With multiples you have to get creative in all your day to day tasks. Every corner I turn there is always some new challenge that will test me in how to deal with the situation due to being out numbered. The following points are a few things I found or were told that may make your life easier.
This page is a work in progress and I will add more sections when I come across additional challenges/advice.
- Freeze Dinners. Before the babies arrive, cook extra portions of dinner and freeze them or if you are lucky like we were, family did this for us. Having these on hand to quickly reheat at the end of a long tiring day after the babies arrive was just magical.
- Kitten Hold. When the babies were very young and small, manoeuvring them both at the same time was always tricky, especially when you are trying to get them into a position to breastfeed. I was told of the ‘kitten hold’. When the baby is lying on its back you grab as much of its romper suit above its chest/stomach, being careful not to get any skin and you can then lift and turn the baby with one hand into any position you need. The babies’ head will not drop back as they mainly fall forward when the neck is floppy which is why this hold works.
- Make all bottles required for feeding within a 12 hour period. It is safe to place them in the fridge once made then heat them up when needed.
- Buy a notepad to record naps, feeds, nappy contents, etc as it helps in the sleep deprived hours who has been fed and when. My girls needed medicine on a daily basis which was noted in the book so Mr G and I wouldn’t accidentally give it twice!
- Don’t buy a changing unit. Have all nappies, ointments, clothes, wipes, etc in one area – I use the living room floor. I have bought soft floor mats to cushion my knees from the wooden floorboards and for when the girls topple over from sitting position, etc. This area is where we spend all day every day. It has everything I need within a small knee shuffle away. Before the girls arrived I bought a changing unit – it was used once! I realised I needed to have both of them in front of me or at least near by when nappies and clothes were being changed and placing one or both on anything above floor level was just too dangerous.
- ROUTINE! ROUTINE! ROUTINE! Its boot camp every day here in this house. I didn’t follow Gina Ford as it was too regimented for me but I had set feeding times. Then I allowed the girls to nap in between the feeds whenever they liked but noted when they did. I noticed they napped at the same time everyday which allowed me to notice their tired signs easier. This also allowed me to plan which baby classes we could attend that would not disrupt their naps. The girls are happy with knowing what to expect and when. I felt in control and could predict their wants and needs a lot easier.
- Daytime naps. Always put them down to nap at the same time otherwise you will have a revolving door in the nursery! One will be up, one will be down, then they will swap, its never ending.
- Night time feeds. At the beginning if one wakes up for a feed, then wake the other one up too. You can guarantee that when you have finished feeding the first and gone back to bed, just as you drift off the other will wake!
- Dream feed. When they are old enough, this is a genius way of feeding them. It worked for us but some have had issues with it but it is worth considering.
- Hands free bottle feeding. I was shown this technique when I visited the West London Twins Club and I was in awe!! I couldn’t believe such a simple yet effective method was going to make the time to bottle feed them so easy. First get a blanket, roll it lengthways then place it in a ‘U’ shape on the baby who is sitting in a bouncy chair. The rolled up blanket should be either side of the babies’ face and under their chin. The bottle can then balance on the bottom part of the ‘U’ shape near the chin. Always stay with the babies so they don’t choke. Photo is included in the section ‘Gallery’.
- Get a Bumbo or similar seat. These seats are your best friend when the baby’s neck is strong enough to support its head. I would take one with me in the bottom of the pram to any baby class, so that one would sit on my lap and the other in the Bumbo beside me. This enabled me to get out of the house, go to baby classes and not worry how I was going to support each of the girls!!
- Left or Right. Pick a side for each of the babies. Miss C is always on the right and Miss P is always on the left. When they shared a moses basket and even now, when they sleep separately in their own cots Miss P is on the left and Miss C is on the right when looking at them. I also position them this way in the pram. In those sleep deprived times, having a certain child on a certain side really worked for us.
- Cardboard Template of Buggy. There are many personal reasons why you chose a buggy, so I am not going to tell you what you should like or want but I would recommend before buying it, you create a cardboard template of the dimensions and practice going up and down the areas that it will be used in the house. And make sure you try different heights because if you have it too high, you may not notice the radiator in the hallway restricts access or a door knob catches on the side of the pram, and not low enough may not notice a sticky out electric socket on a skirting board which could stop the wheels.
- Rolled up towels. When the girls were small they shared a Moses basket. When this started to break from the girls getting bigger it was time to separate them into their own basket. To help with the separation we rolled towels and placed them tightly around each girl to simulate touching up against someone or something. Each day we moved the towels a little further away so in the end they were sleeping without anything around them.
- Bath time. Once the babies can sit up by themselves it is time to move them into the adult bath. I bought Mothercare Aqua Duo Pods. For some reason the Duo’s are now discontinued but the single seats are not. I found a good second hand pair on eBay but I am sure you can buy 2 singles and still do the job. They help stop the child slipping and sliding around the place and if one parent is left to do bath time then this is achievable with less risks.