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#1 of 27 Old 11-01-2008, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going INSANE! Well not really but i need some advice. I have 3 month old twins and a 2 1/2 year old. The twins nurse ALL DAY LONG. If I take them off they scream. They won't take a pacifier. My 2 year old is bored out of her mind. When I am nursing she isn't getting attention that she needs so she will roll around the floor and cry. If I read her books, it last a couple minutes. Then she will go and play. My house is small. She is loud. Eventually she wakes the babies and then I am frustrated. Coloring lasts 5 minutes. Tearing paper makes a mess I have to clean up, and I already can't keep up. Tv is a big no no in our house, it turns her into a maniac. I have no idea how to occupy her while I am nursing. My dh is never home so his help is not an option. I am by myself with 3 month old twins and a 2 year old and we are all miserable.

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#2 of 27 Old 11-01-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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Is there any chance you could get some help around the house for a little while? Even just a teenager who can watch your older child a few hours in the afternoon might give you (and your LO) a bit of respite. Good luck
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#3 of 27 Old 11-01-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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oh {{{{{hugs}}}}}
I'm also alone the vast majority of the time with my 2-year-old and twin infants. I can tell you what has worked for us, though I assume different things work for different families:

We get out of the house every day. Really, I think there has been one day in the past 6 months that we haven't gotten out for at least a little while. Even if the babies were crying when they were littler, I'd put everybody in the car and we'd go somewhere. The babies usually calmed down once we got out, and my 2-year-old really needs to get out or he goes absolutely insane. We go to the grocery store as a big outing about once a week (one car seat goes in the cart, DS1 sits in the cart seat, and one baby gets worn; I tuck the groceries around the two in the cart lol). We go to the children's museum, which DS1 loves. I bit the bullet financially and signed up DS1 for a gym class once a week, and yes trying to keep the babies happy while also helping DS1 participate is a total pain, but it's worth it. We do little things to. Go to the drive-through bank, go do laundry at my parents' house (they live nearby but also work full time plus, but we do see them once or twice a week).

So we have a basic routine to our days, which helps all of us I think. We do a little TV here, so basically we get up and get ready for the day, then the babies go down for a nap and I give DS1 breakfast and we sit together for a bit, then he watches his TV (Super Why), and after that we usually play for a bit and get ready to go out for our big outing of the day. Then it's home for DS1's nap, and in the afternoon we hang out, often go for a walk if the weather is good, cook, etc. If DS1 needs a bath I have him bathe in the later afternoon in the downstairs tub, and he plays in there for a while and I'm in and out of the room with the babies. Then dinner, and upstairs for our bedtime stuff.

In some ways it's gotten easier as the babies have gotten older, and in some ways it's harder. I will be totally honest with you here. It is easier to be able to easily wear a baby on my back, or even both at the same time (one back, one front). It is easier that they will sit and pull at toys or at each other for a few minutes. They do interact with each other and are therefore happier sitting without me than DS1 ever was. On the other hand, as they've gotten older they've wanted to be held and interacted with more. It used to be they mainly fussed or cried if they were tired or hungry, but now they are more complicated and often they just want me to hold them or play with them. They love when DS1 entertains them, which is cute. (Yesterday DS1 was showing them something and said, "Tobies, look!" As in plural Toby. He calls them both Toby most of the time LOL).

Okay, hmm...suggestions. Well, thankfully mine have been fast nursers, like my first was, and one of them loves to nurse but doesn't insist on it too often. But I do read to DS1 while nursing babies, or even just sit and talk to him about whatever he is playing with. Yes, he gets upset and sometimes tells me to put the baby down, but that's life I guess. I basically don't even think about doing housework. My parents have helped us by having the woman who cleans their house come to our place instead every other week, so at least the real cleaning gets done. Other than that it's sort of chaotic, stuff-wise. I've only started cooking again since the babies have been big enough to wear one and have the other in the exersaucer, or something like that. DS1 loves to "help" cook.

