Wednesday, February 8, 2017

twinmom Q&A!



if you missed it, i posted on my Instagram that I wanted to do a Q&A blog post and I got soooo many good questions! I seriously loved them all!! it was so fun going through them and reflecting over the past 14 months. I am definitely not an expert when it comes to twins or raising children in general. very far from it, actually...but hopefully sharing some info about our experience with the twins could help someone. i love learning about what other moms do and what has or hasn’t worked for them, so that’s basically all this is. if you have any other tips of your own, i would love to hear about them in the comments! 

I split the questions up into categories to make it a little easier if you’re just interested in reading about one or two specific topics. click through to read the Q&A...




G O I N G   O U T

How do you manage going out with them on your own?
The babies were born end of November and I don’t think I started leaving the house on my own until the middle or end of January. I was definitely intimidated by having to handle two infants and a toddler on my own, that’s for sure. It got to the point though that I was just so desperate to get out of the house (after literally not leaving the house for over a month probably haha) that I got the courage to try it out. I would just do quick errands, like to Target or the library. Definitely all stroller-friendly places, or places with carts, and I would only go to one place because the thought of assembling and disassembling the stroller and taking two carseats in & out more than once was just not appealing to me at all. They are 14 months now and I still don't like to go multiple places in one outing unless it's absolutely necessary. 

How to transport all three kids when going places? How do you handle going places by yourself with 3 babies?
I have the Baby Jogger City Select double stroller, which I 100% swear by!!!! Every twin mom needs one!! Especially if you have an older kid. I have the double stroller and we also got the kick board that attaches to it. And for some reason it took me a few months to realize this, but I figured out that I could put Wyatt in a seat in the stroller, a baby in a carseat with a carseat adaptor on the stroller, and the other carseat sitting on the kick board!! So all three children were strapped in and riding on the stroller. I still get so happy when I think about the day I realized I could do that haha. Hands free is huge, and not having to worry about Wyatt running off is just the best. The carseat is not super securely attached to the kick board though, so I would only do it if I was just going on flat surfaces. Otherwise I would do wyatt strapped in a stroller seat, a carseat & carseat adaptor on the stroller, and wearing the other baby in a wrap. Or have Wyatt sitting in the front of a shopping cart, a carseat in the back of the cart, and wearing the other baby in a wrap. Not much room in the shopping cart that way, but there’s always the under part of the cart. (Also Super Targets and Costcos have the carts that hold more than one baby, which are awesome.) I’ve also done it before where I was pushing a stroller AND pulling a shopping cart (at the same time). I’m sure I got some weird looks, but basically you get a free pass to do whatever the heck you want when you have twins. ;) And having Wyatt buckled in and not having to worry about him running off was amazing (can you tell yet that Wyatt loves wandering when we are out in public?).

Tips on getting out or traveling with twins?
We’ve only been on two trips since the babies were born. The first was a 10-hour road trip to California when the babies were about 7 months. They’ve always liked their carseats and they did well in the car as long as they were fed. We have two pack n plays for each of them to sleep in, although when we went to California we only had to take one because we were staying with family who had an extra one we could also use. Not sure if this would be helpful to anyone, but on our California trip it was me and the babies in one room, and Wyatt (2 years old at the time) and my husband in the other room. The babies were still waking up to eat 2 or 3 times at night at the time, so they mostly stuck to the same schedule while we were on vacation. Nap times were mostly in the car. I will say that both times we’ve been on trips with them I made sure to have formula on hand for times when it just wasn’t possible for me to breastfeed them. (More on that in the “NURSING & FEEDING” section.)



S L E E P I N G

Our current schedule (more or less):
630am babies wake up
7-8am breakfast
830am put babies down for nap
930-10am babies wake up
10am-1130am babies & wyatt play
1130am start getting lunches ready
12pm-1pm eat lunch
1-130pm play a little more, drink a bottle
2pm put down for nap
4pm babies wake up
4-430pm have a snack
430-530pm babies & wyatt play
530-730pm eat dinner, take baths, put kids to bed

Did they ever share a crib? Do they sleep together in the beginning? if so, how long did that last?
I had them sleeping together in the same crib for the first 3 or 4 months. Eventually they got old enough that they were moving around more and loud noises would wake them up easier, so we started doing two separate cribs at that point. We had a crib in our room and one in their room for the first 6 weeks or so after they were born. I think it was around 6 weeks that I started feeling like I needed to have my bedroom separate from their bedroom, just for my own sanity. I know a lot of people do the co-sleeping thing or have the baby/babies in their room to make it easier to feed them, which I totally get, but just for me at that time I felt like I needed to feel like I had at least one room in the house that was just mine (and my husband's, obviously). 

