Twins: how does it even work??

Get them on a schedule. That's the first thing the well-meaning books and articles will tell the mother-of-twins-to-be. In my mind, we would be a well-oiled machine: double nursing, double burping, double diaper changes, and the all-important double nap.  The reason they advise you to get them on a schedule is that ideally, with two babies asleep for a length of time, you would be able to shower, or have a nap yourself - this is key, as the most challenging part of raising twins so far (in my case) has been that I'm just exhausted. More than likely I've been woken up many times during the night, and I'm just really low on energy. These guys take LOTS of energy. I would say my single greatest piece of advice to anyone having multiples is not about the schedule, though, it is this: GET HELP. Ask your relatives, if you are lucky enough to have them close. Ask your friends. You shouldn't have to, but ask your husband or partner over and over. If you are able to actually pay someone to help, I would say this is a wise investment. I'm not saying the schedule isn't important, but don't put too much pressure on yourself: the schedule will happen. We have more of a rhythm than a routine. We know what comes after what, but it doesn't have to be at the same time or in the same place every day. We don't do things simultaneously, mostly because I'm just one person. My particular babies did not enjoy double-nursing. It stressed them out, it stressed me out, and so I did it one at a time until about a month ago, when they were old enough to handle it. I actually enjoyed the one-on-one bonding. "But what did you do with the other one while one was nursing?" Great question. If someone else was around, they would be holding him/her. If not, they were in their crib, asleep or awake playing with toys, or on a blanket at my feet playing, or swinging in their swing - I'm not going to lie - often crying at me. These were the most challenging days. It sounds really rough, but moms of twins, back me up: there's just no avoiding the crying sometimes. They get their diapers changed one at a time, too, obviously, but always one right after the other so I don't have to try and remember who's wet and who's not. And the naps...well....we try to take them at roughly the same time, but it doesn't always work out that way. One in the morning, about an hour and a half after we get up (which these days is usually between 6:30 and 7:30 am.) If this one is incredibly short, we try another one around 11:30 am or noon. If both napped to my satisfaction in the morning, we just play and have lunch and wait until they are cranky, which is usually around 1:30 or 2 pm. Many times, one will go easily to dreamland and the other will be wide awake, at which point I must decide: let the child continue to play happily and get some alone time with mommy, or force it to nap - which involves lots of crying and patting. If it has not napped and it's getting on 3:00 pm, i will force it. If not, I usually let it be. (to avoid the batteries running out at like 5:30, which is too close to bedtime for a nap..) That being said, once Daddy is home it's easy to do the rest of the day in lockstep: dinner, bath, pajamas, stories, bottle, bed. A note about bathtime: before they could sit up by themselves, we did baths one at a time, in the sink. Bathing two by yourself is not a good idea. Even if you could pull it off, why take the risk?

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