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I was told during my pregnancy that being a mom of twins would be different than being a mom of a singleton. At first, I really didn’t know what that meant because this was my first time stepping foot into motherhood. I didn’t know what to expect and all I knew was what I was experiencing. Of course, it wasn’t easy. However, it was all I knew.
Having twins is definitely a unique experience. The challenges mamas of twins face are similar to the challenges singleton moms face, but just with another baby added to the mix. Yes, this does often bring forth a little bit more stress, but it also brings forth just as much love.
One topic that is often brought forward is the discussion involving routine. While some parents are spontaneous with their schedules, other parents are very strict. Usually moms of multiples fall into the latter category. When you have two babies to care for, finding a routine that works for everyone is important. However, it is easier said than done - as all things are with motherhood.
Jenni: “Having a concrete schedule has been beneficial for not only the girls, but for the parents as well.”
From the start I knew I wanted my girls to be on the same schedule. This meant when one cried at night, the other was going to wake up and be fed as well. There were times when parents would say the usual “never wake a sleeping baby” phrase and after a while, I learned to accept the statement, but ignore it. I knew that was not the phrase I was going to follow when it came to my parenting style.
My boyfriend and I decided to put our girls in their cribs from night one after we left the hospital and magically, the girls have been sleeping in their cribs ever since. This was the first step in getting our nighttime routine in place. When they woke up at night, we would go into their room, prepare the bottle or warm up stored breastmilk and feed them both at the same time. It worked wonders – not only for the girls, but for us as parents. We needed our sleep and being able to get some sleep in spurts of three or four hours at a time was amazing.
My girls are almost one and I thrive off of having a schedule. Every single day our schedule is about the same: wake up, bottle and breakfast, change clothes and play, short morning nap, play, bottle and lunch (now transitioning to sippy cups), long afternoon nap, play, bottle and dinner, play, and bottle before the bedtime routine. Of course, this routine isn’t always exactly that way. There are appointments and baths and playdates and times when we travel, so it does change up a bit now and then – and luckily my girls adjust well. However, if I did not have this routine, I would not have the time I need to get my work done. Therefore, having a concrete schedule has been beneficial for not only the girls, but for the parents as well.
Twin Mom Schedule Suggestions:
- Do what works best for you. Our decision to put our girls in their cribs from night one is not what works best for every family, but for us – it made the newborn night shifts much easier. Don’t let others opinions impact your decision.
- Stay organized. Use a calendar, agenda or a to-do list. I have a to-do list almost every single day and it helps me know what I need to get done during those precious naptimes.
- With that being said – try to keep naptimes around the same time every day. It helps your little ones reenergize and gives you a break so you can either get work done or take a breather as well.
Stacy: “I have been pulling out my hair trying to get them on a schedule.”
“So my twins are almost 10 weeks and were low birth weight preemies so I wanted to make sure that I attended to all of their needs as soon as possible. I’m a social worker and know all about childhood development and developing good attachment! So now that they are getting a bit older and bigger I have been pulling out my hair trying to get them on a schedule together. At first I just tried to create a schedule based off of how they were doing but it was just different every day and just not working! After reading a bunch of different “sleep training” if you will programs and also hearing recommendations on twin Mom groups via Facebook, I decided to do moms on call. It’s a book and an app to follow feeding, awake, and sleep times. When having twins this has been a life saver! I haven’t fully gone into the program yet with nighttime, but it has really helped get the girls sleeping at the same time and awake at the same time! Plus I just needed something concrete to follow.
“Of course they are mini humans and cannot be perfect so there is flexibility. It is still a work in progress though but extremely important when having twins. One eats, the other eats. They have been so in sync some days they even poop at the same time.
Twin Mom Schedule Suggestions:
- Pick a schedule and stick to it the best you can
- It’s okay to tell family to only visit during certain times to keep babies on schedule (because mamas are the ones that pay for it at night!)
- Being able to be a bit flexible so your entire world isn’t always revolved around feeding or nap times. That’s not realistic all the time!
Jess: “Schedules can be difficult sometimes because you are dealing with two different human beings.”
“As a mother of twins I knew from the beginning that routine schedules were going to be key! My twins are now 26 months old. We have them on the same schedule most days which consists of going to bed by 11 pm, they sleep through until around 10-11 am , wake up eat breakfast, lunch at 1 pm , play until 2 ish, then we put them down for nap at 2 in hopes that they will be asleep by 3. We allow them to sleep 3 hrs but no longer and then we have a successful bedtime. Then dinner at 5:30, 6. Some days they refuse to nap which is where the schedule can be thrown off a bit but then u just modify it. For example, if my kids don’t nap then they will be in bed early that night.
“With twins, schedules can be difficult sometimes because you are dealing with two different human beings. One may be more tired than the other, one may be hungry and one may not, one may be in a good mood, one may be clingy. With that being said, this can throw off the timing in your “normal” daily schedule. One may eat lunch at 1 and go to sleep at 2, one may not eat lunch and not want to go to sleep until 3. The way I resolve that issue is I try to feed the one that’s hungry but keep the tired one up until the non-tired one is ready to sleep that way they will get back on track.
“As far as how schedules have changed, once my kids hit 15 months they were climbing out of their cribs so naps took longer due to the number of times I had to place them back in their cribs. Then once we put them in their toddler beds which was like 3 weeks ago they decided that they would choose whether they were going to nap or not. This meant some days they had no naps and moms schedule changed a bit.”
Twin Mom Schedule Suggestions:
- Keep them on the same schedule
- Always try to get back on track with the timing (just because one doesn’t nap, doesn’t mean that one gets dinner earlier, they both still eat at the same time)
- Remember never to give up, moms need time to relax and get stuff done too even if it’s as little as 30 min.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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