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(31 Posts)
pop Thu 15-Aug-02 20:54:30

Help! I have 10 week old twins (6 weeks prem. so really only term + 4 weeks) who are a joy all day and then cry all evening. I know this is very common and ds did the same thing but it is driving me mad. We are putting them down after a 7 ish feed and regardless of sleep in the day, burped or not, sleepy when put down, they both bawl pretty much constantly till their 10ish feed. we are trying to be hard and leave them in their beds instead of bringing them downstairs to be cuddled mainly because I need a bit of a break but don't know if we are being too cruel. Have not tried water may try that tonight. Please let me know if you have ANY tips.

pupuce Thu 15-Aug-02 21:03:59

If they are breastfed- don't try water.... it will be useless plus you could impair your breastmilk production.
Have you tried cuddling them with lullabies in a darkened room and putting them down as they fall asleep not when they are already asleep ?
They may also be too tired when you put them down ? When was their last nap during the day ?

MABS Thu 15-Aug-02 21:21:01

This is not a tip POP ,but a question ? Were they in special care at all ? Both my ds and dd were prem (29 and 32 wks) and neither knew night from day . In the ITU that they were in they didn't differentiate between day and night, we had a hell of a job when they came come.

Don't know too much about colic myself, but have you tried any of the 'infacol' type things.
Sorry this probably hasn't helped much but just to say I'm thinking of you.

ScummyMummy Thu 15-Aug-02 21:39:27

Hi Pop. All my sympathy. Double yowling is not fun, is it?

I think there are probably quite a few ways to approach this. The way my partner and I chose was to accept as gospel the words of doom that my father uttered on being told that I was expecting twins: "Your lives as you know them are over." Thanks for that, Dad. Curiously, from this position of defeat I found that progress was possible... One with no life can lie fairly peacefully in between 2 babies at night, or ponce about the house bouncing them and singing to them or feeding them. Before we knew it they were a bit older and we were clawing parts of our life back... Crucially, if you choose to go down this route, make sure that your partner is fully aware that his life is, like yours, over or you will become ill trying to do everything alone. If you need a break because you have been with them and your older one all day then your partner should be pitching in bigtime in the evenings.

This is absolutely NOT meant as a criticism- believe me I can completely understand people with twins and a toddler needing some space and time to themselves- but personally I would not be happy about leaving such young babies to cry. If accepting that your life is over really doesn't suit have you thought about a Gina Ford type routine or is that what you're doing now? I know many people on here find G Ford very helpful and have heard her name mentioned on a couple of twins' websites too. Maybe someone else on here can advise you further on this as I'm not an expert.

Other things that I've heard suggested by parents of twins: putting them in the same cot; dummies; colic drops; getting some help during the day- relatives? nanny students?- so that you're a bit more refreshed for the grim bits that only parents get to do; playing them some music...

I hope things get better soon, Pop. Good luck. I'll post more if I think of anything.

crystaltips Thu 15-Aug-02 21:40:38

MABS - I'm with you on this one!

It all comes flooding back ....

First of all I really don't think their body clocks will be properly adjusted until 12 weeks. This really was the breakthrough point for me - when everything began to settle down and baby's ( in your case babies' ) night time seemed to FINALLY coincide with yours .... if only for a few hours.

Secondly I think my DS was reared on infacol and it really did the trick. It tends to settle their "little systems" and the great thing is that you cannot give them too much as it'll do no harm.

HTH and Good Luck.

Lollypop Thu 15-Aug-02 21:43:12

My dd cried in the evenings for the first few weeks, until she was about 6 weeks, I don't think it was colic in her case. Obviously its harder with 2 but I didn't put her down for a sleep either I walked her round the house in her sling or ended up feeding her almost constantly between 7-9 in the evening. Hope things get better soon.

aloha Thu 15-Aug-02 22:08:02

I DO know how you feel. My ds had evening crying/colic whatever you call it for weeks and weeks and weeks. I know it was terrible at the time. We found nothing helped - not infacol, not anything, though a new product designed to specifically help lactose intolerance is supposed to help some babies with evening crying. Ask your pharmacist. They are drops to add to feed or EBM and I can't remember the name of the product. I think the key is to get some help during the day. Can you put in an ad for a mother's help/nice, willing student who will give you a break so you can handle the evenings. I too would feel uncomfortable about letting such little babies cry for so long. Could you each have a baby for a while? Could you take them out in a double buggy for an evening walk while the weather is so lovely (or at least is here in London? Maybe go to sit outside the pub with G&T and a sympathetic friend??? I also think 10wks is too young for a real routine, though I know others disagree. Also think ScummyMummy's idea of putting them in bed together seems like a good one. Good luck. I do have some idea of how awful it is. Can't imagine how awful in duplicate.

