Thursday, February 28, 2008

Babywise and Twins

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Okay, I have no experience with Babywise and twins. I do, however, know some moms who do. I asked them for some advice, and here is what they have to say.

"The biggest complication to doing Babywise with twins, I think, is when one baby wakes up early or gets tired early, because it is pretty important to keep them on the same schedule. For instance, with the '45 minute intruder', the book says to try to feed the baby to see if its a hunger issue. But I feed them at the same time and don't want to wake the other baby early just to see if the first is hungry. So I usually hold off the early waker until either her sister wakes up or has at least had a decent nap.

Similarly with going to sleep. One of my girls gets fussy really quickly when she's tired; it's impossible to miss her sleep window. And she falls asleep very fast. Then I get her sister, who seems to be still be wide awake. I often regret having to put her down for a nap because the first one was tired. So in a way, having the two forces me to stick to the schedule a little more. I've had friends who said they had trouble doing Babywise because they couldn't bring themselves to wake a sleeping baby; I'm constantly waking a sleeping baby because if I didn't, they would be on separate schedules." drbc

And here is the second mom:

"We are basically on separate schedules. I have a full time nanny so that helps. With our medical complications there was no way I could keep them on the same schedule. Hannah had to eat every 2 hrs and I was trying to keep Noah at every 3 hours. We started Babywise late, too. (6 months old, 3 months corrected age---before that they just did Babywise naturally as that was the NICU routine but it didn't involve any CIO b/c all they basically did was eat and sleep). I wish I could have kept them on the same NICU 3 hr schedule from the beginning but that didn't happen. [Last month], they began to naturally conform their schedules (even their naps!) to about 15 minutes. I put them to bed at the same time but they often wake at different times and need their naps at different times. Noah stays up longer in the morning whereas if I miss Hannah's window, I'm scr**ed.

They are also on different eating schedules because of size. Hannah only eats 4 (sometimes 5) oz every 3 hrs. Noah eats 6-8 every 4 hrs. But they both only stay awake 2 to 2.5 hrs in between naps. Both are still at 3 naps. I try to keep in mind that they are individuals and have different sleep/activity needs. Noah sleeps more but can stay up longer; Hannah eats more frequently and takes shorter naps. If I have to go anywhere I wait until Hannah wakes up from her nap, regardless of what Noah is doing b/c Noah can eat/sleep in the car whereas Hannah refuses to do either in the car or anywhere but home. So I try to do the Babywise thing with them individually." Lauren

And mom number three:

"There are definitely some challenges with twins. The thing that helped me the most was actually following more of a clock schedule because otherwise you end up trying to decide if you should wake one baby to eat just because the other one woke early, etc. Since my girls are big and healthy, at 3.5 months I knew they could go 3 hours between feedings. Since their afternoon naps are short, we end up with wake time before and after the feedings, but this seems to be working all right for us. They are definitely fussy and higher maintenance than when we fed them whenever they woke up, but then our schedule would spiral into short little cycles."

I applaud all mothers who have twins. It would not be easy. These are some tips from moms who have twins, although they all gave some different advice. Hopefully you can get something from one or all three and apply to your own situation.

One reason I see twins being hard is because of what Lauren said. Each baby is an individual. You have to figure out two little strangers at the same time.

Something drbc said is so true to me. She said she needs to stick to the schedule in order to care for both babies. I have found that true with my two children. It is more important for me to have Kaitlyn follow her outlined schedule because I have two to care for. There is some flexibility available, and definitely more for me than a mom of twins simply because Brayden is older and can wait for things if he needs to.

Kudos to all moms of twins out there. Don't forget to refer to the chapter in On Becoming Babywise on twins. Good luck in your endeavors!

And please, if you have good tips for moms with twins, post them in the form of a comment.

*Note that the comments have been edited for grammar, punctuation, and spelling if neccessary.

17 comments:

TwinMommy89015 said...