How do you get them to sleep through the night in the same room?
Junie is our good sleeper and Cal is our not-so-good sleeper. June never really needed to be sleep trained, but around 4.5 or 5 months we definitely had to sleep train Cal. He was going to bed around 8pm, sleepiing until 12am or 1am (on a good night…), and then would be waking up basically every 60-90 minutes after that until 7am. Each time I would feed him. At that time he was also only taking naps anywhere between 20-40 minutes before waking up and wanting to eat again. It was rough. So I first started sleep training during the day for naps…If he woke up after only 40 minutes or less, I would let him cry it out in hopes that he would fall back asleep. The first two days it would take him 30-45 minutes of crying before falling back asleep, but he would fall asleep for another hour or so, and eventually by the end of the 2nd day he was taking longer naps! (And 45 minutes was my limit…if he was still crying after 45 minutes, I would just go get him and try again on the next nap.) After a couple days working on naps we did nighttime. I’d like to say we spared June from having to just listen to her twin brother cry…….but we didn’t. And we felt terrible!! But didn’t really know what else to do! But this is just an example of how sweet June is because she never really complained and most times would just keep sleeping through Cal’s crying, because she’s just amazing. After a few nights of more or less the same thing (letting him cry it out, up to 45 minutes), he was FINALLY only waking up 3 times, instead of like 6 times. I know 3 times still sounds like a lot, but I really felt like I was living in luxury, compared to what was happening before the sleep training. 
Also, I should mention that it was around 6 months when they started sleeping more in the night. I would put them to bed around 730-8pm, they would wake up sometime in the 4am hour, and then sleep again until 630-7am. They would regress here and there a little bit, but I think for the most part after 6 months Cal was usually only waking up twice to eat, which I was okay with. 
P.S. I know a lot of people don’t agree with the cry-it-out method of sleep training, which I also totally get!! Not really sure what else to say other than it has worked for us, and I still love my kids as much as anyone else does, so to each their own. :) Every baby, mother, and family is different, and we even did things differently between Wyatt & Cal's sleep training, so what works for one situation might not work for another. Just takes a lot of trial & error and figuring out what your baby needs to help them learn how to self-soothe. 

Tips on babies and mama sleeping?
I wish I could say that I always went to bed nice and early so that I could get as much sleep as possible, but unfortunately I enjoyed my alone time after the kids all went to bed way too much. I would usually be in bed by 11pm, but would definitely recommend going to bed sooner than that if you can!! I don’t drink caffeine or alcohol so I can’t say how those affect your sleeping, although I do know that if I had too much sugar that day I wouldn't sleep as well at night. Also, I mentioned before I think it's great when parents can co-sleep, if that works for them, but when I have a baby sleeping next to me I really don't sleep as well either.

How do your babies nap?
When they were taking 3 or 4 naps a day I think I remember that they would only have 90 minutes of awake time between waking up and needing to go back to sleep again. So if they woke up at 7am, their nap would be at 830am. And if they woke up from their nap at 10am, their next nap would be at 1130am. Slowly that time stretches so that it’s 2 hours between naps. Right now I put them down for their first nap usually 2 hours after they wake up in the morning. Then their second nap is sometime around 1 or 2pm. It’s really tricky keeping them on the same nap schedule, especially because Cal would always always always wake up first. And on some crazy days, Cal would be ready to go BACK to sleep for another nap when June was still on her first nap! Sometimes I would just wake June up early to keep them on the same schedule as best as I could, other times I would try to keep Cal up longer, or June up longer, and then other times I would just let them do their own thing that day which meant I was stretched really thin with 3 kids all on different schedules. 

