Pls help with a feeding/sleep schedule!!

Amelie - posted on 01/14/2011 ( 45 moms have responded )

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My fraternal twin boys are 11 days old and they are starting to show signs of how different their needs are. One of them like to eat lots, less often and the other likes to eat less, more often...also making their sleep schedules completly different. How ...if at all possible...can I get them on a closer schedule? I know they are still young and things will change 10,000 times but just in case it doesnt, I'd like some ideas on how to tackle this early on! oh...and I also have a 16 month old daughter that often gets up at night still so thats another reason why I'd like to get the boys on a schedule as early as possible!
I'm open to any suggestions :) thanks

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Kerry - posted on 01/14/2011

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Hello Amelie!! When we brought our girls home from the hospital they tried to get on different schedules. Like you, I also had a 3 and 6 yr old brothers at home to care for. So we decided if one choose to eat then we woke her sissy up too. After a couple of nights of doing this, it made a HUGE diffference for us. Granted they both continued to get up every 3 hrs for 12 wks but at least I got to sleep in between feedings:) I am not saying that this is the WAY to go but it sure did work for us:) God bless

Penelope - posted on 01/21/2011

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Oh my goodness Amelie! Get them synched. Their needs will ALWAYS be different (ours are identical and have been different from day one) but if you don't get them synched up, you'll disintegrate in short fashion. An exhausted sleep-deprived mommy is no good either. I was in the hospital for about 3 days when I had mine, but had them tandem feeding by day 3. I just couldn't do it individually as it basically meant zero sleep for me or my husband. They picked right up on the routine and had no issues with it. Trust me, they will adjust. I have always used their tendencies as my starting point, a kind of guideline, when scheduling, then built upon that. So pick one of the two schedules that they are on and start feeding them both on that schedule. Same with sleeping. My twins will be 2 in a week and I still rely heavily on having them on the same schedule-especially since we're down to one nap a day! I need the downtime to keep going and you will, too! Hope this helps, but if not and I can give you more info, let me know.
Take good care
Penelope

Kylie - posted on 01/14/2011

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Hi Amelie, I am in agreeance with Kerry about this. I also brought home twin girls into a home of 4 other siblings (yes we are crazy! haha) and found they were heading into their own schedules. I wanted to see how their own patterns went to meet their individual needs, so trialled demand feeding; it was a nightmare. I resolved to changing their routines for my own sanity so we could get some snatches of sleep between feeds. So just like Kerry suggested, when one woke for a feed, we woke the other as well; in the end, it helped the smaller twin who tended to feed less but more frequently get into a better feeding and sleeping routine and finally get her weight up to match her twin. I felt terrible at first waking one of them, but they soon naturally adopted the new routine into their own pattern.
Good luck, rest whenever you can, and enlist the support of family, friends, neighbours whenever you can, as sleep deprivation is awful but not forever if you can dictate your babies routines.

Chantal - posted on 12/20/2011

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I think you'll have to try different approaches to see what works when you get home with them. I tried to keep them on the same schedule and it worked for quite awhile. However, as they are getting older (they're 7 months now), their needs are completely different. I'm not sure if it's because they are fraternal or because they are boy/girl.

I stopped waking my girl up at night when my boy woke up because she would sleep through the night most of the times. I didn't feel right waking her up and forcing her to eat if she wasn't hungry. Besides, most of the time, she wouldn't even take the bottle if we woke her, so it would be wasted. Sometimes she would get up a few hours later (sometimes half an hour later, sometimes 7 hours later. So we started leaving her alone.

Also, my little guy needs to eat a much less amount because his belly can't handle a lot of food, but he needs to eat more often. I can't stretch him out and I'm not going to force my girl to eat when she's not hungry.

She also needs alot more sleep than he does, so she goes down for more naps. I've tried to put him down at the same time, but all that happens is he cries because he doesn't want to be in there and keeps her up and then I have two miserable babies to deal with.

