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maybe controversial...Any one done the GF routine with twins...??

(27 Posts)
hippy3 Mon 20-Jun-11 11:30:44

Hi I am wndering if anyone has done the GF routine with twins.... I know some people HATE what she says and dnt believ in a lot of what she says but Ive been reading her book (said i wouldnt before they came along..but am DESPERATE for some sort of life back)...

It seems i cant leave the room without the boys grizzling, looking at me to entertain them (Which I do), but cant get anything else done !!! I know there isnt anything wrong with them as the second I pick them up or hold them they IMMEDIATLY stop grizzling/ crying.... They are 11 weeks at the moment, and Id lOVE to be in some sort of routine by their 4th month. (they were born a month early so am looking at the 6-8 week routine for them, if anyone has any other suggestions..I have also looked at the baby whisperer.... And I quite like this also.....

any advice....??

silverangel Mon 20-Jun-11 13:22:41

Mine haven't been born yet so pretty much no idea what I'm talking about but I have a copy of A Contented House With Twins which is Gina Ford and someone else who had twins and the routines seem to make sense to me although they are VERY rigid.

These are my first children so I realise it could go completley out the window once they actually arrive, but I think we are going to give it a go!

sprinkles77 Mon 20-Jun-11 14:02:50

OP I think GF has a special book for twins. I only have one baby, I did GF. Absolutely brilliant. She is rigid, but once they are settled you can relax a bit and just go back to the book if things go wonky.

JuliaGulia Mon 20-Jun-11 20:11:32

We followed baby whisperer with our b/g twins. They are 16 months now and I feel like BW worked well for us - we're just starting 'toddler taming'!

Mum2tigers Mon 20-Jun-11 20:59:30

mine were born at 37 wks, we started GF the first time at around 9 weeks old, it totally didn't work - whether that was because the babies were too small or because we didn't persevere. anyhow, tried again around 11 weeks and tried to follow the routines rigidly and after about 3 or 4 days, just as i was about to give up, the babies actually settled into the routine.

there was only the non-twin version of the book when mine were babies, i just did the same things for both babies at roughly the same time, just not down to the minute (! as GF would have us do!)

i adjusted the routines for their weight ('cause i assume the book is written for an average weight baby) and followed the appropriate weight/age-week routine. to begin with, it felt horribly constraining but once the babies settled, it was fantastic. fantastic to know what they wanted/what i should do/when i could look forward to some respite whilst they slept.

if you want to give it go, i'd recommend that you try it seriously for several days, if not a week or more, to give you and your babies a chance to adjust and settle into the routines. i'd also recommend serious blackout curtains (not just blinds. we used wire that you'd normally hang net curtains from, along the bottom of our windows to tuck our curtains in so we could block out more light).

rattling Mon 20-Jun-11 22:20:00

Definitely a higher proportion of twin parents seem to do it than singletons (entirely random statistical analysis in my head based on threads I have read on MN). And lots who do do it (me included), don't stick to it fanatically.

I found the boys needed WAY more sleep than she suggests, but it was very useful to work out a middle ground where both their needs could be nearly met.

We also did our main daytime sleep always in the pram, as that was the only way I could be sure they would sleep at the same time.

And - not very Gina - but do you have a sling? I carried my sleepier, clingier one a lot. Actually the more I write, the less I feel I can claim I followed the GF method. I did however read the book and refer often to her timetables (then amend to suit!)

hippy3 Tue 21-Jun-11 10:57:26

Thanks for the tips...I am going to pick what I like form her routnie I think... I am not very good at sticking to the precise minute of the day that she suggests... although I do agree that they should have designated nap tikmes, at the oment my two are all over the place.... they do feed together mind you, and I have allready started a bed time routine that thankfully I started last week.... and they are in bed by 7....

I am DETERMINED to get them into a routine not just for myself but for them also as they are just so grizzly at the moment and I dont seem to be bale to leave the room wothout them crying within a coupld of minutes... I am hoping this is stage!!!

For those of you that did this...did you keep your babies awake until nap time..its juts one of my boys is A LOT more lazy/ sleepier than his brother.... so am not sure how this is going to work...! Any suggestions???

Cerubina Tue 21-Jun-11 13:42:38

hippy, I'm doing this for my twins at the moment albeit a slightly more relaxed version. I started by implementing the bedtime routine at 7pm (though not bathing them every day, I don't think I could stand it with all the screaming that goes on!) and more recently have introduced the feeding and napping times. Like you, I'm on the 6-8 week routine as mine are 8 weeks adjusted tomorrow but 16 weeks chronologically.

