I can barely remember the first few months of being a new mama to twins. I know I was really tired and that my bundles of joy were waking up once, twice and more a night. Not always together either. So how did I survive these first few months of horrible sleep deprivation? Well, we had a game plan where each night me and my husband planned for the worse-case scenario. It didn't help us get more sleep (not right then anyway!) but it helped keep our sanity relatively in check so I thought I share my tips.
You need to have some kind of bedtime routine. It doesn’t matter if you’re co-sleeping or they’re sleeping in different rooms. You just need something that lets your babies know that its night time and sleepy town is just around the corner. If you’re lucky and your little twinnies are falling asleep without any issues then half your battle is already won. It’s when they’re not sleeping or waking too frequently that you need to seek help and seek help early. Double the babies means double the sleep deprivation so don’t feel embarrassed about seeking help or feel that you have to do it all. Interrogate your midwife on sleeping strategies, call a helpline and if need be get a Sleep Centre referral. The great thing about having twins is that people will cut you a lot of slack.
Baby help books are no help at 3am in the morning and your babies are crying for a feed. For one thing, you can barely remember your name let alone what Tizzie Hall recommends in this situation. To keep it simple, there are only two questions you need to ask yourself when you setting up your game plan. Are you feeding them at the same time? (waking up the second bub if need be) Or feeding them as they wake up? Both have their pros and cons. It may seem mean to wake a sleeping baby but its meaner still for mum if she’s getting no sleep.
If you’re bottle feeding, have everything set and ready to go. Have a thermos filled with hot water, a separate container for the cooled boiled water and the formula powder already in the bottles. The quicker your babies get fed, the happier you will be. If you’re breastfeeding, have the nipple cream and the biggest bottle of water you can find close to where you intend to feed.
If you want him to help, then you have to tell him how (nicely, of course). If you want him to do the first night feed so you can sleep a little longer then let him know. If he looks lost, show him how to reheat the expressed breast milk or make the formula. Accept that he won’t do it exactly the same as you. Most Dads want to help but don’t know how. The more you involve him in the beginning, the more it will become second nature for him. Before you know it, he’ll be burping the bubbas better then you can.
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