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Thread: Overwhelmed and outnumbered

  1. #1

    Default Overwhelmed and outnumbered

    Hi ladies,
    Not sure what I'm asking, but really just need to have a vent.
    I have four month old twins who I am currently keeping on a three hour schedule. This is leaving me with barely enough time during the day to sterilize bottles and have a shower, and I am so burnt out its a joke.
    I am thinking of trying to move the boys to a four hour routine, but I don't really know where to start.
    One twin is currently refusing to sleep more than 45 minute during the day which is very draining! I have been googling how to get him to sleep longer, and I'm finding that everything suggested seems to be impracticle in application to twins. I would love to catch the sleepy cues, have wind down time, put down to nap asleep yet drowsy, but it just never happens as I am usually feeding his brother!
    I'm just feeling completely overwhelmed and like I don't have any idea what I'm doing. Everyday is such a guessing game, I never know what I'm in for. The boys are just so different in terms of their sleep needs that I literally settle one baby to sleep and the other wakes up ready to go!
    I am a stay at home mum, and hubby helps with the bedtime routine, to an extent, but all day and practically all night is up to me.
    Sorry to wine. I do love my babies as they are much longed for, but I'm just beating my head up against a brick wall on a daily basis and don't know where to turn.
    Thanks for listening!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    3,268

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    Oh Rach it sounds really tough! No advice, just wanted to

    When my DD was little I always felt like my life was a guessing game and i always felt on edge- and that was just one baby so I can only imagine how disconcerting it would be with two. Do you have friends or family that can help out? We don't have family where we live but we did hire a fortnightly cleaner to keep the house from looking like a disaster. If you can afford it maybe a small thing to consider- I felt that tiny bit calmer knowing the sheets were folded and the floor mopped.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Country Vic - West of Ballarat
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    1,568

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    Hi Rach

    Having 2 babies is very overwhelming and trying to read the cues were always the hardest especially when trying to get them into a good routine.

    Regarding day sleeps - with my twins I invested in 2 rocker gliders (about $60each) and my boys would sleep in those during the day in the lounge room. They were also my godsend when I had one cranky baby and one feeding baby.

    I also set up a feeding station on the floor for my boys as well (they were bottle fed) - I basically had 2 U pillows set up next to each other (one a little higher than the other as I had a spewy baby) this allowed me to sit on the floor and have them propped up and I would feed them together either with a bottle in each hand or I would use cloth nappies and fold them under the bottle to create a lean so that I could sit and watch and intervene if needed.

    This then allowed for me to get a good routine as they were feeding simultaneously and then would get tired at the same times as well. We also used the rockers to get them the sleep in the evenings. if they were still asleep and it was getting near feed time I would dream feed them (ie: give them a bottle while they were still asleep) and then when done burp them and put them into their cots for the night - or until they woke for a night feed. By the time they were 10 weeks old they were generally sleeping through the night using this method.

    There are a few twin mummies on here who I'm sure will be able to help you with some ideas. Good luck and it is very tiring but the time will fly by and you will hardly remember these trying times as you will be onto the next challenge of raising multiples

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Otago, NZ
    Posts
    877

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    Oh hun, those early months are damn hard work and people really don't realise just how tough and demanding it is. Huge hugs to you, believe me when I say it does get better.

    How did I survive? Good question. I am like to and am by myself with my girls most of the time during the day and night wakings generally falls to me. I love weekends and when people pop around as it means extra set of hands to hold a baby which I found invaluable, however, I realise this isn't always possible. I absolutely second the electric swings - they saved my sanity many a time as the girls would drift off to sleep in them or, at the very least, hold it together while I tended to the other.