It's harder to have them on different schedules, but the way I see it, they are two different people with two different needs and once they start eating more meals (as opposed to formula), their schedules will eventually somewhat work out. Here's hoping anyway! lol.

Alda - posted on 01/21/2011

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I agree with most of the others here - with twins it's absolutely vital to have a schedule, otherwise you will lose your mind lol. My girls were in NICU for 4 months (born at 28 weeks), and the nurses got them into a routine of feeding every 3 hours, but after 2 months the one got moved to a different hospital in a different town where they had a different schedule. The first thing when we got them home was to synchronise their schedules again. They were both fed at the same time, period. If you don't do this you won't get any sleep, you'll be exhausted and life will be a lot more difficult. Good luck :-)



Oh, and blackout blinds and a dimmer switch for the nursery are also really helpful.

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Nicole - posted on 01/08/2012

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the only scheduled i had with mine that early was to feed them at the same time, even if that meant waking the other up to eat. they did not really have a schedule to about 4/5 months.

Nicole - posted on 01/08/2012

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the only scheduled i had with mine that early was to feed them at the same time, even if that meant waking the other up to eat. they did not really have a schedule to about 4/5 months.

Jamie - posted on 01/04/2012

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How you have your hands full! I always BF my g/g twins at the same time (which was basically all day everyday) for six months and even if one fell asleep while the other ate, they have always been on the same feeding and sleeping schedule. They're almost 2 now! Don't worry - it will get easier...

Deidre - posted on 01/04/2012

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I know you already received lots of advice, but if you are still struggling, please try baby love. It saved our lives, as my twins had bad colic and reflux. It drove us mad! My girls are sleeping through now, since the third night on the baby love routine! They are sleep and routine specialists, and it’s not nonsense, it really works! They saved our lives, (and my marriage!) Good luck!

Lynetta - posted on 12/19/2011

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sounds like you already got a lot of great advice but I will share two things that helped me with my fraternal twin boys who are now 4 years old. First when you feed one feed the other even if you have to wake them, I know others said the same thing so I wont dwell on this but it does work, secondly let them sleep together until they are old enough to move around. This comforted my boys and they slept longer, keep in mind they are used to sleeping on top of each other so this is natural and comforting to them. I would just put them in the same crib close enough to know the other was there. at 12 weeks they would have the last feeding at 9pm and then sleep until 6am. Once they got old enough to move around I put them in seperate cribs side by side and the loved it. Good luck and don't forget to take care of yourself, trust me you will need your strength :-)

Amelie - posted on 12/15/2011

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well almost a year later and I'm reading this post its so sad that my boys will by 1 in just under 3 weeks! They're feeding habits stayed totally different, I never ended up waking one when the other woke up because I had a MIL nagging me that I was cruel to wake a baby up when they were sleeping and to try and force it to eat when its not hungry. She was staying with us to 'help' until they were 3 months old so I instead of arguing and fighting, I just gave up and let them eat when they were hungry. They ended up getting on the same schedule on their own at about 5 months old which made life soooo much easier!!! Now at a year old its as if I never had any issues in the first place, they are sleeping 12 hours at night (except one of them likes to wake up once a night most nights still) but no complaints here :) Thanks for you all your suggestions and support, raising twins is hard and I needed to know I wasnt alone and you all helped me with that

Lindsey - posted on 12/05/2011

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When we 1st brought home our twin boys from the NICU they were on a strict 3 hr schedule day and night. Once we got home, we were not going to wake them at night to eat, but of course they woke anyways. At first I did on demand feeding for both and would be up 5-6 times a night. Then I read to wake one when one wakes to eat and it made life MUCH easier. You were up already, so feed them both and get a few hours sleep in between. Then I also fed every 3 hours during the day wether really hungry or not. Soon they were both on a great schedule and slept 11-13hrs a night (both babies) after about 3-4 weeks of waking both to feed at night. Now they go to bed at 8pmish stir around at 5am go back to sleep on their own til about 7a or 8a on weekends. During the week I have to wake both babies at 630a to go to work. When I was on maternity leave they would sleep in til 8 or 9, now i get them up early during the week and they get up earlier on weekends. But hey, 10-12 hrs, together, at the same time! Ill take it :) we are very fortunate!

