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sanity

getting your twins on a feeding & sleeping schedule by julie burt nichols

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s a twin mom I am constantly asked, “How do you do it?” My answer? “I live and die by the schedule!” Setting a feeding and sleeping schedule for twins is really non-negotiable. YOU need breaks! The only way to get those breaks is to make them happen. Make a plan, gather your tools for success, and with time and (a LOT) of patience you will get those breaks and start to feel like a normal person again. Believe me, I’ve been there! When your twins are so little, you want nothing more in the world but to let them just live by their own internal clock and instincts. The reality is rough. You are caring for two babies at once. You do not have the luxuries that singleton parents do. It is really hard to cope with that idea! You want to be able to let your kid keep sleeping even if they didn’t wake to eat. You want them to be able to feed on-demand, when they are hungry, like all other babies get to do! Sorry, friend. Having twins is an incredible experience…and this is one of the drawbacks. But I survived it and so will you! And to those of you who

raised your twins without a schedule, I bow down to you. Seriously, I am nowhere near as patient as you and I truly don’t know how you did it! However, if you are as exhausted and impatient as I am, here are my expert tips for getting your twins on a feeding and sleeping schedule:

*Write it down. Buy a thick spiral notebook (I’m talking 3-subject!). When a baby wakes, change them, feed them and then write it down. Record their name, the time the feeding started, amount eaten, and if they pooped and/or peed. After a couple of days, you will see a pattern emerge. This will help you establish how often they are eating and what kind of pattern you can set. It’s also easier to remember everything that’s going on when you are in a sleep-deprived haze. This will prove especially helpful if you have others coming in to help and they shoo you away to nap or shower. They can look at the journal and know exactly where you are in the schedule, without having to bother you. Ask your pediatrician how much and how often they should be eating. Your pediatrician will LOVE this “poop journal”, too --- bring it multiplicity

to doctor visits so they can look it over and see how well your babies are eating.

*When one eats, the other eats. If Baby #2 isn’t up by now, go wake them and repeat the same steps. I know, wake up a sleeping child? Isn’t that against the laws of nature? Do it. Keep them on the same routine. You will thank me later! *Wake

them up. If both babies are still sleeping and it’s time to eat, wake them both up. This was our rule for daytime feedings. At night, we let them keep sleeping so we could get some sleep, too. Then, we would start the schedule over again at 7 am.

*Use

your props. Professionals need their tools to do their job. Your job is to get these babies to eat and sleep in the same routine and you need to use your own tools to do this! My favorite props were swaddling sleep sacks (with extra-snug Velcro), noise machines, blackout curtains, pacifiers, and humidifiers. These items will make the room nice and dark, create a soothing environment for sleep, and help keep you on that schedule. Set the stage for

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Multiplicity Winter 2014  

Multiplicity's Winter issue complete with features including seasonal affective disorder, parenting resolutions, cutting the budget, getting...

Multiplicity Winter 2014  

Multiplicity's Winter issue complete with features including seasonal affective disorder, parenting resolutions, cutting the budget, getting...

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