A MoM recently asked:
I'm struggling with how parents attempt to keep young twins on the same sleep/feed schedule. I have 5 week old boys and I'm often on my own at night, as husband works night shifts. Everything I read says to wake both up to feed to help save time. While I can feed both simultaneously while alone, I struggle with the rest. How do you then burp them, change diapers, swaddle and comfort a bit without the other baby having a meltdown? Am I missing something? Do you just let him/her cry? Do you stagger the feeding by 15 min or so to try and allow time to get him/her settled back to sleep? Curious what other parents have done who have to manage alone.
Here's what our Twiniversity fans had to say!
– I will “cradle” one with my legs while changing the other. It's okay if they cry a little. Just breathe through it or sing and make sure you don't get flustered because they'll sense your stress
– I never attempted keeping my twins on the same schedule (not after the 1st week, at least). I always fed, etc on-demand. It worked best for us. If it's stressing you out, do something else. You know what your babies need.
– They just have to cry sometimes. I think it helped my boys self-soothe earlier. Sometimes I jut have to let one cry because you can only do so much! It's okay they will survive!
– Being alone is SO hard that early. You're doing amazing, second. I tandem nursed and would have my co-sleeper pulled up to the bed so I could put them each back down without leaving one propped up or just on the bed, even for a minute. I would leave one latched while burping the other and vice versa. Keeping my twins on the same schedule is truly a god send. The earlier you can establish that sync the better it will be for your sanity!
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– I was exasperated too. I felt like I was doing something wrong at first. Then I just realized that my babies will do what they want, especially when they are that young. They consistently had a staggered a schedule for everything. Eventually, I came to really enjoy their separate schedules because it gave me time to be in the moment and lavish attention on that one twin before the other woke up or needed something. It is exhausting, but that was a trade off I was willing to accept. It also gave me peace of mind to have a game plan and stick to it rather than trying to make them do what was not natural. As they got older, they synced up.
– Thankfully my 1 girl would wake up a bit after the other. I would remove myself from the room, so not to wake up the other. Naturally, they will not always stick to a schedule. Keep that in mind. Know that they will cry and it's okay. Don't burn yourself out trying to keep them from crying every second of the day. Just feed both, take a break to burp one, then the other. Stick a pacifier in their mouth if you don't want them to cry.
– I always stagger my girls by about half an hour when I know I'll be alone. I make sure my fast eating/great sleeping baby goes first. That gives me the time I need with my slow eater that takes much longer to fall asleep.
– I would get whoever was crying, change their diaper, put them in the Boppy pillow for eating, get bottles warming, get the other baby up and changed (sometimes first baby was mad but it had to be done). I'd sit down with both babies and pop both bottles in at the same time. When somebody stopped for a burp I would roll them onto their tummy on a nursing pillow and pat them for a burp, and roll them back over when they were done and continue feeding. Once everyone was done and burped I'd swaddle them back up and put them to bed.
– I used a Twin Z pillow to feed them and then I burped one after the other and then I just try to comfort them while still in the pillow by rubbing tummies or stroking heads but I would get them out to comfort if they were really having a meltdown and would do this one at a time if possible or sometimes both at once on my chest.
– I tried keeping my twins on the same schedule and it was stressful. Sometimes in the night both aren't hungry or won't dream feed exactly at the same time. Once I decided to do some tandem feeding things got a lot easier and less stressful. Nighttime is slowly getting easier.
– I fed and burped at the same time. I sat on floor knees bent up. One baby over my shoulder and one over my knees to burp. A little like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time! I always tended to the quieter twin first. You don't want to start a habit where the loudest screamer gets mom's attention. They learn quick to compete in a battle of screaming! It won't be like this for long.
– I had the same problem. Everyone preaches “same schedule” but my twins had reflux and feeding complications. I wasn't able to just stick them on a pillow and bottle feed without crying and vomit happening. When the first one woke up, I would feed, burp and comfort back to sleep. Once that one was down, I would wake the second (if she wasn't up yet) and repeat the process. It means less sleep for the parent but it was our only option.
– Stay on a schedule! I tried feeding one at a time and it felt like as soon as I got the last one fed and asleep the other woke back up. It was best for me to go ahead and get both of them up and feed them at the same time. That way, they also nap at the same time.
– I think the best tip I could offer is to be a little ahead of them on the schedule and get the bottles ready before they wake up. There is definitely going to be crying, because you are not an octopus and you only have two hands.
– Wake them up in 30 minute increments that's what we do I am alone at night and my wife is alone during the day.
– I did one after the other because I just didn't get the hang of tandem feeding. I used the pacifier for one if she woke up earlier than expected. Don't get nervous. There is no rule book. Do it according to what fits you best.
– It isn't easy, but like most I feed the one who wakes up first or starts to complain and then the other one follows. Some days are easier then others! Stay strong, it'll happen!
– I kept them on opposite schedules during the day. One would be sleeping while I feed the other one. I did not get much done but it helped keep me sane.
– I fed at the same time in their bouncy seats. One burped quicker than the other, so I burped the quicker one first. I also changed their diapers before feeding. I have found that one of my twins is more patient than the other. My boy was very patient and my little girl not so much. You can do this, find your routine – your babies will guide you as you get to know them – and go with it.
– I think the best advice I ever received and kept reminding myself there's only 1 of you someone's always going to be crying.
– We have our twins on the same schedule. When I am by myself I use the Table for Two, which has been amazing! I get the one who is awake and change them and strap them in the table for two then go and get the other. Then once they are both done eating I burp one, place them back in the table for two, burp the other and then go lay them down.
– My personal advice is never wake a sleeping baby!!! If they are hungry they will wake up for feedings.
– I will agree it is hard. I hated when my husband went back to work. Schedule is our life saver. I usually start one 15 to 30 minutes before the other. 30 minutes gives me time to cuddle and spend one on one time. I start with diaper change. Then I feed one and then the other. If one cries I talk to them.
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