My babies only slept through the night a handful of times, still nighttime feed, will they ever get the sleeping all night thing? 
I will say that their schedule has never been super rigid. When they were younger I would mostly just go off the amount of wake time between naps, and my babies never slept a full 12 hours at night until like 10 months, I think? It’s hard to tell because June would have done that more if Cal wasn’t waking her up, and Cal is 14 months and still struggles with getting a full 12 hours (he usually does 10 or 11 hours)… I remember my first son not sleeping fully through the night until a few weeks after I had weaned him (which was around 13 months), so I’ve just never been too set on them sleeping through the night because I assume it will be the same case with them where they don’t sleep consistently through the whole night until after they aren’t breastfeeding anymore. They were weaned about two weeks ago, so I’m really hoping any day now they’ll both do the full 12 hours at night. (June does already, but Cal has been waking up really early and we’re still trying to figure out how to keep him sleeping just a little longer in the morning….)
*Update: since I wrote the answer to this question a few days ago, Cal has since slept through the night for 12 hours straight the past two nights! Hoping he keeps doing that!

Never managed the art of putting them down for sleep and walking away. Still rocking them…  
With my first son I started off only nursing him to sleep, which caused a lot of sleeping problems for him after a few months (when the only way he knew how to fall asleep is if he was nursing). so i knew with the twins I didn't want to get into that kind of habit, and from pretty early on I was trying my best to help them learn how to self-soothe. I would swaddle them and give them a pacifier if they wanted it and put them in their crib and prayed they would put themselves to sleep!!! i think starting that early was really helpful, and I knew I wanted to try that from the very beginning because of my experience with my first child. they weren't perfect and i did nurse them to sleep a lot when they were a lot younger, but in general i tried to help them practice putting themselves to sleep. mostly because i felt like i just didn't have the time & availability to be helping them fall asleep every time they napped or at bedtime, because my older child definitely would not have let me get away with that either. and sometimes i wish Cal & June would let me rock them to sleep more, but they do better falling asleep on their own in their cribs. 

Did one baby ever end up with you thru the night bc you didn’t want them waking the other? We have one good sleeper and the other loves our bed (only lasts 3 hours in hers)...
Yes! there were definitely times that I just kept Cal in our bed, especially when he was waking up soo much. I really tried to not get into the habit though because I knew I didn’t want us getting into that habit and I really don't sleep as well when there's a baby in the bed. and i mentioned this previously, but if Cal was sleeping for a 3 consecutive hours at a time I considered that really good for him. He just was soo bad in the beginning, that him waking up 2 or 3 times during the night to eat was no big deal to me.  

How did you get/keep them on a schedule?
their schedule basically changes every day, give or take an hour or so, depending on when they wake up that day and how long they decide to nap that day. but usually they both wake up together at the same time in the morning, so from there it’s easy to put them down at the same time for their first nap and at least start their day on the same schedule. if one of them wakes up earlier, when they were younger I would sometimes wake the other one up so that they would still be on the same schedule. i always tried to do the eat-play-sleep method also, which gave me some kind of guideline. every day really is different and i try/tried to stay flexible. (I answered a little more about this a few questions above: "How do the babies nap?"



S E L F   &   H O M E   C A R E

How do you keep your home clean and organized?
I wish i had better tips on this, but the truth is that it really isn’t that clean or organized! haha. some weeks i’ll get really motivated to do some organizing here and there, but in general I guess i just try to have a spot for everything so at least i know where things go. even with that though, things still get cluttered. it’s something i struggle with every day, actually…trying to keep things organized and trying to find the motivation to clean more.

Do you have any help at all, with the kids or the house?
other than my husband, i don’t have help with the kids or the house. i totally wish i had cleaners, but that’s not something we want to spend our money on right now, and i didn’t put wyatt in preschool so he’s with me all day. also, in general i’m really hesitant to leave the twins with anyone besides my mom, basically, and my mom lives across the country….so that tells you how much i leave my kids with other people haha. (almost never!) i don’t say this to brag. i actually wish i was the type of person that felt comfortable asking others for help, but i just have never been that way so i feel like i've just gotten used to managing fairly well on my own. it’s totally just a personality thing, i think.  

