The thought of having twins was so overwhelming when we found out. HOW would we do this? How does ANYONE do this? I was still in that mode the first few weeks at home, and was desperately reading online about schedules for twins. Every baby and family is different, but I just wanted to have some sort of idea on how to do this with them needing to eat around the clock. Now that they’re 3 months old, they’re finally able to nurse for an entire feeding (more on that here) which helps a lot. Things are getting much easier than I expected they would be at this point. Of course we have those off days and no two days are ever the same, but we’ve gotten the hang of it, which I didn’t think would happen for a very long time.
Truth: I’ve written this post 3 times. The first time I wrote it, I looked back and said: OK yeah that’s what I intend our day to look like but it rarely ever does. Then I decided to actually document a day, which happened to be one of those days when we switched Faith’s sleeping direction because of her torticollis (more on that here) and she would.not.sleep. If you read what I did that day, you’d probably come knocking on my door to take my kids from me because no one can handle that on their own every single day. I actually had to call Charlie to come help me (thankfully he works so close!) So I tried documenting again, after everyone was back to normal sleeping habits, and here’s what I got:
6:45 am- Our alarm clock (ie…the girls) starts wailing. I change June’s diaper then Charlie changes Faith while I get set up in our bed to tandem nurse them.
6:50 am- Feed the girls. Most feedings I nurse them together to save time and to keep them both occupied. Nursing one at a time is almost impossible, even with Charlie’s help. The one who isn’t eating gets jealous (even if they JUST ate) and fusses the entire time no matter what we do.
Charlie usually helps out during the morning feeding, depending on when he needs to be at work, to burp and change a diaper (again) when needed.
7:10 am- Snuggles in bed. They’re still a little sleepy, but full and happy, so I take advantage of it and snuggle them for a bit…with a cup of coffee.
7:20 am- Charlie leaves for work, I change the girls into their day clothes and put them in their swings in the living room. I eat breakfast, read a devotion, catch up on the news, check emails, etc.
7:35 am- I put a load of laundry in, put the girls’ clothes away and clean up the nursery while they’re in their swings.
7:45 am- Put the girls down for a nap in their cribs, pick up the house (this is when having a 800 sq ft house is amazing), load the dishwasher, strip the bed, etc.
8:15 am- I get myself “ready” for the day which usually just involves freshening up, changing into clean clothes and a little make up. I’ve learned that if I don’t do this NOW, there’s a high probability that I’ll still be in pajamas by the time Charlie gets home; and for the sake of our marriage, I won’t let that happen. The house may be a wreck, the girls may be screaming but at least his wife has mascara on!
8:25 am- Sit down to do some work. I still work for my family’s flooring company, JK Carpets, part time and I also take this time to work on my blog and design work.
8:55 am- Faith fusses, I change her diaper and put her back to bed
9:10 am- June fusses, Faith went back to sleep, so I change June and put her back to bed, and I grab a snack.
9:30 am- Both girls are awake now. I unswaddle them and they hang out in their cribs while I make the bed and get set up to nurse them. It takes THREE pillows, THREE burp cloths, TWO waterproof pads and an enormous nursing pillow just to feed my girls. It’s quite the set up!
Side note: I finally bought some boppy pillows and I have no idea why I waited so long. I always thought they were just another pillow that would take up space, but even my husband agrees…they’re so much more than just a pillow!
10 am- Done with their feeding, I move them to their playmat in the living room.
10:35 am- They’re looking sleepy so I put them in their cribs, swaddle them, and they fall asleep. While they’re napping I fold clothes, clean up the kitchen and figure out dinner for tonight.
11 am- I sit down to work and have another snack…I AM feeding two babies after all. ;-)
11:30 am- I’m exhausted so I lay down on the couch for a bit
11:45 am- Faith wakes with a dirty diaper, I change her, put her back to bed, and I lay back down.
12:30 pm- June wakes up, I change her diaper, get Faith up, and nurse them in the bedroom.