ionesmum Thu 15-Aug-02 22:42:25

Oh. poor you, Pop. Our dd was n't premature but was in the NICU and she was a champion crier 24 hrs a day for a month, and then just all night starting at 1 a.m. She's now six mo and hardly cries at all -but she still won't be left on her own upstairs if she's awake. If your little ones stop crying by being with you downstairs then I would just let them stay with you. I've come to the conclusion that some babies like routine from an early age and some don't, some like early nights and some don't - just like adults. And before six mo they are changing all the time. If it is colic then the Colief drops mentioned by aloha might help.

One thing that we found invaluable was a vibrating chair from Mamas and Papas. Dd was put in one in the NICU as it was the only way to stop her crying. We'd put dd in it and thereby at least have our hands free, and she'd very often have a nap in it. We still use it now. The other big success was taking her out in the car.

Good luck!

ScummyMummy Fri 16-Aug-02 00:20:27

Hi again, Pop. I'm worried that my last post sounded a bit smug and flippant tho I didn't mean it like that. For me accepting that life was inevitably going to be chaotic for a while really did help but I know that not everyone thinks it is inevitable... and it probably isn't very helpful to hear. Sorry.
One more thing I do remember helping- tho I'm a bit hazy as to stages- was giving the boys a bath-massage-feed routine before putting them down to sleep.

FifiDella Fri 16-Aug-02 09:08:33

Pop - I left a message on the multiple births talkboard. I went through similar problems 2+ years ago. I found that getting them into a regular feeding & sleeping routine a la Gina Ford during the day was a big help. We started bathtime @ 6pm followed by a feed then bed @ 7pm - there would be some crying but not more than 5/10 minutes. We put our twins side by side in a travel cot (mainly through lack of space at that time) & they like that better than separate moses baskets. When we first started the routine there would be crying or whingeing for up to half an hour but after a week this was down to 5/10 minutes. A musical swing (try getting a second hand one as they are expensive and they don't use them for very long) was really useful during the day as it had an instant calming effect. The other thing that worked in the early months was dummies & putting them to sleep on their fronts. I know this is frowned upon but my daughter rolled herself onto her front early on & was much more comfortable and I really found it made a difference to the twins settling down.

It is exhausting in the early weeks and having the evening to yourself is a huge help. If you haven't already, I suggest you read Gina Ford for general tips on babies' routines & sleep patterns.

I had a nanny trainee (some colleges specifically want twins under one) for 6 hours a day, two days a week for 3 months & she was a huge help - it meant I could get a nap during the day & we even took them to Aquababies when they were 4 months old. Good luck, I'm sure they'll settle into a routine & believe me it does get better over time.

kkgirl Fri 16-Aug-02 09:29:06


This might sound smug, but try not to get too stressed and try to rest as much as possible during the day so that you can get through the evenings as best you can.

When my twins were 9 weeks old and my ds was 2 1/2 my husband had to work away during the week (to keep the money coming in), and I thought I would go mad, but if you try to stay calm, don't think too far ahead and rest as much as is possible (not much chance I know), you will get through it. I can't promise it gets easier as they get older but there is life after twins!!!!!!

Hope this is helpful.

Tinkerbell Fri 16-Aug-02 09:57:59

Have you thought about an osteopath? My ds was born early and little and we too had the evening crying but none of the colic remedies helped. Someone, an angel!, suggested the Osteopathic Centre for Children on Harley Street in London which is a charity run centre so you only pay what you can afford. No use if you are not in London I know, but there may be an equivalent near you if not.

The change was almost immediate. I liked the idea that it was a non-invasive, no drug treatment...they barely even touch their bodies. After the first session it was sooooo much better and we went every week for about 6 weeks and each time we saw a huge improvement. They even do post-partum treatment for mothers which is excellent too, especially if you have just gone through prem delivery of twins.

Having twins too in 10-ish weeks so I may be trying the centre again soon!!

Hopes things improve quickly and GOOD LUCK.

