Falling to pieces

(40 Posts)
cheeka Thu 22-Aug-13 19:59:56

5mth EBF twins. They won't go to sleep without a fight. I end up pushing them back and forth in pushchair for ages. During the day they do ok, they fall asleep after 20mins of pushing ( but today at bedtime), after 40mins of going back and forth, they are refusing to settle. I tried bfing them to sleep but they hate tandem feeding and when I one at a time,the other screams the whole time. I've just tried giving formula/expressed breast milk in a bottle. They rejected it angrily. Won't take a dummy. I'm

cheeka Thu 22-Aug-13 20:02:54

Sorry, sent too early. They are both screaming on the mat on the floor. When I pick one up, they quiet down but the other twin is left screaming sad. They are basically crying it out as i can't physically pick both of them up to comfort

Margetts Thu 22-Aug-13 21:01:22

When my DT were babies I had music on the baby monitor and basically trained them to sleep to music. I remember sitting downstairs just pressing the repeat button over and over again!!
I BF my DT apart from the 6 pm feed when I had no milk left. I gave them a bottle of formula which also seemed to help a bit
On the positive side it gets much easir and a lot more fun!

Twicethehugs Thu 22-Aug-13 21:06:42

I didn't want to read and run as it sounds awful. Is there anyone who could help at bedtime even for a few days to give you a hand e.g. So you could feed and settle one before dealing with the other? If not, could one wait in a swing or similar or would it just be more crying? I tandem feed lying down at bedtime, if they hate tandem feeding cos they get in each other's space, this might be worth a try. This is probably all stuff you've tried or thought of already sorry. You could give Tamba's twin line a call if you want to talk it through with a friendly ear - it's free and you don't need to be a member - 0800 138 0509, it's open 10am-1pm & 7pm-10pm. I really hope it gets better for you soon x

sara11272 Thu 22-Aug-13 21:17:01

Sorry you're having a hard time... the early months are really hard work, it does get easier very quickly, little by little.

Could you put one in a bouncy chair while you sort out the other, rather than lying them down, in case this works - or a swing? One of mine always used to sleep the minute we put her in a swing.

Other ideas (and sorry if you've tried these) - a mobile which twirled round and played a tune kept mine entertained for a little while in their cot, or those black and white baby books which you can prop up in the cot for one while the other feeds (mine would stare at these for a bit even when really young).

Will have a think about other things I used to do and post again if I think of anything. Good luck and remember, it does get better x

yellowballoons Thu 22-Aug-13 21:23:39

Maybe they dont want to sleep?

do you have a dp? or anyone who could come over and give you a hand??

personally i wouldn't go ott on insisting on a "bedtime"... would they be happy if you brought them downstairs and cuddled them in front of the tv for a while??

cheeka Thu 22-Aug-13 21:38:36

Thanks everyone-they screamed non stop till 9pm when DH came home. He's holding one while I bf the other. Thanks for the suggestions, some I've tried and they work briefly but they seem to wise up and reject!i normally bf them tandem for their bedtime feed. But when I try to transfer them to the cot/pushchair they wake up with a vengeance.but more often than not they are still awake and the battle to sleep commences!! Full on crying as they get more and more tired, I try to tandem again but they get angry..I might try feeding them in bed if I can manage to calm and distract one twin as the other feeds. It is soooo hard.confusedafter tonight's performance I think they are rejecting bottles too (was planning to move onto formula or at least mix feed at 6mths)..

i have the utmost respect for anyone who ebf's twins! it was intense enough just with one.
so bravo you!

go easy on yourself, you're doing great smile
one day you will look back and say "ahhh, it wasn't so bad, let's do that again" wink

cheeka Thu 22-Aug-13 21:53:18

I do think they are very tired because they are in such a bad mood after their bedtime feed and they've been awake for at least 2hrs since their last nap. They are downstairs with me anyway, once I bathe them, I take them down to feed on the sofa and try to settle them there. I've also tried taking them back up to their cots after the feed but no joy. My mum normally helps me but she's gone back to her house (5hrs away) for the next couple of weeks to rest. She's undecided about whether to come back but I think I going to beg her to!My DH works quite late so he's not around normally. Though he's off drinking tomorrow evening which I'm not happy about...

