Guest Author - Julixa Newman
One thing that you can never prepare for as a new parent of twins is the lack of sleep. Not being able to get your twins on a sleeping routine can be exhausting for everyone in the household. Here are some key tips that you should follow to help the process along. Please keep in mind that some babies take a little longer than others to develop a sleeping schedule, and that these tips should ease the path to that goal!
Have a nighttime routine for your twins
Being consistent with your night time routine is the key to helping your twins' sleeping schedule. Whether you choose to bathe the twins with lavender soap, put on certain pajamas, hats or gloves, each ritual is very important to get your twins accustomed to a nightly routine. Make sure that you also reduce the amount of light in the room at least an hour prior to bedtime so they start to understand that darkness means it's time to hit the sack! Also, most importantly, the twins should be headed for their rituals at the same time every night. Obviously no one can account for unforeseen circumstances, but as a rule it will help make pre-bedtime activities more effective.
You should also have your own routine
Making sure that you are prepared for the night time feedings can help you get a couple of extra zzz's. Before heading off to bed, make sure that bottles are prepared in the refrigerator so that when you are woken up you don't have to worry about measuring or cleaning bottles. (It doesnít hurt to finish cleaning all the dishes/bottles in the sink to wake up to a clean kitchen as well!) You might also want to make sure that your diapers, wipes, extra pacifiers and blankets are at hand on each floor of your house and ready for use. You certainly donít want to find yourself looking for these items in the middle of the night. It also keeps trips up and down the stairs at a minimum during the dayÖthose trips add up for a person who hasnít slept very well! Furthermore, if there is anything you can do to make the start of the day easier (taking out baby food, a frying pan for breakfast, filling the tea kettle, etc), it could shave a few minutes or more off your morning routine.
If your spouse or partner is available to help, then take full advantage of it. You might want to take turns with night feedings, whether it's every other night or every other feeding. A rested parent is a happy parent. Have family volunteering to help? Promise them a home cooked meal, and take all the visitors you can get! The REALLY good friends and family will even do a night feeding if you show them exactly what to do. That night (or even one 2am feeding) off really does wonders if you have been on a week long stretch or more. Schedule them right in for a couple of hours of babysitting during the day. Try to get out or just close the door and take a well deserved nap. It's a great way to get a little pick me up!