surviving twins

Im a first time parent and father of twins they have been home from the hospital a week. I now have a new meaning to the word busy, in the words of Kenny I'm "Busier than a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad"

I honestly cant remember what i did with my time before they came. Loving it all but not sure how long one can go sleeping in 2 to 3 hour blocks.

Things ive learnt so far

  • If you have a free moment and something needs doing, do it immediatly this includes showering, cleaning, eating and sleeping.
  • Meals together are a thing of the past.
  • Getting more then 3 hours sleep in a row is a thing of the past.
  • The dryer and dishwasher are my friends,

Im sure it gets easier, it better!!!

Any other words of advice?
 
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my advice - it gets easier.

the 3 hour blocks suck and are a real sap - eat well, don't forget to drink water (seriously!!!) and take quality vitamin supplements - especially iron and zinc - pref in liquid form.

talk to other adults as often as possible - you'll go stir crazy otherwise. it also helps you realise there's actually a functioning world out there. try and stand alone in the sun outside for a minute if you get the chance - get that VitD back into you and enjoy doing nothing for a whole 60secs.

your hubby had better be helping out as much as he can, as should your parents. working all day does not absolve him of his obligations.

it's my view that parents shoudl help their kids when they have kids, just as i plan to do. small things like make extra when making dinnner for a re-heat job, doing the dishes, mop the floor when you're over - it all adds up.

other than that - remember they are a product of what you put into them - time, effort, food, love. after 5 years they're at school 5 days a week and you will miss them.
 
Hi,

As the proud grandfather of twins I would suggest that you arrange for some "you time" at least once a week.

Get someone, anyone you trust, to look after them at a normal sleeping time while you go and sit on a beach, in a park, have a coffee etc.

A mental break will help you enormously as the energy slowly runs down after a month or two.

If you need help then tell or ask someone, don't try to be a perfect mother because your children have not read the baby books and don't know how they are supposed to behave, they are too busy eating, sleeping and p**ing :)

Treasure the memories, take lots of photos and love them to bits, congratulations Mum !!

Edit: Now he tells me he is the Dad, easy Maate !! when the brats play up a bit go down the pub !!
 
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enjoy :)

I am sure you have your hands full and your world has turned upside down, even just one baby can do that.

Things get easier, in that you learn how to deal with it all. I don't have twins, but I have a 3mth old, a 2yr old and a 4 yr old. The two older ones keep me on my toes, they are always discovering more new ways to cause trouble - The baby is now the easy one for me, simply because I am used to dealing with them and can pre-empt most things.
 
thanks for the advice, should have mentioned im the father not the mother though

LOL - that's what I thought.

One thing is to make sure you are supporting your partner as much as you can, because it will take her months to recover physically, and she will be even more exhausted and emotional then you can comprehend, especially if she is breastfeeding.

Good luck.
 
Im a first time parent and father of twins they have been home from the hospital a week.
Congratulations! I have twin boys now 8, and sue78 has twins (a girl and a boy) who are around 1 (I think). And there are some others on the forum, but I can't remember who right now. sue78 has found it a breeze and reckons it's all about parenting. If she's right, then I'm a shocking parent, because I found it very difficult. :eek:

I'm quite convinced it's much more about temperament. I had several friends take turns in the second year - when my boys still weren't sleeping more than 2 hours at a time - trying to "teach" us how to get them to sleep longer. None of them had any success whatsoever, and all concluded that my kids were different to theirs. :p I'm sure it's just temperament; my Mum parented completely differently than I do, yet says I was exactly the same (ie shocking sleeper).
imonmyway said:
[*]If you have a free moment and something needs doing, do it immediatly this includes showering, cleaning, eating and sleeping.
I found that showering, cleaning and eating were optional, personally. :D
imonmyway said:
Im sure it gets easier, it better!!!
It does. And you'll find ways that help you cope.