So yeah, I guess my best advice is to get out every day if you can. Especially as your babies get older, you might notice that they are less insistant about nursing constantly if you are out of the house (that was true for my older DS). Also, at least once a day make it a point to focus on your DD instead of the babies, even if it means the babies fuss or are unhappy for a little while. It definitely helps to do that here, although now DS1 doesn't like for the babies to be upset and usually tells me to nurse them or give them their pacifiers if they start crying. I've basically just become really good at juggling all 3 of them, and I feel bad because often none are getting really good, full attention from me, but at least they are all being kept mostly happy. And I do try to give each kid invidual, full attention for a little while each day, if possible.

It's crazy hard without any help, believe me I know that. My babies are sick or something at the moment (no clue what's wrong with them, they're crying a lot and uncomfortable and have bright red hot cheeks but no fever), and although they've been "asleep" for the night since 6, it's only 8 and they've already been up 3 times each. So it will be a looong night. And of course the days are so much harder when you're not getting any sleep at night. I have a friend who hired a woman who is actually a post-partum doula to come take care of her twins one night a week for a few months, just so she could get that one night's sleep every week. If that's an option for you I'd definitely look into it (I might cave and do it, if I can figure it out financially).

Good luck. Email or PM me if you want. I totally and completely understand how hard this is to do alone. {{{{hugs}}}} again
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#4 of 27 Old 11-01-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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This is the time to call on everyone you know to help, and to use whatever money you can to hire anything else, IMO. Any friends or colleagues or ANYONE who has ever indicated ANY interest in helping... ask if they can come and play with your older DD (and if they wanted to wash a load of clothes, that`d be fine too!). Hire a younger kid to play with her while you are in the house -- just someone to be silly and occupy her and make her feel special while you are nursing. But it is so hard to go it alone, and your older daughter is in a hard place... so having people come over to play could make a big difference.

Good luck, mama. FWIW, I found the round-the-clock nursing eased up right about four months (so hang in there!)
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#5 of 27 Old 11-02-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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So sorry to hear that you are having a tough time, but know that you are not alone. I think we have all been at breaking point, and it is not fun.

mamatigress has some great words of wisdom. Many of the things she wrote about were in my mind when I read your post.

The routine (as unfun as it may sound) is a lifesaver. I'm not talking strict schedules here, but when mine have been toddlers and preschoolers, they really benefit from knowing a little bit of what to expect. I think they must find it comforting. Like: wake, breakfast, wash up/dress, freeplay, story time, snack, naps, etc....

Also, not sure if you have one of those EZ to nurse pillows, but when my twins were small, I could nurse them and still hold a book to read to the older ones, or eat a meal or whatever. It really keeps your hands free.

Do you have a sling or some carrier? Wearing the little ones would help you take a walk or play outside with your 2 year old (big girl could ride in the stroller or play) or just to be mobile around the house.

What about playgroups? When my oldest 2 were little (they were 19 mo apart), those were a lifesaver. It was the highlight of my week! And most likely, the highlight of my kids! These are great in the winter especially when we got insane cabin fever!! You might want to call around (preschools, libraries, etc.) and see if there are some around. The one we went to was a free service of the county, and the kids played and did crafts and even had a snack. I think it was a "head-start" program. PLus, I got to talk to real adults!!

Also, have you tried white noise where the babies will sleep? Like a fan or air purifier or recording of a vacuum or something? Mine loved to be bundled up snug, too, at 3 mo. That helped them to stay asleep longer.

The biggest thing to remember is that this is just a phase. Things will change. It will get easier. It will be different a month from now, and maybe a week from now. Heck, tomorrow could be way different!

You will be in my prayers. Keep us posted on how things are going, and I hope you find some relief!

mother to girl (8), boy (7), girl (5) and twin boys (12/07) and a little boy due Feb 5!!
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#6 of 27 Old 11-02-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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I used to have a box of fun toys that could only be played with when I was nursing. I had things like play dough, and fun toys that were new and a treat to play with.
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#7 of 27 Old 11-03-2008, 05:22 AM
 
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My twins really gave me a run for my money at 11-12 weeks. We had a horrible growth spurt that lasted almost 2 weeks and darn near cracked my desire to have an exclusive nursing relationship. Thankfully, it got better.
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#8 of 27 Old 11-03-2008, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the ideas. i can't leave the house, trust me i would loooooove to, because the twins scream their heads off every time we are in it. one will make herself turn purple from screaming.

