To ask for advice on what to do with twins all day? Help!(63 Posts)
I'm hoping to get some some good advice and help, I hope this is the right place to post. I've got 16 month old twins who were born very prematurely at 24 plus 6. They are doing great and I love being a SAHM but I'm really struggling to fill the days. I'm worried I don't instinctively know what to do and that I'm a rubbish parent. First time Mum and I have the twins on my own from 6am - 10pm when my husband returns from work. I have no friends with children and no family nearby. I go out every day but must spend some time at home as I run out of free things to do! We do lots of stories, shape sorter, toys but it only seems to fill half an hour. I'm totally at a loss what to do! Any advice on activities or toys you have found good to play with your children would be brilliant! Thank you!
Gosh if I were you I'd be at every toddler group and stay and play I could possibly get to ! 16 month old twins ! I take my hat off to you just remaining vaguely sane and keeping them fed and in one piece.
I haven't twins but I have a 20 month old and two year old.
The garden (sand pit)
Bath takes up a bit of time
Went to the library today but got reprimanded
Soft play - but they get bored of that
Fill the sink with shaving foam and toy cars and they wash them
Twins do eventually entertain themselves. My advice would be set up one main activity / outing each day then the rest of the time just let them explore their toys. Mine are now almost 5 and have spent the last two hours building Lego while I've bimbled around a bit, made an elsa castle and now am sitting having a quiet cuppa. You are a bit off that yet but the best thing I learned was that I didn't have to be a children's entertainer all day. When I say activity, keep it simple. It's really just to give you sanity and the sense you're doing something. Play doh, music playing (noise making), story time, sauce pans and wooden spoons, happy land, trains on wooden track. Not all at the same time.
Oh wobbly completely forgot I meant to bath mine this morning. Oops! Quick one after dinner instead!
Personally I'd go to work and send them to nursery! Even if just for 2/3 days a week.
Wow, that's a long day on your own with DTs.
We did a lot of groups - some at our local synagogue, though not really religious and I think most churches run some sort of coffee/play thing, some at the library, local children's centre etc etc. Some were paid classes, others just free groups. It was great for DTs to meet other children and I really enjoyed the adult company.
We also spent lots of time going for walks in all sorts of weather, with the buggy and I'd let them out for a toddle about but also get some exercise myself pushing the buggy around.
At home, it was pretty much as you described - books, blocks and other toys, and messy play in the garden. I don't think you need to fill every moment, particularly since they have eachother. Do you ever have friends etc over to play
and drink wine?
I struggled the same with my first ad had no mum friends. I did soft play one morning, two different toddler groups two mornings, rhyme time at local library one morning and swimming one morning - not doable with twins. Once got morning activity out of the way it was a quick lunch and nap (feet up with box set). So then it was only the late afternoon
Yeah go to work and send them to nursery! I did with mine they were 8 months old. Saved my sanity.
Sorry that's probably not what you were after!
Get a whiteboard through all local free groups and put up dates and times is there a sure start centre near you? They offered twin classes it was great talking to other mums with twins while they explored the toys. The library may have info on free clubs/ groups in your area they might enjoy and you will get a break. It will get easier mine are 7 now and the baby/todlar days are a memory now of playing and surviving each day ;-)
Thanks everyone! I find it hard as I can't put them down to nap, they will only be breastfed to sleep and then sleep on the cushion, on me (tandem fed) so I don't get a break! We do groups every day but nothing on all summer holiday! I don't want to go back to work as I love being a SAHM and it wouldn't work for us financially at all. I feel so guilty if I am not sitting with them doing 'stuff' all the time. Any specific toy ideas as they just look at theirs and aren't interested! They have lots but are still at the shake it, put it in mouth stage really but are beginning to seem more interested. Thanks again!
Your dh works so many hours that he is out of the house from 6am til 10pm?
How is that in any way conducive to family life?
I know you want to stay home with them but if you worked too then couldn't your dh reduce his hours and take on more of the kids tasks. Him helping and nursery for them will ease the burden massively.
How are they napping? If you can get them to nap in the house it gives you a bit of down time/time to do their dinner etc.
TBH I got through that time by going to stay and play sessions at my local Sure Start centres - 2 centres, 2 sessions each a week - and since then they've had to half their provision due to being asked to provide nursery care for 2yos without being given any extra funding or space. I would find it significantly harder to do now.
Having said that - there's also church groups, and your local library should have some rhyme time sessions, we loved them. Actually no, one of the girls loved them, the other used to try and do a runner every time...
Also (and I'm happy to be flamed for this, IDGAF) - from about 2 on, they will get some fun from playing with tablets.
I wish I had some more ideas but it is really tough! You can't swim alone, even going out for a walk with them is tough - although in the autumn it might be good fun to take them out for walks to collect leaves - my DD2 was endlessly fascinated by them and could turn a 20m walk into a half hour occupation.
Start cycling their toys. Separate them into say 3 sets, bag up two sets and store away. Leave them one set out to play with, change once a week for a fresh set so it's
"New" to them and they won't be so bored with them.
Agree with DH not really being part of family life. Other than money what is he contributing to their upbringing? He needs to be sharing the child rearing business with you. Twins are no walk in the park. Also if he is out of the house 16 hours a day then surely he is earning enough to cover half of the childcare for 2/3 days a week? You still get lots of baby involvement if you are working a couple of days a week.
I agree I'd be on my knees if my dh worked those hours. Imagination tree has really good activity ideas. I'd also say try and build a friend network, it helps pass the time, I made a few friends when dd was 2 and it makes things a lot easier
Unfortunately the commute is 1.5 hrs each way! There is no way he can reduce hours as he has been working so hard to get this position that there is no way he can go part time or similar right now but will ultimately be able to work flexibility in about 12 months. Nursery is just not an option. I don't feel comfortable with nursery at all. Thank you!
I second the nursery time for a break for you, and tv - neither of mine got v interested before the 2 year mark but my goodness it helped to have a break for half an hour.
I know you want to stay home with them but if you worked too then couldn't your dh reduce his hours and take on more of the kids tasks.
What, because they would have more money if she was working? I was earning ca. 40k a year when I went back to work after my twins and after nursery fees there was about enough for my Oyster card and my lunch.
The more you can get them to play themselves and with other children the better. What worries you about nursery?
I'm also wondering why you're against nursery but you could also find a child minder?
My dt's are 20 months. Dh out the house only 7-5ish. Mine were 30 weekers and i did find them slower that the older dd's. My two are now fairly happy running riot at home, i only take them out to a local twins group once a week... infact have you got one of those nearby?
And nursery isnt a good option for everyone, we live in a cheap area, to send the dt's to a cm would be at least 100 a day, a nursery 7p/h per child... not feasible!
My twins are now 3.5 and I've been at home with them since they were born. My dh also works long hours/commutes and is out 7-7.30. When they were small (and even now) I found it easier to be 'out and about' as much as possible. A playgroup, childrens centre every morning. Friends houses, enclosed playground, short walk, library etc in afternoon. 16 months is still v young and they will get much better at playing together and on their own. Favourite independent activities at that age included spoons and noisy pots/pans, filling bottles with penne, filling pits with pebbles. Basically anything but toys! Good luck, it really does get easier.
You really don't have to sit and play with children all day. A balance of adult attention and leaving to their own devices is what is required.
I have one 16 month old and that's hard enough so I take my hat off to you! She likes the giant Lego blocks because she loves me building things and knocking them down. She has also just started playing with my elder DD's wooden kitchen. She enjoys putting pots and cups in and out of the cupboards. She loves being outside particularly pushing her pram up and down the street and loves chasing after balls. I hope that helps!
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