I reckon the nap times are particularly helpful to follow (mine don't sleep perfectly by any means, but it helps me to know when they 'should' be feeling sleepy and when I can put them in their room to get on with chores or just having a break from being on duty). And I had just begun to notice them getting comfortable with going more than 3 hours between feeds when I started Gina's feed times, and they seem happy as Larry with the new intervals.

It's definitely not perfect in my household but it does feel a bit more sane and under control than it did. I think the book has some real gaps in it - there are times of day when things are way over-prescribed and other times when she just leaves you hanging without a clue what to do, and she is very inconsistent in telling bottle feeding mums how to judge quantities etc. It is very lacking that there is zero comment on the effect that prematurity can have, given that so many twins do come early - you're really left to figure out for yourself how to flex the routines. I haven't read her CLB book for singletons but suspect that it might cast some light on the things I've found confusing.

Oh, and as for the constant grizzling - snap. Mine are perfectly charming first thing in the morning but as soon as my husband goes to work, I'm dealing with two perpetually tearful babies. S in particular cries whenever he's not being held or entertained. Yesterday I was feeding him and R cried throughout, I winded him and put him in his chair and he seemed quite happy while she carried on crying, but literally the very second I put the bottle in her mouth (so she stopped crying), he started. The very second. I would swear they are in cahoots.

hippy3 Tue 21-Jun-11 15:30:15

cerub havent heard from you for ages If I remember rightly we were due a day apart !! IM on the same routine as you..... im going to see how it goes...and im with you on the grizzling... My two seem to tag team me on everything, especially nights!!!

I am PRAYING its a phase that they are going thru..and that they will adjust and be much better when they are getting regular scheduled naps etc..... hw are your two?? u havent been on for a while.....x

londonlottie Tue 21-Jun-11 18:30:21

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hippy3 Tue 21-Jun-11 21:13:06 o clock..I like that...(I have a glass in hand as we speak!)I THINK we may have cracked it within 6 nights, the first 2 were bad then fri and saturday were good, sunday was bad again but the last couple of nights they have settled within 20 minutes !!! Although have probably jinxed myself now....!! I guess some nights will be better than others, I actually feel quite chuffed that they have gone down the last two nights, makes me realise that its not all in vain...!smile

One question...How did you manage to keep your little ones up..My one little man is LAZY and he loves his sleep.... so trying to keep him awake until he is able to have his nap is going to be a bit of a nightmare..... He is going to struggle to stay awake after the afternoon long nap and a feed until the late afternoon nap... so I Might just play it by ear and see how it goes.... LL I think I might just follow your lead if it doesnt affect their proper sleep I might do the same thing.... we will see I guess it will be trial and error...

londonlottie Tue 21-Jun-11 21:29:08

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londonlottie Tue 21-Jun-11 21:32:49

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kathryn2804 Wed 22-Jun-11 23:47:27

they have growth spurts during which time they're really unsettled. It's probably just that

They'll go back to nice happy babies soon

Personally I think it's better to find your own routine. Write down what they do one day and compare it to the next. You'll probably find it's similar, there's your routine! It'll change though!!

londonlottie Thu 23-Jun-11 08:19:20

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kingfix Thu 23-Jun-11 09:47:21

How much howling is involved in starting the GF routines?

I am put off by people warning darkly (on other boards) 'you have to be tough enough to do what takes' which is a bit too Jack Bauer for me.

On the other hand, I feel like I've been holding one or other or both of my twins since they were born 7 weeks ago and I'd like to get some sleep.

londonlottie Thu 23-Jun-11 12:28:50

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Potplant Thu 23-Jun-11 12:42:42

I used GF with mine from about 10 weeks. I was at breaking point - they didn't feed or sleep at the same time and I was knackered. Within a week there was a massive improvement - in fact the first time I put them to bed and they were both asleep by 7.30 I sat on the couch and cried with relief.

You have to follow the spirit of it rather than follow it to the letter especially with twins (15 mins to bathe them both on my own!) And I still don't know what creases I was supposed to be creaming.