Brianna - posted on 02/09/2011

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We brought home twin boys with a 15 month old at home, so I feel your pain! It's a lot of work and you want to keep everyone on a schedule to keep things easy. We ALWAYS feed the twins at the same time, if one of them calls for a bottle the other one eats too. No matter what, and it works for us. Stick with it and they'll get in a pattern, Good luck to you!!

[deleted account]

I did the same thing as many others... when one woke up to eat I woke the other and fed them at the same time. I did this until 4.5 months and then tried feed on demand just to see if either would sleep through the night (we also put them in separate rooms at this time). Of course neither of them did... I just got really tired so went back to feeding them at the same time. Every few weeks I kept trying feed on demand until they finally slept through the night (6-7 hrs) around 6 months.

Danae - posted on 02/06/2011

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My boys are 5 now, but when they were infants I had them on the same schedule durring the day, but had the "Never wake a sleeping baby" state of mind. Needless to say I was getting up six times a night and only sleeping for 1.5 hours in between feedings. I was a miserable zombi. I am pregnaunt again with twin boys and I plan on feeding both at the same time at night, I have to admit I am nervouse but I do not feel like what I did last time was the best way to go.

Christiana - posted on 01/27/2011

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During the day they seemed to be on different schedules, but at night when it came to sleeping they both went down at the same time. When one would wake up I'd feed him and then wake up the second, trying to keep them on the same schedule so I could sleep. Till one night I was so tired and forgot to wake the second and he slept all night.

Karily - posted on 01/25/2011

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Amelie - I feel your pain. You know the old saying, "never wake a sleeping baby". Yeah. That does not apply to moms of twins. My fraternal twin boys are almost a year and I kid you not, I would nurse them every 2 hours on the dot for the first 4 months of their lives. Even at night. It was terrible. However, I feel like things for them went smoothly. They really didn't start getting on the same schedule until 5 months. Even as smoothly as it went, they still are two individuals. Even today - one is a sleeper while the other one would rather play. It is difficult, but gets better every day. I think Kerry is right - when one feeds so does the other. It makes a huge difference! Good luck! You will love it!

Heather - posted on 01/25/2011

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I put our twins on a 3 hour schedule from birth. I fed them both at the same time and at night I would let them go as long as they would and then if one woke they both ate. By doing this they slept through the night at 12 weeks. There is a great blog about babywise if you are interested chroniclesofababywisemom.com I don't know if I would have made it without babywise. Lots of people don't agree with it but it is people who demand feed and have never seen the great results of a routine. Good luck

Michelle - posted on 01/24/2011

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We were very fortunate with all 4 of our kids. They all slept through the night from day one. When we brought the twins home we had a 2yr old and 6yr old at home already. I nursed the twins so they ate at the same time and we would change one and then the other. During the day they would eat every 3 hrs or so and that seemed to work for us. Praying for you and your little ones. Ours will be 4 in July:)

Michelle - posted on 01/24/2011

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when one of mine woke i would wake the other ,otherwise would'nt get any sleep good luck .

Justine - posted on 01/24/2011

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My twins (fraternal girls, now 3 years old) were also very different in their feeding / sleeping habits, but we found that enforcing a routine from day 1 really made a difference - with twins you have to do things you wouldn't normally do with a baby, like waking them up for a feed! I fed them on a 3 hour schedule and if one was sleeping I'd wake her up to feed; same thing at night time, I didn't wake them both up for a precise 3 hourly feed but as one woke up I'd wake her sister to feed at the same time and then put them both back to sleep. If you can get them both on the same routine it will help you immensely to get through this first year - the few times I tried not waking the sleeping baby for a feed I found she'd wake up very shortly after I'd fed the other one anyway and I'd just have to start all over again!

