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6mnth twin girls impossible in public - am I doomed to stay indoors forever?

(21 Posts)
irishloon Wed 01-Jul-09 12:25:59


" Remind me I'm never taking these two out again!" I screamed down the phone to bewildered husband. (Apologies new to this and haven't worked out the shorthand)...Anyway, has anybody had the same problem with twins. I had this vision of coffee mornings and play groups - but I'm finding it utterly impossible. Yesterday was a low day - went to the park to meet granny for lunch - but was a disaster. Same pattern each time we go out. One is a complete whinge - a total diva - don't even think about stopping for a coffee....

So knackered, but feel guilty at the same time - please tell me this is a phase? Should I ignore the whiny one until she decides the amateur dramatics are getting her nowhere? Or do I just lower my expectations and get used to life indoors?

PS - if you have a link to tell me what the shorthand is, much appreciated.

Ewemoo Wed 01-Jul-09 14:38:45

I know exactly what you're going through. I also have 6mth old dt girls and tbh they are both a nightmare. I am scared stiff to take them to mother and baby groups as I don't want to be the one mum with screaming babies. I know it could be a vicious circle in that they might be screaming because they're bored and need the interaction of other babies but they have been so difficult whenever I take them out it puts me off. My dd1 was the same as a baby and I know she grew out of it so I just have to bide my time and get through these difficult days. I hope you get some relief soon. Btw I am tackling my fears tomorrow and taking the dts to a mother and baby group. Wish me luck!

Egg Wed 01-Jul-09 14:42:17

I have never taken my DTs to any mother and baby groups / toddler groups etc. They are not that bad but it is too bloody hard to keep both happy (plus i have a 3yr old as well).

I would never dare to attempt going for a coffee with them unless I had back-up (ie at least one other adult).

We do go regularly to the swings etc though. Even when they were little. The screams are less "intense" when outside!

irishloon Wed 01-Jul-09 19:40:14

Thanks for the support - it's good to know that I'm not alone...I took girls to John Lewis baby room and all the mums were bf their peaceful babies - mine kicked off - all the usual.

Good luck with the mum and baby group - I'd love to know how you get on.

victoriagirl Wed 01-Jul-09 20:25:58

Have you got a twins group near by? Even if it is not very near by, it might be worth driving to. Mine kept me sane- a roomful of babies kicking off and mums knowing exactly how each other feels!
I also used to invite people to mine more than going to coffee places etc as I knew I would have everything to hand and would be able to deal with things.
Mine are 16 months now and it does get easier! But I have to admit I still find it stressful being on show all the time- everyone is fascinated by twins, so when they are not behaving as they should you've always got an audience!

accessorizequeen Wed 01-Jul-09 20:37:25

The last time I tried (mine are 9mo) they both kicked off when I took them to the HV to be weighed. I got hot, bothered, stressed to the max arrggghhh. Went with friend & her 16mo to a baby bounce thing last week which was ok, but couldn't control them in that environment on my own. They're both crawling and standing.

TBH, I wouldn't have found cafe with one baby very relaxing either at that age, it's not just that they're twins! You do need to lower your expectations, it's just not possible to do some things with twins on your own. But you said you were meeting granny, did that not help? I did just stay at home for a few months, I couldn't cope with it, went to local library, had a friend round now and again. I don't think 6 months particularly easy period for any child, my other dc's were difficult then too! The one place I do find works quite well is sensory room at local children's centre which is usually open during baby groups etc.

victoriagirl, I know what you mean about being on show, I felt like a freak when I went out last week with them. I prefer to stay closer to home where people know me now and take the dt's for granted.

irishloon Wed 01-Jul-09 20:46:06

Thanks victoriagirl and accessorizequeen - there is a twins club nearby and the other mums are lovely. Only been a couple of times, and should persevere getting them out to it, as I'm sure the mums would give me a hand - keep trying to do things on my own. Unfortunatly my mum lives in Ireland, and my MIL lives an hour away. Anyway, best thing is finding this support network and discovering that twin mums all face similar challenges.