1 pm- I have some errands to run so I throw a few things in their diaper bag, make a sandwich really quick, change both diapers, put them in their car seats and take off.
If we’re leaving the house, we go immediately after they’re done eating. I have a short time window before they eat again- did you SEE that set up to feed them? Yeah that doesn’t travel well, I like to be home to feed them if I can. It is quite an adventure getting out of the house with them but it’s good for me and they enjoy it. I’ve tried doing the whole “blanket over the car seat” thing I see so many moms doing but they won’t have it. They have to look around, even if it’s just the toothepaste isle at Target.
2:50 pm- Home from errands, I feed the girls.
3:10 pm- Done feeding, change their diapers and put them in their swings. I pick up the house, put clothes away, etc.
3:30 pm- Put the girls down for a nap, I have a snack and sit down to work on my taxes. About 10 mins in I’m so exhausted (again) that I end up laying down and falling fast asleep. Ironically the next day I woke up with a fever and ended up in the ER. More on that here.
4:45 pm- The girls wake and it’s feeding time again. I change their diapers, set up in the bedroom and nurse them.
5:20 pm- Done feeding so we have play time on the bed.
5:35 pm- Daddy’s home! He changes June’s diaper again and plays with them while I get dinner started.
6 pm- We put the girls in their swings and Charlie heads outside for some quick yard work.
6:20 pm- Dinner is ready, I taste test (wink wink), and watch TV.
6:45 pm- Charlie comes in and we eat together in the living room while the girls dose off in their swings.
7:15 pm- Charlie changes the girls diapers and into their nightgowns. I nurse them in the bedroom while Charlie takes on burping duty.
If we are bathing the girls that night (every other night), we usually do it right before I feed them. Bath time is pretty much an assembly line process, as is pretty much everything with twins. We’ve gotten it down pat and usually get them both bathed in about 15 minutes.
8 pm- Charlie reads the girls a book, we say our prayers and put the girls to bed. We’ve been trying to get them to bed closer to 7:30 but it just didn’t happen that night.
8:10 pm- I jump in the shower while Charlie cleans up the kitchen.
8:35 pm- We sit down and watch a little Mad Men.
9:30 pm- Charlie showers while I get ready for bed and pick up the house.
10 pm- We go to bed. Most nights we’re in bed by this time, it’s our goal at least, but usually I can barely make it to 9:30…who am I kidding, 9 is a stretch!
2:45 am- The girls wake up to eat. Charlie changes them while I set up to nurse them. I tandem nurse them for about 30 minutes. He burps them and puts them back to bed.
6 am- Start all over again :-)
This is our basic routine, and it changes as their needs change, but it works. We’ve tried adjusting their schedule- adding a feeding at 10:30/11pm to see if that will help stretch their sleep until morning. It only stretched them to about 4 or 5 am until they’re ready to eat again, and Charlie gets up around 6 for work so you can imagine how fun that is. Plus, the 10:30/11pm feeding we have to actually wake them up for, and they’re so sound asleep at that point that they don’t even feed well, leaving them hungry at 4 am and me in pain. We also found ourselves trying to stay awake for their 10:30/11pm feeding, which was cutting into our overall sleep time. Soooo… that schedule is not for us. Our 2-3 am wake up is working fine, so we’ll keep it that way. Though last night they slept from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am! I hope this is a new trend!!!
Our routine has been, and probably always will be, set based on their eating. It was so rough for us at first, we tried pretty much every combination of nursing (one baby or both), bottle feeding (one or both), pumping, and formula supplementation until we found what worked best for us- it’s all trial and error. We have found that keeping them on the SAME schedule has been key to our sanity.
I’m so thankful I have a husband who helps out so much, I don’t know what I’d do without him! We both just fell into our individual responsibilities, and it works great. I like to think we’ve become pretty efficient at this whole parenting thing!
Dad of the year award to this man right here!