Toddlertwinsmum1 Thu 22-Aug-13 22:00:53

It does get better, I promise. Just stopping ebfing my twins at 1 year, but I remember that feeling of evening stress well. Mine cluster fed all evening but finally started to settle into some sort of evening routine at about 6 months, meaning I actually got to spend some time in the evening without one or the other (or both) attached to a boob.

Do you have a feeding pillow? I used to get one latched on then give the other cuddles and swap over as needed, meaning I didn't have to leave them crying as much, but also meaning I could give them each some individual attention.

It is so hard, but you are doing brilliantly. I was told by a doctor when I took my twins at 5 months he'd never before heard of exclusively breastfeeding twins for that long, so give yourself a pat on the back. Again, it does get better, I promise!

I don't have any BF advice but I totally agree with margetts it does get easier and more fun!

I remember those early days and feeling so overwhelmed. You have done fantastically well BF for so long.

Your comment about your mum going home to rest made me smile. My mum stayed with us for the first 8 weeks and she was shattered when she left, I think she aged 10 years!

Hope your babies settle into more of a routine in the evenings.

cheeka Thu 22-Aug-13 22:31:54

Thanks Toddler and Thisis.The HVs are also incredulous (in a good way) when I tell them I'm ebfing twins!Just wish the twins could learn how to sleep! They aren't the most chilled out of babies. When they get overtired they erupt big time hmm

AnotherStitchInTime Thu 22-Aug-13 22:41:34

I take my hat off to you, I don't have twins. You have managed to ebf for 5 months, that is a massive achievement. Please go easy on yourself.

How about distraction for the one who is not feeding?

I used this lullaby video for mine dd's, especially dd2 who like to wake from 2-4am. She used to sit in her bouncy chair and watch it. Baby Einstein was also a favourite once slightly older.

Also a rocking platform might help soothe the one who is not in your arms if they like rocking like Robopax.

White noise and sea sounds also helped dd2 go to sleep along with a lightshow.

When you tandem feed do you rugby hold so their legs and bodies don't touch?

Also mine both started teething at around 5 months, dd2's sleep went haywire, from sleeping all night to waking every two hours and she was very clingy. You could look into chamomile teething powders like Ashton and Parson's, won't hurt to try it.

cheeka Thu 22-Aug-13 22:53:54

Thanks Another, some really good suggestions!They might be teething come to think of it-DTS likes biting down on my finger these days....will look into the robopax and the lullaby xxx

Madlizzy Fri 23-Aug-13 01:10:29

not entirely sober, but a triplet mum. how about doing their bedtime tandem feed in your bed and letting them get deeply asleep there?

HighVoltage Fri 23-Aug-13 02:10:07

Just posting to send a virtual hug. Our DTs are only 11 weeks old (and already mixed feeding so you're an ebf hero!) so I don't have any specific advice for you, sorry, but remember when DS1 was 5 months and he got very demanding so can only imagine how hard it is at the moment for you.

All I can add is it's not long until solids time which certainly helped him go to sleep more easily in the evening (still maniacally rocked him for all daytime naps). But basically just sympathy from over here. (And definitely ask your mum to come back and help and maybe ask DP to stop in tomorrow night or at least drop in before or come home earlyish? Hard to ask for help sometimes but is very reasonable in this situation.)

Margetts Fri 23-Aug-13 08:13:34

Hope your babies slept ok last night.
Could it be that by 6.00 pm in the evening you are exhausted and don't really have enough milk left which is why the babies are taking so long to settle? They are coming up to 6 months when weaning starts and if they are big babies, they will be starting to get really hungry. By this time of night I was exhausted and found I didn't have enough milk.
It could be a combination of low milk and hungry babies.
Are they having a growth spurt? I have a memorable day with my DT when they screamed from first thing in the morning until my sister in law arrived in the evening. Never managed tandem feeding and spent the entire feeding a baby and bouncing the screaming one with my foot in the chair.
Where I live there is a charity called Home Start that helps people with young families. Do you have anything like that near you, that a could help out for a few hours? The HV would know.
I hope you have a better day today. One thing that I found helped me was getting outside for a walk, seeing blue sky and fresh air made all the difference to my mental health! Hope that your DH gives you a break over the weekend.