Tips on self care?
this is a tricky one for me to answer. i don’t think i’ve been very great at this, to be honest. i do shower and get ready for the day everyday, so i guess that kind of “self care” i do, but i think the kind of self care that is for your mind and spirit is not something i’ve invested very much time in, unfortunately. definitely want to try to do better. the only time i have to spend on self care is after the kids go to bed, and usually by that point i am so exhausted from the day i just want to sit on the couch or in bed and watch my shows and eat a treat. but there are so many other things that i know would be far more fulfilling, like journaling more, reading, exercising, and a million other things….but at the same time i don’t want to put so much pressure on myself and get down on myself for not being more productive with my “me time”…. For a little while over the summer last year I was waking up early before the babies woke up to exercise, shower, and read or write, which i totally loved and makes such a huge difference. i haven't done this very much at all lately now that it's so dark in the mornings and cal's been waking up sooo early, but i really want to start back up. 



N U R S I N G   &   F E E D I N G

How did you start nursing your babes yourself? Favorite positions?
when the babies were first born, Cal was in the NICU and Junie was in our hospital room with us, so tandem nursing didn’t happen until we got home 4 days after they were born. the first time i tried it we just put a bunch of pillows around me and things were good, but just took a lot of setting up that i wouldn’t be able to do on my own every time. so we borrowed the twin nursing pillow “My Brest Friend” from a friend, and it was so great! i would definitely recommend having a nursing pillow designed specifically for nursing twins! i would set the babies down where i was going to nurse them (usually in my bed in the beginning), sit down myself and put on the pillow, then put each baby on either side of me in a football hold, and let them nurse away. after a couple months i started feeling more comfortable with just using a king sized pillow to have the babies on while i nursed (still in the football hold), and i basically only did this position for the first 6-8 months. i can’t remember exactly when i started doing different positions, but it always came back to that one because it let me have my hands free. when the babies were older and bigger I started doing one baby in the cradle hold (like you would normally nurse just one baby), and the other baby in a football hold, kind of lying on top of the other baby. I always had Cal on the bottom when doing this since he is bigger. I liked doing this because I didn't need to have a pillow to nurse. And my favorite place to nurse was always in my bed. It was just the most comfortable. 

Did you nurse exclusively early on or pump and bottle feed too? 
in the beginning i nursed exclusively, and would try to pump if i knew i was going to be somewhere the next day during the babies’ feeding time. i soon realized, though, that pumping just took way too much time and i decided i would just give them a bottle of formula every now and then for situations where we were out and about. (i actually remember feeling kind of guilty over it, but i got over thatpretty quickly...) so like at church on sundays, or if we went to a friends house in the evening… the babies took the formula in a bottle just fine and it was so sparingly that it never affected my milk supply or their desire to nurse. around 6 or 7 months it got to the point where they were just getting bigger and we were all getting out more, so they were getting usually one bottle of formula a day on most days of the week. it gave me a little break for at least one feeding, since they were still nursing 7-8 times during the day & night. 

How often/long do they nurse? I feel like can’t leave the house between constant nursing and pumping between feedings. How did you feed babies when you left the house?
when they were newborns i would feed them every 2.5-3 hours (for 10-15 minutes), and that feeding schedule actually lasted probably until about 10 months, I feel. By then I was feeding them more table food that I could drop a daytime feeding for a meal. And it’s definitely tricky trying to coordinate going out with their nursing schedule! usually our weekday outings were never more than 2 hours though, and if they were longer than 2 hours then i would definitely have some formula with me, or bring my nursing cover so that i could nurse them while we were out. if i was nursing them anywhere besides at home (with a nursing pillow), i would just nurse them each individually. i would try to anticipate their feeding time and start feeding them a little before their next feeding normally would be, so that there were no tears from the baby that was waiting to be fed (since they would have to take turns).  

