Night Feeding Twins
If you have a new baby, you’re probably wondering what a typical night time feeding routine looks like. If you have twins, I am sure you are even more intrigued by how others are surviving. This is my experience of night time feeding twins.
If you follow my Foxfairy Twins Instagram stories you’ll know that sleep has been a tricky area for us. When you’re surrounded by young babies that sleep from 7pm – 7am (yes, I actually have a friend whose baby actually does sleep that long. Not bitter in the slighted) and endless information and guides which will advise you on how long a baby should sleep for, it’s no wonder this subject can be frustrating for a parent.
Someone once said to me ‘you don’t know what the word tired means until you have a baby’ and gosh were they right. Before babies I was a serious napper and could fall asleep in 10 seconds for little bit of shut eye. I also needed my 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night else I would go from being Miss Honey to Miss Trunchball. Not pretty.
Thrown into the new whirlwind of having two newborn babies and well, you can imagine the shock. Feeding every 2 hours to begin with (am I the only one who didn’t realise that it means every 2 hours after you BEGAN the previous feed, not from when they finish? This means you could start feeding at 2.45am, the babies take almost an hour to feed, then include the nappy changes and settle back down to sleep, that takes you up to 4am, only to be awoken 45 minutes later for the next feed. It. Is. Horrendous. Now I understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture).
The only reason Pete and I survived this newborn demand was because we took it in shifts to look after the babies. As I was expressing and topping up with formula it allowed Pete to help me feed them (see my previous posts about Feeding Twins for more information about how we did this). We would each watch the babies for 6 hours so the other one could sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time. You would not believe how incredible you feel if you have been surviving on 3 disrupted hours of sleep to having a chunk of 3-5 hours of solid, precious sleep. It literally saved us from going insane. It also emphasised the importance of team work between Pete and I, especially in the early days.
Fast forward to month 3, we began our bedtime routine (see my post about Bathing Twins) in order to establish good bed time habits. Once they were in their cot for bed time we would only feed them in their bedroom, using the curved cushions to prop them up. Once finished, I would gently pat them on the back and put them straight back down to sleep. I would also only change their nappies if they were soiled. Apparently, at this stage it is common for babies to start needing less feeds throughout the night so therefore shouldn’t wake up as often for feeding. HA! Sorry, was that a funny joke? Our babies were certainly not ready to give up their night feeds at this time. And the fact that I knew some babies could, made me feel frustrated. All I wanted was to sleep for more than 3 hours at a time (Pete was back to work so it was harder to work in shifts now).
That’s when I started reading lots of different sleep guides on how to help your baby to sleep longer at night. Some suggested giving more milk throughout the day (our babies refused, or would just projectile vomit it back up, probably as a protest to stop making me overfeed them), give a ‘top up dream feed’ where you feed the babies in their sleep at around 10 or 11 pm in order to help carry them through until the early hours (I tried this several times and I think I was actually disrupting their natural sleep cycle as they would then wake up after 2 or 3 hours for another feed. Greedy monsters) or when they do wake up for their 2am feed, try to pacify them for 10/15 minutes to get them used to having this feed later and in the end not need it until the early hours of the morning (HAVE YOU TRIED THIS WITH TWINS?? To pacify one baby when they’re screaming for a feed at 2am and you’re exhausted would be hard enough, but with TWO BABIES?! Not going to happen).
So guess what we did? Nothing. We just let them wake up for their night feeds. And guess what? It has gradually started to stretch out. At the moment, being 4 months old, they now have their 6pm bottle, go to bed, wake up at around 10.30-11pm, then wake up around 3-4am. It’s not perfect, but we are definitely going in the right direction. I am now feeling calmer about it (if still a little sleepy-eyed) but progress is being made. I am hoping that when we begin weaning and they put on more weight perhaps they will surprise me by sleeping through until 6am (am I asking too much? Maybe. But I can wish).
What Is Your Night Time Routine?
How does this compare with your little one’s night time feeding habits?
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