miniandme Thu 02-Jul-09 13:54:39

Yip i have to agree,i never take both of mines to anything like toddler groups etc on my own.If we do go out its usually all 4 us,twins plus myself plus dh ,it really does take 2 adults to keep up with them now they are up and running around .My twins are 17 months now and are starting to think its funny to run away from mummy,they will run,stop and look back and laugh then run again when i run after them! So very cute but so blooming frustrating when they arent running in the direction i need them to be grin

curiositykilled Mon 20-Jul-09 11:35:04

I may well eat my words after my twins are born but I'm a firm believer in the not letting the babies take over your life approach. With my older two I generally avoided mother and baby groups but that was because I found the other mums were generally very cliquey and competitive and eager to make themselves feel better by putting someone else down which is horrible.

I made friends with the other outcasts from the baby groups and we've been close friends now for 4 years and have all had second children (I'm the first to attempt a third and will end up with 4). We meet up en masse and so tend to take over wherever we go and this helps to shield you from worry when your babies cry. I think you need a group of supportive friends who have children too and who will all say nice things like "Don't worry, babies cry, everyone understands that it isn't anything bad you are doing" when the twins start wailing.

I don't think it is good to pander to a fuss at whatever age the child (or adult) is. This goes for grown ups who moan about a baby crying too. Only worry if their fuss is reasonable because you are in an exclusively adult place and are not doing anything about the crying. In parks and other childrens places, your children can have free rein to behave like kids, in-between places like coffee shops the children need to learn to behave well but you shouldn't stop going there if they don't, adult places like theatres or churches then you should just avoid or take the children out if they make a fuss.

My little girl has massive tantrums occasionally (perfectly normal at 2) - normally at very difficult times and my little boy was a very strong willed baby. Yes, people are bothered by it, yes, they do look at you like your children are the worst behaved they have ever seen and you are a terrible mother but you have to get this in perspective. The best behaved most wonderful children and babies will still do the naughtiest thing occasionally. Normally in public and at the worst possible time. It is very normal - no-one can be perfect all the time. I've found the more you get upset and worried about it happening the more likely they are to deliberately make a fuss and be naughty just to get at you or get themselves out of a boring situation.

In short just carry on with confidence doing whatever it is you've decided to do and try not to worry otherwise you'll be a prisoner in your own home. If you are on your own during the day the only way you'll be able to cope without help is through practice, the first few times you go out you just have to carry on with what you're doing despite a crying baby or two (eek) so choose places it doesn't matter like the park. The park is a place for children. If other adults can't tolerate normal children's behaviour then they are the ones in the wrong. If one or both start up you don't make the trip last longer as a punishment, you don't cut it short, you do try some gentle soothing and reassurance but you don't get upset and/or angry or desperate in trying to calm the baby and it doesn't affect the outcome of the trip - you go for the amount of time you planned or until you've done what you came for. Don't feel bad for taking two seconds to calm yourself while the baby is crying - it helps to give you perspective and analyse whether the cry actually needs something doing about it or not.

Providing the baby is not crying for something like food or milk or to get out of the pram (a reasonable request that you can do something about) and she's just cottoned on that if she cries she gets out of a boring situation then this will gradually work. When it does work make sure you praise the baby. Only allow her positive attention and make sure you give it every time it is deserved even if you are fuming because she has been crying constantly for the last 4 hours.

It is the same at night time - this can be a good time to practice helping the baby to deal with boredom. If you know the baby is capable of sleeping for x amount of time, you know she's not hungry or wet and she's warm and comfortable and you suspect she just wants attention then just ignore the crying. I always think pandering to it would be like if you woke randomly in the night to someone giving you £1million you'd make sure you woke at the same time the next night just to see if it happened again. If you got the reward everytime you'd be a bit put out if it suddenly stopped. This is what it is like with some babies. My little boy was (and is one) where bedtime is concerned - any excuse to be out of that bed! As they get older you can help them to make the link between the behaviour and it's negative consequences e.g. getting up at night leads to falling asleep in the day and missing something they want to do.