How do you do dinnertime with twins? I feed babies and a 4 year old and it seems like husband and mom don’t eat.
i totally relate to this! dinnertime is definitely my least favorite part of the day! my kids make it very clear that they are ready for dinner by like 5pm, but my husband doesn’t get home until 6:30pm or later... for several SEVERAL months (basically most of last year) i did not cook hardly at all. i would feed the kids and myself, and then my husband would just eat whatever was around after he got home (bless his heart!). he never complained either, which is the amazing part. and really what ended up happening was that both of us would just eat the easiest, most accessible food (quesadillas, top ramen, peanut butter sandwiches, etc…..) and just snack. BUT!…for the past month or so we’ve been doing soo much better. I have a set meal plan that I follow now for dinner every day. i do all the shopping at the beginning of the week, so it makes me want to prepare the dinner so the food that i bought doesn’t go to waste. having a meal planned for every day of the week really was the only thing that got me out of my cooking rut. the recipes i use are also enough so that there are leftovers to have for lunch the next day. the kids don't always eat what my husband & i eat, so there is still multiple meals being prepared most nights....but at least it's gotten me away from snacking so much in the evenings and now i eat more well-balanced meals, which is always a good thing. 
when i prepare dinner i either put on a tv show for the kids to watch (mostly just for my 3-year old to watch while the babies putter around playing with toys), or i make a quick dinner for Wyatt (my 3-year old) and keep putting small amounts of finger foods on the babies’ trays for them to feed themselves while i cook dinner for my husband & myself. 

Tips and tricks on baby food, prep, feeding, schedule?
i totally remember those days! starting them on solids was probably the most intimidating thing i’ve had to do since having twins! it does take forever to feed them and clean them up. it’s just really time consuming. Cal also had some kind of food allergy in the very beginning and would have vomiting episodes that lasted about an hour…it was heartbreaking and we aren’t really sure what exactly caused them, although i think it was bananas. he eventually grew out of it but it added another level of stress/anxiety to the whole process in the beginning, wondering if it would happen this time. anyways, i’ve gotten used to the fact that i have to prepare food for three children and myself now, so it doesn’t seem as bad now. i don’t do a whole lot of meal prep, although i do like to choose easy foods to feed them. when we were starting out i was definitely no stranger to buying the little food pouches! i didn’t do that a whole lot with my first, but this time around i didn’t care how much it was going to cost me if it was going to make it all just a tiny bit easier. eventually they kind of grew out of the pureed pouches and wanted real food. now i will try to have at least one vegetable that i prepare in a big batch, like sweet potatoes or butternut squash, that i keep in the fridge and use for a few days. also i buy cooked beets (they have them at Trader Joe’s and Costco) which they love and is something else i just grab from the fridge and cut up for them. i also like getting the cooked lentils from trader joe’s too. other foods they like that i feed them pretty regularly: green peas, avocado, steamed carrots, peanut butter sandwiches, grape tomatoes (diced up), cheese, plain greek yogurt, bananas, any fruit, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, rice, chicken nuggets, pasta. and here is an example of a feeding schedule for them currently, at 14 months (which has been basically the same since about 10 months…):

BREAKFAST around  7:30am
—oatmeal cooked in milk with cinnamon and banana slices
—scrambled eggs and a banana
—or egg & banana pancakes topped with almond/peanut butter

(bottle before morning nap, about 4-6oz of warm milk)

LUNCH around noon
an assortment of different finger foods—usually three or four different things that i either mix up in a bowl and feed them with a spoon, or that are all bite size that i put on their tray and let them feed themselves. (for example, today they had diced up grape tomatoes, beets, cheese, and avocado)

(bottle before afternoon nap, about 4-6oz of warm milk)

SNACK after nap, around 3 or 4pm
peanut butter sandwich or yogurt or cheese...just something quick and easy.

DINNER around 5 or 6pm
preferably whatever we are having, if possible, or a sandwich if they haven’t had one yet with some green peas, or chicken nuggets, or just whatever!

(bottle before bed, 6-7 oz of warm milk)

**also, this is probably not good but when they are both healthy and well i just prepare one big bowl of food and feed it to them with the same spoon. i know some people will think that’s terrible, but when i’m trying to feed myself, make sure my toddler is eating, and feed two babies, you just do what you gotta do. one spoon/one bowl makes it easier, so i say just do whatever works! if one of them is sick then obviously i’ll do separate bowls. 



S H O P P I N G / B A B Y   C L O T H E S

Favorite place to shop for your kids? 
old navy and zara are usually my first go-to’s! also h&m, baby gap, and target. there’s also lots of shops i’ve found through Instagram that i just love love love, like Littles Modern (love their high-waisted bloomers!), Mabo Kids, Fin & Vince, Rylee & Cru, Moonroom Kids, and shopARQ, to name a few. 

