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#28 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by vanauken View Post
And when you get down on how they're getting a bit less mama time than singletons, remember that they have a rare advantage singletons never had: they've never been alone (except maybe in the NICU). But from the earliest, in-utero months of their life through the present, they've known what companionship is. I can't help but think that's a great gift. I've heard someone say once that the twins she knows have a better conception of God, a very secure feeling that they are not alone, that they are loved. That's what I'm hoping the twin experience brings my girls. Just think! To have such an early experience of what it is to have someone always there. That's got to be good for you.
what you said here really made me cry it touched me so much.

reading through this thread has brought up inside me so many emotions I have experienced about my limitations with attachment parenting like I would LIKE with twins. As soon as I found out I was having twins last July 31st my life changed forever. For the LOONGEST time, since I could remember, I'd always fantasized being about to nurse my ONE baby, that that baby was the only being in the world that mattered to me. For me to have to "divide my love" was tragic.

I believe even though I was diagnosed with PPD after they were born that I experienced it WHILE pregnant cause of constantly in a panic of what was I going to do? How was I going to manage? Will they hate me forever for never being enough for them?

I don't understand why God gave me twins. I feel guilty because there are people deserving of ONE child who can't have them. I should feel blessed, right?

Thank you to everyone here for your immense wisdom, love, and support. I've realized through this board how I CAN do things and make the best of the situation as I can, to make it as AP as I can.

I just want to say that my MAIN struggle is the pressure from others to let them CIO. I have never done it (I am not physically able to let them cry), yet singleton moms I know do it for their ONE child and are alarmed why I'm not even thinking about it, like I'm crazy. Why is it such an important thing to train babies to sleep through the night? I honestly don't get it. Sorry for rant.

Melanie, vegan mommy to twin girls born Dec. 2007, and another little girl born Sept. 25th, 2009!
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#29 of 35 Old 10-01-2008, 11:42 PM
 
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I just want to say that my MAIN struggle is the pressure from others to let them CIO. I have never done it (I am not physically able to let them cry), yet singleton moms I know do it for their ONE child and are alarmed why I'm not even thinking about it, like I'm crazy. Why is it such an important thing to train babies to sleep through the night? I honestly don't get it. Sorry for rant.


(I don't know how to do a quote)

I don't know why they have to do cio either! I feel like, what do you really have going on at night that you can't get up with your one baby!?! I get up with two. I also, physically cannot let them cry and not do anything about it. Yes, sometimes they have to cry for a few minutes and it sucks. I don't understand how I could ever listen to them cry for extended periods of time. I mean, doesn't it just break your heart thinking how the person you made and who loves you more than anything might feel if you just left them to cry?
I had ppd too but am feeling much better. It changes from feeling aghaghagh all day long to just having moments of that. The day turns into smiles and laughs and discovery with what their bodies can do. And it is so cool to watch them with each other. Happy to see each other in the morning or after a nap, roll on top of each other, pat and kiss.

Thinking of you and your family. Sending you happy, calm vibes.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#30 of 35 Old 10-02-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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mantra ... I am doing the best I can.

It's HARD ... no mincing words here. There are times when it is easier than others, but then the pendulum swings the other way.

TRY to get as much rest as you can, enlist the help of others, and be sure you are eating/drinking enough.

Much love and hugs to you.

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

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