M.H. asks from Orchard Park, NY on April 05, 2008
Can anyone with twins or multiples provide a daily sample schedule? I have three month old twin boys along with a 2 1/2 year old daughter. My boys are not good sleepers during the day---- they were great the first two months, then things started to change once they didn't "need" a lot of sleep. I don't really have a routine nap schedule now- one sleeps in the pack-n-play, and the other sometimes in the swing or in the crib. When it comes time for them to sleep, my daughter "stirs" things up, making it difficult to calm them down. It seems like it takes forever to get them to sleep. If one is asleep and the other crying, the sleeping baby wakes up. At night, they are fine. They sleep okay---they're still waking up twice (is this normal for twins?). Any advice would be grately appreciated.
M.G. answers from New York on April 08, 2008
My twins are 2-1/2 years old. Like another responder, I've had them on a schedule since they came home from 3 weeks in the NICU where they were on a strict 3 hour schedule. They slept in the same crib until about 3 months (when their moving around would wake the other up), and since then have always slept in the same room. It's remarkable how much one can sleep through the other's crying.
Someone else wrote to always put them down awake. I strongly strongly agree with this. We have always done this and they are always able to put themselves to sleep. We put them in their cribs/beds at the same time whether for nap or night time. We used a lot of the suggestions in the BabyWise book, including letting them cry for up to 10 minutes (which feels like an eternity). I have some significant disagreements with the authors, but agree with many of their techniques for helping babies learn to fall asleep on their own -- terribly necessary for multiples!
In addition to putting them down awake, a regular routine is, I feel, absolutely necessary. Babies love routine, love to know what to expect. It brings a degree of safety into their world. So whatever you find that works for you, do that and do it everyday.
Good luck. It DOES get easier. Now my daughter and son play together (and fight together!) and watching their growing relationship is a great joy. They are devoted to each other.
J.P. answers from New York on April 07, 2008
Congrats on your twin boys! I have 15 month old twin girls, who have been on a solid schedule for sometime now. I started with establishing routines so the girls would learn to know what to expect next. For example, every night they know after 5 pm dinner, they play briefly while I clean up. Then, we do baths (6pm), get in pjs, read a few books and go to bed by 7pm at the latest.
Here's a sample schedule (but even routines don't really settle in with kids before 4 months old):
6:30am wake up and get dressed
9-11am nap and quiet time
12 pm lunch
2-4 nap and quiet time
6:15 pm into pjs
7 pm bedtime
Good luck to you! It gets easier every three months with twins.
L.R. answers from New York on April 07, 2008
Mother of 14 month old twins responding. We had the girls on a schedule (losely at first so it was something they would eventually catch on to being they were so young) since birth. I would have to go back to see how the timing was at first but they napped and ate every 2 hours. Eventually we began to feed them every three hours (parent directed feeding - see below as this is something mentioned in Baby Wise and not for everyone). SAME TIME EVERY DAY and simultaneously.
This is the key, I think, in raising twins and keeping your sanity. Eat at the same time every day together, nap at the same time everyday together. Timing of these depends on stage of their life. I kept track and still do of times they ate, napped, and BMs to keep my head on straight. And they like the routine.
In addition, My girls have been in same room and separate cribs since 2 months. Had acid reflux and needed space so they could be positioned properly - first in car seats - and then with foam pads to be on an angle. Ninety percent of time they sleep through eachother's crying but 10% of time it's brutal and one is up (usually same child) and other one wakes up out of sound sleep scared. We go to comfort both (usually due to noise in our apt. building). Eventually, when we win the lottery will try for two rooms.
So in summary we started on a REAL schedule of:
Every three hours, naps at 9:00 and 1:00
(two hrs each - or two hours in the crib.... :0)
(wind down ahead of time) (after 4- 4 1/2 months)
Every four hours (solid feeding after bottle) after six months
Bedtime the same every night: when younger 8:30, then 8:00, then 7:30, now 6:45 at 14 months and woken up at 7ish am (if not up) so they are sleepy for a 9 am nap.
My girls are still small and VERY active so take 2 naps a day, one hour in am and 2-3 in pm.
Used some resources and my gut: Contented Happy Baby Book, Weissbleuth (kids need sleep more then food!), What to Expect, Baby Wise I.
It all works out and all I can say is "yes" set up a schedule (some days or most days it will work but know some days it just will not and start again next day until you all get the hang of it - I think about 5 days sets up a pattern...) and all of you will be a lot happier. I would also add, but have not experience with three children, that you may want to figure out an appropriate schedule (if she is not on one already) for your daughter so that you are all in sync. This may be quiet time for her or some "structured" mommy time.
It takes time so don't lose hope and it will come once they all catch on.... Best to you and your family.