June’s style?
i loooove getting my little Junie girl dressed! i loved one-piece rompers for her in the summer, and this past winter her "uniform" (ha) has been a blouse or sweater with bloomers and tights. she doesn’t really wear jeans...i had a pair for her last winter but they just never seemed right on her. she’s pretty small for her age, so i think tights and bloomers just fit her better. like i said before, i always look at zara and old navy first. :)


Where to get cute baby boy clothes?
Zara! i love their boy clothes during the fall & winter, especially. for some reason haven’t loved their stuff during the warmer months as much, but everything is still cute though. also old navy and h&m always have cute stuff too.



B A B Y   G E A R

How do you bathe them - favorite bath? 
when they were first born we just used the puj tub we already had and bathed them in the sink. we just had one and i didn’t bother to buy another one because i bathed them separately anyways. i think there are probably tubs out there that are designed to fit twins? (don’t quote me on that) Now I just bathe them together in the same tub and it’s a lot easier. Their favorite is taking a bath in the kitchen sink, though. they go crazy over it. when Cal was a newborn he *hated* baths. he would just cry and cry and wail and wail all during the bath. it was terrible. now he can't get enough of them and he loves the water. can't figure that kid out! ha. 

Favorite twin carrier or wrap? 
i have an ergo and also a solly baby wrap. both are great for different reasons. i tried fitting two babies in the solly wrap, but i could never really get it to work, although i’ve seen it done. i’ve also wanted to try having a baby in the ergo on my back and a baby in the front in a wrap. i haven’t tried it yet but i feel like it could work?!

Favorite diaper bag for double stuff? 
i’m using a Fawn Design diaper bag which i’ve really loved. it’s big enough to hold lots of stuff. i’m also a fan of using different pouches for different things (within my bag). i've also used just my Madewell bag sometimes too, which i love. i don't actually keep diapers in my diaper bag very often....i usually leave the diapers in the car. i try to keep as little as possible with me in my bag. some nose/face wipes, my wallet, a few toys, and a pouch or two with my personal items like gum, lip balm, tweezers, etc.


B E I N G   A   T W I N M O M

Favorite part of being a twin mama? Favorite/most surprising thing about twins/being a twin mom?
by far my favorite thing is watching them interact with each other! since very early on they seemed interested in each other, which i just LOVE. i could literally watch them all day long. also when they both cuddle with me at the same time and both lay their heads on my shoulders….best feeling in the world. there is nothing like it. 

New twin mom tipssleep tips, baby gear, how to do it on your own without help from extended family and friends?
my sleep tip would be to go to bed early, if you can! i am terrible at this, but it seems to be the best thing you could do to get extra sleep! my biggest baby gear tip would be the Baby Jogger City Select double stroller (with the kick board, if you have another child—read more about that in the “GOING OUT” section). as far as doing it on my own, i’ve just had to go into survival mode a lot of the time, so just do whatever works!! for example, in the beginning when i was nursing a lot, i would try to read books to wyatt while i nursed or somehow keep him entertained, but it was just really hard to try to do it all at once, so i started letting him watch an episode of a favorite tv show on netflix while i nursed, and i told myself i didn’t need to feel guilty because it gave us all a break!! and it was great! we were all happy! also sometimes i’ll let him watch shows while i’m taking a shower or while i’m cooking dinner. again, not letting myself feel guilty! ain’t nobody got time for that. and there was a month or two when once a day on most days i would let the twins have a bottle of formula instead of nursing them, just to give myself a break and let wyatt have a chance to help out (which he loved). my husband also did all the grocery shopping in the very beginning and would clean up the house every night so i could wake up to a nice clean place (which was seriously the nicest thing EVER), and is always of course willing to let me go out in the evenings for a girls night* or just to go run errands by myself. so basically to sum it all up—doing it on your own means you get to find ways to give yourself a break without judgment and pat yourself on the back for even the small things. 

*i actually don't consider myself a very social person (as in, i don't feel like i need it the way other people seem to need it. aka i'm an introvert...), but i happen to live in the funnest neighborhood ever so there is always something going on and i have a lot of opportunities to get out at night and spend time with friends, which is great. some days are just so exhausting that the thought of having to talk and be around people doesn't sound appealing at all, so finding a good balance is always a good thing. also, i facetime with family every single day while i'm home with the kids, so in that way i do get "help" from extended family because they give me adult conversations which is really a lifesaver some days. 