My advice would be not to accept that there's one "right" way to do it, and don't let anybody make you feel guilty for any of your choices. If co-sleeping works for you, do that. If "controlled crying" works for you, do that. Breast or bottle - whatever works. Scheduled into a routine, or "take it as it comes". This is your family, and (provided you're not being abusive) you're not accountable to anybody outside your family unit for your choices. :)

Macca's advice about taking some "me" time, and also some "couple" time, is excellent. It doesn't need to be much, but at least some opportunity to consciously reconnect. I fondly remember my husband and I playing ten minutes of chess each evening at one stage. It was so nice to know that we'd get those few minutes together each evening, and that we'd think of something other than babies. But the fact that it was chess meant there wasn't the pressure to feel "romantic" - which I hate to tell you was the last thing on my mind for months. :eek:
Macca said:
Treasure the memories, take lots of photos and love them to bits
More excellent advice! It will pass, quicker than you'll believe. I still feel like I just brought them home from hospital recently, and my boys are nearly half-way to 18!
 
Accept every scrap of help that is offered.
Even vague suggestions of future help can be snapped up immediately and definite plans made.
When visitors come, make sure they are ironing, folding washing or sweeping while they are talking!!
Keep on top of your health.
Shop on line if necessary - Coles often have free delivery (on at the moment I think).
Keep the house only just clean enough that the Health Department isn't called in.

So long as you are all reasonably clean and well fed then other things can wait.

No, I never had twins, but clearly remember the utter exhaustion that comes with a single new baby.

Hope it all works out well - the joys will outshine the tiredness.
Marg
 
I've only got one baby, and I'd agree with Ozperp its all about temperament - I have one that slept beautifully from very young without me doing a thing (still sleeps 12 hours a night) and one who kept us in sleep deprivation hell for well over a year and is STILL doing her best to sleep less than we adults do. I'd give anything to get her to sleep well, particularly as with a baby on the way I can't put a baby in with the noisy toddler and I can't really put a baby in with the one who will be almost 10 by then, so I need a bigger house. If she slept well I wouldn't need to move house. Sleep is amazingly important stuff. Get enough sleep and make sure the wife does too or you'll turn into brainless zombies. Hell, we accidently bought a second house during sleep deprivation hell ...
 
Congrats :)

You can start toilet training at a very young age, and every time they use the poty, it's not only a nappy saved and alot of fun, but a quick wipe is all that's needed to clean them - no big mess, and nappy rash can't happen!
Having a 1 year old almost toilet trained baby is very nice aswell.

Mum's favourite music, especially those that she was listening to loudly during pregnancy, works awesome at helping them relax when upset, and helps them fall asleep, for the first few months at least anyway.
 
as you are the father, there are two pieces of advice i will give - that i discovered by myself (no one was around to give me advice) when a new mum.

when you get home from work ... take the babies. take them away. doesn't matter what you do or where you go (other room, walk, drive, bath whatever), just take them away from your wife to give her half an hour of "non-baby" time. she may prepared dinner, have a shower and lie down, read a magazine or watch the news ... it doesn't matter, just make sure she has some alone time.

there will be times when your wife will think "what have i done!" "why did i do this" "wouldn't it be so much easier ..." she must not feel guilty. this is normal new parent feelings. there will even be times, in moment of utter sleep deprevation in the middle of the night, when the babies are screaming, won't sleep and nothing works, that she might even wonder ... "if i just dropped baby over this banister railing ... ". those thoughts and feelings are completely normal - as long as she doesn't actually act on them. reassure her that she will experience this and it's okay - buy if she does think she will actually take the next step, then it is always okay for her to wake/ring/reach out to you (or someone she trusts) for immediate help ... and i mean immediate.

do what you can to help - i fondly remember when my baby used to do the #3's (neck to neck poop) and hubby used to strip bub, take the dirty clothes downstairs, chuck them straight in the washing machine and put it on for a wash while i climbed into the shower with the poopy baby for a wash of us both ... gee ... for him to do that for me was wonderful.

it is an exciting, frustrating, loving, guilty, trusting journey you are now on ... go with the flow. don't stress about anything. as long as everyone is healthy, loved and secure then everything else will fall into place.

p.s. i loved my dryer as well
 
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Tracey..you're making me feel bad. You are a great mum.

Eventhough the twins are easy...it's still a lot of work and some days I do feel like I've had enough.

Congratulations...it's only the first week?! hehe already too much work?? really? oh probably coz you're first time parent so twins is a big shock. I think I handled it well coz Ive one before the twins came along.