    A couple of things have made all the difference day to day for me. Let me emphasise that this is what has worked for me, while other twin mummies may have completo opposite of what works for them. Bear with me while I try to remember what I did at 4 months. Firstly, in the mornings, when one baby woke, I fed her then got her sister up straight after as it meant that they were more or less on the same timeframe for the day, minus the hungry screams of baby who was having to wait for food, plus it meant that there was a small gap between showing sleepy cues. I think by four months, I was trying to implement feed play sleep, though I generally did give a little top up before sleep as I found earlier on, it sometimes tended to extend day sleeps a bit. As for play time, I always used to wonder how in hell I was supposed to keep two small babies entertained with minimal tears before it was time to go down again. Usually, by the time I had fed, changed and dressed for the day, I really only had about 40 mins or so to entertain them before it was wind down time again. My girls used to love having nudey time on the floor and this was probably what kept them happiest. When that got old, we would move to the playmat. I think round about this stage, we started using an exersaucer and a jolly jumper and this combination usually filled in the time and kept both babies relatively happy, plus wore them out a little bit!!!! I was a bit miffed when I got told that I shouldn't use the jumper and saucer but I figure as long as they aren't in them for hours on end, its ok - I mean, we all used them as kids and turned out fine. Anywho, my pair were up for no longer than 90 mins on a three hour routine, then I would prepare them for bed as a matter of course, whether they were looking tired or not but 90% of the time, they were. I guess if you were wanting to transition to a four hour routine, you could try keeping them up a little bit longer if they are tolerating it. How long do they usually last before they start getting cranky? As for the day sleeps, I wish there was a magical answer to get them to sleep longer. Unfortunately some kids are good day sleepers and some aren't and some get better as they get older. One thing we used religiously, and still do, is white noise on LOUD. Like, really loud. As loud as we can. Apparently it mimics the sound they have in the womb so is soothing, plus it means you don't feel you need to creep round quite so much for fear of waking them. I just plugged my ipod into speakers and put the radio on static but you can download white noise apps. Something I have had a bit of success with is semi rousing after about 35 mins of sleep to reset into the next sleep cycle. It is a fine line between waking too much and not enough but does work.

    My girls are now ten months old and I have to say the only real routiney sort of thing I do is get them up at the same time each day. Other than that, I demand feed, use sleepy cues etc etc but because they are up at the same time, they want similar things at similar times and it is rare that I have one or the other of them up all day. I love my girls to bits but it really has only been in the last two or three months that I've been able to see the wood for the trees and actually be able to enjoy them because it was just so damn overwhelming before that. Hang in there mumma, you are doing a fabulous job. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions or pm me with a vent cos no doubt btdt. Hugs xxx

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Radelaide
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    Hugs to you! I've have clingy tired, non sleeping babies myself but they've only been singletons. Just out of curiosity have you tried baby wearing? Basically with twins you could put Twin who does not sleep in a carrier on you (I like the Ergo or Manduka styles or woven wraps)
    While you tend to happy Twin.
    Then after a while (couple of weeks maybe) Twin who does not sleep will hopefully have learned to sleep for longer than a sleep cycle.
    It's worked for my babies, mostly who have had reflux & sleeping upright helped them sleep better.

    I hope that you are able to R&R soon.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Otago, NZ
    Posts
    877

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    Another thing if you can squeeze it is to get someone in for an hour or two a week to clean. I pay $25NZ for 1 1/2 hours and honestly, I think if you can, it is a need. Just one less thing to overwhelm you. There have been times that I don't feel I can justify it but if I try and do it alone, the house just ends up a tip which gets me more down.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for all your advice ladies. It makes me realize I'm not alone.

    I have taken your advice and started feeding the boys at the same time sitting in a bouncer each. I had tried this a while back but one twin has reflux which we have just got under control, so previously he would squirm and carry on making it impossible. It was much easier this morning as I had them both fed in 15 mins, rather than half an hour. Hooray!

    I would be lost without my swing. I'm scared about when the boys reach the weight limit as it really is a life saver when one just won't sleep, they will usually catch a nap in there.

    I have thought of using my carrier for the non sleeping bub, but he weighs over seven kgs, and I think he would break my back if I did it for too long.

    I have taken them out for a walk today and they have so far had a one and a half hour sleep. Yay!!

    I think it will be a good idea to maybe look into getting someone in to help around the house. Even just to do the floors and bathroom would be amazing, as I have NEVER had a daytime sleep as I am usually wizzing around doing all that jazz during their brief sleeps!

    Thanks for all your advice ladies. Feeling a bit more optimistic today!

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