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newborn twins-questions

Postby hhb » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:32 pm

I delivered my boy-girl twins 3 weeks ago (at 35.5 weeks - 5 lbs 8 oz and 4 lbs 14 oz - both healthy and needed no medical intervention, etc.) and am just getting to the computer to ask some questions. I have an almost 6-year old and man is this different having two!

First, I am breastfeeding with just one bottle of formula around 8pm (I had to supplement at first and was given approval to stop, but I find that they sleep a little longer after I nurse around 10pm so I can get a little more sleep to start the night). I wanted to exclusively nurse but am finding the cluster feeding that they both want to do at dinnertime extremely exhausting and it doesn't seem to satisfy them at that time of night (not to mention I still have sore nipples and am hoping that passes soon). Does anyone have any helpful hints for nursing twins? I've started tandem nursing at night so I get back to sleep sooner, but I don't always tandem during the day - should I be? Single nursing is so much more enjoyable for me but it does take longer, and inevitably the second one wants to nurse before the first one is done. Even though I am typically schedule-oriented (I nursed my son on demand, but we did have routines, etc.). It's hard to get them on a "schedule" because they're so little that sometimes if I wake them they just aren't up to nursing. Is a schedule really important at 3 weeks or does that come later? If I should do it now, any hints on getting there?

I am basically overwhelmed at this point and am just looking for some light at the end of the tunnel. I don't want to rush infancy but having one was so much easier, and I now just feel like a prisoner in my own home and tied to their needs - go figure, we tried for years to have another child and now I feel like I'm complaining! I'm really not, I'm just overwhelmed and I guess reaching out for some support from all of you who have been there recently.

Sorry if this is a rambling mess - any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

-Heidi
Me 36, DH 37
6 year old son
Boy-girl twins born 10/17/07
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Postby kristiA » Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:55 pm

Congrats on your twins!! You are right...it is overwhelming and exhausting in the beginning! I tandem breastfed my boys all the time, day & night. I also supplemented them with formula a couple of times a day. I know what you mean about BFing them separately and I enjoyed doing that when DH was around and could help feed them.

I've always had them on a schedule and found that to work best with two babies. Their schedule changed every month or two depending on new phases they go through. But I also kept things consistent and routine. I think it helps them, but also helps me. I think at 3 weeks you probably don't have to be as schedule oriented if your babies aren't working well with the schedule (you mentioned they weren't up to nursing when you woke them up).

My nipples were REALLY sore for the entire first 3 months, but after that they were fine and I BF'd them until just a couple of weeks ago (12.5 months).

Don't feel like you are complaining...you aren't. It is overwhelming and you have your hands full....especially if you have a 6 yr old you are caring for also.

Well, I don't feel like I gave you any advice...just support I guess. Enjoy your little ones....twins are so unique & fun.

Kristi
ME 36, DH 49
TTC 10 years
5 Failed IUI's
1st IVF Feb 2006 - TWIN BOYS Tyler & Brady born 9/30/06


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Postby kholtan » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:05 pm

Hi Heidi!

Congrats on your babies! It is hard sometimes but it also gets easier. Hang in there. Here is what I did and am doing. Hopefully it helps even if just a little.

The first six weeks were a breeze here. We did everything at the same time and tha babies were like clock work. I tandem fed them, and still do, using the double twin pillow. I couldn't do it w/o that. It makes it so mush easier and I'm able to rub their heads and we can look at each other w/o struggling. I do randomly feed them individually every now and then to have one on one time feeding and it makes it special time.
When our due date hit, all hell broke loose! The babies were demanding and fighting sleep like the devil! I just kept doing what I had been doing and I had to hear a lot of crying at first but now they are back to their normal selves and we are so much happier. I am a natural babywise person even before I read the book and I think it really helps, especially with twins.
The babies still don't sleep through the night but they sleep pretty well. At night I found that my dd is a better sleeper than ds so I only tandem feed them when they are both up. Otherwise, my son eats every 3-4 hours but she skips the first night feeding and sleep through it until the second where they are both up at the same time. It's wierd that they do that but I see no need to wake her if she can sleep better.

On outings. . .we just go! I feed them tandem and seat them up and head out. The fresh air and change of scenery is great for them too and they sleep better on days where we have some activity. Just grin and bear it! If you are a prisoner in your own home they will feel the same way. Even if we jsut hop in the stroller and go for a walk at least we got some fresh air.

Also, a bedtime routine that included a bath really helped! I use to bathe them in the morning but I find that it is a better soother at night than the anything else. I solely b-feed the kids but found that jsut 2cc's of formula at night kind of "Tops them off" and they sleep longer.

Hope anything helps! Duty calls!!! Congrast again and enjoy! It goes by fast!

Take care~
Kimberly
Me 35, DH 35
Ectopic Oct. 2005
IVF transfer 1-21-07. . .TWINS!!!!
ww.batesbabies.blogspot.com

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Postby hhb » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:33 pm

Thanks, Kimberly and Kristi, for your replies. Both are helpful. I just needed some encouragement! I feel like I should know how to do this, but you know what it's like when sleep deprivation sets in. I know I have other questions but can't seem to think of them right now.