When did they start to play together?
i remember from the very first moment i laid them next to each other (after Cal was out of the nicu, 4 days after they were born), cal instantly somehow inched his way closer to june as they slept. and it's just always been that way. they've always loved being together. i swear they’ve always just had some kind of connection. around 3 or 4 months they were definitely seeing each other and noticing and poking at each other. before that it was mostly cuddling with each other and hand holding and reaching for each other. they’ve also been playing together for a while, it seems. sometimes they fight like cats & dogs (usually over a toy they both want), but in general they do really well just hanging out with each other and being together and playing with the same toys. they are just so sweet together. 

How do you grocery shop with twins? One in cart or both?
when i grocery shop i have the twins and my 3-year old. so i’m sure you can guess…it’s definitely not my favorite part of the week haha. i either have the babies in the stroller, or both in the cart—one sitting in the front, and the other in their carseat in the back of the cart….while my 3-year old pushes around a “little tiny cart.” it’s basically me saying “come on, wyatt” “this way, wyatt” “follow me, wyatt” for 45 minutes straight. i’ve been trying to do my grocery shopping on saturdays or in the evenings though, to avoid having to take them all to the grocery store. it’s a headache, to be honest, but it can be done! :) if you're just picking up a couple things and don't need a lot of space in the cart, you could also wear a baby in a wrap, put your toddler in the front of the cart, and the other baby in their carseat in the back of the cart. 

Things you wish you did differently or glad you did from the very start?
something i wish i had done differently was to maybe let the chores go undone** or not to have worried so much about taking a shower on days when i should have just cuddled my babies more or just taken a nap instead. i say those things, although i am totally the type that gets anxious when my house is too messy and the type that feels soo much better once i take a shower and put on makeup and real clothes. but i could have found a better balance, i think.
**the chores did go undone a lot of times, but it always made me feel so guilty, so really i should say: not feel guilty when the chores go undone. 
something i’m glad i did from the start was help them learn how to sleep in their cribs, and learn how to fall asleep on their own. (disclaimer: Cal was great at falling asleep, just not so great at STAYING asleep…..) 

How to enjoy life with twins rather than being a constant stress case? I rarely feel like I get time to bond with each twin or just enjoy them. How to enjoy life with twins rather than being a constant stress case? How to give quality time to each? (Not as much quality time as with older child)…
i’ll be honest, most days i do feel like i’m running around like a turkey with their head cut off!! (that’s a saying, right?) i feel like everything is so urgent with two babies that are needing your attention constantly, and it’s overwhelming at times, that’s for sure. i definitely do not bond with each of the twins as much as i bonded with my first child, and i think that’s okay. i am able to find little moments with June & Cal individually here and there. Like when Cal wakes up before June from their afternoon nap (basically every day) I get to spend time with just him, or when Cal & Wyatt are playing together so I take advantage of a little one-on-one time with my baby girl. I guess it’s all about quality instead of quantity. Also, when I was pregnant with the twins and worried about not having enough of myself to give to each of my children, someone said to me that siblings are the best gift a parent can give to their children, which is just SO true. i love my parents and are beyond grateful for them—especially for giving me my siblings who are my best, best, best friends.

Biggest difference, having one baby vs two babies? Do you have the stamina to ever do it again?
I definitely would never want to be pregnant with twins again! i never even felt like my stomach was that big, but the swelling in my legs and feet was just out of control! it got so bad that it was just really difficult to move around. but i always tell my husband i would love to have at least one more baby—mostly because it would seem like a total vacation just having to take care of ONE newborn (instead of two), and getting to soak it all up being a little bit more relaxed (again because there’s just one instead of two haha). i think even with just twins it would be a more calm atmosphere, but when there are older children involved the mom is just spread more thin, obviously. as far as just taking care of two babies though, i've always said things are pretty much the same as just taking care of one baby...you just do things twice (like change 2 diapers, give 2 baths, change clothes twice, brush teeth twice, etc.) so things are a bit more time consuming. some days it does get tricky, like on the days when a baby (or both) aren’t napping, or when all the kids are sick...then survival mode will kick in and moms can just handle it when they need to! that's why we're amazing! ;)


O L D E R   S I B L I N G S

How do you get quality time with oldest? 
It’s so tough doing this, but i’ve found it to be so so important. otherwise my 3-year old is destined to act up somehow. i try to remember this when he is really testing my patience, that most likely it’s just because he needs more attention from me. most days i am able to have some good one-on-one time with Wyatt when the babies take their morning or afternoon nap. we love reading books, doing puzzles together, doing the laundry (he loves pushing the buttons on the washer & dryer), or just talking. 

