At almost 6 months, my little munchkins are pretty understanding of the "Mommy needs sleep!" concept, which I am extremely thankful for. Recently, they’ve been sleeping 9 to even 11 hours in a row. I’m wishing I had a little more wood handy to knock on at the moment – oh wait, we have wood floors! Pardon me for just one minute. Stomp, stomp, stomp.
I’m clearly no expert, but perhaps the following tips and tricks that we’ve learned along the way will help other baggy-eyed, highly caffeinated, and disheveled mothers out there. If I can do it with twins, I think there’s hope for the masses.
- I think we’re lucky. Ok, this isn’t a tip or a trick, and some of you may want to hurt me a little for mentioning this, but our twins are exceptionally well-behaved little babies, aside from pacifier addict‘s little tantrums now and then. After all, it can’t always be sunshine and roses.
- When we brought the twins home from the ISCU, we didn’t baby them (no pun intended). When it was bedtime, we put them in a crib in their room. No bassinets, no sleeping in our bed. For a couple months, they slept comfortably in the same crib. This allowed us to always have a clean crib ready for those moments when we had excessive spit up, peeing, or pooping. It beat having to change sheets and do laundry in the middle of the night.
- Stick to a schedule. When one eats, the other one eats soon thereafter. At night, if one of the twins wakes up to eat, feed him/her, then wake the other one, if needed. Failure to follow this will result in NO sleep, especially in the beginning.
- Follow a routine. Before their last feeding, the twins get a diaper change, slip into their "sleepy clothes" (with a little help), and get their last bottle of the evening.
- Determine a bed time and stick to it. The kiddos aren’t old enough to barter for extra "stay up" time so after the last feeding of the day (usually around 7-8pm), it’s off to bed!
- Don’t "shhhh" everyone once they are in bed. Chances are, they sleep through noise during the day, so let them do the same at night. I’d prefer they not get used to the quiet as I don’t want every little noise to startle them. I’ve as good as vacuumed right underneath them and they don’t even stir.
These are our first children and, while I know it’s tempting for first time parents to jump at every cry, don’t. Remember… if they are crying, they are still breathing, which is good! I’m not suggesting that you let little ones cry and cry, but if they stir a bit, don’t go running. They may settle on their own and go back to dreaming about cows and large steaming piles of poo.
Heidi is a proud mother of twins and chief cook and bottle washer at http://MoraJunction.com where she offers up witty commentary and common sense on topics ranging from raising twins (and how to do it without going completely nuts!) to current events and even cooking. She is also an animal enthusiast, shacking up with a dog, a king snake and a terrific husband. No worries… the snake isn’t nearly big enough to swallow a rat, let alone the kids.