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Toddler twins out of control!

(26 Posts)
Cornwall73 Tue 05-Apr-16 13:59:44

My b/g twins are 2.5yrs (3in Aug). They have always been very lively and active, very adventurous, no fear and will climb anything and everything.

Please help! Behaviour has become a real issue in the past month or so especially at bedtime.

When they first moved into toddler beds at 2yrs they had a ball and my previous self settling twins turned into party animals. The novelty wore off and eventually they went back to self settling in their beds. For the past few months they have mastered round smooth door knobs and the bedtime party has started again. I put them to bed, tuck them in, kiss and cuddle and leave. Within seconds they are at the door and running out to jump on our double bed. We put them back but it happens again a and again unless we hold on to the door handle for ages. I have now resorted to fitting a small bolt at the top of the door so in not standing there for up to an hour.

They can't get out now but have started trashing their room. The other night they pulled out drawers, took duvet and pillows to the floor and then threw their mattresses around! The power of two! DD is the pack leader and she has a faithful follower in DS who would rather be asleep but finds her antics great fun.

During the day that have emptied while packets of flour and icing sugar on the floor and whilst they were supposed to be having a nap DD stuck her hand up the fireplaces and brought down loads of soot and debris into their bedroom floor.

I try to remain calm as I think a lot of it is about control and wanting constant attention but how can I stop this? Hard to ignore this bad behaviour!


ELSR30 Wed 06-Apr-16 17:49:46

Watching with interest as we have twins that are also 3 in August and destroy everything in their wake. We have stairgates at every door way downstairs and our lounge is basically empty of all ornaments/personality now. Their bedroom now ONLY has their beds in, again with a stairgate at their door. Even then they get naked and smear the contents of their nappies everywhere given half the chance. It's like parenting two animals not children. We have a 5 year old too and I seem to remember 3 being a bit of a turning point with regard to understanding her actions and boundaries.

You are not alone, I feel your pain!

Mothersruin75 Wed 06-Apr-16 21:46:06

I'm so glad I read this (but not that you're going through the same thing). My girls are 3 in July and we've just put them into toddler beds from cots this weekend - I feel as though I have unleashed two animals and have no way to contain them. It's taking around 90 minutes to get them to sleep this is constant putting them back in bed. One has worked out she can scale the toilet in the bathroom to climb on to the high windowsill so we've blocked the bathroom off. As well as getting a gate for their door (and maybe emptying their room - great idea) we're going to have to move their beds further apart from each other as tonight DT1 was trying to sleep but DT2 was kicking her, then starting pulling her hair. We also get the I need a wee/ poo statements which I don't want to ignore. Argh!!! This is the toughest it's been with them, DD1 wasn't as bad as this it's purely because they're together. If we had enough rooms I'd split them. The only positive is that they don't go and wake DC4 (16 months).

stinkingbishop Wed 06-Apr-16 22:02:37

I have DTD (4). Completely, utterly, totally feel your pain! We had exactly the same (without the door opening, they still haven't quite mastered that, thank GOD). Great ideas included smearing Sudocrem all over the carpet, trying to change each other's poo-filled nappies via the medium of every sock in their socks drawer, vaseline on each other's hair, ripping stuffing out of toys.... One was the ring leader, you could actually hear her on the monitor going 'wake up, wake UP' to her sister, giving her great advice like 'you shout MUMMY and cry then she come'...pesky pixies the both of them. And it's hard because it's all so sweet and innocent and if the naughtiest thing they can think of is switching pyjamas and getting into each other's's very hard not to laugh. Except for when you're tired. So very, very tired and you hear 'we gonna corse ANARKEE' on the monitor. They did say that. Entirely my fault for having taught them the word...Low point was when I cracked and said 'if this doesn't stop NOW I am going to put you in separate bedrooms' and mrs ring leader jumped up and down on her bed going 'own room! own room! yeah, yeah, YEAH'.

Things we did were:

- As above, removed most things from their room
- Got a video monitor so as soon as we spied one get out of bed we could talk to them through the monitor and say 'get back in bed' like some scary supernatural being
- Had a calm, rational discussion with them about it all, and introduced a gold star on the fridge which doesn't equate to treats or anything, just pride. Being good about bedtime and staying in bed all night means going on the star in the morning.
It's kind of playing them at their own game and tapping into the egging on/competitiveness - because now I hear them lecturing each other about not doing x/y/z otherwise they'll not be on the gold star.

And then time really. We're just 4, and it is soooooo much better. So hang in there. There will come a time - 23 maybe? - when they're ok smile.

neversleepagain Thu 07-Apr-16 07:30:27

We has a tough time too when our girls were around 2.8, it lasted about 6 months and from 3.5 there has been a noticeable difference.

