Mission Motherhood

Fuss free bedtime: twin edition

I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a profile that I follow: Twinsandmoretwins. This user has two sets of twins about a year apart and she compares sleep patterns for her older set vs her younger set of twins. I totally relate to her methods with her youngest set of twins who learned to self soothe at an early age without cry-it-out methods.

1. Maintain a solid bedtime and nap time routine

We are blessed with mild tempered twins who are pretty easy sleepers. They are currently 17 months old and we’ve had a pretty solid bedtime routine for the last 6-7 months. We have dinner at 6:00pm, bath immediately after dinner every other night, sippy cup of milk at 7:00pm, jammies at 7:30pm, teeth brushed and in their cribs by 8:00pm. They are typically asleep within 5 minutes and generally sleep until 7:30-8:00am.

2. Allow them to fall asleep without needing snuggles

I think what really helped us was leaving them to fall asleep on their own as newborns. Before our twins were born my husband and I decided that we needed to be strategic with our snuggles. The idea of either one of us being alone with them and not being able to get them to sleep was stressful. If we used snuggles to get the babies to sleep they would be reliant on being held in order to fall asleep. This was our strategy as newborns: We’d feed then diaper and while they were still milk drowsy we’d lay them down in their bassinet or pack n play.

We still snuggled our babies… the good Lord knows I love my baby snuggles (and daddy is just as guilty of loving his snuggles). We just didn’t snuggle them to sleep. When they looked like they might be getting close to falling asleep we’d lay them down. They started sleeping 6-7 hour stretches around 10 weeks but the 4 month sleep regression ended that. They were 10 months old before they were consistently sleeping through the night again. But when they were getting up in the night, they got what they needed (binky, gas drops, water, Tylenol) and laid back down.

3. Avoid getting to the overtired stage by watching for signs of tiredness

I think since they’ve put themselves to sleep for such a long time it has helped them to recognize when they are tired and ready to rest. I will ask if they are ready to lay down, take a nap, or go to bed and they run towards their bedroom. I try to avoid getting to the point where they are overtired so I check in with them and ask if they want to lay down when they start showing signs of tiredness.

These are the signs I watch for in our toddlers:

  • Yawns
  • Eye rubbing
  • Irritability towards each other
  • Desire for snuggles
  • Climbing up on the couch just to sit
  • Laying on the floor
  • Standing at the baby gate closest to their room
  • Getting slap happy and giggly
  • Asking for binkies (because they only have them in bed – until I ditch my fear of bedtime without binkies)
  • Finding a quiet spot to read books

4. Learn the cues of your children and follow their lead

I keep thinking they will eventually stop wanting to take two naps a day, but for now they still very much ask for two naps. They have one at 11am and one at 3:30pm and sleep about 1-1.5 each nap.

Every child is different… their personalities, their communication. The twins are drastically different and they’ve never been away from each other. Just because these methods have worked for our family, doesn’t mean they’ll work for everyone. I think the biggest advice I could give is to listen to your child. Use their body language or changes in behavior as a form of communication. If you can recognize these changes it is so much easier to anticipate their needs before things escalate to utter frustration on behalf of your child who doesn’t know how to express their needs and frustration on behalf of parents who don’t know what the child needs.

What methods and bedtime routines have worked for you? What signs and signals do you watch for?

Mom Must-Haves

Twin Essentials for the 1st year

When I found out we were having twins I was so overwhelmed with the amount of things that we would need.  If you are a soon to be twin mom and you’re looking for ideas for your registry, you’ve come to the right place. Here is my list of essential items:

  • 2 Cribs – we bought ours second hand and spent $300 which was a huge savings
  • 4 waterproof mattress covers
  • 6 sets of sheets – My grandma and aunt made cute sheets for me because I couldn’t find any gender neutral sheets that I liked in store.  Here is a “how to“.
  • 2 car seats (obviously) – We loved our Britax B-Safe 35 infant carriers which we are still using at 1 year old.
  • 2 days worth of bottles (approximately 16) – We loved the Avent classics, but don’t buy new nipples until you know your babes are ready for the next step. We bought size 3 nipples and we will be done with bottles before they ever use the size 3 nipples.
  • Bottle drying rack
  • Spectra S2 breast pump – this is hands down the best investment I made for our babies
  • Handsfree pumping bra
  • Bulb syringe – I tried the Nose Freida too, but I found the bulb syringes to work best for me
  • The First Years Lanolin Free Nipple Butter – This was in a gift basket I received and it was by far my favorite nipple cream. It was silky smooth making it easier to spread than thicker lanolin creams I had tried.
  • Insulated lunch bag for packing bottles
  • Back pack – a diaper bag just wasn’t cutting it after 3 months.
  • Portable changing pad for the back pack
  • Changing table – I didn’t think I’d need one but after the first week of changing endless diapers my back needed the relief of a changing table. We bought a used one off of Facebook Marketplace for $25.
  • 2 high chair/booster combos
  • 2 Summer Infant travel high chairs
  • 2 Chicco Lullago travel bassinets – we absolutely loved these and used them until our twins were 6 months old
  • 2 waterproof bassinet mattress covers
  • 4 bassinet sheets
  • 4 Swaddle Me swaddlers – worked great for the early months
  • 4 Halo Sleep sacks – loved using these after the babes started rolling
  • 6 plush bath towels – we were gifted the small hooded baby towels which worked great but knowing how quickly they outgrow them it may be easier to start with standard towels that are exceptionally soft
  • Diaper Genie and refills
  • 12 Terry cloth bibs and burp rags – these were great to use when they were itty bitty for bottle feeds.  They often dribbled from their mouth or spit up so it was nice to have an absorbent bib. Family members made mine but here is a “how to“.
  • 2 silicone bibs
  • 2 extra laundry baskets with wheels (because you don’t want to lift anything late in your pregnancy or soon after birth)
  • Postpartum belly support band
  • 10-12 outfits per child and 8-10 sets of pajamas in each size
  • Aquaphor
  • Triple Paste
  • Gas Drops
  • Calming Lavender Baby Lotion
  • Baby bath tub
  • Summer Infant Dual Video Monitor
  • Summer Infant Portable Playard– we love spending time outdoors so this was awesome to have. I could work in my flower beds and let the babes hang out and play. It was also great for our camping trips.
  • 1 push behind walker
  • 1 activity table
  • 1 exersaucer (we bought ours used for $35)
  • 2 play mats
  • 2 auto Rock n Play
  • 2 Pack n Play (we bought ours used for <$20 each)
  • 2 Boppy pillows
  • Double Baby Trend Snap N Go stroller
  • Double Baby Jogger City Mini GT
  • Double umbrella stroller (bought used for <$15)
  • Canvas storage baskets – we have 8 and use every one of them
  • Leather rocker recliners – we decided to forgo your typical rocker glider for the nursery because they share a nursery which means we didn’t rock the upset baby in the nursery while the other was sleeping in there. We just bought rocker recliners for our living room instead. Leather is essential for cleaning up spit up and spilled milk.
  • Amazon Subscribe and Save diaper and formula subscriptions
  • Photographer package – I would’ve saved so much money and avoided annoyances if I would’ve just signed a contract with a photographer who did newborn, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 month photos.
  • DSLR Digital Camera