I had more of a problem with my little girl when we were in public. With her the main thing is preventing her temper from getting out of control in the first place. This, I normally do, by making sure she's not tired before we go out, by explaining what we're going to do before we do it and then massaging her ego a bit by telling her what a good girl she is and so she gets to come with mummy to do this big girl's thing. I realise a 6 month old can't understand that properly but I do think they pick up on your feelings so if you make sure she sees you are being nice to her and expecting her to be good she'll be more likely to be calm than if she sees you worrying about her crying and try to give her lots of attention while she's not crying.

Well, I hope all that makes sense! Lol

neenztwinz Tue 21-Jul-09 12:58:16

Irishloon - could your DTs be overtired or hungry? What kind of routine do you have?

Maybe I am just lucky but mine have always been pretty good at toddler groups and when we're out for coffee, they just sit in their pram or in high chairs - I give them a toy/book to play with or a snack. They are 14mo now and it is getting harder as they get older cos they want to run about, at 6mo it was far easier!

At 6mo they were getting up at around 7am, having a 45mins sleep at 9am, then two hours at 12.30pm. If I arranged things around the routine then I found they were always pretty good cos they were not overtired.

8oreighty Tue 21-Jul-09 13:05:39

no time to read all replies. But yes had that experience with my two! I used to take them out for a bit walk in the morning, in the buggy, so I could get some exercise, then let them play in the house in the pm. We just used a playpen to divide up a big bit of hte downstairs where they could crawl around and do whatever they wanted, and I didn't have to worry about wires, etc...
I didn't take them to playgroups until they coudl walk, I just couldn't cope with it. So that's why made sure to get out in morning, for my sake, they usually had a morning nap during that time. THis is a hard time...6 months is difficult...but it will pass soon.

neenztwinz Tue 21-Jul-09 14:49:40

Sounds very similar to me, 8oreighty! But I used to go out in the afternoons mainly.

Would also recommend getting an area of your downstairs sectioned off for when they start to move around, then you're not chasing round after them all the time. My play area is a Godsend, and I realise how useful it is when I go anywhere else - where I do have to chase round after them all the time!

clown7 Wed 22-Jul-09 13:25:41

I am having the same rubbish time as you and could have written your post. It is sooo frustrating being able to go nowhere without a meltdown occurring. My daughter is the main problem but of late my son has also started to cry when we are out, especially if someone else holds him. I feel totally trapped and like you had had visions of play groups etc which are slipping away. It was ok for the first few months but for the last 2 (they are now 7 months) it has been a nightmare and I have had to stop going to all groups and most visits to friends after both babies have screamed hysterically everywhere. I can´t take the pitying looks from people with one baby anymore and we live abroad so no twin groups nearby.

Sorry to moan, rather than be helpful but it is really getting me down. I have started using a sling a lot with my daughter and I take her out alone (without her brother) at the weekend to practise going to the park which incidentally she seems to hate) and seeing people. I´m hoping that this is going to help and she does seem a little better but believe you me, she couldn´t get much worse!!!

I am really hoping that it is just a phase otherwise I might have to become a hermit :-)

neenztwinz Wed 22-Jul-09 20:57:18

It is just a phase and it will pass smile

I find playgroups much more enjoyable/rewarding now they can run about (14mo). They get loads out of it cos it is a change of scene.

KembleTwins Wed 22-Jul-09 21:29:14

When my dt girls were babies, they used to scream all the time. I got SO fed up with people leaning into my buggy saying "are they tired?" "are they hungry" "oh, poor things, they need ****" blah blah blah. FUCK OFF. Hated it. I remember once dropping something through a friend's letter box when I was out for a walk with them, and her saying "I was in the kitchen (back of the house) but I knew it was you because I could hear the twins crying". AAAAGHGHGH! Got to the point where I didn't meet up with other mums for coffee because I couldn't stand sitting there as they smugly nursed baby with one hand and ate cake with the other whilst I dealt with screaming twins and smiled indulgently at elderly ladies leaning into my buggy to tell me they were hungry/tired/in need of a nappy change.

