Bedtime tips for twins?(6 Posts)
I find it really hard doing bedtime on my own with my 13wo twin boys and wondered if anyone had any tips to make life easier?!
If I just had one or the other it would be (relatively) easy - but I can't get one calm enough to sleep without the other getting worked up! DS1 is more of a pain, he goes into an absolute tizzy trying to get himself to sleep. DS2 will self settle occasionally but we haven't even bothered trying with DS1, he's bad with or without getting attention.
I do live with their dad at the moment but not sure how long for - OH is so snappy and grumpy since we had the boys - I think a combination of work stress and trying to adjust to fatherhood. I'm sure he loves them to bits but it's like he's bored with the everyday routine/ monotony of childcare. This evening has been horrid, we had a nice day doing stuff with the kids, then he took a work phone call and has snapped at me ever since - it's easier to do bedtime by myself (even though it took 2.5 hours!) than ask him and risk having my head bitten off again.
If anyone has any ideas that would be much appreciated - I don't have any family close enough to help. Really wish I did but the nearest are 1.5 hours away!
Hi Ruby, I don't have any magic answers for you, but didn't want this to go unanswered. My b/g twins are 13 weeks on Monday, and we have a 4 yo son as well. I know I couldn't do bath and bedtime without my incredibly supportive OH. He's not perfect by any means but he is an active parent, and bedtime currently takes both of us for sure!
I think you need to speak with your OH. Twins are tough as well as wonderful, and it sounds like he's struggling. He needs to know how you're feeling, but equally he needs to know it's OK for him to say he's not blissfully happy. It's only if you talk about these things that you can ride them out.
As for bedtime, we cope by putting only one of the twins in the bath each night. I do bathtime with the 4 yo and one twin, while Dad settles the other twin, gets them ready for bed, and starts to give them a top up bottle. Then the one that's been in the bath gets a top up bottle while we all have a story. One of us takes the 4 yo to bed while the other one stays with the twins.
It's only after having this routine for a good 4-5 weeks that they're starting to settle into it - now we can get everybody asleep by about 7:15 (although one or both of the twins tends to wake again by about 8pm, so we're still not getting much of an evening). So it's taken time.
We also have one grouchy twin and one chill twin. Most of the time I try to make sure that the chill one is settled, or at least calm, and then set to work settling the grouchy one. I hate that one's needs almost always come before the other's, but I try to reassure myself that both their needs are being met.
Thanks Buffy, I think I will suggest alternate bath times to my OH - it might be quicker than doing them both every night but they do enjoy it! Do your twins sleep through the night yet? Mine are usually asleep by around 10pm but one will only go around 5 hours, the other 6 or 7 (on a good night!).
They are at the age now where they want entertaining all the time - we have lots of activity mats etc but they aren't quite big enough to reach/ be interested in the hanging toys. I try to make them do lots of physical things to tire them out, but it's difficult when I'm on my own.
Don't get me wrong, OH loves them to bits, but he just seems to get bored with the everyday routines - he thinks we sit round all day and have naps, despite the fact that when he's with them, he knows it's non stop demands from the babies!
I'm currently looking for a decent activity centre that they can sit at/ play with and a few simple rattles - we got lots of presents for them at Christmas but most were for older children. Once they get to about 6 months we'll have loads, but for the moment their favourite toy is tinsel, which they love but I have to watch them constantly to make sure they're not eating it!!
Are you breastfeeding them? I used to get them both changed for bed, then lie everyone on our bed and feed the first lying down while stroking/cuddling/whispering to the other twin while they lay behind the feeding twin. With any luck, the first would feed to sleep, and then I'd move to the other side of the bed and feed the second twin to sleep.
When they stopped feeding to sleep, I started to feed and then lie in my bed with them both reading two stories (one each!). Then lights out and cuddles until they fall asleep. If you then want them to sleep somewhere else, lift them once they're deeply asleep.
I have done 99% of bedtimes on my own, as my DH isn't home until late. I don't bath them in the evening if I can help it; bathtime as during the day when i was at home with them, and is now a weekend activity. If they need an extra bath during the week, it is a quick, shallow, practical event rather than a luxurious splash around.
I have stuck to the same routine now that we have a baby too. So three children plus me all cuddle for stories and they fall asleep in a sleepy heap. DH and I then move the twins to their beds when they're fast asleep
Play stuff for this age is hard, there isn't really much. My two like the play gym, but but for long. I tend to move them between that, their bouncer chairs with stuff to look at and, frankly, sitting in my lap watching TV (it's all shapes and colours after all).
In terms of sleeping, twin girl has just this last few days started sleeping 9:30 to 6, but not reliably yet, some days she's up for a feed between 2 and 4. Twin boy is still up more - normally twice, between 1 and 3 and then around 4. But they also have random squawks when I just stick their dummies back in their mouths and they settle again. It's getting better, but very slowly!
I'm formula feeding them Happy; at the moment OH takes one twin and I take the other and we feed them till they're full, or full enough to fall asleep! Tonight they were both asleep by 10.30pm which isn't bad, hopefully they'll sleep through till 5am ish. I'm hoping that once they're old enough to hold their own bottles, it'll be far easier to feed them together at bedtime - OH is going away for 4 days in May, it would be nice to have things sorted by then.
Mine get bored with the play gym too Buffy, the kick piano keeps them happy for a while but they don't see the point in toys yet. They're sleeping around 6 hours on a good night before they get hungry and wake up, but like yours, sometimes they're up earlier for no reason that I can see. OH asked me the other day "do you nap with them during the day then?" - he couldn't believe it when I told him that they don't nap much during the day any more, so yes, I survive on about half the sleep he does!!
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