With four children, I have quickly learned that in order to maintain my facade as the group leader, I have to be prepped, organized and pretty much three steps ahead.
I am no expert at implementing a nap schedule, choosing appropriate foods for progressing babies and organizing a successful day with minimal temper tantrums and tears. However, in good ole’ Groundhog Day fashion, I learn from each day and go forward with new ammo.
I am going to share with you our (flexible) meal, playtime and nap schedule, ideas and toys for twins. As always, a work in progress! Hopefully, this will help you in similar situations with your daily life.
When the twins began to eat solid foods it added a whole new hectic wrench into the routine. Prepping, feeding, then cleaning up, seemed to take up the entire day. Attempting three meals on day one was a huge mistake. We scaled back and practiced with one morning meal. As it became more of a seamless part of our day, we added the second meal, then the third.
You need to find a groove or like anything else with twins/ multiples, you will feel like once you actually finish one meal (prep, eating, cleaning) it’s time to do it all over again! It doesn’t need to be ‘standard’ meal times either. We do 7:30am, 2.00pm and 5.00pm. Sort of random. However, with naps, getting out, etc., it works.
With my firstborn, I used all the fancy equipment. I had the steamer, baby mixer, containers. I attempted this with the Twins, but it took me too much time. So we scaled back and now my tools of choice? A peeler, a fork, and a pot of water. No high tech machinery needed.
A girlfriend of mine that also has the twins-big sister trio shared that she has her twins eating the food that the entire family is eating. I was impressed, and have tried to incorporate this into our practice. Some of my simple go-to food choices have been: bananas, avocado (sliced up and served right in the shell), steamed sweet potato, pasta and sauce, Wasa crackers with peanut butter (no allergies here), oatmeal, cream of wheat, Greek yogurt (plain and fruit on the bottom), cottage cheese, soft bread – just to name a few. I’m loving the pasta, bread, and crackers because they can feed themselves (multitasking heaven!).
Our morning routine goes a little something like this:
Before I get the babies from their cribs, I mash a banana and top it with Greek yogurt. Grab my oldest girl some chocolate milk (yup, she gets chocolate milk in the morning. I chose my battles), her breakfast, two bottles prepped with formula, and my lifeline coffee. All this comes upstairs with me. You heard right, breakfast in bed.
I set the floor up with a blanket and a bunch of toys, get the babies, change diapers and dress them for the day.
I am still using the double nursing pillow, just not for nursing. This item has been a savior with the Twins from the start and I highly recommend it as a must-have with twins.
They are able to sit up happily and securely while I feed them. After they eat, they are off to the floor for a little play time. Their morning nap follows shortly, so we stay upstairs.
The most successful activity for us is the cage playpen. I put a ton of interactive (aka noisy) toys in there along with an assortment of other baby toys, and they stay busy for a pretty good amount of time. A lot of their entertainment is each other so there is a lot of stuff for them to do there.
My second favorite activity is their bouncy chairs. One is an actual bouncy and the other is more of an Exersaucer. I recommend these as must-haves too. You are constantly going back and forth, in and out of rooms tending to one of the babies or their siblings and its just a place where they are contained and safe, giving you the flexibility to tend to other things.
The nap schedule took some time to develop. It required sleep training to get them into their own room and cribs. Then, recognizing the babies’ natural sleepy time cues – the obvious signs are getting irritable and clumsier than usual, rubbing their eyes, or not tolerating being put down. With twins and more, it’s more difficult to hold and soothe two or more babies at once. Enter nap time.
The twins nap at 8:30 am and around 3.00 to 3:30 pm. They go to bed at 7.00pm. They go down awake every time. They don’t fall asleep right away and that’s OK. I have a monitor on them and they are usually playing with each other through their cribs, talking, standing, laughing. It’s kinda cute to watch. Eventually, they fall asleep and when they wake up that late afternoon, “fussy time” is not as prominent as before we had a nap schedule. Win-win for all involved.
Main takeaways? Stay flexible, prep the best you can and try to roll with the punches. If you have other children, there will always be surprises thrown your way. It won’t be perfect so if you can embrace that, you’ll be fine!
This is a guest post written by a fellow mom of multiples. If you wish to contribute and share your multiples story/ tips, please head to our Submissions page for more details! This post has been syndicated with permission to Multiples Illuminated.
Jessica Martineau is a freelance writer, avid blogger, workout-nut, foodie, and lover of all things wine. Jessica’s writing is inspired by her family. She is the mother of four girls, Presley, identical twins Ava and cancer survivor Mila, and latest addition, Lenin. Her work portrays the full spectrum of the realities of motherhood. She shares stories of the joys, fears, aggravations, and the heartache of parenting. Find Jessica on her blog Breaking The Momma Mold, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Read more of Jessica’s writing!