I started BW with our twin girls almost immediately they are 6 months now. At first they were on exactly the same schedule. Now we do more of the clock schedule for feedings for the most part. We are still at a 3 hour schedule but occasionally one or two feedings a day we make it to 3.5 or 4 hours. I do not worry too much about having them on the same nap schedule, reflux has thrown a major kink into our napping. However, they always wake at the same time and go down for the night at the same time. I love listening to them talk happily to each other when they wake up each morning. Back on the napping, I have one who normally falls asleep for naps almost immediately, her sleep cues are hard to miss. The other will look totally awake and alert even if she is ready for a nap. She also fusses quite a bit going down. If I am putting both down awake, sometimes I can let her CIO but if her sister was also fussy, I will do a little back rubbing just to maintain the peace. I figure that they can self soothe and hope that my occasional transgression will not create future problems. If one wakes earlier than the other, I let that one get up so the other can sleep. It also gives me a little one on one time which is nice.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for your added advice! I will add that to the body of the post.

Cassi said...

Feed them at the same time, put them down at the same time, get them up at the same time! They will get used to it, I promise! I also began babywise in the beginning with my b/g twins. They are now 9 months and on an amazing schedule. It was hard work in the beginning, but I really worked on putting them down at the same time, getting them up at the same time, etc and now it is just part of their routine. If one wakes before the other, they sit and play in their crib until mommy comes to get them up. Because of having them on the same schedule, I have maintained sanity and am able to have down time for myself each day. They also are great at self-soothing and entertaining! Hope that helps!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Cassi! I will also add that. It is great to get more advice from experienced moms :)

TwinMommy89015 said...

Cassi -

I could use some advice. We are stuck in a 30 minute nap rut. Have been for quite a while. Started with teething and has never gone away. I have tried the nap fixes but have not been successful getting an 1.5 hour nap with any of these. I think the girls need different amounts of waketime but would like to keep them on the same schedule. We are pretty much on an every 3 hour feeding schedule - going by clock because the times they wake up are so sporadic. Should I just 'schedule' the naps and let them get used to them as part of the routine? I am truly at a loss. Any advice is welcome.

Thanks!

Machelle said...

I need help! I have been doing BW since they came home from the NICU. (Born at 31 weeks) they just hit term today. Anyways, I do the sleep/wake/eat/play schedule. However, they wake up, eat, and then want to go down for a nap automatically! My one twin girl will not stay awake! I mean it is murder trying to get her to stay awake for even 5 minutes. However, they do sleep all of nap time. They wake up on their own also. I do not have to go in there every three hours to get them to eat...they wake up and want to eat every three hours. (this is also at night still). Am I doing something wrong!? Why is it so hard to keep them awake for a few minutes after they eat? Sometimes they will stay awake but then not sleep for the whole nap time! I will let them cry it out and then they are too tired to eat at their next feed.

Schedule is as follows: Every three hours THEY wake up and eat then want to go right back to sleep. Play time is really hard.

Plowmanators said...

Machelle, I honestly wouldn't worry about it right now. I know that you are supposed to treat premature babies as being their adjusted age. Adjusted age, they are a day old. That is 100% normal behavior for a baby that is a day old. It is normal for a baby that is several weeks old. I know you have been doing this for a really, really long time, but you should be seeing some improvement soon.

With my super-sleepy daughter, I tried to add one wake time per week. So the first week, I worked to keep her up during her first waketime of the day. Then after doing that for a week, I added another waketime (prehaps the last) etc. I think I started that around 2-3 weeks old. It took a long time before she was awake for every waketime. Also, keep in mind that a "normal" waketime will be anywhere from 30-60 minutes total, leaning more toward the 30-40 minute end of things.

See this post for your other problem:

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.html

partyof5 said...

Hi, I was not sure where to post my question being that it is somewhat unique(I couldn't find anything under "sleeping props"). I am expecting twins and have a 3.5 YO daughter who is a huge BW success. As I am planning the twins arrival I have found a bassinet/crib hammock called "Amby Baby" . Seriously, if you have a minute would you take a look at it @ www.ambybaby.com (there are some on youtube too). I have never seen or heard of this before...It seems rather ingenious. Has any BW mom out there used this before?? It's rather a huge investment for us being that we need two. My daughter wanted to sleep sitting up all the time when she was a baby so I resorted to putting her in her carseat in the crib quite often. This hammock-like contraption in many instances is used in lieu of a crib!! But, it's a swing if you look at it. Here is my question/concern. Would this be just another sleeping prop? I was a huge stickler with staying clear of sleeping props the first time around (i.e. nursing to sleep, sleeping in a swing, or rocking to sleep) I have been reading the reviews on it (great thus far) and for the most part people only use it for about 5 or six months but for all naps and night time sleep. I am considering it and would plan on transitioning to the crib at five or six months . It has the Dr. Sears seal of approval however Dr. Sears has very different philisophies than BW (i.e. the family bed). Wondering if you would have any insight with any unforseable habbits this crib/hammock would induce. I know this question is rather unconventional...thank you in advance. Thanks for your blog too!! It's soo helpful. I use to correspond with a BW consultant via email all the time but this seems so convenient in looking up past postings!!

