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6 week old twins and completely overwhelmed(21 Posts)
Hi All, I have 6 week old twins daughters. They are my only children. They both have reflux, sleep no longer than 1.5 hours at night, rarely have a settled sleep during the day and even when feeding they aren’t peaceful. They are formula fed and want feeding every 2 hours. Husband works away during the week so my parents have been helping out and staying over at night. Tomorrow is my first day completely alone with them and in all honesty I’m terrfied. It’s impossible to keep them both happy and I’m already dreading the screams. I feel overwhelmed and can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel
I didn’t want to read and run. It’s really hard. You are doing your best. You will not be able to do everything it’s a bit shit but it gets better.
Top tips. Have a feeding corner set up. Large bottle of water for you; snacks; tv remote. Phone charger. Actually I put all this in a little tote bag so I can sling over my shoulder and take it around the house.
Do you have a feeding pillow or some other way to feed them ata the same time? This is the Only way to maintain some sanity. Experiment.
Make your lunch in the morning and put it in the fridge.
Online food delivery is vital. Ready meals, cake, cereal bars, pre-packed fruit. All of this is acceptable. You need to get through the next 6-8 weeks.
Get an enormous blanket for the floor and chuck them down on that as much as you can with a play gym thing over them.
I walked for hours and hours with mine as it’s the only my DTS would sleep. Often with him in a sling and his sister in the (double!) buggy alone!
The sleep thing is awful. Truly awful. I found I had to just go zen and accept it. They are so small and it’s practically impossible to stretch their sleep when you have two to deal with. I’d try to get as much into them before midnight as I can in the vain hope they tank up a bit. No strong lights after midnight
Beg your friends/family/in laws/aunties/anyone to come for half a day/a day/a week/ whatever. It’s really not doable on your own. As Lindy as they are vaguely trustworthy then take th help. And nap literally every second you can. All that matters is good for them and food for you. Frankly I wouldn’t bathe them or change their clothes unless the dirt is really obvious. Washing can wait. A 30 second shower is better than nothing though
And be proud. You are already a superstar.
Hi Ellie, waves hello from one twin mum to another. Didn't want to read and run. I have twin boys who are now in year 6 and understand how you feel. I was you in the early days and you will be ok! Similarly to you they are my only children, were formula fed and had reflux, though one slept better than the other and one had to be kept upright most of the time to avoid permanent re-feeding. One tip I found was to prepare as many bottles as you can the night before (I remember having 20 on the go!) and using 2 bottle warmers to reheat especially at night. I was lucky in that one slept whilst I fed the other but as long as they are fed, warm and dry they will be fine but make sure that you eat and drink regularly so you are not overwhelmed with tiredness. I suffered with anemia and to avoid the tiredness had to ensure that I ate properly etc. I found the first few weeks very difficult and overwhelming but once they were in a routine life became more easier. HTH this helps. for you and oh if anyone offers help always take it!
Hi Elle Congratulations on your twins from one twin Mum to another. I remember the dread when my DH went back to work, I had no family help (all 200 miles away).
My biggest tip was to wake one of them about 20-30 minutes early, so that you’re just finishing one when the other is kicking off wanting fed. I remember the early days of propping them up on their bath seats on the floor and trying to do them at the same time! Gave one some, gave the other some and so on, helped them keep it down too so they had a bit more time for it to settle in their tummies. Were your girls early?
Trust me it does get better. Mine are nearly 3&1/2 now. The time flies with twins.
Do you have a college near you- they sometimes have students spare doing a childcare course who will gladly come to help out. Good luck, you can do this!
And yes to online deliveries of cake/ready meals!
I also used baby chairs on the floor (bouncy sort), me sitting on the sofa leaning towards them if I had to feed at the same time one bottle in each hand and then pick one up onto one knee and wind then the other (must have looked very strange/amusing!) then laying each down at each end of the sofa.
I second getting help, local college also helped me with "mother's help" but sometimes felt that I had another child to supervise so not a success for me😒
Getting through the first few weeks is the worst time and as others say the time flies (though you won't believe it now).
By the way congratulations!
