Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Advice for the Twin Mom- Take It or Leave It

Alright, let's get down to business. The following is a guide to how we somehow survived the first 10 months with our boys. I decided to break it all down into categories by age.

Pregnancy
* I had my baby shower around 29 weeks. I recommend doing it around 25-28 weeks along. I was beginning to feel huge and uncomfortable, and it was hard to sit for an extended about of time.
I had a WONDERFUL pregnancy- no bed rest, no hospital visits, no contractions- so I can't really talk about how to deal with bed rest or complications. I will say:
* get as much done as you can early on in the pregnancy!!!
I was decorating the nursery around 30-32 weeks along. Needless to say, I could only get a couple things accomplished before I had to sit and rest.
* make casseroles and freeze them while your pregnant. Then you can have some meals once the babies come.


Delivery/The Hospital Stay
My boys were delivered at 37 weeks via c-section. Levi's head was way up under my left chest, so there was no hope of a natural delivery. I had no complications with my delivery, and I recovered within about 2 weeks.
* Let the nurses at the hospital keep the babies during the night so you can get some rest!!! You will have many, many nights in the future to care for your babies.
* I did nurse both of my boys, but I did supplement with some bottles during the hospital so they could put on some weight before my milk came in.
* Have a sign-in book at the hospital. You won't remember who all came or brought gifts.


0-3 months
The first few months are all about feeding, changing diapers, and learning how to calm your baby. As I mentioned earlier, I nursed both boys, so all my advice is about nursing.

* Get your babies on the same eating schedule!!!!!!!!! I can't stress this enough. Let me explain...when little bitty babies are first born, they need to nurse every 2-3 hours. If you are nursing a little bitty baby, he/she will nurse for about 20-30 mintues (or more!) for a full feeding. When there are two babies, you are sitting and nursing for 1 hour per feeding. That leaves you about 1 1/2 hours to rest/eat/cry/hold you baby until the next feeding. If you do not have them on the same schedule, you will be nursing- spending 30 minutes resting/eating/crying/holding until the next feeding. Then you will feed for 30 mintues followed by only a 30-45 minute break of
resting/eating/crying/holding. Get the picture?? Get your babies on the same schedule. Just do it. It will make you a better person.

* In order to help with when you fed your babies last, I TOTALLY recommend making a 'Daily Log' sheet for each baby. You can find these on babycenter.com, but I made one for my boys that fit us better. It needs to have a spot where you can check when you fed your baby last, and when/if they had a dirty/wet diaper. Your pediatrician will ask you how many dirty and wet diapers your baby is making, and it's always nice to answer with confidence instead of making up something and hoping that 'Baby B' pooped sometime in the last 7 days. Believe me, it's very hard to remember that kind of stuff. Everything just clumps together, and you can't remember which kid had diarrhea or which one hasn't pooped in 8 days! If you are interested in seeing the one I made, please let me know. I will share. I might even make you one that's personalized. It's worth it!!!

* I love Pampers Swaddler diapers. They are soft, flexible, and they hold a LOT of the yellow poop.
On the subject of diapers...try to have someone throw you a diapers/wipes shower. Our huddle group at church LOADED us up with diapers, and we are forever at their service because of this! At the beginning, we were going through about 20-25 diapers a day. It will slow down. For instance, now we go through about 10 diapers a day. I am one of those people that leaves my boys in light to medium wet diapers. I wait to change diapers until they are really wet or dirty.

* The Swaddlers diapers reminded me of a good swaddling blanket. The Amy Coe blankets at Target are great for swaddling because they are bigger than the normal ones.
These are the ones that we had. Aren't the boys so sweet in this picture?! They were about 1 week old.

* My mom stayed with us for 2 1/2 weeks, and I whole heartedly recommend having someone stay with you for at least 2 weeks. Mandatory.

* Wal-Mart is a great place for Preemie clothes. Kohl's has a pretty good selection too.

* During the first 6 weeks, make it a point to get out of your house at least once a day. It will make you feel so much better! Even if it's just walking to the mail box and back.