Angela - posted on 01/23/2011

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When my daughters were born the doctor had them on a 3 hour feeding schedule; so every three hours I would wake them up to feed them, they were probably about half an hour off from each other. One thing I did when they were born was follow a pretty good routine, the girls would eat, then I would try to keep them up for a while by playing with them or interacting and then with about an hour to hour and half until their next feeding, I would put them down. It seem to have really worked, now that they're older and are waking up on their own schedule it changes sometimes they wake up at the same time, sometimes one or two hours apart but at the end of the day they're on the same eating and sleeping schedule.

[deleted account]

hated the baby whisperer but glad worked for you katie!
also was told by that sleep psych that if one does seem to need more sleep than the other let them sleep longer but wake up within a half hour of the other.

The books I mentioned (or one of them for sure but I think both) tell you about 'periods of wakefulness.' for example, a 4 month old is typically up for this amount of time before ready to sleep the first nap. the 2nd nap they can be awake this long, etc.

Katie - posted on 01/22/2011

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Definitely wake the baby up. I had alot of people tell me to never wake a sleeping baby and my response was.. "You can come over at 3am and hang out with him then" Than they would stop .. my boys are almost 6 months and they are on the same schedule.. its not down to the minute or even hour but if 1 eats the other one does 2. If one is tired.. the other one goes to sleep as well. You don't want to have 1 up and 1 down all the time.. you'll go crazy! My boys are great in that they adjust easily and this early in the game.. i hope your kids will too! A great book was the Baby Whisperer.. She gave good advise for any baby being in a routine of eat, play, sleep. It has worked out great! Good luck!

[deleted account]

we saw a sleep psych specializes in babies. the two books she rec are the sleepeasy solution by jennifer waldburger and jill spivak, and sleeping through the night by jodi a mindell. not to say laura's isn't good. it obviousl worked for her. just want to share a couple more good ones. there are sooo many crappy ones out there and we can get flooded with too much. the two i mentioned are same concepts/techniques. really great.

Sa-Leanne - posted on 01/22/2011

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My two came home from special care after 7 weeks on a 4 hourly feed routine. I was breat and bottle feeding them, i was very firm and i guess you can say strict. Ifone woke up before four hours a stalled them until the 4 hour time, if the other one was still sleeping come 4 hours i woke them. I know a health visitor will say never wake a sleeping baby but more often then not a health visitor will have no children let alone twins. If they are off schedule it can seem constant, feeding, changing, burping etc etc. You need to know where you are at then you can focus on your daughter too. It also is a good idea to write down what they drink and if they have pood etc like some of the other ladies have said. It is still early days for you but i would expect a change in the next few weeks as around 12-13 weeks babies tend to have a growth spurt. Good luck hun f a routine does not work one day it doesnt matter, dont beat yourself up, just try again from scratch the next day xx

Wendy - posted on 01/22/2011

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My twin b/g set are 27 months old and they still do their own things I tried the wake one with the other and it didn't work for me I also tried making the one that woke first wait for the other didn't work. So I just let him wake and feed when he wanted and let her sleep for as long as she wanted, even thou she was the samller of the 2 I found in the long run it really didn't make a difference in weight as she is only about 1.5 kgs lighter. They are still only 11 days old give them a little longer if it was me I would see what is happening in 4 to 6 weeks then look at it again.

