20 Qs for a confused parent(11 Posts)
These might be pretty random questions but they've been bugging us, so hear goes:
A) how early did your multiples start teething? Our two DSs have started biting their hands, crying a lot, being restless at night (more so) etc. They are only 13 weeks...
B) how do you burp a baby if you dream feed it? Doing so wakes them up? Not doing so means trapped air wakes them up.
C) does there come a time when it's possible to look after twins on a daily basis without help (such as from a family member of mother's help) without tearing your hair out.
D) people say "it gets better". Please quantify!
Okay will try to remember...
a) chewing and dribbling at 4 months..first teeth at 9 months approx
b)Never burped at night, feed and back down.
c) Never had any help with the twins, untill they were mobile was fairly easy. When they find that they can reach each other, well that's a different thread
d) hmmm, no. The difficulties just change as they get older, I could tell who had bitten who by the number of teeth in the bite marks after they became mobile! My twins are 6 now but they still have a love/hate relationship deeper than the other dc's, they are best pals or killing each other.
Honestly, you'll cope and you gotta love em
Reading this back it makes it sound grim..but there is much joy and laughter along the way. Best of luck, remember they are babies for such a short time, try to enjoy it!!
teething can start that early. I didn't have help with my triplets, i just kept to a rigid routine. Mine are 12 now and we're still (relatively) sane.
a) chewing and dribbling - can't really remember, 3 mths maybe. DS got 1st tooth at almost 5 mnths, DD at 7 months
B) never really sorted this one out tbh. DS was nightmare sleeper, colic, reflux etc. He got better when we stopped feeding him at night altogether at about 9mths. Sorry, know that doesn' help.
c) yes, and no. I had help for the first month or so - had had a C section, but that time also including moving to the other end of the country. I didn't dress my twins until they were about 4 mths (I mean they wore sleepsuits, not clothes!) and generally took life easy - prioritising food and hygeine and getting out of the house every day for my/DD1's sanity. Lowering your standards helps, as does associating with people who think they couldn't possibly manage twins and you're doing a great job!
d) lots of people said to us that it gets better after the first year - I think there is some truth in this (though I remember questioning it with terror the day after their first birthday!). We found starting solids was a mini milestone - it gives you something to do with them before they can do anything much that doesn't involve you carrying them around! Sleep improving happened for us at about 9 mths and changed our lives immesurably for the better. Mobility brings challenges, but generally I've felt (and continue to feel - they're nearly 3) that life gets better/easier as they get older.
You'll get there, good luck!
And if it's any consolation, you probably won't remember all this in a couple of years' time!
a) chewing and dribbling, about the same as yours I think, maybe even earlier (brain fug).
b) could never burp mine effectively anyway, so was all a bit hit and miss (though a cuddle and a back rub didn't wake them up), usually too knackered even to remember burping was supposed to be a good idea...
c) it depends. I was the opposite to madhattershouse and didn't find things at all easy when they weren't mobile. I HATED newborns and found them terribly difficult, anxiety-making and terrifying. As soon as they had their first birthday (and were wobbling around the room), it all became clearer. So I guess I'm saying it depends on you - you will either be a baby lover or a toddler lover. With luck you'll be both!
d) Yes it gets better (mine are almost two and a half). What I found, though, was that I had to adjust my expectations. Friends who were parents of singletons used to mark in weeks when things got easier. Personally I found, with twins, it is more realistic - if terrifying at the time - to mark in six month or yearly periods. So don't say to yourself 'it'll be better in eight weeks', say 'it'll be better by Christmas'.
I remember very clearly being in your position. It was like Groundhog Day. As soon as they started developing their personalities, I was far more comfortable with everything.
You'll be fine, by the way.
a) dribbling at about 4m first two teeth at 6m
b) went with getting one burp up after a nightfeed then back down
c) never had help so just got on with it. Second socialising with singleton parents - they always tell you you're fab.
d) mine are 18m now and some bits are easier, some harder. They don't need constant tending but the tantrums start to be wearing, plus they start to not like the pram but they are impossible to manage if walking when out and about. They have fab personalities though and you can play games/read books/chase them etc and they spend as much of the day laughing as they do crying. Plus I worry less now - don't stress if they don't eat or fall over etc as they are fairly sturdy.
