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Advice (or good book with advice) on feeding and sleeping for newborns?(8 Posts)
Our twins are 3 weeks old and we're feeling way out of our depth on establishing good habits for feeding and sleeping since having left the hospital. When we left, they were having us give top-ups to supplement breastfeeding because my supply hadn't sufficiently built up while they were in the NICU with jaundice. The top-ups meant we had pretty regular feeds every 3 hours. Now that I've got a bit more supply and am trying to move to breastfeeding more, feeding and sleeping are becoming a nightmare. I tandem feed whenever possible, but they still sometimes manage to get themselves out of sync. At night, they're often up until 12:30 or 1 just feeding straight through the evening, and then from there their sleep is fitful at best. They do like sleeping in their bouncers, but I don't want to mess up their bodies or heads from too much bouncer time.
Help! How do you get your twins to happily eat and sleep?
My babies were similar I.e. on top-up bottles. I did manage to drop them all by around 6 weeks but it did involve breastfeeding for what seemed like most of the time - one or both often fell asleep while feeding so I remember feeling trapped in my tandem cushion on the sofa! Mine were up late feeding too so I do sympathise. No particular advice (and we just did anything to get them to sleep inc what people tell you not to do) but just wanted to reassure you that it gets better, they will start going to sleep earlier and will get more efficient at feeding but it's still really early days. At times I searched for answers and tried to do routines but personally I found that more stressful and I've ended up being happier when I've accepted things being as they are for now - but you do need to make sure you're getting enough rest as it helps your milk supply.
I'm having twins in the next few weeks and so am watching your thread. I do have a son who is now 3 and honestly, your experience rings lots of bells for me. The early days were a bit of a shock and relentless feeding and waking left me a wreck. I think that if you want to establish your milk supply then you may need to just 'go for it' for a couple more weeks. Your body will quickly realise the feeding pattern and you'll probably find that you'll 'fill up' at those times. The second stage of routine establishment would come when you're confident about your supply, at which stage, if you can bear it, you make them wait a bit longer for the next feed. This will involve crying! I would put them into a bandage sling together to let them know that you're there and make them wait. I think 3 hours is a good wait and then a full feed. However, I am going to try the Gina Ford (just the feeding routine for twins). I was dead against her with my last baby but have realised that the routine I fell into after a few weeks was almost identical to her recommendation anyway but caused me a lot of anxiety and guess work as I wanted things to be done 'my way'. I'll just try to follow her twin routine this time.. Gently nudging feeding times in that general direction (famous last words)!
The first few weeks are really hard. I used Gina Fords Twin Book. I found this book really useful as I knew nothing about babies let alone twins!! She helped me establish a good routine. I didn't stick to it and remember completely ignoring the part about taking the babies for a walk late afternoon.
I found I was feeding all evening ans switched to giving them a bottle of formula about 6.00 pm. The babies fell asleep quickly after this and gave me a break for a few hours!! I think by this point my milk supply was very low.
I found getting them into the same eating and sleeping pattern really worked for us as it meant I could get out, without having to feed babies!
Thanks for the Gina ford recommendations! We've been trying out the past few days and I'm
shocked happy to report that it's working like a charm! The witching hour is gone and babies generally seem happier. Feels like I've got a new lease on life!
Hi linguaphile. I had similar problems with production to start with and it was about 4 weeks or so before I trusted my body to produce enough milk - well done for keeping going.
On the feeding times front, what worked for me was tandem feeding whenever the first started to get hungry. It takes a little perseverance at first as you'll have one who tends to fuss a little as they are not quite hungry enough, but after a couple of days mine got into the same routine and I was able to tandem feed them all the time and the gaps between feeds settled into a nice reasonable pattern. The gaps got longer naturally for me (although I know if was fortunate with that) so can't comment on whether the Gina ford method is good or not. Hope things settle down for you soon - however you tackle it!
Hi linguaphile - so glad to hear that things are going better for you! We also used the Gina Ford twin book, but tweaked things a little to suit us. There is a lot of Gina-bashing on MN (much less on the 'multiples' threads!) but really, it's up to you to try things out and go with whatever works best for you and your babies - and it sounds like the Gina Ford routines are working great for you
I dipped into the book for the whole of their first year, although I often found that they needed more sleep than she recommended at any given age.
I am so, so pleased though that we established a good routine though (whether a 'GF' one or not!). Ours are nearly 3 now, and are still brilliant at meal and bedtimes.
Oh, and massive congratulations on your babies! Enjoy it
Hi. Mine weren't in nicu but were quite small so the hospital had us on the top up regime too. Nearly killed me! Dropped the top ups at about 2 weeks as weights were good, but I kept a bottle at about 9pm as would want to feed constantly from about 5-6pm and get very fussy in the evening so this seemed to break the cycle. Went straight to bed and usually all managed a good 4 hour stretch of sleep. I couldn't hack the lengthy tandem juggle in the early hours so was contemplating a middle of the night bottle too, but was advised its important to stimulate milk supply at this time (1-3 am) so got on the pump (had hired a proper hospital grade double) for 10-15 mins whilst husband changed them both then we bottle fed in bed and they settled well. All done in about 30-40 mins and we got a good 3-4 hours sleep again. During the day breast fed on demand, tandem as much as possible, which did mean chained to the sofa with my boobs out for a few weeks. This system worked well for us until about 8 weeks, when feeds started getting quicker and easier so just bf during the night too. Kept the late evening bottle for a bit longer but eventually found we didn't need this either. The day feeds also then started to get a bit more regular, so was released from behind the feeding cushion! It's a slog for a few weeks but it will fly by and is worth it for the next few months of milk on tap with no sterilising. Wishing you the best of luck, sounds you are doing great so far. Just take it one feed at a time, don't worry too much about good/bad habits or routine for a few more weeks.
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