Not a mummy of twins but have a good friend who had twin girls 10 years ago.I remember me and another friend getting childcare for our own little ones and being at her house for an afternoon, taking one little girl each so she could sleep,poor thing,she was just exhausted.So if by chance you have some willing friends,neighbours,family members etc pls do ask for help,most people will be fine about being asked.Friend is now the most sorted,chilled,organised and relaxed mummy ever,that'll be you before you know it!Good luck xx
I do the same as @Dewysungoddess - have them in their bouncy chairs and sit in the middle on a sofa cushion leaning against the sofa. I have a drink, phone and remote to hand. Feeding them simultaneously made my life so much better so I really recommend you find a way. The bouncies are also good for keeping them upright as both mine have reflux (one silent, one regular).
On reflux, have you tried comfort milk and/or gaviscon?
Also every two hours is way too full on. At that age they can easily go four hours between feeds, try gradually stretching them out by distracting with dummy/cuddles. Then they will eat more and last longer the next time. That will also help them sleep for longer.
It is really hard being on your own with them but you will find your own way. And as they get bigger they will be more fun eg while I wind my littlest twin (soooo windy) I 'chat' to my big twin with noises and arm gestures, he loves it and has so much to say!
You'll learn to cuddle both and move them single handedly eg I put two cushions on one side of me and lay one twin on it. Then put another cushion upright on the other side and get the other twin and have that cushion support my arm. Then I wiggle my free arm under the twin on the two cushions. I have the Apple remote near that twin as it doesn't need to be pointed directly at the tv. Well at least it's what I did when they were new. At 12 weeks I grab one in each hand, hoist them up and cuddle until they decide to topple off me and hug my bum! Little weirdos!
wouldn't be acceptable to admit to, but relative had to deal with similar in the sixties, so would leave them in the garage in a pram so that that they could scream at each other for half an hour. Only way that she kept her sanity! All the best OP
OP have you got a twin feeding cushion? Total lifesaver. Mine were having bottled ebm at that stage, and doing feeds as tandem hugely helped plus it props them up a bit after which helps with reflux.
Top tip, put a cheap fleece blanket on it and if they puke you can just wash the blanket not the cushion.
Also mine are 21w so I am not that far out from you and it does get better, promise!
Another twin mum dropping by just to say, it wont be like this for long. It's bloody hard and only mums and dads with multiples really get it.
You'll soon find a rythym and be a pro, until then, this too shall pass xx
I was scared shitless the day my husband went back to work but it really wasnt that bad. I fully advocate tandem feeding when they get a bit bigger. Sit on a sofa with the babies lying parallel to the edge of the sofa, one head on each of your thighs. Worked wonders for me and saved my sanity. Also, having too many bottles so you (or husband) can wash them all in one go.
Do you have any Home Start volunteers working near you? I had a marvellous woman called Camilla visit once a week when my twins were small, and just having another pair of hands - and someone wonderfully sympathetic to listen to me, and remind me that actually, I was pretty awesome - really helped.
You can do this, OP. I remember that awful sense of endlessness, but honestly, it gets much better, much sooner than you think. I'm now parent to two utterly splendid 13.5-year-olds; and I couldn't feel luckier!
My top tip for getting 15 mins peace for a shower:
I had a musical mobile over the cot. Both babies in one cot. They were transfixed and I got 15 mins for a shower.
And it gets easier. And even fun. Especially when they start to recognise each other’s existence.
Didn't want to read and run but well done your a super Mum!! Any baby is hard but twins are a whole different level well done and keep going
Hii congrats to you. My twins are 6 months and it gets easier. You are doing an amazing job. Listen to your instincts , do what you need to do. Dont feel guilty about anything. I used to feel like you.
You'll see it will get easier and you will be so proud and everyone will ask how DO you do it?!
Hello I was here 4 months ago except I have a 2 year old little boy and I breastfeed my twins (not that that makes much difference) and gave 1-2 bottles a day too.
It is so hard and you are doing an amazing job. Please remember that every single phase will pass and each month will get significantly easier.
My twins fed every 1-2 hours at first for 8 weeks or so and were prem and so sleepy that when one woke I couldn’t wake the other so had to keep feeding them seperealty.
Have you worked out how to feed them at the same time? I found putting one on a nursing pillow lying down and a cushion to their left leg with baby two lying down resting their head on that cushion and left arm feeding baby one right arm feeding baby two. Some ladies I know did it with babies in bouncy chairs etc. Much easier to feed at once
Ensure you have enough energy keep snacks next to your bed at night like nuts dried fruit low calorie cereal bars and a big water bottle.