Kelly - posted on 01/21/2011

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my twins were #6&7 for me and one ate slow /small eater and the other one ate fast/small = they had to be fed every 3hrs too at first d/t preemie, i usually woke the slow/small eater first got him done/ then my fast eater right after him. We started from day 1 in the hospital because we were coming home to 5 other kids in a variety of ages who needed me too. by the time we left the hospital, slow eater always woke up first followed by the fast eater, in fact they are now 2 and they still wake up that way in the morning...lol...when my two were newborns, neither slept well unless they were together, but, they were caught sucking on each others toes in ultrasounds so they've been close for awhile...lol

Laura - posted on 01/21/2011

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Hi there,
I have 2 year old fraternal twin boys and a 5 1/2 year old boy. When my twins were babies, they were different, as far as eating, etc. Because I had an older child, I knew I had to get the babies on a strict schedule, to also be able to be a mom to him.
So, I read Babywise and just did it. I had the twins in the same room in separate cribs. I sleep trained them at 4 months old. They were sharing a room so both cried it out together. It was not an easy 3 nights! I couldn't bear to hear them cry, but my husband helped me get through it. I knew they were ok. It was the best thing I ever did. After 3 nights of crying, they learned to sooth themselves and go to sleep on their own. They are now 2 and have always been great sleepers. Also, they sleep through each others noises and cries, because they learned so early.
I hope this helps!

[deleted account]

kate you are a far more easy going person than I am. I too work in childcare and totally thought I'd have it in the bag since also have a specialty in infant/toddler are but omg the sleep deprivation KILLED me. ended up doing so many things I neve thought I would and went totally against my philosophies of child care but felt like no choice! I am sincerely impressed you managed to do the two schedule follow their needs thing! seriously.

I did the wake every 3 hrs (premie as well) and feed both. when really young they slept with me (also mistake for me) and when bit older fed them in bouncy chairs. but the very best twin mommy thing I've discovered was the fisher price space saver high chair. attaches to a reg chair and reclines enough to feed a very young infant. then you can sit on a regular chair and feed them without killing yourself. when they are older and eating finger foods the clean-up is a million times easier than with a reg chair. and no, I don't work for fisher price. just wish someone had told me about these right away!

good luck and hope it goes well for you :)

Jeannine - posted on 01/21/2011

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I'm sorry girls but my twins slept through the night...... Actually I had one that was the oppisite of the other! But I had a friend that visited a few days after they were born. I told her that one was sleeping all day and the other sleeping all day! She flipped 1 twin head over heals, and said they will both sleep at night, and they did!!!!! From that night on!

[deleted account]

Our girls were in the NICU for 6wks (preemies :p) and they got them on a very good feeding schedule every 3/4 hrs. When we took them home, we kept the schedule more or less. We waited for cues from them letting us know that they were hungry. We would feed one, then the other (waking her up to eat if she was sleeping). Whichever twin woke up hungry first, is the one that determined feeding schedule. They adapted to this pretty quickly & have been on the same feeding/sleeping schedule ever since. But, every child is different! :)
Good luck & hopefully there will be a helpful suggestion! Congrats on your twins! :)

Jessica - posted on 01/21/2011

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Hello,
My twins are 6 now, but when one twin woke up to feed we always woke up the other and kept them on the same schedule. It worked really well and helped with our sanity. Good luck with all of your children :)

Emma - posted on 01/21/2011

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yea when one of my twins woke for a feed i used to wake the other one too otherwise you will drive yourself crazy with lack of sleep! hope this helps!

Angie - posted on 01/17/2011

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When one is hungry, feed that one and then wake up the other one to feed. Also we found that at the middle of the night feeding, we would leave all the lights off, keep them swaddled, didnt change them and then fed them. It helped them go right back to sleep. Good luck!

