Thursday, February 10, 2011

BabyWise or BabyStupid?

Probably the latter.

The twins were on a three hour feeding schedule when they came home from the hospital. This worked out great the first few weeks when they were small and sleepy. I tandem fed, it took almost an hour each time and so feeding two at once made the process much more streamlined. Fast forward to week 2 and I had all sorts of nipple and breast issues, and now my oversupply issues and I've reverted to nursing the babies separately (although I'm desperate to get them back on the same feeding schedule and nurse them simultaenously again soon).

I've been trying to follow a BabyWise plan with the twins since so many people we know have had success with this sleep method.

Week 1 and 2 I just nursed them as needed (but no more than three hours after the last feeding) to get the process of BF'ing established. Once they were clearly gaining weight and doing well, I stopped waking them up every three hours at night and started nursing on demand between 11 p.m. and our established wake up time. Starting with week 3 I woke Reese (who is more fussy if she goes too long without eating) up between 6:45 and 7:15, Ryan between 7:15 and 7:45.

The idea is that they nurse every two and a half to three hours. Nursing, diaper changes, burping, etc. take about 30-40 minutes and if all goes well I have between 10 and 20 minutes to play with each baby separately before they go down for their next nap. In a perfect world this is how it would go.

However, our world falls quite short of that. For every one day that goes according to schedule, we have at least three in which a baby (or two) goes on a napping strike. Or, better yet, a baby (or two) that goes through a growth spurt and needs to eat around the clock.

When one or both babies get up before our start of the day, but close to it (say between 5 and 6:30 a.m.) I try to nurse them, but stop them early so that I can wake them up and give them a full feed an hour or so later and keep the schedule on track. This works (sometimes) with Ryan, but never with Reese.

I am a super type-a person and living each day by the seat of my pants is not easy. Some nights are pretty rough and I feel bad for the babies waking them up to "start the day" and I feel bad for myself needing to wake up after getting less than 3 hours of sleep total.

Additionally, this week I tried to establish a bedtime routine starting between 6 and 7 p.m. where I nurse the babies, give them a bath, lotion them up, dress them, swaddle them and put them down to sleep. So far this routine has not worked once. I think even though I am keeping the bath routine within their 60 minute waketime window, they may be overstimulated. So far it has taken us 3-4 hours to get them to sleep after bath time. Horrendous.

So if you have twins, please give advice. If you are a BabyWiser who has had this plan work for you please give advice. What am I doing wrong? I know I need to be patient with everyone (including myself) and lower my expectations entirely, but on the days that we are completely hari kari I feel like not only do I not get any downtime as the mommy, but I don't get to give either baby personal attention either. I got an email yesterday from baby center talking about the twins' development at 4 weeks - how I should be playing with them and singing to them and showing them bright flashing objects and shapes. I'm lucky if I have time to do more than talk to them while I'm feeding them. Crazy ass mom guilt!

My worst day at home is still better than my best day at work, but I would really like to be successful at getting the twins on a schedule. So any advice is welcome!

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