Look in to joie swing chairs they are amazing and I couldn’t be without it. They’re around £100 new but on Facebook marketplace you
May find one around £50. They are amazing here’s a photo of mine. My twins love it and will settle very well in it as did my toddler who as a baby had colic and would scream for two hours a day at least. It’s a godsend to only have to hold and console one baby at a time.
Good luck lovely and remember each phase will pass nothing lasts forever and at times you’ll feel lonely but will never be alone. This feeling will too pass and you’ll soon be much more confident and everything gets easier.
When my twins were this age I was doing it alone and also had a 3 year old to look after - I would make lunch for my and my DS1 the might before and put it in the fridge. Ds1 had his own shelf low down in the fridge where I put bottled/carton drinks for him and fruit in case he needed something while I simply couldn't get up because I'd only just managed to settle the twins.
Luckily you wont have to worry about this but instead can do yourself some easy to grab bits prior to being stuck..
Mine are EBF which (although they still wake too often at night) I find much easier than having to get up to make bottles.
Although tips for easier bottle feeding - prep as many sterilised bottles as you can with cooled boiled water and keep a kettle close to your bedroom (if you're upstairs/far from your kitchen somewhere safe and not in the bedroom) using mostly cooled water will mean less warming/cooling time for bottles.
Do you have a perfect prep machine? If you are willing to pay postage I will happily send you one for free, though it is used it's still in good working condition.
A feeding pillow can be good for babies with reflux - although mine are BF they had terrible reflux to start with and I used to put them in their pillow after a feed to keep them somewhat upright.
(The big padded E shape pillows) though have to be careful to make sure their heads aren't flopped forwards, try tilting their heads back a little if anything, a simple bit of padding under their bottom will help this if they're too small for that without.
If you're bottle feeding then they can be fed while sitting in the pillow and left there if they fall asleep feeding?
If you find anything that keeps them quiet for w minute use use and overuse!
My two found the vacuum soothing so if I needed to do anything I'd vacuum first in the same room as them, then move onto vacuuming the kitchen and then leave it on while I quickly cleaned the kitchen and did laundry (they would wake the second I turned it off)
To be able to eat lunch I would have to let them have a sleep on their belly, sometimes raised with a pillow under their mattress (as the only way they'd stay calm and sleeping was lying on my chest on their front and this kept them in that same position)
- HV was okay with this as I would NEVER leave them unattended like this, and would still watch them like a hawk as I quickly shovelled food into my malnourished face before having to pick them up again.
As awful as it is, I think one of the best things you can do is accept the sound of crying.
Of course do all that you are physically and mentally capable of to not just let them cry but also remind yourself that you aren't superhuman, babies cry and as long as you know that they're fed, clean nappies and safe, please try not to stress.
Its lovely to have happy babies but at first I would always have one crying while I changed the other as they just wanted to be held all the time.
I just had to accept that it was inevitable and focused on my breathing while changing the first nappy rather than getting flustered and taking longer. - I do have panic disorder so this was the only way I could prevent myself having a meltdown, I wasn't just letting the babies cry but accepting that it would happen anyway saved me from panic attacks.
Try to remind yourself when they're crying and just wont stop that it's not something they're doing to you, for whatever reason (we dont always know why) they are upset and that the only thing theu know to do to tell their mama they need you, even just for comfort.
Try talking to your babies, saying it out loud can really help.
Things like "I dont know what's wrong and I dont know how I can help, but I do know I love you so I'm here for you."
"Oh dear, you're really unhappy, poor little baby."
Just try to keep your words and your breathing calm.
It is really bloody hard but you can do it.
Sorry I'm typing way too much, I just know how hard it can be as I nearly lay face down and gave up.
If you can do your shopping online and not have to go out then sort as much as you can (food, drinks, remote, phone and charger, etc) all near a spot where you can sit for most of the day, within reach of place to put babies down too.
If they like to sleep on you, let them (just make sure you dont fall asleep holding them) I would have a baby against my chest with their heads looking over a shoulder each, hold them against me with an arm and hand to hold their heads and sitting on the edge of my seat, would rock back and forth until they slept and then recline back and just watch TV for an hour or so until they woke again.
I see this was a little while ago so I hope you've done okay.
If youre all still alive you're doing brilliantly!
Would love to know how you've gotten on.
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