Enid Fri 16-Aug-02 11:06:03

Sorry, not on topic, but just to say that I found your post immensely cheering Scummymummy - I dont have twins but have been stressing about coping with dd and no2 in October. I LOVE the advice about accepting life is over until it gets better and strangely, it has really cheered me up! Ta

ScummyMummy Fri 16-Aug-02 11:34:48

Oh good, Enid! Thanks.

pop Fri 16-Aug-02 13:25:51

thanks everyone for the advice. I am having a really awful day today and feeling like the worst mother in the world. as far as the nighttime crying,I am so confused as to what to do. I am really trying to get them into a routine with bath bottle bed at 7ish. Last night we did eventually bring them downstairs and as soon as we even went into the room to get them they both stopped crying!! They lay happily on their mat for 20mins and then were fed. The godsend is that after their 10ish feed they go down no bother. My dilemma is - do I bring them down or do I stick to the routine framework? I don't think they have colic or they would not stop crying when picked up. Have tried infacol not sure if it helps as they do tend to hold onto their wind.

Scrummy mummy - totally agree with the accepting life is over theory although I feel like I am going through a really bad patch. At first it was such a relief after the sickness and stress of the preg that they were here safe and sound and I didn't feel it was as bad as I thought it would be. Now it seems like this is never going to end although I know it will and I am feeling quite down. Think I need to speak to other twinny mums as I feel like nobody really understands how I am feeling. I feel like going anywhere is a major effort so tend to stay at home and have friends visit but as I am usually someone who likes going out and about this is stressful. Today went to visit my friend but twins were unsettled, I was stressed after getting them all in the car, ds was knackered and moaning all the time!! - nightmare - should have just stayed at home!!! Sorry this all sounds very negative - what does everyone else think about the night thing? Should I 'give in' and take them downstairs? I think part of the problem is that they sleep alot during the day and I can't keep them awake.

FifiDella Fri 16-Aug-02 13:54:18

Pop - have you joined your local twinsclub - there will be lots of support from people who have gone through what you are going through and also people who are going through it at the same time. Contact TAMBA if you do not know where your local club is based.

Maybe the twins are sleeping so much during the day because they are not going to sleep properly until 10pm - it's a bit of a chicken & egg situation but they may need to cut back on the daytime naps if they are to sleep at 7pm. Have you read Richard Ferber's "How to get your child to sleep" (or something similar) -it's available from Blooming Marvellous and probably elsewhere. However, if they are happy downstairs until 10pm & then settle well after their 10pm feed, it may be as well to keep doing that until they start getting tired earlier.

Although a major hassle, it does help to get out during the day. Can you meet a friend in a local park so you can walk there with twins in the buggy & let your toddler have a runaround? If you are bottle or mixed-feeding, you can let someone else feed one of the twins - this makes it easier to get out without being tied to feeding times.

If you think it will help, please feel free to call me on 07733 231576.

sjs Fri 16-Aug-02 14:03:30

I don't know about premature babies or twins, but it sounds like you are doing a great job already - especially if you have an older child too. You must be totally exhausted.

At 5 weeks or so, we started trying the Gina Ford routines because up until them my dd would cry to be fed from 7pm until 10.30ish and I was knackered. I followed the routines (especially the nightime part) and found that my dd started to settle v. quickly at 7pm and I would have to wake her at 10.30pm. I also used to wake her at 7am to start the day. I felt like a really horrible person and my Mother thought I was completely mad to wake a sleeping baby, but she admitted then and now that it worked for our family.

I have a friend with twins (who actually recommended and bought the book for me) who didn't use the routines until 5 months, but found they worked brilliantly for her 2 girls and she wished she had found it sooner.

If your babies are still sleeping a lot during the day, it maybe that MABS is right and they are still a bit confused about night and day. They are still quite little. 4 weeks as full term, so I'd probably be inclined to cut them a bit of slack and give them comfort but definitely not bring them downstairs and play with them/give them any stimulation. From 7pm treat it as night time - darkened room, lullabies, etc. and try putting them down to sleep. (We used to put a Bach for Babies CD on when we left the room. I don't know if my dd appreciated it or not, but I always felt better about leaving her in the room on her own!)

Also, any chance that you can rope in help during the day and in the evenings (friends, family or paid maternity nurse if you can afford it.) A good night's sleep would help you conquer the world I'm sure.