nothing gets done at nap time because nap time is spent on top of me. I can't for the life of me figure out how to get baby to sleep by themselves. As soon as i put them down they cry. I spent 4 hours yesterday working on this. I would nurse them until they were sleepy. Put them in the play pen and walk away. I would let them whine a little. then they would scream. i would pick them up nurse them, rock them, wait for them to get sleepy. Put them down and they would whine and then scream. This went on for 4 hours. Today, same thing. Right now I feel like i am going to be on my couch for the next 2 years, while my house goes to ruins and my 2 year old gets neglected

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#9 of 27 Old 11-03-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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We are in a similar place. My twins are 12w (tomorrow) and I have a 3 1/2 year old. My twins don't/can't nurse, so I am constantly pumping and bottle feeding. We have a bit of a routine, but scheduling doesn't work around here. My dh and I work different hours pretty much everyday. WE are fortunate to have a nanny, so dishes and laundry do get done every now and again. It is a major undertaking to go anywhere, but we do try. I took all 3 kiddos on a walk yesterday, even though the babies took turns screaming the whole time. It was just nice to get out and enjoy some sunshine and my 3yo loved it.

I don't have much advice, but I do agree with trying to get out of the house fairly often, at least it'll give YOU a change of scenery if nothing else. I can sympathize though, and tell you that I firmly believe it'll get better as they get older

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#10 of 27 Old 11-03-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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Hang in there. I promise it will get better.

When my twins were a few months old I got to the point that I had to do something besides hold them. I ended up letting them scream for a while. I grabbed a timer, when I was sure that they were dry and fed I put them down and set the timer for 15 minutes. Durring that 15 minutes I would almost pull my hair out from frustration, and I worked as fast as I could to get something done. When the timer went off I would check the girls and make sure that they were dry still, then set the timer again.

It took about a week for the girls to be able to go to sleep without being latched on or screaming for an hour or more. And just remember, screaming will not hurt them, I know it is hard, but they will be alright screaming for a while. My sister did a more dramatic approch, she let her son (single) scream from 8 at night till 5:30 in the morning and not go near him. He screamed the whole time. Personally I do not recomend that method. Try the timer.
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#11 of 27 Old 11-03-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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I'm sorry I have no ideas. We were right there a year and a half ago, and I know how hard it is. My kiddos are about the same spacing apart, and there were days when we just all sat and cried. All three wanted my undivided attention, and of course nobody got it, and the babies could only sleep on me, and wanted to nurse constantly, and I was beat to pieces from no sleep and no time to myself. I felt so horribly guilty about DD1, who basically raised herself for about six months. There were days I was seriously going to leave them at the firehouse and run away from home. (Well, maybe not REALLY, but it sure felt like it at the time.)

I can give you hope, though. When they get a few months older, and their sleep patterns settle a bit, and they can sit alone and amuse themselves for a few minutes, it gets easier. Then when they get mobile, it gets even easier. Hang in there. Take it one minute at a time. Just get through the next minute, and then the next, and then the next.

In the meantime, remember you are only one person, and can only do the best you can. It's not the end of the world if they cry a little. I'm no fan of cry it out, believe me, but when you essentially have three babies (a two year old is really still a baby in so many ways) there's bound to be crying.

One side question? How is their weight gain? I ask just because DS went through a phase where he wanted to nurse constantly, and was miserable if he didn't, and then we realized he wasn't gaining, and wasn't getting enough milk. Fenugreek helped with that. Constant nursing only rarely indicates a supply problem, and if you've successfully nursed your first child it probably isn't that, but it's worth thinking about.

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#12 of 27 Old 11-03-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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I agree with the above. I've been so harried lately with a mobile baby and an into everything toddler I realized I wasn't getting ANY water during the day. The twins were going through a hellacious "growth spurt" and I realized my supply was reallllly low thanks to dehydration.
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#13 of 27 Old 11-04-2008, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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no I definately don't have weight gain issues. I make just about the fatest babies ever. i go for their 4 month check up in about 2 weeks. But the younger twin I think is about 18-19 lbs. And my other one is probably 15-16 lbs. They were 5.9 and 6.10 at 36 weeks. I still get full. I have so much milk I could feed triplets. I just offered to pump for the neighbors grandson who has leukemia. So, def. not supply issues. But I guess it could be a growth spurt. But then it feels like this has been a 3 1/2 month growth spurt.