It's great that you are a hands on dad.

Is your wife bf? it's great but does make it much harder, more unsettled etc
I only lasted about 5 weeks.

Are they premmies?

The first 2 week is usually pretty easy as they sleep a lot and feed a lot but by the third week when the reflux, gas and colic kicks in and u get the hours of crying and unsettled periods..it's really tough.

Omigosh, it has only been 9mths and I can't remember the early days!

Try to keep the schedule the same..I started at about 3 weeks old. So they fed and slept the same time. I expressed and bottle fed...both laid recline in their rockers and i just sat in between holding the bottle. Eventually I just propped it up with a towel and they fed themselves. I found a lot of ways to simplify my life so in a way they were a bit easier than just 1 baby. Twins are amazing, they learned to be patient quickly (well mine did). I started them on a routine as early as possible so they would sleep at the same time and I would get my break (not really a break at all since I have Josh and i need to cook and clean).

My best advice would be to do up a schedule thing each day and record everything. What time they woke up, how much they fed (if bottle) or if you are giving tops ups, how long they were awake for and what time they slept. One cycle is from 1 feed to the next feed so it's roughly 3 hourly. Do feed, play, sleep, aim for 3 hourly, minimum 2.5 but no more than 3 and concentrate on full feeds. If baby's unsettled at sleep time, maybe they need to be burped. It's really handy to have all the data when you take them for their health check. I also recorded how many wet nappies and poos. It also helps if you and your wife are doing shifts. But the main goal for us was sleep training. Sleep is all about feed so it's really important. My twins slept through from 7am to 7pm with no wake and no feeds by about 8 weeks old and my first son did that at 6 weeks old (twins were born at 38 weeks).

Newborns get overtired easily...no more than 1 hr up and back to bed. Even if they don't show tired signs. Once u miss the boat, it can involved a lot of settling. They generally cry coz they are overtired but recognising tired signs can be quite hard as by the time u notice them they could be overtired already.

Set up a schedule with your wife. More than 3 hrs sleep is achievable. I got that from the 1st day we were home. My husband and I work as a team. I do the day feeds, he gets home at 4pm and take over so I can spend some time with our older son, cook, dinner, shower etc He does the evening feeds, last feed at 11pm. I go to sleep at about 10pm and do the 3am feed. Back to bed from about 4:30am to 7:30am. Hubby does the first morn feed at around 6:45pm, gets ready for work and out the door at 8:30pm when I wake up. We had this routine going from when they were around 3 weeks old. By about 6 weeks old the 11pm feed was a dream feed and hubby could do it in 30mins max. The 3am feed, they also went straight back to sleep. Gave the a bedtime routine from day 1..bath bottle bed.

In the first mths I also did split feeds so fed, rest, fed then bed.

I know a lot of twin mums with young babies and I have seen how hard it is..especially if you don't establish a routine early on.

the best things I have found for twins are:

- activity gyms like exersaucer, swing, jumperoo (I have all 3) from 4mths+
- 2 x ergo baby carrier
- Maclaren Twin Triumph (lightest umbrella stroller from birth, get a light pram, it's enough carrying 2 babies in and out of the car, especially when they're older. Some days I go out 3x a day so that's 12 times babies in and out of the car!)
- First Wheels City Twin that I keep in the garage for walks (babies can both face you)
- Dr Browns' Bottles (patented for no gas, best invention ever) priceless for getting rid of colic and reflux. Dayton cried hours and hours and was a new baby after we changed to this bottle. Google it..loads of testimonials and I know loads of myms that use it. Avent can't even compare. I used Avent for Josh and he projectile vommitted ever feed until about 9mths old. Terrible mum.
- Dr Harvery Karp for settling techniques 5s really works.
- sleep in own rooms....only way we got sleep...early days babies can make lots of sounds when they are asleep and you are always so alert at every lil sound. We shipped them out of our room on the third day.

You are so blessed. I love my twins so much. I love babies and can't believe how lucky I am to have 2 to play with everyday.

We are going to US this week for 3 weeks so life doesn't have to stop when you have twins either. Gosh they will be going to Disneyland even b4 1y.o (it's for Josh who's 4y.o).