* Traveling is actually quite easy with little bitty babies. They usually sleep the whole time on the road, and they don't require much gear to pack. I traveled to DFW about 5 times by myself with the boys. Only once did I have to endure some crying for about 15 minutes. Not too bad.
We flew to Nashville when the boys were 4 months old. Here are some things you need to know for airplane travel:
* if your airplane is full (like ours was) you will most likely have to be separated with your spouse and other baby. they only have one extra oxygen mask for the number of seats in a row. ex. on southwest there are 3 seats. they only have 4 oxygen masks, so it only allows for one extra person. since the plane is full, you or your spouse and other baby will have to sit on different rows. sooo...just be prepared.
* your babies can not go through security in their stroller. be prepared to take them out and try avoid making the crazy scene that we made at the airport.
* have your front carrier with you! if one of your babies does NOT want to be in the stroller, you will need your hands for luggage. so strap that baby into the carrier and look like a pro.
* Take a copy of your babies birth certificates with you. One airport didn't mind...but the other airport told us to do it in the future in order to get on a plane.
* don't worry about what passengers will think. i sat in between 2 middle aged men business travelers both ways, and they both didn't mind me 1. nursing right next to them & 2. when poop got all over them. Babies have a way of making things OK.
* speaking of nursing on the plane....if you are nursing, I highly recommend the Hooter Hider! Pictured below.

OK, now I am going to talk about some baby gear that worked...and some that didn't.
Worked:
Papasan Cradle Swing: great because it can have a laying down or sitting up position.
Bouncer Seat: oldie but goodie. get one that has little stuffed animals or blocks that your babies can look at and eventually grab. it will keep them occupied for long periods of time, but don't forget to buckle your baby in!

Pack N' Play with changing table attachment: we had this in our living room for weeks, and I referred to it as Central Station.
Levi hanging out in Central Station

Carrier: We had the Baby Bjorn front carrier. It worked great, and I used it a lot. BUT...I would look in to getting one that could convert and be a back carrier. Once your babies get around 15 lbs. it gets heavy on your neck and shoulders to have a front carrier. I know Babies R Us sells a front/back carrier.
Double Stroller: this thing was pretty much my lifesaver. we got the whole travel system so our car seats would snap into the stroller. Ours is the Graco Duo Glider and I LOVE it. I am looking into side by side stroller, but we don't have one yet.
The boys' first trip to the Zoo!

Hooter Hider! These are great for the nursing mom that wants to get out and about without making everyone feel awkward! I love mine.
This was the day I decided to straighten my hair. I think it was pretty cute.
Don't believe me.

Bumbo Seat: I really did love these things! Levi really did too! These were one of the few things that we decided to get 2 of.

OK, that's all I have for now. I will post another blog with 3-6 Month Stuff and 6-9 month Stuff. It took me a little longer than I thought to do this, and I'm tired now.

If you have any specific questions, please ask! Have a great time with your twins!!!

Oh yeah, my main piece of advice is to do whatever works best for you! If your baby hates the Bumbo seat then don't force them to use it. If your baby doesn't like to be swaddled, then please don't go buy the Amy Coe receiving blankets. You will hear lots of advice from different people, but you know your babies the best! Just remember that.

arg...blogger is messing up my font sizes again. so sorry.

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7 comments:

Heather said...

I'm not having twins, but I would like to see your daily log. It's something I hadn't really thought about, but will probably be helpful in the first, sleep-deprived weeks.

Kate said...

No twins or baby on the way yet, but that was so interesting to read! Good idea.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm dying to know about the airport stroller episode. tms

Wendi said...

Good post! I learned a lot and will probably need to refer back to it when we decide to have kids... even if it is just one! And - your boys are so cute! :)

Kristen said...

That is so helpful!!!!
I just had twins 4 weeks ago so I will be looking forward to more advice. :)
We have a lot of blog friends in common. That is how I found your blog. Thanks so much!!!!

Em said...

Too funny, thanks for blogging. My twin girls are 3 months old & we're loving the twin experience, most nights.

kaycimk@yahoo.com said...

Im having two boys Late March! I am actually stuck in the hospital until that day comes! My firned sent me your link and called you the QUEEN of TWINS! I would LOVE to see your log! I have been looking everywhere for one. I was about to make up my own, but I am very interested in yours!