Friday, March 11, 2011

Twin's Routine

Alot of people are asking how I put my girls down to sleep and what I'm doing for a routine so I thought I would do a blog.  Hopefully people find this helpful!

1st Step - Observe Your Babies, how do they like to nap, when do they tired, and when do they get hungry??
How I established my routine was observing how, when and where they liked to nap.  I noticed that my girls liked napping in the stroller, in the carseats, and when I'm out walking in their snugglies when I'm running errands.  They like movement and some noise.  I also tried remembering how they liked napping when they were newborns, they liked being held, patted, swaddled and white noise.  So I combined all of these methods into my routine.  AND I logged their routine for about a few days and realized when they started getting tired approximately two hours after they woke up so I consistently made them nap two hours after they fed. I  feed them at the same time too so that their schedules aligned.

2nd Step - Read books but only use what works for you!
I read a lot of books and used bits and pieces from them to understand where they are developmentally, sleep methods, soothing techniques to establish my routine. Do you want to do on demand feeding?  I realized my girls were ready to be put on the four feeding schedule at four months.  So I started transitioning them to a four feeding schedule.  I also realized that they are ready for longer naps, and longer activities.

3rd Step - What works and is it realistic for you?
I realized that a lot of the books are targeted to mothers with one baby and alot of the soothing techniques don't work on my babies (ex. they don't like soothers, they don't like being swaddled anymore, I can't rock/bounce nor hold both babies, etc.) Be creative, do what works for you.  My girls like getting their bums patted when they sleep.  They like being wrapped in blankets and love listening to stories before they nap.  They also like their sleep sacks before they go to bed. The pick up/put down method doesn't work for me.  I also don't let them cry it out.  I read them stories before nap time, pat them on their bums, place their fists near their mouth when they fuss a bit but then they eventually fall asleep.  My babies do a bit of fussing, an occasional cry but they do fall asleep within 10 - 20 minutes. 

So here is my routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your time, Activity):

7/7:15 AM - girls wake up and play a bit in their bassinets or bouncers
8 - Feed
8:45 AM - Activity (Burp, Diaper change, Activity time)
9:45 AM - Wind down/Sleep for 1.5 to 2 hours (Wind down is Storytime  followed by placing them in their bassinets/crib or bouncers then bum patting and white noise)
10:45AM - Pat them on their bums again if they stir to get them napping longer
11:30/45AM - Activity (tummy time)
12 - Feed
12:45 PM - Activity (Burp, Diaper change, Activity time)
1:45 PM - Wind down/Sleep for 1.5 to 2 hours (Wind down is Storytime  followed by placing them in their bassinets/crib or bouncers then bum patting and white noise)
2:45 PM - Pat them on their bums again if they stir to get them napping longer
3:30/3:45 PM - Activity (Tummy Time)
4 PM - Feed
4:45 PM - Activity (Burp, Diaper change, Activity time)
5:50 PM -  Wind down/Sleep for thirty to forty five minutes (Wind down is Storytime  followed by placing them in their bassinets/crib or bouncers then bum patting and white noise)
6:30 PM - Feed
7:00 PM - Activity (Burp, Diaper change, Bath time)
8 PM - Feed
8:30/9PM - Sleep (Change into sleep sacks, pat them on the bums and white noise in the bassinets, usually they do not fuss nor cry before sleeping at this point because they are really tired)

So far, the routine is working very well and helping with their night wakings.  They goto bed around 8:30/9PM and wake up between 5 AM - 6:30 AM for a quick feed and fall back to sleep right away.  Sometimes they wake up in the middle of the night  or early morning babbling but then they fall back asleep by them selves, its very cute.

Of course, at six months or when I travel, this routine is going to change again!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Babbling Giggling Rolling

BIG CHANGES!!!  Girls are almost five months old!!  They love to babble and giggle now.  Our house looks like a playground, there's jolly jumpers, exersaucers, bumbos, playmats and rattles everywhere.  They also like watching baby einstein and listening to stories.  They are also experimenting with rice cereal and sippy cups.

I thought I had a rhythm going,but then the girls are changing sooo much that I've been making them cranky. For example, when the girls were between three and four months old, I was able to read their cries using baby dunstan language , I could tell if they were hungry, tired or gassy just by listening to their whimpers. BUT since they've been babbling this past month, I've been unable to read their cues and they've been cranky! Soooo after a chaotic month of overfeeding, getting them to nap after eating, trying to bottle feed, and another crazy growth spurt, they've decided to start waking up in the middle night for the past two and half weeks and killing my daytime groove. Last weekend, I decided to start all over and read every book I can find on routines and sleep/nap solutions for single and twin babies. I realized that I got the entire routine wrong and they are ready to start a four feeding routine!!  Developmentally they are four month olds with bigger bellies. Then I felt sooo much better about life with the girls. Soooo...almost a week ago, I've been able to get them on 3.5 hour - 4 hour routine (eat activity sleep method), getting the girls to fall asleep in their bouncers/cribs at the sametime with little whimpering and putting the girls into bed at a decent hour, around 8 to 8:30pm. The girls like sucking on their fists and fingers before they sleep, they hate soothers. Hopefully this routine helps with their nightime waking.  ALSO I can't wait to go to the spa, get a haircut or go with Rick/friends after the girls go to sleep:)

Rick and I are having fun with the girls.  I'm still a little sleep deprived but much much better than the first two months.  I've also lost over 70 pounds...I can't believe at one point I was 180 lbs...and that was two weeks before I gave birth!!  I can't believe its already been a year that I found out I was pregnant (on my birthday!!)!!

Here are some videos of the girls, enjoy!