The first three months were a blur as we tried to establish routine. Each day we had a rota of who would help out with each feed. We relied heavily on my family as David’s sister was also pregnant and needed the support from her parents. To say we couldn’t have done it without them is an understatement and I know I can never repay them for all they have done for us.
Autumn & Isaac 12 hours old
You hear many mothers say: It was a blur, It passed so quick, You forget what the first three months were like. I thought I would never forget the first three months of twinning but on reflection there is a lot I have forgotten. I remember thinking no stage would be as hard as this: sleepless nights, feeding every three hours and trying to juggle TWO babies at the same time. But as we move from the baby stage to the toddler stage I can say that it is slightly easier but that each stages poses its own challenges.
So I’ve decided to outline the challenges I faced with newborns versus the challenges I face now with one year old twins.
Newborns- feeding occurred every three hours then moved onto every four hours. Each feed required an extra set of hands to help with feeding and winding.
Toddlers – three meals a day which they eat in their high chairs. They can feed themselves which allows me to get on with chores while they eat.
Newborns- the twins went down for a nap after every feed. They slept in the same cot till they were five months and then moved into their own cots and room.
Toddlers- Morning is nap time. They can sleep anywhere from 1-2.5 hours in the morning. Isaac is a fab sleeper. He will go down no bother and can self soothe if he wakes crying. Autumn is a different story. Typical woman, she will scream till someone shows her attention! She normally wakes up in the middle of the night, anywhere between 2am-5am and the only way she will go back over is with a bottle – a bad habit I know!
Newborns- in the beginning routine was a MUST! I know there were those out there who would think I was over the top with my routine but until you’ve had twins you have no idea. Nappy change, bottle, winded, nap and repeat every three hours. As they were guaranteed to sleep between feeds it gave you a few hours to get things done or to spend time with Finlay. Going out for lunch or even dinner was easy as long as you timed it in between a feed.
Toddlers- the twins wake, get washed and dressed, have breakfast and play then go down for a nap. After nap is lunch and then I try and plan an activity in the afternoon. It can be anything from meeting friends, play dates, trips to the park or playing in the house. Dinner is at 5pm for all three children and the twins get bathed straight after tea – so much mess to clean! Depending on how tired they are they might go to bed after their bath or come down for a play and story before they head up. But guaranteed the twins are in bed for 6.30pm every night. It sounds bliss but in reality it makes going out for dinner as a family extremely difficult. Come 6pm if the twins haven’t had their bath or aren’t in their own environment they get really cranky. So we now go out for lunch together rather than dinner and try and plan family events either at our house or for during the day.
Newborns- we were fortunate enough to have support from family and friends. I took the twins to baby massage and found a great group of women who I met up with regularly. They too were second time mums so we had lots in common. As we had Finlay, life carried on. We would still go out as a family on a Saturday though how we managed I don’t know! All activities were planned in between feeding times and occasionally David and I would brave it and feed them both in public, if we could be bothered with the staring and questions!
Toddlers- some how taking all three of them out by myself is much more difficult. The twins don’t like being stuck in the pram for long and tend to get rather cranky. Autumn can now walk and we have bought a set of reins for her but trying to juggle a four year old, a walking toddler in reins and a buggy with another toddler desperate to be free is too much for me by myself. It’s hard work either way – staying in and going insane or taking them out and dealing with the chaos. But the positives are the twins can now babble to each other, they love hugs and kisses and are definitely more fun and interactive than snuggly wee newborns.
I’ve come to the conclusion that twins are going to be hard work no matter what stage they are at. As you pass from one stage into another you get so caught up with the goings on and milestones that you temporarily forget what you’ve just been through. Fortunately we have a collection of photographs, videos and memories from all our family to transport us back. Double trouble they say but double the love, hugs and kisses.
The twins aged 14 months.