Bedtime was a nightmare for months. I don't have anecdotes that live up to any of the above but it was relentless. We had to return them to their beds for HOURS! DT2 was the ring leader in the shenanigans.

They are 3.6 now and their understanding and language is really good so you can reason with them. Tantrums are also few as far between so that helps too.

Hang in there!

Artandco Thu 07-Apr-16 07:36:41

I wouldn't close the door on them, maybe they don't like it

Mine aren't twins but very close age gap. When they went through a phase of messing around we would put them in bed, lights dimmed and reading them a long boring story. They had to lay down and the story sent them to sleep. The stories weren't picture book style so no looking at anything to keep them awake at Bedtime. Basically Dh or I sat with them so they couldn't edge each other on until asleep

Deathclawswouldrunfrommykids Thu 07-Apr-16 08:12:10

My twins were exactly the same at that age. They gave us hell for about a year, climbing everything in sight, pulling mattresses off the beds, throwing clothes all over the room and changing each other's nappies.

I put a stair gate on their bedroom door, so that they couldn't wander, but didn't feel shut in as much because they could see. I also removed everything from their room including their beds and left them on mattresses on the floor. Jumping on a mattress on the floor seemed safer to me than having the height of a toddler bed (especially as they were standing on the head board!).

They are 4 now and have everything back. One falls asleep within minutes of going to bed and the other lays in bed with a couple of books until she falls asleep.

It sucked and I felt like I was going out of my mind, but it slowly got better from 3 and now I can leave them to play upstairs alone and trust that they won't destroy everything.

If you can, remove anything that causes a problem (or could be dangerous) and just ride it out. Good luck flowers

MuddhaOfSuburbia Thu 07-Apr-16 08:23:05

'you shout MUMMY and cry then she come'

I have nowt helpful to add (mine are 12 currently shoving each other on trampoline) but this made me HOWWWWL laughing

Good luck everyone. You rule

It gets better or perhaps just a different bad

<twin fist bump>

RabbitSaysWoof Thu 07-Apr-16 08:24:31

Divide and conquer. Could you stagger bedtimes, put the live wire to bed first, then your ds when dd is asleep?
Two egg each other on.

MaybeDoctor Thu 07-Apr-16 08:29:34

No twins here but Stinking Bishop's post is grin.

Anyone who ever says parenting is easy should take a look at that!

Cornwall73 Thu 07-Apr-16 09:14:21

Thank you so much, you have horrified me and made me laugh in equal measure grin. I am not alone and that is the main thing. Other twins I know of the same age are so GOOD! They are a handful and cheeky but spreading sudacrem on each other (all over) on their first nursery morning is as bad as it gets.

I like the idea of the gold star chart on the fridge. The past couple of nights have improved a bit as I had a whispered chat with each of them when tucking them in that they would make mummy happy if they stayed in bed. I may increase the stakes to getting a gold star!

Thank you allstar. Twin mums United

Cornwall73 Thu 07-Apr-16 09:57:57

..... At the risk of being on the wrath of Mumsnet but having a singleton must be a doddle?

Cadenza1818 Thu 07-Apr-16 11:38:11

Just wanted to offer support. I'm afraid I didn't experience the level of anarchy you describe (or maybe I've blanked it out!). We Def had a house of Fort knocks. I hated it at the time. Safety gates on literally every door! Plus no plants ornaments, anything not made of durable (washable!) plastic! Good luck! I second pp comment of divide ans conquer grin

Alwaysfrank Thu 07-Apr-16 11:58:41

Cornwall - as I had two singletons first I can say with certainty that they were a doddle in comparison. Nap time shenanigans were the worst for my twins, I was trying to cling onto their nap probably long after they needed it, for my own sanity, but it became a farce. You have my total sympathy- and anyone who says double trouble is wrong, I've always said it's at least quadruple. We ended up doing some building work to create separate bedrooms, and it was worth every penny!

Now they are older, it's the endless squabbling and goading that gets me down. Roll on back to school!

Cornwall73 Thu 07-Apr-16 17:56:00

Having twins is really an experience is t it? I have a friend who really struggles with a singleton but everyone else just seems to breeze through it.

Baby gates are no use as they have been able to climb over them since they were 18mth old. I have tied down all the knobs on the chest of drawers and wardrobe so it cannot be opened and I have wired the chimney cover on the fireplace shut. With long wide ribbon I have tied their mattresses to the bed slats and the bed guard to the frame as that went flying one night too. I have also had to take out my stock of nappies and wipes which I keep under their beds as DD emptied a whole packet of wipes into her bed and then sobbed it was wet!

The problem about separating them is that one of them will go in a bedroom on the floor above and I'm worried that they are too young for one of them to be on the top floor of the house on his own. Also, logistics at bedtime would be hell of I'm on my own. How can I do a bedtime routine with toddler twins on two different floors?