I know it gets easier. I just get so jealous of the mamas who talk about how they put their babies down for a 3 hour nap. Or the ones who get to give their baby a bottle and put them in a crib. Or pop a paci in their mouth and they just go to sleep.

so for those who had babies who slept on top of them, how did that stop. how do you get babies to sleep alone. I have tried the no cry sleep solution but its not working. I don't want them to get used to sleeping on me. Its so uncomfortable having over 30 lbs on top of me every night while sucking me dry.

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#14 of 27 Old 11-04-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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Do you have a swing or boucy seat? Have you used them? They work best on HIGH. Some babies don't like them at first, but will be fine after a minute or 2 of fussing (and some kids just hate them, sigh).

Seriously, My boys napped a lot in the swings when I was alone. I would put them both in the swings, and my oldest and I would put on fun dancing music and we would dance and sing and make funny faces until the twins went to sleep. They got used to sleeping in a noisy environment, I got some excercise, and ds1 got playtime and excercise!

I also put my oldest in preschool. It was hard getting him to and from, but SOOO worth it for him.

Also 3 months is prime growth spurt time and may be the start of teething, sigh.

GET HELP! 2 1/2 is a really rough age too, but by 3-3 1/2 a lot of kids really change for the better. You can get help from twins groups, LLL, moms groups, church, neighbors, etc. In a few months the twins will be more into getting around than nursing, so you will have, well, different challenges .

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#15 of 27 Old 11-05-2008, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do let them sleep in swings, but now I am afraid they are going to get used to it. I am so conflicted. With my dd I always let her nurse to sleep, it was the most natural thing I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. But then she turned into an all night nurser and I suffered for almost 2 years from sleep deprivation and back aches. So now I'm going at this a second time. I told myself I wouldn't nurse them to sleep. But it feels so wrong just laying them down. So now I am paying for it. Every time they wake up (which is a lot) they want to nurse to sleep. Last night I tried holding them and letting them whine a little to see if they would go to sleep by themselves. I wound up in tears, they wound up in tears. When I gave in and nursed them they fell asleep in about 30 seconds. So yes, I use the swing but I'm afraid I am just adding one more sleep crutch.

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#16 of 27 Old 11-05-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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i couldn't read and not reply! i do not have twins, but my best friend does. she had the same problem with her boys until they were 4 mths old. she one day put them on their belly to nap (not overnight sleeping, she didn't think they should sleep on their bellies while she was asleep) and after 5 minutes of whining they drifted off for the first of many hour long naps!

my baby wouldn't let me put him in his bassinet at all the first few weeks. or stay asleep if i got him to sleep then put him down. we started letting him do the bouncy and swing to let him know hes ok if we arent holding him and now at 15 wks old he has no problem sleeping on the bed by himself.