How do you manage twins with the older sibling?
my best tip for how to do it all when you have an older child is to find simple ways to get them involved and have them help you or the babies. wyatt usually jumps at the chance to grab diapers or a blanket or get me the wipes, or take the diapers to the trash, or clean up toys, as long as i introduce the task to him as him helping mommy or giving service to mommy or the babes. really any way that he feels involved or important is when he behaves the best. he also loves helping me put the babies down at nap time and giving them their bottles and even feeding them food sometimes. 
even with all this though, wyatt will be so well behaved when the babies are not around, but as soon as they are back in the picture he totally acts out. (is he the only toddler that does that?) i have to remind myself to give him a break and understand why he’s doing what he’s doing, which helps me not get so frustrated, although i’ve definitely had my fair share of losing patience with him too many times. he is definitely no stranger to time out in his bedroom, unfortunately. which i blame more on myself than on him. trying to do better about using times when he does something wrong (like push one of the babies down or taking their toys) to teach him why he has to have a consequence. the twins just adore wyatt, though, and they all love playing together. they are 25 months apart, so i'm sure they'll all be close friends as they grow up, which i can't wait to see. 
also, currently wyatt is responding really well to rewards for good behavior. (usually rewards are things like watching a show when we get home if he stays close to me at the grocery store, or some raisins if he cleans up his toys, or getting to paint if he finishes his breakfast.) i actually haven't read any parenting books when it comes to toddlers & older kids, but i feel like i should. if anyone has any recommendations on good ones, i would love to know!




P.S. Thank you again to everyone who asked questions! I know I'll read back on these questions & answers in a few years and be so nostalgic for this crazy time in my life. the twinmom life is a good life. busy and exhausting at times, but i would not trade it for anything. i know not everyone gets this kind of unique opportunity so i try to appreciate every second.

4 comments:

  1. This was a real help to read. I currently have four month old twin boys. Their day sleeps are pretty good, they go down fairly easily at night, but the staying asleep...uh! I basically have two Cal's! I'm going to sleep train them but just wondering as it's something I've never done and the thought of it breaks my heart what did you do to cope while Cal cried it out. During the day I can distract myself but at night, it kills me! I know I have to do it for my sanity and for the health of our family because we are surviving on no sleep. Did you peek in on him to check he was ok or just wait it out for 45mins? And how old was Cal when you did it? Sorry to ask, I just know this will be the only way for us too unfortunately.

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    1. It's soo tough!! It was around 4.5-5 months that we started the sleep training. And I wish I could remember more details of exactly what we did. Do you have a video monitor? We don't, but I feel like it would have been useful during sleep training. And now that I think about it, I think I after we had sleep trained him for the daytime, he just started sleeping longer stretches during the night as a result too. Or I would just go in to feed him if it had been at least 3 hours since the last feeding. I tried a few times going in to pat his back like every 10 minutes (like some sleep training methods suggest) if he was awake and crying, but it always seemed to upset him even more, so I stopped doing it.

      we sleep trained him but our intent wasn't really to get him to sleep a full 12 hours. We just wanted him to wake up a normal amount of times that a baby would wake up. he went from waking up 6-7 times a night to only waking up 2-3 times a night, and I considered that a huge success. and to cope with it I'm not sure I have any good tips, unfortunately. It's heartbreaking no matter what! Hope things start looking up for you guys soon!

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  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! I am also a twin mom (7 months) and a 4 year old toddler. it's nice to hear someone else's experience with the craziness. Haha I now feel a little more sane and think I am doing an okay job! Most days are wild but I wouldn't change it for the world. Your family is beautiful and I always love seeing pictures and hearing stories of the kids. Thanks again!

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  3. I love reading this! I am not a mom yet (and who knows if I'll ever have twins!), but I love hearing your tips and tricks and learning from your experience! xo

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