I just think that at this age looking after them on my own is almost too hard. At the weekend I have DH who finds it as overwhelming as me but at least I'm not out numbered. I look forward to going to work Monday-Wednesday so I don't have to entertain them all day long.

ELSR30 Thu 07-Apr-16 20:58:52

If you google 'dog gate' you should find child gates that are much taller (that they shouldn't in theory) be able to climb over. Until they work how to open the mechanism!

stinkingbishop Thu 07-Apr-16 21:55:19

It WILL pass, I promise. I really do feel for you. Just try (and this is easy for me to say now) and not give them any sort of reward for antics. As you rightly identify, it's your attention primarily that they're after. So it's a blank expression, not engaging, just popping them back in bed. Every. Single. Time. Very soon they'll get bored.

Of course, being twins, they also get the reward of attention off each other. But you can stop that happening via removing things with which they can entertain each other/show off by trashing. And then, as I said, being able to spot shenanigans on the video before they've had a chance really to get started helps too.

Totally knackering them is a good plan too. In the warmer months I would literally get them to run round the garden repeatedly doing tag or something.

Hang in there missus. I found between 3 and 4 was when the upsides of twins started to outweigh the downsides in terms of the relationship between them, imaginary play together etc. In the meantime, enjoy work wink.

jaykay34 Thu 07-Apr-16 22:07:07

I have twins (b/g) now aged 13, and a 1 year old singleton. I can now confirm a singleton is an absolute doddle !

This post made me smile as it took me back to the toddler years with my two. Sorry, I have no advice - you just have to ride the storm and things will change at about 3.5/4 ish.

Mine were noisy, and destroyed everything. I couldn't take my eyes of them for more than a few seconds or they would wreck havoc. Bedtimes were awful. I think it's why there's such a large gap between my twins and my baby !

andadietcoke Sat 09-Apr-16 00:09:25

I'm planning on keeping my DTs (3 in August) in their cots at least until they start school. That's okay, yes?

Frostybird Sat 09-Apr-16 07:46:14

I have twins and this thread has left me horrified and hysterical and in equal measures grin

The changing each other's nappies finished me off grin

Kazkiss82 Sat 09-Apr-16 08:00:31

I now have 7 year old boy/girl twins and i could have easily written this post when they were three. We eventually seperated them after trying all you have done. Including taking everything out except beds, and even putting a tv in the room. It did help but even still now they will escape into each others room. They have now calmed down a lot and i have to say from about 5 they have been much easier and now i feel like i can really enjoy them. I think my biggest tip will be to revel in the small victories and keep your sense of humour cos otherwise it will send you insane! Good luck

TheEagle Sat 09-Apr-16 20:58:47

Agreed, frostybird ! The nappies!

My DTs are only 11 months but 1 of them is going to break my heart, I know it. He launches himself on top of his twin and his older 2.5 yo brother whenever possible and he has a mischievous glint in his eye from dawn until dusk.

<gibbers with fear about what is to come>

Cornwall73 Mon 18-Apr-16 10:40:05

Thank you, loving the idea of dog gates! Hopefully they cannot get over them but then again these are toddlers who climb the stairs from the outside clinging on to the spindles dangling over the hallway. Anything for attention as they always do it as I'm doing something tricky such as changing a bad nappy or pouring boiling water into a pan. We just haven't got enough eyes to watch over them.

Bed times have improved a bit in that I have delayed them to make sure they are really tired but because I mainly do bedtime on my own it can get tricky if they tip into 'over tiredness'.

The big issue at the moment as DSs tantrums. They can be back to back from 6:30am and everything seems to be a trigger. Food, sleep, getting dressed/undressed, going out/staying and of course if he does not get his way. It is only at home though, at nursery he is a really happy little soul. He just wants me to himself all the time to be sitting on my lap watching TV. Sigh, I'm at the end of my tether!

Fatheroftoo Sun 15-May-16 03:56:55

Emptied their room, child gate ( became useless) and eventually small bolt on door , also staggered bed times for about 8 months otherwise one would get attacked! Camera to prove the culprit if the bite marks weren't enough!!
Like two animals, no room to split up.
Now it's both go together, 2 stories and zzzz. ( almost 4yrs)

heslimedme Tue 22-Nov-16 22:52:24

We've tried using stairgates to contain our twins overnight but they just go mental. Absolutely ballistic. They won't have doors closed either. I can't remember the last time I had a wee on my own or a nice quiet shower. How do you manage the screaming and tantrums when you put them back to bed too ? All the books say keep putting them back in bed without engaging but they don't give in and it goes on for hours. Until I give in and let them climb into bed which I know I shouldn't do but after 3 hours and knowing I have to be up for work soon I'll just do anything for sleep. They're 3 in march and have always been great sleepers but for the last couple of months since they've learnt how to climb out of the cot, they're turned into horrors .

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