You haven't told us anything about your babies yet? identical? sex? names?

Register with AMBA (Australian Multiple Births Association). They organise twins mother groups. I host one.

edited to add

read up on sleep cycles for babies. Ur wife probably know all this but it's important. They slepe in 45min cycles. 45mins if REM sleep and 45mins of deep sleep. It's the deep sleep that they need that u need to aim for. and the 45min intruder which occurs from as early as 4 weeks old. also the 7pm bed bus and why it's important.
 
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Congrats :)

You can start toilet training at a very young age, and every time they use the poty, it's not only a nappy saved and alot of fun, but a quick wipe is all that's needed to clean them - no big mess, and nappy rash can't happen!
Having a 1 year old almost toilet trained baby is very nice aswell.

Mum's favourite music, especially those that she was listening to loudly during pregnancy, works awesome at helping them relax when upset, and helps them fall asleep, for the first few months at least anyway.

haha u r kidding? toilet train before 1y.o for twins? that is a lot of work.

Well done for getting your baby trained so early.

But I think that's not that important. Don't stress out over toilet training as when they are ready they will train themselves or if you notice they are lasting longer, then you can take the initiative. I never stressed about it with Josh and he was toilet trained in 2 days at about 18mths.

My twins go through 3 nappies day each which is ok. Also, if you are using Karicare, call up and get twins discount. You will need a letter from your GP or birth certificates. It's way way way cheaper, buy in bulk and they deliver to your house.

Ps often I go for whole day without eating..just too busy. If ur wife is BF, make sure you buy lots of yummy and healthy food for her. Especially meat as she needs lot of protein to generate BM. Also fibre and fish oil supplements.

Tracey - I was just reading a thread on toddler years with twins yesterday. One mum suffered PND from when they were about 1.5y.o. She though the first year was the hardest then was shocked to find it's even harder after the 1st yr. I got so stressed from all the twin mums with todllers replies that I freaked out. Decided to turn our study into a play room in 1 day, went to Ikea, massive clean out, got rid of the desk..omigosh I cleaned 1:30am!! Now there are no toys in the living areas. Everyone's advice was to have a dedicated playroom and ban them from their bedrooms.
 
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haha u r kidding? toilet train before 1y.o for twins? that is a lot of work.

Well done for getting your baby trained so early.
to your house.

The thing is, poty training was actually a bit less work than cleaning up nappies, and it's alot more fun! When a six month old baby is about to do his poo in the poty, and lets out a fart, it echos in the poty sounds extra loud!
My boy thought this was hillarious, and he liked seeing all the other stuff that would happen in the poty aswell - awesome stuff to see, especially from a little baby! I've got a photo of my boy at about 6 months, sitting on the poty, reading one of his little picture books. It funny cos it's like he's an adult who's reading the paper, but if i post that and my boy ever finds out, i'd be in serious trouble :eek:

Also notice that nappy companies always say "When your baby is ready he will use the toilet, there's no rush! So just keep on buying our nappies for years!!!!"

The other thing i've noticed with kids is that they love to copy each other, similar to peer group pressure. I'm sure you've noticed that when one of the twins is co-operating, be it changing, eating, dressing, etc, and is recieving posistive feedback from you, then the other twin will also co-operate.
 
One last bit of advice. Only listen to the advice you want to listen to and ignore the rest, because we all do things differently.
;)


Vincenzo - great that works for you, TT so young. In this house we have a baby and toddler (2yr old) in nappies, not because of any nappy company, but because for us it is ALOT easier to change a nappy: With three young kids, I cannot just stop whatever I am doing with one kid, to run another to the potty. The 2yr old will be getting TT over christmas, when DH is home from work to help.
 
One last bit of advice. Only listen to the advice you want to listen to and ignore the rest, because we all do things differently.
;)
Couldn't agree more, about individual differences.

For example, sue78 obviously found that a routine worked well for her, and that's great. I find routines very restrictive and difficult to adhere to - it's just my personality - and if I'd felt that a routine was necessary, I would have spent a lot of time feeling guilty for not getting a routine happening... or resenting being "trapped" into a routine (if I had got one going).

