Falling to pieces(40 Posts)
Glad it went a bit better. I've found I'm happier too when I get to a point of accepting things are as they are. It's not easy and I often forget at tricky times! Fingers crossed for another good night.
Hello! I am also EBFing my 6.5 mo twins. I wa distraught when bfing to sleep stopped working! Here's what I did.
I started to feed them in a dark bedroom, with Ewan the Sheep playing. Sadly, TV/other people/movingtoo far once they were drowsy became too difficult. They are still on our room so I do this on our king size bed,with the duvet pulled back. I started to pat them rhythmically on their backs while they were feeding, so they got used to the rhythm and associated it with comfort. For a while, they would eventually fall asleep like this, then I'd throw one down onto the bed and quickly settle the other one I their cot. Then lift the baby on the bed and fire that one into the cot.
Once they were used to the rhythm, I then fed them until they were no longer actively feeding (this might be totally asleep or still wide awake, depending on the baby and their mood!). This take sno more than 15. Mins now. Then I would put into the cot and pat them using the same rhythm until they eventually submitted to sleep. I started with morning nap one day and now I don't have to feed before that nap at all (hooray!). Lunchtime nap I still feed them down for but if they stir, then a quick pat normally gets them over. Bedtime the same. Sometimes it takes - mins, sometimes a lot longer but normally less than 20 mins.
This was not a fast process but it really improved bedtime for me and DH can now share the settling (and multiple re-settles!) so it has reduced the time I spend getting them to sleep considerably. It's also v useful in the night and about half of their wakings cannot be sorted with a quick pat, rather than having to feed them. DTS now only wakes twice for a feed (and one of those feeds could be considered a dream feed) between 7 and 6. DTD is a tougher nut but she is gradually improving too.
Hey cheeka, I am still bf my 17 month old twin boys and those early days are HARD. Well done you. Couple of helpful tips I picked up from here and other places:
- get naps sorted now. This will help with getting them to go down without milk in the evening. I got naps sorted by following this basic routine: wake up, bf, play and do stuff for about an hour and a half. When they start grizzling, take them up to their cots and put them down for sleep.
- as someone mentioned above, I start bedtime from about 5pm, still do with my 3.5yr old DD. Dinner is at 4:30pm, then we start winding down, bath, pyjamas etc...and every week or so I'd introduce another element of bedtime after milk. So, first I'd feed them both, then read a short book, then it'd be book and teeth, then bath, teeth and book all after a feed. Eventually the link between milk and bed is gone...
I only started doing those two things when they were about 5 months old and my god it was like a miracle. There was a bit of crying, but not as much as I was expecting - I think I kept putting them to sleep when they were already too tired and so it made them even more hysterical. 4/5 months is also when they often have a massive sleep regression (yippee) so it can be very stressful as their sleep can go to pot.
Anyway, hope I haven't massively repeated anything anyone else has said and also sending you loads of sympathy! It does get easier (and more dangerous - I found one of my twins on top of the kitchen table today...)
If one is taking formula, don't feel bad about giving it to just that one. There will be people who say that you can carry on producing to demand and this may be true. But you have done an amazing job EBF so far, and it will be a strain on your body to carry on producing enough to feed both of them, and it will be a strain on all of you as it is so difficult to comfort twins when both of them are kicking off and hungry.
You could carry on feeding DTS with the boob in the morning and give him formula at night so you can give them both enough to settle. I used to bf one while ff the other in the bouncy chair. One did give up bf before the other (he had problems bf anyway) My only regret is that I stopped bf the other fairly soon after as it felt I wasn't giving them equal treatment. Really, if they are fed they are happy and it really doesn't matter how.
One thing I noticed in your post was that you were saying it's two hours since their last nap. At five months I think they may want to go a bit longer than this.
xpost - glad to hear it is getting better for you now.
Hope it was the 4 month regression then! Only the 9 month to look forward too...
I used to bath DD straight after the twins, I'd have her in the bath and I'd be on the landing with the twins drying and dressing them. Then, get her out, wrap a towel round her and dress her, then read to her whilst I fed the twins...It was complicated. DH helped A LOT, he used to come home everyday in time for bedtime to help! But honestly, since DD turned 3 and the twins 1, it has become so much simpler.
Now that wouldn't work as the boys are WAY more active and generally there are just lots of naked children racing around our house come 6pm...sigh
I hope things are going better for you. I don't have any bf advice (I only managed about 10 days before moving mine to formula) but I do have 8 month old twins.
I think you are in the hardest part at the moment. When my twins were 5/6 months, I was at absolute breaking point a lot of the time. We have a toddler as well. By the time they were 7 months, things seemed to change and suddenly get so much easier.
Now, my babies can both sit up and play with toys for periods of time. They can sit up in highchairs, they have three meals a day (and can self-feed some things) and they usually sleep through. I can't believe what a difference the last few months have made. What I'm trying to say is: just hang in there . I know lots of people say it, bit it really does get easier.
hi Cheeka, I dont know how it happened but by six months the twins were much easier. I think solids helped, their naps were better, they were more engaged with the world, and that tired them out quite a lot too. Breastfeeding dramatically improved after six months and far from giving up then, you might find it is your magic weapon against squalling. I think I stopped tandem feeding except at bedtime and even then it became clear that the twins had slightly different sleep patterns so naturally they ended up feeding at subtly different times. I don't think dealing with twins is an exact science, and whatever works at a particular time is the right approach. I mixed fed till six months for the record, so have nothing against formula or bottles. I only know that bfng them after six months seemed a doddle, and was foolproof way to deal with them out and about, when they woke at night and sundry miracles. I had a toddler son too btw. You sound like you are doing brilliantly. Someone once said to me that twins get very jealous of each other bdng, and for some reason this cheered me up tremendously as I realised they were crying not because they were desperately hungry or in pain but just because they were jealous. And obviously then I gave them loads of cuddles too..
One of my twins needed far more sleep than for example Contented Little Baby might have suggested (stimulation from being a twin perhaps?) and one of my twins needed far more feeds than the other. So it is just a case of doing what works for you and twins and not paying that much attention to other people's ways of doing things, if what you are doing Works!
DTD being territorial over the cushion could just be personality. Even when my twins were weeks old I always had to BF DTS first otherwise he would just scream. They are now 6 and he is still as impatient and always wants me first. His darling TS will give into him rather than listen to him scream.
Although I gave them one bottle a day, I carried on BF until my DTS was 16 months old, his DTS had weaned herself by this point. I only did one feed per day first thing in the morning, but this was much easier than getting out of bed to make a bottle!!
After the DT started weaning they slept much more and were far more settled. I think they were a bit hungry for the first 6 months!
My DT are now 6 and are the best of friends at home. Every morning they rush into each others rooms and start playing. It does get much much easier!
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