HELP! 3.5mth twins and 2.5yr toddler

(16 Posts)
dontputmeinanoldcot Fri 05-Jul-13 10:14:37

I'm a SAHM who is lucky enough to have my mum helping me out everyday (for the moment)
Twins have always been big criers and I thought once we passed the magical 3mth stage it would get easier. It has, in that they don't need to be held 100% of the time, but now it's more like 80%!!
My big issue at the moment is crying before naps and particularly bedtime. They never feed to sleep (exclusively bf) so we spend ages rocking in cat seats, using the swing or pacing up and down. This is starting to drive me crackers, my mum is fed up, my toddler neglected (tho my DH puts him to bed when he gets back from work --and stays up there, eventually falling asleep, claiming DS was being restless--)
The twins are fine and happy if they are being held in arms but sometimes we just can't!So they cry and cry. Any advice?!? We have car seats to rock, bouncers to bounce and a swing. Nothing really works...thinking of Gina Ford but I cannot imagine them being very happy being placed down for scheduled naps and closing the door. Can't really take them out for walks because toddler is unruly and runs off or tantrums because he wants to get into the double buggy. HELP. I was holding it together till the 3mth mark. Now it has passed-not much has improved...

dontputmeinanoldcot Fri 05-Jul-13 10:49:54

Oh, have tried dummys but they won't accept. We co-sleep so nights are fine but it's the general grizzles during the day and crying at bedtime. Haven't really got a routine other than feed every three hours. They pass out at around 9.30pm each night after a lot of rocking and pacing!!

DigestivesAndPhiladelphia Sat 06-Jul-13 19:22:22

We did a relaxed version of Gina Ford. One of her rules at that age is never to let the babies stay up for longer then two hours, so even if they don't seem tired, then put them down in their 'nap place' after two hours of being awake, so they can settle before getting overtired.

Also, I bought a cot mobile at about three months. After being up for an hour in the morning, I started putting the twins down in their cot with the mobile on. They lay and kicked happily whilst watching it and after about half an hour they would get tired and go to sleep. This was this the start of our morning naptime (we hadn't had a routine before about three months). We still do this now, at 6 months, and that time gives me a chance to sort my toddler out, or her myself a cup of tea grin.

Re: toddler running away, I feel your pain! My toddler has a little life backpack now so I can hold on to the 'lead' sometimes if she is trying to run away. We still don't get out as much as I'd like to but I've found a park that isn't near a road, that helps as I'm not so worried about her bolting.

Good luck, I hope you find some things that work for you.

dontputmeinanoldcot Mon 08-Jul-13 10:56:45

Thanks digestives!looking forward to being able to lay the twins down on their playing mat/bouncer etc for longish periods without them screaming blue murder. They can last around 5-10mins at the moment (on a good day). The crying really gets me down sad

Swanhilda Thu 11-Jul-13 00:17:08

Would it help to feed them a bit more often in the day maybe? Sometimes twins just need more than singletons when breastfeeding. Perhaps that isn't a issue with you, if so apologies. I found a bit of my daughter's crying at 13 -15 weeks was wanting more milk than I was offering.
Overtiredness was also an issue with her, even when she was wellfed, and I tried to give her more naps than you might have thought she needed, and certainly more than her brother needed.

I had exactly the same permutation of toddler and twins gap, so I remember well the difficulty in putting her down. They might prefer to be slightly upright if they have mild reflux or digestive discomfort, which is why picking them up feels good to them, so you could try propping them slightly in pushchair and just gritting your teeth and taking them for a walk. After a bit they might get used to sleeping whilst walking, without being held.

Take them for a walk without toddler perhaps - leave toddler with your mum for an hour? Or put toddler in buggy and one twin leave behind with your mum for a short while. It is easy to get obsessed by the idea that all three have to go out together...it will happen later, but you don't have to force the issue atm when you are trying to get them used to other ways of settling.

I found I DID settle mine for regular cot naps and bedtimes (7.30) by 4 months, and it did take a bit of work (this is where your mum might come in useful atm to look after toddler at these settling times) but it was worth it. I used Gina Ford loosely but not for bfdng, just for ideas on how much sleep wake time needed. I fed above and beyond what she suggested to keep my supply up and keep them happy.

Swanhilda Thu 11-Jul-13 00:19:29

And don't be frightened of feeding to sleep! It was an invaluable trick and didn't stop them having excellent naps in long run.

dontputmeinanoldcot Fri 12-Jul-13 21:12:43

Thanks Swanhilda. smile
I really wish they would feed to sleep but they won't or can't!!maybe it's a supply issue. I know they are healthy and gaining weight well but I feel that they can't achieve that milk drunk sleepiness. I will try and feed them more during the day...

toomuchpink Sun 14-Jul-13 21:36:23

There was so much crying in my house when mine were that age. I had a two-and-a-half year old too. About 12 weeks I used controlled crying to get naps in the day. It was done in about a week. I put them down when they were tired in morning, visited every 10 mins when they were crying, patted and left again. On one occasion one twin did not give up much until the next feed, but it really did work. From that week onwards they would pretty much always go down without too much trouble in the morning and at lunchtime. The lengths of the naps was unreliable until they were on solid food, (I EBF'd too) but having the day time naps was useful. I could at least try to do something with my older one during this time.
It is an unbelievably draining time. It gets incrementally better, but it starts out so tough I don't think the improvements register as much as they might with a singleton. I really understand where you are now. Pester your health visitor for as much help as you need. Best wishes and good luck.