Machelle said...

I am having a hard time with my twins. One wants to do 3 to 3.5 hour schedule the other a 4 hour schedule. I need to feed them at the same time or I will go crazy. It leads to one of them just snacking throughout the day and not getting enough food. They only get solids at night and it is not much as they are preemie and still do not have it down (They are 6 months, 4 adjusted). They also have reflux but it is not as bad as is used to be. I just am losing my mind! They still go to bed and wake up at the same time in the morning though. Is this something I should just give up on until they are older and can eat solids? They are still not sleeping through the night either. Dream feed at 10PM and then one wakes up at 3AM to eat and the other at 5AM. Should I just let them CIO at the early AM feeds? I think it is just a habit for them now...

Plowmanators said...

partyoffive,

I am so sorry I missed your question until now! Please don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions.

Plowmanators said...

Machelle,

I don't have any experience with twins. I do know life gets crazy when kids aren't on the same schedule. That happens often when you have more than one. If it were me, I think that I would just feed them when they needed to (one at 3.5 and one at 4) until they could be on a more similar schedule. It won't last forever. Even my almost 4 and almost 2 year old kids are on almost the exact same schedule right now.

You will have to be the one to decide if you CIO for the night. You will have to decide if they need the feedings or not. If not, CIO is definitely an option.

Machelle said...

Well we got the night to where they do not need to eat any more. HOWEVER at the moment, one wants to wake up at 5:30 in the morning! Should I feed her then? She does not start crying until almost 6:30.

They are also not napping well. An hour max is what they will do. I have done all the solutions you provide so I am at a loss. I think this is why the one is now waking up so early in the AM. I am losing "Me" time so it is killing me always dealing with sleep issues.

Plowmanators said...

Machelle,

For the early feeding at 5:30, I would see this post:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

For naps, be sure you also see these posts:

4 month Sleep Problems : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/4-month-sleep-problems.html

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

Nika Jo said...

Dear mom,
Well, I thought I would give this a try! I am a mom of twins who are four months old. They are on a babywise schedule and still do seven nursing every three hours. Is that okay? And they are both so different, but have been able to keep them on the same schedule. Really the problem is at night. One of them would probably sleep through the night, but the other definitely will not. Right now I get them both up and want them to sleep through the night desperately. Should I let one sleep and only nurse one? I don't know what to do. I also just started the dream feed at 10:30 and their last nursing is 8:30. Their schedule is 6am 9am 11:45am 2:15pm 5pm 8:30pm and middle of the night. I would love some help on how to get them to sleep through! One of the girls is more high strung, but she is also the smaller one...help please!! thanks so much, Nika

Plowmanators said...

Nika Jo,

It is totally fine to feed them every three hours if that is what they need.

I would let the one sleep through if she will. There is no need to get her up and feed her if she will sleep through the night--it might cause a habit. Hang in there!

Jof5 said...

I don't know if this comment will make it through but I had NO IDEA how to start a post on this website. the only thing i could do was to go the google group and post. so anyone that responds to this if they want to walk me through how to do that that would be great!
anyway i have a 3 y.o son and 5 week old twins. my son is a bw success and hopefully my twins will also b a success. my question is about nursing. i nurse them at the same time and my son nurses for 15-20 min and my daughter about 10 min. I know my goal is to get a full feeding but i'm wondering if they are? compared to a singleton they nurse 10 min less? is this okay? i imagine my body had adjusted to the fact that it's twins, right? any moms of multiples have any input? thanks

Plowmanators said...

Jof5, I don't know if you realize or not, but you posted this on the Chronicles blog, not the Google group.

I would have to wonder if it is just that your children nurse at different speeds. Kaitlyn was a super fast nurser. Brayden was super slow. McKenna was average. So if I had nursed any of those two at the same time, they would not have finished at the same times.

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