Thanks everyone. Its a relief to know that it gets better, although there are challenges of course.
Blimey, it really sounds like teething is very common at 3-4 months. Annoyingly, when we've been to the health visitor she basically looked at my wife, explained when babies usually teeth and then just said, 'babies do cry you know.' Yes we know that! But we know our babies better than anyone right? And they're really not happy at the moment. They drool and bite their hands and cry. Paracetomol soothes them, so it must be pain that is affecting them.
Madhattershouse - when you say you had no help, what do you mean? No paid help? Or literally no help, not even family? How did you keep sane? ;-)
Madlizzy - I am in awe. Please explain more! :-)
Jassinkernow - we are definately looking forward to the sleep improving! Glad to hear it does (not that we expect to be rocking an 18 year old to sleep one day, but you know).
LaLoose - that is how we feel to be honest. We are really looking forward to when they are move about a bit. At the moment the constant demand to be held is quite draining, especially for poor mum who they have eyes for the most of course! Groundhog day is the perfect description! I know DW feels that and I don't blame her although she does magnificently really. But I feel very lucky going to work on week days - although of course the conflicting priorities bring their own stresses which I tend to leave at work and unsaid.
I think one of our problems (and this is another Question I suppose) is that our twins have become quite used to being held. They really settle fairly well (besides the crying and teething recently) in your arms, but then grizzle once laid down. Could that be a symptom of being held until they are asleep? That now they expect to sleep in your arms? I mean the do sleep eventually in their cotbed, but its noticably more difficult to settle them. The slightest movement when you're putting them down and a baby who has been sleeping in your arms for 10mins will wake. sigh It makes sleeping yourself hard!
LOL! The last one was a short reply as I was on my phone. I was very lucky in that my triplets came from from SCBU on a 4 hourly schedule, all due to feed at the same time. I learned to feed the two boys together, and then feed madam, who demanded our divided attention at feed time. I could get them all fed and changed in an hour leaving a good 3 hours in between feeds. DH and I alternated feeds, ensuring we both got a good amount of sleep. DH would go to bed early and I'd do the 10pm feed (in their room in the dark), he'd get up and do the 2am feed, then I'd do the 6am and get on with the day, including taking the elder one to school. I didn't change nappies in the middle of the night unless they were dirty.
I used to put mine in bed and they'd grizzle for a few minutes before falling asleep. We called it their sleepy song.
I would advise that your wife gets out of the house with them as much as she can so life is not all babies. They'll sleep in the pushchair/car. I'd also advise taking that morning sleep time to fit in a few zeds herself.
a. about 6 months for teeth to appear but I do recall thinking from 4 months on things might be happening
b. burped as normal pretty much, they tended to drop back off once winded, even if they'd fully woken for the feed
c. it was just me and DH apart from my mum staying for one week. I found an improvement about 6 weeks when I could get out more with them. Then 3-4 months was a lot easier, I could predict feeds better and they'd sleep from 8-9 till 5-6 ish most nights.
d. See c. really! It gets incrementally better really.
I found that those reclining chairs that had adjustable backs were a godsend. I could give bottles in them, rock both with just my feet, very useful. They were happy enough to drop off in them too. It did smooth things out a lot. DS did grizzle before he slept, always.
a) Chewing and dribbling is a developmental thing and not necessarily teething. Everything goes in the mouth in preparation for them to learn to feed themselves. They alspo like to explore everything with their gums and tongues. The unsettledness might be a growth spurt as they have a big one at around 3 mths
b) had to burp all my kids, didn't used to wake them
c) Was just me and my OH when not at work from 2 weeks
d) 9-18 mths was the best time for me. Then they started to fight!
Get to your local twins club. It's so important to get support from others who know!
a) teething some time between 8 and 10 months for all 4
b) never had a problem burping a sleeping baby
c)never had any help with either set of twins
d) very subjective, but for first set the turning point was between 2 and 3. 2yo = nappy-wearing, barely-talking, food-throwing intractable savages 3yo = civilised young men, capable of feeding themselves nicely and holding an intelligent conversation. Second set it remains to be seen!
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