gl to you mama, i know this is hard.. i watched my friend have many breakdowns for 4 mths.
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#17 of 27 Old 11-05-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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I say if they sleep in the swing, let them!! They are YOUNG and I think that their need for swinging and sucking will naturally decrease as they get older. I like Harvey Karp's book that talks about this as well as swaddling and shushing for babies. Maybe try "helping" the babies find their thumbs??
I can hardly believe I'm sitting here trying to give "advice" to you, as I am also jealous of babies who can actually be PUT DOWN!!!! I create "in arms only" babies. I am to the point with the twins that I will let them cry for about five minutes as I do something, as truly, we would NEVER get any food to eat, or something to drink, or bills paid, or diapers washed, or DD1's needs met if I didn't. I really can't stand doing it, but my girls are happy as clams being held.
I do think that relying on the swing can become a crutch, but I think that at 3 months, it's a legitimate one to lean on
One last thought-- or a couple:
do you swaddle?
white noise?
burp them or use colic tabs for gas?
try laying them on their bellies?
These are some things I do that sometimes help. My heart is with you, and if you come up with a brilliant idea, PLEASE let me know!!!
ps, check out the Harvey Karp book!!
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#18 of 27 Old 11-05-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by poopzmom View Post
I do let them sleep in swings, but now I am afraid they are going to get used to it. I am so conflicted. With my dd I always let her nurse to sleep, it was the most natural thing I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. But then she turned into an all night nurser and I suffered for almost 2 years from sleep deprivation and back aches. So now I'm going at this a second time. I told myself I wouldn't nurse them to sleep. But it feels so wrong just laying them down. So now I am paying for it. Every time they wake up (which is a lot) they want to nurse to sleep. Last night I tried holding them and letting them whine a little to see if they would go to sleep by themselves. I wound up in tears, they wound up in tears. When I gave in and nursed them they fell asleep in about 30 seconds. So yes, I use the swing but I'm afraid I am just adding one more sleep crutch.
FWIW, my babies almost always fall asleep for naps and at bedtime by just laying them down in their cribs with a pacifier. Pretty much all the time. And yet they still wake up all night long and want to nurse back to sleep all night. ALL NIGHT LONG. Last night it was practically continuous.

So we don't use the swing much for other reasons, but if the reason you're worried about it is because you think it's contributing to the problem of them waking up and wanting to nurse, I wouldn't worry about that. I don't think there's too much merit to the "sleep associations" thing. If there were, my babies would go back to sleep with just a pacifier or whatever, and instead they really insist on nursing.
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#19 of 27 Old 11-06-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jennifer_lc1 View Post

i couldn't read and not reply! i do not have twins, but my best friend does. she had the same problem with her boys until they were 4 mths old. she one day put them on their belly to nap (not overnight sleeping, she didn't think they should sleep on their bellies while she was asleep) and after 5 minutes of whining they drifted off for the first of many hour long naps!
We put our babies on their tummies. I know it goes against the SIDS recommendation, but our doctor says that they should be put down in "various positions" (i.e. back, tummy, side). He says that the research does not really support "back to sleep." I've always wondered about this, because my children have always rolled onto their tummies when I put them on their backs. Seems odd to force something that is not comfortable to them.

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#20 of 27 Old 11-06-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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Hugs, mama. That sounds really, really, rough. Also sounds like you're a wonderful mom, btw.

Back to the idea of your toddler's entertainment: could a local teen come over even once or twice a week for an hour after school? (My neighbor's daughter charges $5 for this) You'd be home, but it'd be a huge treat for your 2 y.o., and I think you'd look forward to it for your sanity.

Also, since babies do change so much at different ages/stages, maybe don't give up yet on bundling them into a double stroller, even on chilly days. You said they scream when you go out, but the stroller might get more enjoyable as they are just a bit older? I'd probably work on trying to get them (or even one, while one is in a carrier) to fall asleep in a stroller. Preferable to a swing maybe a little, since I found babies would keep sleeing in a stroller once it stops, esp if they are bundled and cozy.

Good luck. I hope it gets better before long. FWIW, I'm hopeless with breaking the nurse-to-sleep assoc too. I do think it's such a natural thing, you aren't doing something ridiculous at all. But I get that you have to find something you can live through w/twins!

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#21 of 27 Old 11-06-2008, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the replies. you guys rock. as i write this one baby is sleeping in the car seat after sleeping from 9 pm till 6:30 am when i had to wake her because i thought my boob would explode. i am holding one baby and nursing. one baby. i am only holding one baby. i can't believe i just said that. i have been trying all morning to get her to sleep in the car seat but she wakes after 5 minutes. i Have tried the tummy thing. I have no problem letting them sleep on their tummies but they aren't having it. but i guess i will count my blessings. one baby slept which allowed mt to make beef stew thats gonna sit in the crock pot all day, which means we get real food for dinner. REAL FOOD. nothing from a box. so i guess i'm having a good day....finally!


now if i could only figure out how to use my wrap, i could really get some things done.