We did start a nice bedtime for my son around 8 weeks, but we might just start doing it sooner with these two. I'm still sponge bathing them - haven't pulled out the bath tub yet. It's hard because our older son is getting in the shower and ready for bed between 7-7:30 and I don't want to change that (or miss it, which I have had to lately) so I just have to fit the twins' routine around his schedule.

Kimberly, when the due date mischief started, how long did it take before things settled down? I hadn't heard about that, but their due date is 10 days away - now I'm nervous! At about 8 days old, Brooke found her lungs and has had some wicked screaming fits, but the duration has lessened over the past few days. Now Camden has found his lungs and just gets very fussy during sleep, but rarely opens his eyes during an episode. It makes it impossible for me to nap when they are if I'm alone(unless someone is here so I don't have to listen to the monitor) because he gets so loud that I run in to see him and he's back to sleep. Not sure what that's all about.

I had heard about the Babywise book when I had my son but forgot about it. Should I buy it? I know I can't be on a very strict schedule just for them because of the fact that we do have another child, but I do like the idea of a basic schedule - if that makes sense!

Thanks again, ladies. Glad you're doing well, Kimberly. I had followed your story a little bit!

-Heidi
Me 36, DH 37
6 year old son
Boy-girl twins born 10/17/07
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Postby kholtan » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:56 am

Hey Heidi~

I hope things settle down soon for you. My babies settled back down 3 weeks later. It was a long 3 weeks but I just kept pluggin' away at it and keeping the same habits going and they seems to have responded to it. I read Babywise but was already doing my own modified version of it but I do think it works. It's not easy to do at first but they need sleep as much as we do and routine at least at night. The book is cheap on amazon so if you don't use it you didn't waste much money.

ALthough it's not always perfect, like right now they are both struggling to fall asleep for their last nap but at least they had a great day and now the evening routine will start in 1/2 hour if they are still up. I'm pretty flexable as well but only here and there. I don't like to screw up the entire day on any day. If I have to move some stuff in the morning or the afternoon, I will but not the entire day because then we just have a bad day and night. Hope that make sense.

One thing for sure is that it will pass. Hang in there and use every twin mom as a resource. It really helps. So does a glass of wine! :lol:

We are all here for you and have all been there or are there!

Take care~
Kimberly
Me 35, DH 35
Ectopic Oct. 2005
IVF transfer 1-21-07. . .TWINS!!!!
ww.batesbabies.blogspot.com

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Postby hhb » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:59 pm

Thanks, Kimberly. I'm going to order the book today. I did think of a few other questions, if you don't mind:

When you tandem nurse at night, do you nurse, change diapers, nurse and then put them back to bed? How long does it take you now? It's taking me about an hour to do that. I did this with my son and he'd nurse from the second side for a few minutes, but the twins get the same side they started on. Eventually it only took me about 20 minutes to do this with Noah and I'm wondering if the time will go down with these two. They're only 3 weeks old so I'm not trying to rush it, just curious.

You mentioned the "last nap" in your last post. Are they actually on nap schedules now? That's awesome! I can't remember when my son stopped catnapping and started scheduled naps, and I was quite schedule-oriented with him. They'll be 10 weeks old at Christmas so I guess that's something to look forward to. I'm sure the book will help refresh my memory.

I kind of feel like I'm at a loss of what to do because there are two of them and they were preemies. We're just kind of getting through each day and starting the next and I'm looking forward to some sense of predictability, but I guess I sort of need to force that predictability with a schedule. I think the fact that they are preemies has thrown me for a loop because I'm not sure what they are capable of doing yet - guess I need to get out of that mind set.

Thanks again for all your responses. I was the one that you were very comforting to several months back when I had posted about the white spots on their hearts. Thankfully they are both fine and healthy and the spots don't seem to mean a thing!

-Heidi
Me 36, DH 37
6 year old son
Boy-girl twins born 10/17/07
hhb
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Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:51 pm
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Postby kholtan » Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:40 am

Heidi~

I am so glad to be able to help anyone at all! Although, I better make sure that I state that we don't always have it down here. In fact, last night the babies did a nice 4 hour stretch and then I thought they would do another but they were up every 1.5 hours!!! Go figure!

At night I don't really have any certain way of doing anything. If I wake a baby to keep them on the same schedule and the woken baby is super sleepy, I just feed a little bit and put rightback down w/o changing any diapers. I just guage their tired level (and diaper level) and go from there. Also, the time really varies as well. It can take 15-45 minutes depending on what feed it is and stil this is unpredictable for us still.

My babies also take a great morning and afternoon nap but the evening nap is a hard one to predict. We are just figuring everything out around here and they seem to be settling into their own routine more and more. It just takes time and like you, mine are preemies as well. SIx weeks early so it's a bit harder to know where they should be or where they are capable of being. I don't want to expect them to be better sleepers than they are capable of but I don't know exactly what they are capable of??? It's just a game of instinct vs. educated guesses.

Good luck either way and I hope we both have many nights full of pleasant sleep ahead.
Take care!
Kimberly
Me 35, DH 35
Ectopic Oct. 2005
IVF transfer 1-21-07. . .TWINS!!!!
ww.batesbabies.blogspot.com

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