April 25, 2013

TWINS at 21 Weeks

As a kindergarten teacher, I quickly learned that my students CRAVED consistency and how much more productive and happy they were when our day had a predictable order.  As a new momma, I try my best to provide the same daily routine and consistent schedule for my little ones...with room for flexibility here and there.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before...but Scott and I have used a bit of Babywise to keep Bennett and Clara on a PDF (parent-directed feeding) schedule.  There may be some twin mommas out there that feed on demand (impressive) but the NICU nurses started us on a 3-hour schedule and we stuck to it.

Our feedings are at 7, 10, 1 and 4.  We ALWAYS start the day at 7am and try to end it at 7pm.  But notice the flexibility built into the rest of the schedule.  If my babies are still sound asleep at 10am, I let them continue sleeping but not past 10:30am.  I then wake them for their feeding.  The same is true for feedings.  If Clara is STARVING (ha...she's quite the drama queen) at 6:30, I'll feed her.

We believe that it's important to follow the eat/play/sleep plan mentioned in Babywise.  We stick to that specific order when possible.  It just makes sense.  Full feedings make for more waketime energy which makes them super sleepy.  Proper rest opens the door to productive feedings and the cycle begins again.

Bennett and Clara have been sleeping {consistently} through the night (7:30/8pm-7am) since 16 weeks without a middle-of-the-night peep.  They arrived 6 weeks early, so the adjusted age would be 10 weeks.  Not too shabby!  We believe it's due to several factors but mainly their daytime schedule.

Please use books and blogs as tools and not the "end-all-and-be-all" (I'm speaking to myself here).  I looked and looked for sleep answers and my kids didn't meet the mold in any of it.  It just took time to get to know them and their needs.  And I'm still learning new things about them every day.  Keeping that in mind, here's what currently works for us...

Our Daily Schedule at 21 Weeks:

7am...wake/bottle #1
8/8:30am...nap #1
(typically the longest nap of the day)
10/10:30am...bottle #2
11:30/12pm...nap #2
1/1:30pm...bottle #3
2:30/3pm...nap #3
4/4:30pm...bottle #4
5:30/6pm...nap #4 
(This one is hit or miss...I'm thinking they're going to completely eliminate this nap soon. I commonly refer to this as their "GROUCHY" time of day.  Look out...not pretty!)
7pm...bath/bottle #5/bed

Right now, waketime activities include: tummy time, Bumbo time (with toys on the tray) and/or mommy reading books/singing songs, the jumparoo, and attempting to roll around on the floor.

A few randoms I've learned so far...
  • SLEEP is just as important as FOOD for growth...during certain sleep cycles, the growth hormone is released.  WHAT?  True.
  • Good, super long naps don't necessarily mean that my babies will sleep less during the night.  Actually, naps haven't affected my kiddos' nighttime sleep at all.
  • If you have twins, they usually won't have the same waketime/nap lengths {gasp}.  It's a tough act to juggle, but again...listen to your babies.  They'll let you know what they need and when they need it.
  • If they wake from a nap early, give them the opportunity to figure out how to get themselves back to sleep...even if they have to cry for a bit {double-gasp}.  Watch the clock.  I guarantee you it's not as long as it seems.  We do our children a disservice when we overly intervene.  Crying is harder on us than it is on them.  They're not going to die from crying.  That said, if they're escalating to the point of no return, it's time to step in.
  • A swing can be a good place to finish a nap.  If they're awake and you've allowed them time to self-soothe (and it just isn't happening), the swing is a good tool to help them get back to sleep.  I just wouldn't allow it to become a habit (if possible).
  • YOU might be more attached to swaddles than they are.  Try one arm out for a while, then both arms and then no swaddle at all.  Our kiddos weaned from them like champs.  We were terrified to try but they've successfully been swaddle-free for a couple weeks now!  Way to go, guys!

No comments:

Post a Comment