Tuesday, March 20

Learning As We Go

Well I must say, after reading book after book and internet posts after posts, no matter how prepared I though we were.....we were NOT.

Night #1::  YUCK.

We first put the boys' pack n play in our bedroom for them to sleep in.  We were so afraid that they would suffocate on each other's swaddled blankets that we put one up top on the bassinet part and one in the main bed.  Well, lets just say we didn't get ANY sleep that first night. 
We had No idea why they wouldn't stop crying and why they wouldn't sleep.  Finally sometime early morning, we decided to hold the boys and let them lay on our chests. We got about 2 hours of sleep. Whew. We made it!

***I will tell you, after allowing them to sleep on our chests for about 3 nights, we had NIGHTMARES for weeks after that! We kept thinking one of the boys was in our bed and we were rolling over them. Or that our pillow was one of the boys and the pillow case was suffocating them, so we would be ripping off the pillow cases in our sleep. Or that our little dog was a baby!! It's crazy the things that goes through your mind as new parents!

What we learned:: 

1. If they baby(babies) don't want to take to the breast anymore, then don't force it! We started formula that night, after such a successful time breastfeeding at the hospital, it just wasn't working at home.  After the boys got their bellies nice and full, they slept!
2.  If they won't sleep in a crib- then don't force it!!  We ended up putting one boy in a bouncy seat, and the other boy in a swing.  After that, they slept in 3-4 hour chunks!! Amazing.
3.  Keep a schedule!-- But  again, Don't force it!   I realize that newborns have their own schedule and you should feed on demand. So after about a week, you will realize how often they are hungry and you can 'plan' a schedule around that! If they eat every 2 hours, then decided to start them at 8am,10,12,2,4,6......etc..    But pick a time and stick with it each day!

We also quickly realized that what every doctor and book says thats normal..ISN'T!

Every baby is different- here are the things we did 'off the traveled road'

1.  At 3 weeks old, we switched to a medium flow nipple. I know, I know, it says the medium flow is for 3-6month olds!  But, when it is taking 1 hour- 1 hr 15mins for your baby to eat, they need food faster.  After about 30 minutes of feeding, your baby starts to burn more calories then he is taking in.  So what's the point of feeding ?!    So yes, we switched at 3 weeks- the boys were  sucking so hard, it was closing the nipple and they couldn't get anything out of it.

2.  At 6 weeks old, we started adding Rice Cereal to their feeds. At first, we just started with the night time bottles to get them used to it, but it has slowly gone into the day feeds.  I know, I know, you aren't supposed to give cereal until 4 months! But, again, every baby is different.  My boys were eating 6oz bottles at 6 weeks, and would be hungry again in 2 hours!! I was doing my best to push them to the 4 hour mark, but we hardly ever made it.  So, in a 6oz bottle, I added 1 TBL of rice cereal.  Also, the boys would spit up quite a bit after their feedings, so as soon as we added the rice cereal, the spit ups STOPPED! How can you not be happy with that!

3.  From 1 week old, we started practicing the 'cry it out' (CIO) method.  It sounds harsh, but it was nessecary.  With 2 babies, you HAVE to get sleep to be on your game during the day.  That means, when you put them down at night, they cry. Let them cry for 5 minutes. If they are still crying, go in, we would check their diapers and talk to them to try to calm them down. We would put them back down for the night, and they would cry again. This time not as harsh. Wait for 5 more minutes. If at any point they stop crying, then you start the 5 minutes over again.  Again, it seems harsh, but how are we suppose to go pick up and hold,rock,sing two babies to sleep every single night!?  It just had to be like this with Twins.  They had to learn quickly to self-soothe. 

By 2 weeks old they were sleeping in 4 hour chunks with just 1 feeding in the middle of the night.
 By 6 weeks, in their crib, they were sleeping 5-6 hour chunks, again with just 1 feed during the night.
By 7 weeks, they are sleeping 6 1/2 to 7 hour chunks, still with 1 night time feeding.

A few other milestones::

1.  At 3 weeks old, we ditched all of our Newborn Clothes and went to the Size 0-3monts.
2.  At 1 month, we switched from Newborn Diapers to Size 1 Diapers.
3. At 6 weeks, once we started cereal, we FINALLY got our boys to sleep in their crib.-- BUT-- against all recommendations, our boys LOVE to sleep on their bellies.  (Don't worry, I practiced stomach sleeping for 2 weeks prior, just at nap times and kept a close eye on them). But they have done great with stomach sleeping!
4.  At 6 weeks, Eli started smiling at us when we would tickle his cheeks and chest and at 7 weeks Blake started smiling at us!
5.  At 6 weeks, Blake could 'scooch' in a complete circle on his belly.
6.  At 7 weeks, both boys are able to sit up on their own for about 5 mins (before they start to tip over). They are also able to bear weight on their legs at this point.

So, the boys are finishing up their 7week right now, and I have to say that we have pretty much broken all of the 'Rules' of having a baby.  But we feel that we have done what is best for our boys- and we have kept them fed,safe, and happy!

Our Family-- Boys are 7 weeks old here!

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