 

Things we got that we didn’t need

  • Wipe warmer
  • Bumbos – we used them for such a short period I’m not sure they are worth it
Mission Motherhood, Mom Must-Haves

15+ Things to Steal from the Hospital after Childbirth

Ok… it’s not stealing if you’re paying for it… and trust me… you’re paying for it. Here’s a list of things that are so worth lugging home:

  1. Barf buckets – we seriously use them for everything. As newborns, we fixed up baby bottles of water and put themin our “night bucket” and a can of formula and took it to our bedroom which saved us from having to go to the kitchen 4 times each night.  We use them for water play activities, packing supplies into our camper, washing bottles, storing things in the bathroom…. the possibilities are endless.
  2. Peri bottles – you’re going to want that refreshing splash of water for at least 2 weeks postpartum… and ask for extras if you have multiple bathrooms because you will want one in every bathroom you use.  (I was also thinking the other day that they might be fun bath toys for the babies. HA!)
  3. Baby toiletries – the travel sized soaps and lotions are great for weekend trips.
  4. Stay dry pads for the bed – these can be used for so many things… that may not be baby or mom related.  Lay one on the driveway when the husband is changing the oil in your vehicle… then throw it away.
  5. Disposable underwear, pads, ice packs and tucks (or the like) – and ask for extra. I wore disposable underwear for at least a week.  They were comfortable and wearing them saved my everyday underwear. You will go through pads and tucks like crazy (at least I did). 
  6. Diapers, wipes, diaper cream – I wish I would’ve packed a little of these away each of my 4 days in the hospital so they would replenish them like they replenish toiletries at hotels. But honestly, my nurses were great and brought extras for me to take home (I think they pity the twin moms).
  7. Nipple shields, nipple cream – again, ask the lactation consultant for extra. And ask for multiple sized nipple shields.  You may find that in a matter of days you need a different size.
  8. Breast pump parts – even if you don’t plan on using the same brand of pump that the hospital uses take them home. The hospital I went to used the Medela Symphony and I used the Spectra S2, but you can buy conversion parts that allow use on different pumps and it is so nice to have multiple sets of parts so you don’t have to wash them every 3 hours.
  9. Insulated hospital cups – I ended up with two and I tried to keep them filled at all times. One next to my recliner and one next to my bed. Drink tons of water, ladies!
  10. Receiving blankets – the hospital blankets were a bit heavier than the other receiving blankets we had and since our kiddos were born in November it was nice to have something a bit heavier.
  11. Baby thermometer – We didn’t have one at the time our babies came home from the hospital so I’m glad they sent one home with us.
  12. Bulb syringes and pacifiers – again, ask for extras if you can.  The bulb syringes should be thrown out fairly regularly so it’s good to have extras. And the pacifier fairy swoops in and does her thing more often and not so it’s best to have extras on hand. 
  13. Premixed formula bottles – ask for enough to get you through the next 48 hours at home (even if breastfeeding is the main goal, it’s always good to have on hand).  I didn’t produce enough milk for both babies to have 100% breast milk, so having these were great for throwing in diaper bags.  Plus it took about 6 days for my milk to come in, so we had to help supplement with formula to keep our preemie babies growing.
  14. Belly band (abdominal binder) – generally the hospital will send you home with a belly band when you have a c-section.  Even if you deliver vaginally the belly bands are nice to have.  My belly was so stretched out that my skin physically hurt after delivery so wearing the band helped me keep my skin from hanging which reduced the discomfort.
  15. Compression socks – I was hospitalized for 19 days prior to delivery, so I was lucky enough to get a couple pairs.  It took a couple weeks for my swelling to subside so I’m glad I took them home.

 

What did I miss from the list? Anything you would add?