Anyway congrats on your beautiful babies and good luck!

Copper Fri 16-Aug-02 14:17:02

If they are happy when you bring them downstairs, why not? As long as they sleep from 10 on. I know you want a break from them, but this is hardly relaxing! Maybe this is their current wakeful time and they miss you.

Clarinet60 Fri 16-Aug-02 19:37:06

Have to agree with Copper. My DS2 is 13 weeks and has always cried until 10 pm unless he is on the boob constantly. I can't leave him to cry, so I give him what he wants and he sleeps really well from 10-ish until 10-ish AM, waking for a couple of feeds in the night. It's much easier to go with this, although it does make putting DS1 to bed difficult ....

ionesmum Fri 16-Aug-02 22:31:10

Pop, you are doing brilliantly. I only have dd but I felt exactly as you do - that no-one understands, and that it will never end. But it does, before long you will realise that you can see the wood for the trees and it will get better. We tried to get dd into a routine but she doesn't like it yet and most evenings we have a choice between staying with dd in her room or bringing her down. Actually this can be quite nice; I will have happy memories of watching all the athletics with dd perched on my knee! If they are going down after their 10 p.m. feed then that is fantastic and you should be very pleased. I agree about finding other mums with twins;also I've found mumsnet invaluable for when I'm having a bad day.

mears Sat 17-Aug-02 01:10:37

I do not think that you need to worry that your babies are not in a routine at 10 weeks, especially as they were preterm. If they are happy in the evening to be with you then that is what I would do. I would not stress myself listening to them crying when they are obviously needing/wanting attention. The fact that they tend to settle around 10pm is good so why not indulge them?

tigermoth Sat 17-Aug-02 10:05:08

Pop, just to say I still bring my nearly 3 year old toddler downstairs now and than if he persistently cries in the evening. He just sits by us watching TV for a while. He's happy, we're happy. Then he goes to bed relaxed. With a nod here to scummymummy, admitting defeat just eases the stress so much.

tiktok Sat 17-Aug-02 11:12:55

Pop - you are doing so well, and it will help, I think, if you ask yourself why they should be in an evening routine that means they are asleep in the early evening. Most babies aren't - some are, but most aren't. If they do down at 10 pm, that is brilliant.

They sleep a lot in the day, sleep reasonably well at night, and so they are *bound* to need more communication, more feeding, more company, more cuddles in the evening...they have to be awake to learn, to take in the calories they need, and expecting them to sleep like a toddler (early to bed, only one or two shortish naps in the day)...well, it ain't gonna work without a lot of grief.

You should be proud of yourself - it is hard with twins, and they are being loved, nurtured and nourished so well.

Setting high (impossibly high) standards that don't relate to their needs takes away your rightful sense of achievment. Just go with the flow for a bit more!!

aloha Sat 17-Aug-02 14:13:49

Hi Pop, couldn't agree more with the last few posts. I honestly feel 10wks (only 4wks after term) is too young to expect a routine from them or yourself. If they are happy downstairs then take them downstairs. They miss you & that has to be nice! You can't relax listening to them cry anyway, maybe you'd be more relaxed sitting downstairs watching the telly, glass of wine in hand, with two beautiful babies to look at. Please don't expect too much of yourself. The babies being downstairs ISN'T defeat - it's a positive step towards making you all happy, which is what we all want for our families. My ds didn't go down at 7pm for months and months, and I loved the peaceful evenings feeding and snoozing with him (HATED the crying tho!). Of course it was nice to get my evenings back with dh & Would Like To Meet, but your bubs are so young. Soon it will all be different.

SueDonim Sat 17-Aug-02 15:55:15

I agree, too, with doing what makes everyone happy. Having your babies with you during the evening isn't a defeat and can be a lovely time for dad especially, if he is out at work all day.

You might be interested to know about 'routines' out here in Indonesia. Parents may well have been up since 4am, when they arise to say prayers. The day starts very early for children, with school beginning at 7am. Often, by 9am, it is quiet everywhere, as people grab a morning nap. Then it's work again until about 1pm, when all stops for another snooze. After that, it's all go until about 9 or 10pm, children and all. They run around playing games (often in their pyjamas, which they don about 6pm) and babies are carried around, lots of them by their dads. I suspect they would think it quite mad if we suggested they put their children to bed at 7pm!!

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