So do what works for you, and don't feel guilty about anything that produces a happy and healthy family. (Which is the goal! ;))
 
wow thanks for the advice everyone, some quality suggestions heres a picture
P1020944.JPG

we had a boy and a girl, they were born just short of 33 weeks one was 1.5 kg and the other 2 kgs so spent 1 week in NICU and 3 weeks in special care and been home a week so are adjusted age of 38 weeks. They are otherwise healthy now and have been consistently putting on weight.

We try to feed them 4 hourly as this routine was set for them in hospital but as they are growing they tend to demand somewhere between 2 and 4 hours so i try to adjust how much i feed them but if i feed them to much it comes back up. If they dont wake I feed them at 4 hours if they wake earlier we feed them on demand.

They are both very different she will cry loudly the moment she wakes up, he will just lay there and make bird noises for a while then scream the house down. We have a little book we write everything in otherwise we cant remember feed times and whos due for what and how much and when : ). My god how many nappies do you go through, i went to costco and bought 4 boxes of newborn nappis last week we go through about 18 to 20 a day. At one point i thought it would be nice using washable nappies but this is not do-able, I tip my hat to anyone that can.

A friend of my wifes sent us a box of a dozen Dr brown bottles I had never heard of these before but they seem to do the trick and as yet havent had any feeding issues or what I would consider colic problems so consider myself fortunate, hopefully they dont develop this.

My wife is trying to BF but they are small and not strong enough yet to get full feeds this way so she has been expressing 7 to 8 times a day for the last 5 weeks to keep the milk flowing, this is no small feet trying to express every 3 hours and feed twins every 3 to 4 hours and do everything else you have to do.

I try to do as much as possible taking the evening and night feeds im a little bleary eyed at work but adjusting, im going to take a month off from Christmas week. My mother in law landed on Sunday for a few weeks so that should help but even she was looking really tired this morning when i left for work.

Thanks again for all the advice
 
Breastfeeding can be a double edged sword too for some babies - our grouchface only 'slept' through the night the first time when I stopped breastfeeding at 14 months and we left her with a sippycup of water at night. Still can't stay in bed without that water, although she's a lot quieter with toys in bed - plays until 11pm instead of screaming the house down, much nicer. I'd still love to get her to sleep more than 12 hours a day, that would be brilliant, but its never happened before so I can't see it ever happening. She just doesn't sleep.

Thinking about toilet training now, she's been really wee-aware the last few weeks so demands a fresh nappy for every wee (damn they wee a lot each day - we've tripled our nappy use since she started doing this) but gets really really upset when we try and use the potty, she NEEDS to use a nappy. She's 23 months. Was planning to toilet train her after Christmas as we're travelling around a lot before Christmas and I'd rather be at home with her than freaking her out being in a house full of extended family. She's going to be toilet trained before the new one arrives. That's not negotiable.
 
They are gorgeous. :)

Keep up with the good work. It does get easier, and both yourself and your wife will get more efficent through simple repetition. The first few months are the hardest, because you are still adjusting.
 
Breastfeeding can be a double edged sword too for some babies - our grouchface only 'slept' through the night the first time when I stopped breastfeeding at 14 months and we left her with a sippycup of water at night. Still can't stay in bed without that water, although she's a lot quieter with toys in bed - plays until 11pm instead of screaming the house down, much nicer. I'd still love to get her to sleep more than 12 hours a day, that would be brilliant, but its never happened before so I can't see it ever happening. She just doesn't sleep.

Thinking about toilet training now, she's been really wee-aware the last few weeks so demands a fresh nappy for every wee (damn they wee a lot each day - we've tripled our nappy use since she started doing this) but gets really really upset when we try and use the potty, she NEEDS to use a nappy. She's 23 months. Was planning to toilet train her after Christmas as we're travelling around a lot before Christmas and I'd rather be at home with her than freaking her out being in a house full of extended family. She's going to be toilet trained before the new one arrives. That's not negotiable.

My DS1 is only one month older, he definitely wants to be toilet trained, he changes his own nappy if I am not moving fast enough for him :eek: No kidding, he will take one off and put the new one on (albeit not very well).
 
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