dontputmeinanoldcot Tue 16-Jul-13 00:02:45

Thanks toomuch!the crying is really getting me downsad They have been particularly bad today. Doesn't help that it is so hot and everyone has their windows open.I think I will need to control cry the twins at some point. I just don't have enough arms to comfort both and they are rejecting everyone else but me!they used to be happy being held by anyone but it's now not the casesad

MissSmiley Tue 16-Jul-13 00:18:06

Hello i completely sympathise. I had twins when ds was 4 and dd was 2.
Here are my thoughts:
hot weather makes them thirsty so they might just want more boob constant boob in hot weather is not unusual for ebf
I know I will be flamed for this but have you considered switching to bottles? I ebf my first two (12 months each) but couldn't manage it with the twins. Mine were 7lbs each at birth. I know it's possible but it wasn't for me. I could have done if if they were our first babies but they were our 3rd and 4th. I switched to bottles for the benefit of my other children. I had help too and it meant i could spend time with the older two and let someone else feed the twins. We always fed them together and we always wrote down every feed and every poop so that whoever was looking after them knew how much they'd had last feed etc
I enjoyed first year with twins hugely because of bottles but I cried when I swopped even though i knew it was the only decision for us. I think you have to accept your limits as a human being and do what is best at the time. This was just my experience which I wanted to share with you.
It does sound to me like they are hungry / thirsty. My other two always fell asleep feeding - it's very hard to an ebf baby not to when they are warm and full and content.
Get one of those feeding cushions (flat top firm foam) and get them both fed together day and night. And I can't say it enough you need a really tight routine it's the only thing that got us through.
Sorry I've rambled. I hope it helps.

dontputmeinanoldcot Tue 16-Jul-13 23:08:45

I was planning to switch to bottles at 6mths... but I am feeling guilty at being so tied to the twins and not being there so much for my DS....we did have quite a rough start re:bfing twins as they both had tongue tie. Yet I do think they would be more settled with bottles and have a better routine!!!confused
Deep sigh, it's really tough at the moment, especially as my DS is super clingy too! He hangs off my back during each nappy change, puts his head between my legs when I'm jiggling a twin in my arms, sticks his leg out to stop me rocking the car seat and runs off with my iPhone when I play my white noise app to the twins!! Arghhh!!grin

Swanhilda Sun 21-Jul-13 18:50:24

I mixed fed till 6 months rather than ebf, but six months for me was the point at which I ditched the bottles completely. Rather odd way round but I do think it made my life massively easier not to have to make up any bottles or worry about feeding them out and about. At six months life was easier anyway, and that increased my ability to relax and feed. Also feeding them seemed to be a very relaxing way to sit down and enjoy them when everything else was so busy.
So don't feel bad at offering formula now, whilst keeping the bfng going in the long term. I may be flamed for that, but certainly I kept the bdng going for 2 years which must have been good for something!!!!

Toddlertwinsmum1 Sun 21-Jul-13 19:09:27

I have twins and a toddler with exactly the same age gap as yours. My twins are now 11 months and the best thing I bought was a bibi strolli rider off eBay (you can't buy them any more so have to wait for one on eBay) I paid 60 quid for mine and it was worth every penny. It is a bike which attaches to the side of a pushchair (we have a maclaren twin one but it has different fixings so it works with others) My ds loves it as he sits on it while i push them all along. It means we can go for walks and the twins sleep in the pushchair while I can chat away to ds so he gets a bit of attention and I don't feel so housebound. I cannot recommend it enough. Plus, you get a good workout pushing them all along!

I know exactly what you mean about the twins not falling to sleep during feeds. Mine never do/did either. All I can say is that it does eventually get easier, honest! I am still ebf mine and still maintain it is less work than worrying about formula, bottles, sterilising etc..

Hope that helps. It's a knackering time, but it passes very quickly.

dontputmeinanoldcot Sun 21-Jul-13 22:47:55

Thanks All!
toddlertwins thanks for the tip about the bibi bike thing. Could be the answer I am looking forgrin
Off to research madly on eBay grin

Toddlertwinsmum1 Sun 21-Jul-13 23:57:38

Good luck, it was the one genuinely life changing thing I bought! On the down side, we constantly get stopped and asked about it as everyone seems to want one. Can't imagine why they don't make them anymore?!

Dawnielou Fri 02-Aug-13 15:26:00

I had newborn twins when my son was 26 months. We went through a lot of crying! I used to put my girls to bed having been fed and changed, let them cry for 5 mins, go in and comfort and check they were ok then leave the room. Then leave them for a few more minutes, then check again. Keep doing this but try to leave longer gaps between going back. You have to hold your nerve and as long as you know they are safe, a little crying won't hurt. Eventually I got them going to bed without a fight! It seems to take forever when you're going through it but it really does get easier smile

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