HOWEVER, it lasted until they were 7 or 8 months (felt like FOREVER) and then stopped, and now they are angels (most of the time - they're 3 now) Once they were able to sit up in a high chair and interact more, they were fine - they liked (and still do) being out and about where they can look at what's around them. Hang on in there, it will get better. And avoid smug mums of singletons who look at you with vaguely pitying expressions whilst saying "I just don't know how you do it" in a patronising tone.

And, like Victoriagirl, TWINS CLUB SAVED MY LIFE. If you have one, go to it as often as you can manage. It was my absolute sanity saver, and, to an extent, still is.

accessorizequeen Sat 25-Jul-09 20:23:11

Yes, I absolutely agree about 6 months being a particularly bad time. Mine are just about 10 months and the last 6 weeks to 2 months have been much much better. Have started to go into town with them on my own again and feel as I though I could tackle a group so I am starting baby signing next week. Eeek. Am still learning to bite my tongue when someone says how do you cope, are they twins (do I have to dress them identically or something???) etc etc. I have boy/girl and the boy is the one that's nervous with other people although he's just about grown out of it now, my other 2 boys were exactly the same too!
As neenz says it is just a stage, it too will pass. They do have their delightful moments too grin

KeithTalent Sat 25-Jul-09 20:50:57

Get a sling, back carry one in an Ergo or Patapum, and swap them around. They are probably crying because they need more contact than they are getting- it is quite hard to give twins as much closeness as you would a singleton, so this is an easy way around it.

Hope things get easier for you smile.

You might also like to join the yahoo group "ap multiples". Even if this approach is not for you, there is a lot of advice and support you can get just by occasionally reading their emails (it helps to know we're not alone!).

MerryMarigold Thu 27-Aug-09 21:29:17

A. Increase your tolerance of the crying and looks! I've noticed my tolerance of crying is fairly high. Sometimes I hardly notice that one of them is crying till someone points it out!!

B.I usually hold the crying one...sometimes one is having a bad day (feeling ill/ teething) and just wants extra comfort...

Definitely do get out, preferably with some adult help. Snacks, toys etc.

manfrom Fri 28-Aug-09 11:43:37

oh cripes. So this is what we've got to look forward to with 2 dt girls on the way....


estar Fri 28-Aug-09 12:21:38

It doesn't last!! Definately, it too shall pass.

Getting out of the house in the first place was my biggest hassle (DS1 is only 20 months older than the DTs so there was 3 to get sorted and load up). I found the bigger groups the hardest because people have already developed their cliques, and it's harder to keep track of children once they're on the move. Luckily, I found one that was further away but smaller and everyone was so lovely and helpful there. I think church ones can be good because they are really keen to see people there and so can be more welcoming than the bigger faceless ones.

Where I live now, there is a Children's Centre, and there are a crazy amount of sessions to choose from! It was hard when we first moved (DTs were 4 by then and I had a newborn) to traipse round all of them but after a few weeks I found the best ones for us (again, the smaller sessions where it's easier to talk to people and you're closer to your child) and then settled. Getting to know the people that run it can be great too as after a while they start to be hands on and will cuddle a fussing child while you deal with the other one.

It IS just a phase, it's just that with twins the phases seem a lot more intense as you pass through them.

The good news is that once mine were past the stage where they constantly needed watching (beyong eighteen months) they were the most relaxed kids there because they had each other and didn't need to be running back to mummy every five minutes, so there are definately benefits too!

penona Wed 02-Sep-09 14:57:41

Just read your post irishloon, realise is a bit old now, how are you doing? It DOES get easier, honest. At this age, until they were both properly walking (around 15mths) I mostly stayed at home and had friends round. I cornered off an area of the living room with a room divider, made it safe and bought in plenty of tasty biscuits! I think (hope!) my singelton mum friends liked coming round - and it was so much easier for me than juggling going out.

I also got some paid help, 2 mornings a week from a student, which meant I could do more interesting things like baby singing etc. It was relatively expensive but invaluable. It is very tough on your own all day with them.

They are now 2.3yrs and no harder than a singleton most of the time (from what I can see anyway!). But lots of fun, endless giggles and chatting and playing together, it's a lovely age.

Is there a local twins club? I work with one in London.

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