She comes in for a lot of stick on here but I think with twins you have to have a lot more order to the day just to get through it. If you've just got one its easier to go with the flow (relatively anway, there's nothing easy about a newborn). Everyone said to me 'sleep when the baby sleeps' but mine were never awake at the same time.

londonlottie Thu 23-Jun-11 12:56:10

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Mandy21 Thu 23-Jun-11 15:06:25

Would also agree that its useful as a guide but following it to the letter wouldn't have been possible in my opinion. At the time when my twins were small, there was only one book, with a couple of special "twin" routines within it. Apart from the fact that I wouldn't have left the house before 4pm each day if you follow it completely, I found that my babies when they were the age you're talking about (11/12 weeks) needed more feeds then she says. The routines also advocated splitting the feeds if you were breastfeeding, so giving Twin 1 15 minutes, then giving Twin 2 15 minutes, then giving Twin 1 another 15 minutes and then Twin 2 another 15 minutes. We'd have had a riot on our hands if we'd have tried that. I found that we fell into a routine as they got a little bit older - 4 or 5 months - when I got to know their signals better.

I think the "basic" messages are useful though - how much sleep a baby should be having at any given stage, that a routine is important, keeping a room dark etc, trying if you can to have their main / big sleep at home etc. I think its a question of cherrypicking the parts that fit you and your babies.

hippy3 Thu 23-Jun-11 19:47:52

I want my life back, My DP thinks Ive gone mad... we are very lucky in the fact that our two seem to have settled into their night routine, and know that the cot is for bed and they are usually asleep within 20 minutes...and stay asleep until Finn my smaller man wakes at around 3.... the problem is settling him back down after that, he fights us every step of the way and like last night he didnt settle until 5 !!! But we got up at 7..Im loosley getting them ready for next week....!! I put them in the cot today for their afternoon nap whihc I have NEVER done before as they would have screamed the house down but they didnt .....

I think that having two babies I have to follow some sort of structure to my day..I think the boys will probably be better as they will know what to expect..Im hoping I will also be able to read their cues better....(hopefullyconfused )..
I am determined to do this I know its going to be a fight, the littler one finn is quite a determined little thing(follows his mum...) and I can see him fighting me every step of the way. I still dont believe in letting them cry it out, so am planning on doing the controlled crying thing...because I know they are going to cry, theyve had the run of the house the last 12 weeks... am thinking it will be tough the first few weeks and then Im praying it will work.... Ill let you know. !

PrincessScrumpy Thu 23-Jun-11 19:53:13

I used it to give me a guide as to how much sleep / how many feeds etc but that was all. I also won't be in such a rush when dtds start to cry this time (unless they're in pain obv). DD1 is 3 now, but I'm expecting twins in Sept. DD1's routine will pretty much dictate the basis of the routine.

pilipala22 Fri 24-Jun-11 09:46:54

My sister bought me this book when I found out I was expecting twins, having used GF herself. I always thought she would be too perscriptive and looking at the book before I had my girls I thought it was (and the creaming of the creases also had me confused). Once they were born (non-id girls) I used the book as a reference point much as many on here seem to have done. I was useful to have something to go to and steps to try and take to get the girls on track. We also used the routine as a rough guide.

Personally without a routine I think I would struggle with the two of them, at least I know when I can safely leave the house without them needing a feed or I can plan to drive somewhere around the time when they would have a nap. The routine doesn't control our life though, I try and fit life around it but where it doesn't it's flexible enough to change.

The only bit the girls don't do is the sleeping, they have the morning nap and go down at lunch but only for 45 minutes, in the last 6 months I think they have slept for the recommended 2 hours on about 6 occasions only (and then not at the same time!).

sleepybaby Tue 19-Jul-11 10:32:43

Hi hippy3 how are you getting on ? Have things got any easier?

hippy3 Tue 19-Jul-11 12:54:38

sleepy thanks for asking... they are into their night time routine and they are in bed asleep by 7!!! we start the bed routine at 6, as mine are too tired any later to have a bath and a massage... so we out them into bed at 6.30..then it takes them very little time to settle now, they clearly know its bed time Its great I have an evening with my DP, and we then feed them when we go to bed maybe at 11..then they usually wake up at around 5.30/6..which would be right.

The day routine I ahvent got down yet mind...they feed together at specific times but still seem to be napping as and when they want. As it does not affect their night time sleep I am running niwth that at the moment, plus we are going on holiday in 2 weeks and I know everything will be up in the air when we get back..... so am going to have to start again probably.

We are talking about putitng tjem into tehir own room when we get back as the do this weird snuffly thing at night and it can wake us up... so we are thinking that they can sleep in their own room....! but it will be one thing at a time...

Tanks for asking. I feel more sane anyway ! x smile.

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