Struggling with 4 wk old twins

(7 Posts)
WantToMoveNorth Sun 05-May-13 21:38:57

I've got 4 week old twins and a two year old toddler and I'm really struggling keeping the DTs settled. They like to be cuddled and rocked to sleep & when they're awake they also need to be held. They also seem to be going off their Moses baskets. I know this is all normal, but it seems impossible when looking after 2. Luckily I've had family staying with us so far so I've had an extra pair of hands to help settle them but how on earth will I manage them when I'm on my own, especially with a toddler? Does anyone have any tips? They also seem colicky in the evening and cry from 6- 11pm, we've got them in slings tonight which is helping, but usually my DH wouldn't be home. Does anyone use a twin sling? I used to use a Close baby carrier for my first baby- it killed my back and she became dependent on it for all naps & even for a lot if the night, so I'm a bit scared to go down the sling route again. If anyone has any advice I'd be very grateful, as I feel totally out of my depth.

TIA

MultipleMama Germany Sun 05-May-13 22:28:23

It's very overwhelming, isn't it? I have a toddler plus young twins and remember the early days. I have you tried settling them in swings or rocking them in the pushchair? - mine only used to settle in the dark and being rocked.

Maybe even give them something that smells of you for comfort. I also got my toddler involved to entertain her while I was dealing with dts

What worked for mine may not work for yours, sorry I haven't got much advice, still juggling myself. Hope things settle for you though!

ClairesTravellingCircus Italy Mon 06-May-13 09:46:22

I feel for you, I have soo been there. My other vhildren were older though which helped.

I also only had one colicky one, so he was slinged sometimes. Infacol used to work well with him, and a dummy ( which he didn't take til about 8 weeks old) One thing that kept mine quiet for a bit were also bouncers, we were given a vibrating one and I think the shock kept them quiet for a while!! grin

I have also settled them in the pushchair.

It will pass, and then you'll have a whole new set of challenges! Mine are 15 months and sometimes I miss the early days when at least they stayed put!

Remember to tell yourself you are doing an amazing job!

Cheeka Mon 06-May-13 23:04:02

Seven week old twins here with v similar traits, ie always want to be held, cry if put down, v colicky from 6pm!! I also have a v boisterous two year old DS so I share your pain...watching this thread with interest because I too would like some tips but to give u some hope, it is getting slightly easier smile
I used to sit up (on my own) with them all night, terrified they would cry and wake DS (they used to feed and doze on my feeding cushion).Now I'm finding that they are sleeping less during the day but longer during the night. My twins hate the Moses basket (and the cot!) at night but what I found is, they seem to settle more if I cosleep.So these days, I go to bed at around 11pm with a twin who is due a feed. I bf the twin in bed, get them settled and sleep alongside. My DH sits downstairs with the other twin (sleeping on him or in the Moses basket) once 'his' twin stirs (around 1am) he changes nappy and brings the baby up for their bf. they both
lie alongside me. seems to be working as I can get from 3-4 hrs sleep. My problem is that they often wake up at the same time around 4-5am screaming. If they woke up separately I would be ok but i cannot bf them (in bed) together!! Cue a mad scramble for the bf cushion, panicky latching and more often than not, DS wakes from the commotion. Still, having the 3-4hrs sleep is magic and much better than before...hoping for some tips on how to settle two crying babies without any help. Popping them in the Swing/car seat doesn't do anything....need to grow an extra pair of arms!

toomuchpink Tue 07-May-13 22:01:44

I know that struggle too. There is all this debate about controlled crying - I used to think I can cope with controlled crying it is all this uncontrolled crying in my house I can't handle! I never managed to b'feed both twins at the same time, so in the evenings I used to feed one and rock the other vigorously in a rocking chair using a foot. It did not really work, but at least I was doing something. When the first twin appeared not to want more I would put them down in their moses basket and feed the other one. My husband was usually home from work so he would put DD1 (then two-and-a-half) to bed while I was going through this routine, but if not then the twins would just have to yell while I dealt with her.
It is really blooming tough, but it does pass.
When mine were 12 weeks I got them in a routine during the day using CC. It took about a week to get them to settle themselves for these naps, but it worked. This meant I always got a morning and lunchtime nap from them, albeit the length was unreliable. It meant I got time with DD1 when the babies were sleeping.
My twins are 18mths now and it is much more fun.
The one thing I can say is the whole experience has not done my DD1 any harm. I am tempted to say she is better for having learned extra tolerance and patience while I juggled the younger two, and of course we bend over backwards to give her special attention when we can which is lovely for both of us.
Those early days were a tunnel for me. I know I was pretty low. My advice, apart from getting a routine going when you feel ready, is to get help if you can. Pay for it if you can afford it, ask your health visitor about Home Start volunteers now because I had to wait for ages, and above all don't be hard on yourself. You can only do your best, and if you are doing your best to look after them, then you are a wonderful mum.

WantToMoveNorth Wed 08-May-13 13:02:17

Hi all, thanks for your replies- it's nice in a way to know in that others have been in the same boat. And it's good to know that it gets better too. It must be getting better because I've stopped feeling sick when I wake in the morning. They don't seem to like bouncers/ swings/ vibrating chairs but I've got 2 of each so I'm hoping they'll like them when they're a bit older! They've started to take dummies which is helping, I have to pop them back in every minute or so, but I'm really scared of setting bad habits. Same with the pushchair- they'll sleep quite happily in it but I don't want it to be the only place they sleep. I remember with my first wheeling the pram around the living room in the night- I don't have the energy for that any more! I set so many bad habits with my first, however the HV said habits aren't set until 4 months- is that true does anyone know? toomuchpink how did you do CC with twins? Did you do it in separate rooms? I started homestart last week, I would definitely recommend it.

toomuchpink Wed 08-May-13 22:27:20

Hi there. Like you I have always been told habits are not set until around four months so I would not worry about rocking/ pushing/ feeding to sleep just now.
I did have the twins in separate rooms when I started my napping routine. I waited til they were around 12 weeks, before then they pretty much called the shots and I used all those tricks you describe for getting them to sleep. In order to get my napping routine going, when the first twin woke in the morning I got the other up soon after so they were on a similar timetable. Then around 9.30am/10am - or whenever they were clearly getting tired - I popped them up in their moses baskets. I put this notion in my head that I would put them down "kindly," do it really gently, sing them each a song, and then walk out. I would let them cry for up to 10 minutes and then go in again, settle really gently and walk out again. It was hard doing it. I remember one nap time at the beginning DT2 did not really settle at all and I more or less kept going in and out until the next feed.
However, within a week the job was done. They have pretty much settled for their naps at the same times almost every day ever since. I don't honestly know if having them in separate rooms is essential. I know people whose twins shared cots and the babies did not seem to disturb each other. However, I found it less stressful having them in separate rooms.
By-the-way I picked a week when my husband was on holiday to do the CC for the napping routine. It really helped having someone else around.
I also used CC at night for DT1 at nine months. She was still waking for one feed most nights at that age. They were in separate rooms at night by then too.
I totally understand why you are worried about creating habits given your experience with your first, as you say, you don't have the energy - let alone the physical capacity - to do that this time. I reckon therefore it will be quite different with your twins.

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