T.S. answers from Utica on April 07, 2008
I can't give you any advice on the twins, but I thought that maybe I would help you out with your 2 1/2 year old little girl. During the twins "nap time" you said that you get things quited down and she comes through and stirs things up to wake them up, have you thought about telling her that during the twins "nap time" is mommy and baby girl special time ( just the two of ya's), curl up and watch her favorite cartoon, read a couple of books, color with her or something that she enjoy's doing so that way she associate's the "nap time" with special time with mommy she will probably be trying to "put" them to bed the minute they wake up in the morning ( ha ha). As far as the nap schedule with the 2 bundles of joy, I hope someone has great advice for you, my daughter and step daughter are just a year apart and I tip my hat off to you and other parents of twins or more!!!!!!!!!!!
S.K. answers from New York on April 06, 2008
Hi M....I'm mom to 3 month old twins myself, Hunter and Hailey. My twins are finally sleeping through the night. If they are asleep I wake them up anywhere around 10:00 - 10:30 to give them their last bottle. This has worked now for the past 2 weeks. They go to sleep with their bellies full and wake up in the am between 5 and 6 for the first bottle. I'm working full time and the morning is very hectic for me. When I get home from work and they are napping I put them in the same crib. Are you local? I would love chat with you and exchange info. ~Suzanne
A.B. answers from New York on April 07, 2008
Sleep begets sleep, they say, so it is no surprise they are waking up at night still because they don't get the day naps they need. It sounds like you are going to have to set a schedule for naps, ie, 2 hours after they awake it's nap time, and put them in their cribs, close the door and pray that they don't cry for more then 15 minutes. I am NOT usually an advocate for letting them cry it out, but with a 2 1/2 year old in the picture it has got to be almost impossible to orchestrate calming down time and you must get them into a schedule for them to develop good sleep habits. This is not just for their health and well-being--it's for yours, too! You might have to become baby boot camp for a while--2 1/2 yr old in play pen for 1/2 an hour (probably screaming for your attention) with some favorite toy(s) and nibble food, while you get the babies fed, clean, in BED with window shades closed, lights out, and door shut. Then you take screaming 2 1/2 year old to opposite end of house/ apartment to sweat out the twins screaming.
It does not sound "pleasant" but I think it is very necessary and the sooner the better. My friend with twins did just as I described because she was nursing and pumping breast milk and absolutely had to have them on schedules. It took about 2 or 3 days of 10 to 15 minutes of crying for them to go down without event, and now they are very good sleepers. Also, she let them cry if they woke up too quickly from the nap. They usually went back to sleep. It may have awakened the other baby, but again, after a few days of this routine they went to sleep and stayed asleep for at least an hour at naptime.
M.K. answers from New York on April 07, 2008
Feed and diapers ALL 3 babies
You should try to get your 2.5 year old BUSY with an activity,
like Playdough at the table,coloring with markers, cars, making cookies, Whatever she likes thats QUIET and Hands on, and Stationary
After you start her with her project,
Gather up One twin, and put him in the play pen, cover him up and pop in a paci, rub his head and cheeksand play some soft music like the Aqua sounds from fisher price.
Afterwards, get the other baby and place him in his crib
again cover him up, pop in a paci and rub his head and cheek,
play aqua sounds. And leave the room, no talking,
HOPEFULLY BOTH the playpen and crib are in separate rooms from where your daughter is
Any distraction or attention will disturb them
Afterwards they may Whine, but at this small age they shouldn't cry, in about a week they should fall asleep imediately.
As to your daughter, if she doesn't NAP you could try making her relax in her bed or yours and watch a show,
If you lay there in bed with her for an hour each day she will have a new routine, ( it will take about 2 weeks to get her routine going)
Having her relax, will enable the naps of the other 2, and give you time to relax.
try these times,
for the babies 10-2
and for your daughter 1230 pm
---Doing this will give you time for yourself to either REST, clean , or VEG.
Good luck MOM
S.S. answers from New York on April 07, 2008
Hi M. congratulations on your twins! Mine are 20 months old now and I also have one older. The most important thing you should know is it does get easier! I remember 3 months being a time when their habits changed alot. Everyone's babies are different but I can tell you what worked for me. I watched when their sleepy time was and kind of worked it so they both napped at the same time in their room away from everyone. It took awhile but even now they both nap at the same time and don't bother each other even though they're in the same room. It really is a sanity saver for me to have that 3 hours during the day to do what I need to do and not have little people underfoot. Your older daughter is behaving normally from my experience. The most important thing is to try and not react too much to her want for attention at that time. That's really all it is. Also, their night routine sounds fine.
Best of luck and I promise it gets much easier.