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#22 of 27 Old 11-07-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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yes figure out that wrap! That was going to be my first question why not wear them? I wore my boys for much of their first year, yes both of them at the same time most of the day, every day. One on the back one on the front. And they were good size, they entered the world at just under 9 lbs each and were about 25 lbs at 8 months. Plus this helped me melt my pg weight off. good luck to you
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#23 of 27 Old 11-07-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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We can't do t.v in our household either. It turns DS (2 1/2) into a monster too. it's also hard to keep him occupied when I'm nursing, because the babies are so easily distracted.

Things that capture his attention are puzzles - he loves loves puzzles. Orchard toys makes great puzzles that are nice and durable - you can hopefully keep them for the twins when they get old enough. They have some 2 piece puzzles to start off with, then you can move to 3-4 6-8 piece puzzles. they also have other games, we haven't tried them yet.

http://www.orchardtoys.com/

I also really like the puzzles from Doug and Melissa - the wooden ones in a box - 4 to a box.

We also bought our son a CD player, which was one of the best purchases ever because he always wanted to use our nice CD system. We slowly introduced new CDs, and he now has a collection and loves to change the CDs and listen to different music, and even children's stories.

You could also try going to the library and having a stack of new books for her.

Some people love the leap frog toys - we haven't used them and probably won't, but there is that book system which seems to keep their attention for quite a while.
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#24 of 27 Old 11-07-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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I also really like the puzzles from Doug and Melissa - the wooden ones in a box - 4 to a box.

We also bought our son a CD player, which was one of the best purchases ever because he always wanted to use our nice CD system. We slowly introduced new CDs, and he now has a collection and loves to change the CDs and listen to different music, and even children's stories.
Those 4-to-a-box puzzles are absolutely the best. My older DS adores his. At this point he knows his puzzles by heart and does them upside-down lol...but these box puzzles also taught him sorting and shapes, because of the shapes on the back of each puzzle piece. When I first gave him puzzles a few months ago he was easily frustrated, so I just did them for him while he watched and he loved seeing the pictures come together. Then on his own he picked them up and started doing them and is now totally and completely obsessed with puzzles. If you can get your DD into puzzles, she will happily play with them for a loooong time while sitting next to you on the floor, or whatever.

And the CD idea is great! My DS1 is still a bit young (he'd end up throwing the CDs; he just lost a CD by throwing it on the porch a few days ago), but in a few months I might really try this suggestion. Thanks!
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#25 of 27 Old 11-08-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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I was very hesitant at first because I couldn't find a CD player specifically for children, but we started it when he was about 22 months. I just wish we had made copies of all of the CDs before, because some are now ruined.
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#26 of 27 Old 11-08-2008, 02:09 AM
 
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thanks for all the replies. you guys rock. as i write this one baby is sleeping in the car seat after sleeping from 9 pm till 6:30 am when i had to wake her because i thought my boob would explode. i am holding one baby and nursing. one baby. i am only holding one baby. i can't believe i just said that. i have been trying all morning to get her to sleep in the car seat but she wakes after 5 minutes. i Have tried the tummy thing. I have no problem letting them sleep on their tummies but they aren't having it. but i guess i will count my blessings. one baby slept which allowed mt to make beef stew thats gonna sit in the crock pot all day, which means we get real food for dinner. REAL FOOD. nothing from a box. so i guess i'm having a good day....finally!


now if i could only figure out how to use my wrap, i could really get some things done.
So glad to hear that you had a good day!!:: Really revel in this because mine are almost 11 mo and have never slept longer than a 4-5 hours without waking to nurse! What an amazing break you were given! I hope that there are more to come soon!

mother to girl (8), boy (7), girl (5) and twin boys (12/07) and a little boy due Feb 5!!
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#27 of 27 Old 11-12-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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" I can't for the life of me figure out how to get baby to sleep by themselves. As soon as i put them down they cry."

Both my twins had Acid reflux learning this and TREATING it threw our Doctor helped (My two year old had the same thing)
As for getting them to sleep on their own....Insane ideas....Take two 2L pop bottles and put hot water in them and put them in the babies beds to warm up a spot for them....ALSO this works EVERY time for me....get two socks....fill them half way upp with barley and stich the end shut...put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds (MAKE SURE ITS NOT HOOOOT!!) and put it on their tummies untill they are in a deep sleep...works for me!
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