Worn out... — The Bump

Worn out...

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edited April 2016 in Multiples
Our twins are 4 months old.
My husband and I have no family and moved during my pregnancy, so we have no friends either.
I knew I couldn't go back to work after they were born because we have no help at all. I enjoy taking care of them, but I'm so exhausted.

I've spent every day with them since birth. (Also carried them for 9 months! lol)
They wake up every 3 hours at night and only take 30 minute naps during the day.
For their daytime feedings I put them in their bouncers and feed them at the same time, but they wake up at different times during the night so I feed them separately and can't get any sleep. I only have my husband help if he has the next day off.

When they take their naps I'm busy with housework, then they wake up and I change diapers, play and feed.
I'm trying to sleep train them, but CIO isn't working.

I give them a bath, feed and put them in their crib while they're drowsy. If I'm lucky they sleep for a half an hour, but then all hell breaks loose. One will eventually stop crying, but the other gets hysterical and hyperventilates. The only way they'll sleep is if I wait for them to wake up after 30 minutes and then feed them another ounce. Or hold them, which I really don't want to do because they need to learn...

I guess my question is how do I get them to take longer naps during the day and sleep through the night?
I love them so much and love spending time with them but this exhaustion and stress is killing me!

Re: Worn out...

  • I'm so sorry this is so hard on you guys!  I bet it's terrible not having anyone around to help even for just an hour. 

    We also have 4 month old twins and are struggling a bit with naps, but nothing as bad as you. Have you tried taking them for a drive or a long walk and letting them sleep for awhile in their car seats when they get too crazy? I've had a few times where I drove them around and then walked around Target for a couple of hours so they would nap.  We've figured out if they don't nap enough during the day, then they go nuts on us in the early evening because they're so exhausted.
    Most weekdays, I aim to get in 3 naps of 30-40 minutes each. It seems to me after a busy weekend of no routine, Mondays and Tuesdays are bad nap days and Wednesday we're back on track. So we've started to try to implement my nap routine into busy weekends as well, to keep it as standard as possible. This is a new idea so we've only done it one weekend and it made a difference that Monday. 

    How much are they eating at each feeding? We've always fed them together, whether one was still sleeping or not. We would wake the sleeping one by changing their diaper and feed them as well. I was warned at the beginning to always make them eat together or I'd never get any sleep at night. Some nights the tired one would barely eat, but it would save me from getting up in a other hour to feed them. Have you talked to your pediatrician about this?  Ours was all about waking them up to eat and it seems to have worked out for us. Now for the most part, they get fussy at the same time and demand to be fed.
    Right now our twins will go around 4 hours in between feedings. At night, they will sometimes go 5 or 6 hours before needing to be fed and then they go right back to sleep for 4 more hours. They rarely get fed staggered anymore and I like it that way. Their feedings and diaper changes now last only 20-30 minutes (depending on how distracted they get during) and it's great. Our son eats 5 oz and daughter is eating 4.5 most of the time, so they definitely have full bellies. 

    When is their 4 month appt? I would definitely bring all of this up with their pediatrician. You need more of a break or you'll completely lose it.
  • Thank you so much for your response and advice. :)

    I used to wake the other at night, but then I had a feeling she could sleep longer and I tested it out and she did. I thought it would be better for her if she could learn to sleep through the night, but it's harder for me and she's so unpredictable. I feel like I'm constantly getting up to feed. I'll take your advice and wake her sister up too. 

    I go for walks with them, but I'm not a shopper so I don't go anywhere else alone. I guess that's one problem too because I'm not wearing them out enough... 
    How do you get them to sleep while shopping? 
    When my husband and I take them out, we time their feedings so they'll sleep. Some days they're really good, but other days not so good. We went to Olive Garden the other day and one got so upset we had to leave :( I guess that's why I'm afraid to go anywhere alone with them. But I guess if I don't they won't get used to it...

    Their pediatrician always tells me twins are different from singletons so "whatever works for me" lol They have their 4 month appointment this week so I'll talk to her again.

    They've always had bad reflux, but got up to 6 oz. Then I tried feeding them more often and reduced it to 4 to see if that would help. It didn't. lol I did everything possible, like burping a lot and keeping them upright for an hour after feeding but nothing worked. Then I recently read that it's good to burp them only when they take a break on their own. That made a huge difference! So now I'm trying to go back to 6.