cheeka Fri 23-Aug-13 08:36:50

The plan tonight is to feed them in bed after their bath as they seem to settle a lot better there (as we cosleep when I go to bed)
What I don't understand is DTD is now screaming her head off at 8.30am!i gave her an early morning feed in bed, she was all chirpy and playful. Now just tried to tandem but she started going berserk, so took DTS off (looking bemused) and carried on with DTD. She is shrieking in rage. Have no idea. Could it be reflux?but why now at 5mths?!?poor DSD is waiting patiently as I'm trying to calm DTD down hmm

Toddlertwinsmum1 Fri 23-Aug-13 10:48:26

Good plan for tonight, I really think you just have to take each day as it comes and do what you can. Don't be too hard on yourself. There are loads of reasons why they might become unsettled at 5 months - teeth, growth spurt, they are having to take in and process a lot more each day, they are frustrated about wanting to roll/crawl/move, etc etc...hard as it is, you just have to get support from those around you and ride it out. Don't worry about DTS waiting for you to feed DTD, that is something they will quickly get used to, being a twin!

Hope you are ok, I've been thinking about you all night as I remember how difficult and relentless it feels at that stage.

Just another thing, I've now moved my twins onto toddler formula (even though everyone says its a waste if money, for some reason I feel like the twins need it!?) and it has made no difference to their sleeping or feeding patterns. I thought it would encourage them to sleep through, but no such luck. I know they will do it in their own time.

Toddlertwinsmum1 Fri 23-Aug-13 10:51:07

Also, just looking at your OP, is there someone else who can try to bottle feed? Sometimes they won't take it from you as they can smell your milk but may be happier to from DH or DM. It might give you a bit of a break. X

HappyAsASandboy Fri 23-Aug-13 17:57:50

Well done for surviving. I ebf my twins too (they had recently self weaned at 2yrs 6mo and 2yrs 9mo) and bedtime is the most difficult bit IMO. You're tired, they're tired, you're desperate to have some evening, and your husband is about to come home to it all. It is a stressful time.

I always fed my twins separately. At 4 to about 10 months, I found starting 'evening' really early helped. From about 5pm we were on a wind down, in sleep suits, lots of cuddles, quiet room, feeding lots in rotation. Basically anything to avoid them getting hungry at the same time as tired! I also tried not to have any expectation of when they would go to sleep, so I let them fall asleep when they were ready.

I wish you all the best. It is hard work in those early months, but I promise it gets easier, and before they're two you will be sitting with a cup of tea while they play together. Your friends with one toddler will envy you having playmates that let you drink your tea wink

cheeka Fri 23-Aug-13 19:33:12

Thank you all for the lovely support. Today has been a bit better, this evening I'm just letting the twins bob on and off me, amidst huge bouts of crying!!im starting off on the sofa and will soon bed down with them xxx

MrsWolowitz Fri 23-Aug-13 19:39:41

You're doing great.

I have DTs and those first few months are so hard.

It does get better, you will get through this.

I'm very familiar with that feeling of despair and have sat on the floor sobbing many a time! Have you heard if Twinline? Give them a call, if nothing else, it's a distraction and someone to screech at.

We're here to listen too. You'll be fine. They'll get easier. Honest x

Twicethehugs Sat 24-Aug-13 09:14:16

I hope you had a better night. I think at about 5 months I was despairing that I'd ever see my husband in the evening as just spent all eve feeding (upstairs in quiet room) and then by the time they finally went to sleep I was too tired to go downstairs so just went to sleep usually. At 6 1/2 months, it's better and I can usually get them to sleep quicker and get some time downstairs and I think they get a bit more sleep so are less tired. I don't know if starting bedtime earlier and having more of a routine helped (same story and songs every night) or if it's just a developmental thing but it has got better, it will do for you too.

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