Jeneine - posted on 01/17/2011

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Amelie, I have 2 sets of twins and I did the same thing as Kerry and Kiley with both sets and it worked wonderfully. I started it on the first day they were born and I even breast fed my second set. You don't even really have to wake the other one just stick the bottle in their mouths prop it and change their diaper while they are eating. By the time you are done changing them they will be ready for a burp and almost finished eating. You'll be sleeping like a baby in no time :)

CHERYL - posted on 01/17/2011

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hi my twins where in nicu and they hepled me with a routine which was great as they where small the feed every 3hrs. so i always woke one up. and as they got older they got older a routine was easier as they had less sleep and bottles. and they both slept thru at 16wks too. they are oth 18m and have their meals at the same time and have a nap at the same time but 1 sleeps longer than the other as he not so good at night. do what ever is easier for u and ur babies

Kate - posted on 01/16/2011

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im reading that some parents have had success with waking the sleeping baby and feeding him but that didnt work for me. my twin boys had their own schedules and the harder i tried to get them on the same one, the more difficult it became for me. it just didnt work for them. they were individuals and wanted to do their own thing. Justin was up often eating small meals and Anthony was the sleeper that would eat and eat once he woke up. I tried spacing out Justins feedings but that would lead to him spitting up more b/c of his reflux issues.
I also work at a daycare and care for a set of b/g twins. the mom insist that we feed the babies at the same time everyday and also insist that we make them sleep too. the babies take a long time to eat b/c they are either not hungry or falling asleep during the feedings.
my theory is never wake a sleeping baby, they will awake when they are ready. i think that its worth trying to "guide" the baby to a different eating/sleeping pattern but realize if its not working than you should just let the baby have his own schedule. think about you and your husband, im sure there are times when he's hungry and you are not. your babies ware the same way.

Marta - posted on 01/15/2011

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My twins were my 4th and 5th and the nurses told me a schedule is your sanity and it truly was. They are now 10 months old and they are still on a 4-5 hr schedule. Always wake and feed at the same time...if one isn't that hungry you are at least "topping" him off so he won't wake up in an hour hungry. Even though you may be tempted to let one sleep don't, it always comes back to bite ya:). I tried breasfeeding and it is tough, especially with older kids. Contests and best of luck!

Amelie - posted on 01/15/2011

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Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and experiences, they all sound like something hubby and I can try.

Kylie: They are formula fed, I wanted to give them breastmilk but I emotionally and physically couldnt handle it with my daughter having a hard enough time with them coming home

Liz: they didnt spend any time in the nicu, I delivered on a monday night and we were home by thursday afternoon, we would have went home on wednesday but the doc wanted me to stay an extra night since I had a 2nd degree tear lol the boys did better than I did!



Thanks again for all your support and suggestions, it will be nice to sleep in the same bed with my husband again once we can figure out what we're doing! lol

Liz - posted on 01/14/2011

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I don't know if your little ones were in the NICU or not, but my b/g twins were there. My daughter had to eat every three hours at least during the day like clock work, my son would go four to five hours without eating during the day. If I tried to feed him when she ate he would just wast it. Anyways, I'd start out gradually as they are so young still, and their schedules will change often during this time. My twins will be three in June and we also have a son that will be one in July. I know it's tough, but hang in there it will be better. If you need someone to talk to feel free to contact me or add me.

Kylie - posted on 01/14/2011

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oh! 1 more thing I forgot! I used a plain exercise book and made colums in it to note each babies feed/change time. it helps you to keep track of what time they fed, how much they drank, if they passed a motion etc it comes in handy for doctor visits as he gets a first hand view of what your babies r doing in their daily routine.

Kylie - posted on 01/14/2011

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wow, a 4hr stretch of sleep is awsum at only 11 days old. maybe try and stretch the other twin out to sleep a little longer too? (I used dummys to do this, but its personal choice) but 4hrs is definantley enough of a gap between feeds at this early stage. are they on bottle or breast? some say breast feeders tend to feed more frequently, but im not an expert on that as i wasnt a successful breast feeder. at least the bottles meant hubby and others could help too.
if you've got one good sleeper and feeder, then id probably be trying to stretch the other one out to sleep longer between feeds so he gets a bigger feed like his brother each time.

Amelie - posted on 01/14/2011

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Thats been something I've been contemplating doing but one will sleep for like 4 hours sometimes which is great...if there was only 1 of them lol Should I wake him up when the other wakes up even if he will only eat a third of what he normally does?

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