    They're usually such happy babies and I love making them laugh, but bedtime is so stressful :( 
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  • My twins aren't here yet so I can't help you much with the main question but -- are they being medicated for their reflux? I've worked with a lot of really refluxy babies and a little Prevacid (or similar) can make a world of difference! It can also be helpful to prop the head of their mattress up with some rolled up towels or something underneath so that they're not laying flat right after feeds which can aggravate reflux. 
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  • Our twins are 10 months old, and we have a 3.5 year old son! We went through this same thing. The thing to look forward to is this will pass! I dropped down to part time and work nights and weekends now. I am home with the kids all day, and go to work when dh comes home.
    Naps were a nightmare. They would only sleep if they were being held. We would put them in their beds and just sit there with them, soothing them until they'd fall asleep. If they got hysterical, we'd do a temporary fix. We put them in their swings. We'd have them swing long enough to fall asleep, then shut the swings off so they didn't get used to moving constantly. They would sleep really well then. Next time, we'd go back to their beds again. We also would put their favorite toy with them so they could cuddle. As soon as they fell asleep,  we took it away, so it would not be a suffocation issue. That seemed to help a lot in their cribs. 
    The other thing that we noticed a big change with was food! Before naps and before bed, we give them baby food and then milk. It fills them up and they sleep longer. Since your twins are 4 months old, you could do the same with rice cereal. Feed them cereal, then their bottles. It should help keep them fuller longer. It may even help with the reflux. I breastfeed mine, so I can't tell you how much they're getting, but they eat until they're full. 
    Yes, yes, yes! If one wakes to feed, wake the other. I've done that since day one. My girls synced pretty early and would sleep and eat at the same time. If you don't, you will go insane. You're always feeding one. 
    Here's my two cents. If you get the twins to sleep, take a nap yourself. House chores can wait. If momma gets run down and can't function, you're no good for your twins. You need to take care of yourself just as much as your babies. 
    If you need help, you should talk to your dh. Mine would have to get up by 7 am to get ready for work. He would still get up every time the twins did at night to help me out. Even now, if I'm having a really bad day or night, my dh sends me to bed early and handles the kids by himself. You're a team! You need to depend on each other. 
    I hope something clicks and things start getting better for you. Just remember, it will get better! It gets easier and easier. By 6 months, it was much much better! Keep us posted! 

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  • My kids really sleep in their car seats, sometimes they just need movement. So I'll take them shopping with me and just push them around a lot and eventually, they'll be out. Wandering around Target for 2 hours is also good exercise for me. I take them out alone all the time. It gets us all used to it so when I need to take them out, it goes smoothly. Also, it's good for me to get out of the house and take a mental break.
    Are there any mom groups you can meet up with during the week? I go to one every week and I always feel way better afterwards. I hear about women having the same problems with only 1 baby and it's driving them crazy. We're doing it with 2! That's something to be proud of.
  • Oh I just want to hug you. You are doing so great, keep it up mama! It's so hard in the beginning but at about 6 months, it gets soooo much easier. You're almost there!!  

    A few tips and tricks:
    -always feed them together and only feed them at your decided mealtimes for them. This way they eat it all, they are hungry and you aren't feeding them all day long. Start your schedule early and they will follow along with it. 
    -when one wakes up, wake the other one within 10 minutes. We still do this and my kiddos are 1.5. Keeps them on the same schedule 
    -get a good sleep sack. I have always recommended the zipadee zip because it mimics the womb. My kiddos always loved but I know there are other great ones out there. Maybe try finding one that your kiddos like??
    -I didn't see where you mentioned what time your kiddos go to bed at night but I think this is about the time I realized mine needed to go to sleep earlier. It sounds so silly, but the earlier they go to bed, the longer they sleep. Maybe give it a shot? 
    -get just a little bit of help. Look for a sitter for a couple of hours per week so you can get some rest or take a break. You deserve it. 

    Good luck!! 
  • Thank you so much everyone!

    We had them checked out while I was still breastfeeding and there were no abnormalities. After I switched to formula, their dr gave us Similac Sensitive but that didn't help, then Similac Alimentum. That worked pretty well for one, so she's drinking that, but not the other. Now burping less is helping the other. :)

    We had them in bassinets with a slight incline for their reflux and stopped using their sleep sacks at around 2 months. Then they were outgrowing those so I moved them to their cribs and maybe they miss the coziness... I just put them back in their sleep sacks and now that seems to be helping :) 

    Baby B was smaller at birth, but she's the one who is always on schedule and loves to eat so she's bigger than her sister now! lol

    I checked out the Mom's of Multiples group before and they have their mettings at 7pm. :( I put the girls to bed between 6:30 and 7:30...

    That's amazing to have help from your husbands! I'll have to talk to him about that. :)

    I really can't wait for them to be 6 months! I know it'll be harder because they'll be moving around on their own, but I can't wait until they can climb up on the couch to snuggle  <3 I try holding them both now, but one will cry and I don't have a free hand! lol
  • My husband is amazing. I'm a sahm and he still gets up for their 2 am feeding, feeds one, changes both diapers and puts them both back to bed. He feels like he misses it during the day so he wants to help as much as possible. 
    So it definitely is possible! I think it's a good idea to talk to your dh. I'm sure he doesn't know just how overwhelmed you feel.
  • That's really awesome :) Dads do miss out on so much! I had a talk with my husband and he's helping more now. I know that even dads of singletons get up, so it only makes sense!  lol
    Bedtime has actually gotten a lot better! Putting them back in their sleep sacks seemed to do the trick :) 
    I talked to their pediatrician about nap time and she said all babies are different. Some take cat naps and others will sleep 2 hours. I'll just pray that someday they'll want to sleep a little longer. :)
  • Glad to hear things are going better! 
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