Twin Sense

A Sanity-Saving Guide to Raising Twins -- From Pregnancy Through the First Year

 Twin Sense

Author: Dagmara Scalise
Pub Date: September 2008
Print Edition: $15.00
Print ISBN: 9780814410660
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814410677

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Getting Through the Night

Preparing the Babies for Bed

Buy Pajamas with Zippers, Not Snaps. Dealing the snaps may seem easy during the day, but try doing it in the dark when you need to change a sleepy baby as quickly as possible with a minimum of disruption while you are barely awake.

Slather on Diaper Cream. As soon as your baby is no longer peeing and pooping after every feeding, slather on diaper cream and eliminate nighttime diaper changes. Your babies will be considerably calmer and sleepier if they’re fed but not changed.

Try Using a Diaper One Size Larger. If you’re worried about eliminating nighttime diaper changes and afraid of the babies needing to be changed in the middle of the night, try a larger diaper or doubling up.

Swaddle Your Babies Tightly. The general idea is to wrap the babies up tightly, so their arms and legs don’t flail, replicating the crowded environment of the womb. It also enables you to lift both babies simultaneously.

Creating the Optimal Sleep Environment

Turn Off the Lights, Even the Night-Light. Scalise found that her babies soothed themselves to sleep better and fell back asleep after feedings more quickly when the room was darker.

Don’t Make Eye Contact. It revs them up. Babies love to look at faces, and if they lock eyes with you they’re more likely to fight to stay awake.

Put Your Baby Down in the Crib Slowly and Carefully. This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s often done too hastily with the end-result being that the babies wake up before they’re completely lying down.

Getting Everything All Ready

If Using Bottles, Store the Food Close to Where You Will Feed Your Babies. You don’t want to stumble around in the dark to find things, prep the bottles ahead of time and store them close to the babies.

Stage Everything. Need your glasses, a glass of water, tissues? Set them out ahead of time.

Keep a Minifridge or Insulated Bag with Ice Packs Nearby for Nighttime Feedings. Babies’ room is usually not next to the kitchen and you don’t want to go back and forth at night.

Keep a Digital Clock in the Babies’ Room. A clock you can easily see will help you monitor the length and frequency of feedings and orient yourself in the middle of the night.

Have Multiple Baby and Adult Sleeping Areas. Multiple sleeping areas make it easy to separate a crying baby from a sleeping one and switch shifts.

Work in Shifts. Night shifts such as 8pm-2am/2am-8am or separating the babies and alternating sleeping with each helps ensure a full night’s rest for parents.

The Night-Time Feeding

Heat Two Bottles Simultaneously. This method works well for feeding both babies, if the first baby’s fuss soon wakes the second, or if feeding one baby who eats a lot.

Use Rolled-Up Receiving Blankets as Bottle Props. Parents of twins need to prop a bottle in a babies’ mouth out of necessity for simultaneous feeding.

Use Pillows to Support the Babies Side-by-Side. One person can feed both babies by laying them side-by-side on the floor with their heads supported by firm pillows.

Turn on the Faucet. The sound of running water helps lull babies to sleep, especially when combined with steady rocking and swaddling.

Adapted from TWIN SENSE: A Sanity-Saving Guide to Raising Twins from Pregnancy Through the First Year (AMACOM 2008) by Dagmara Scalise.

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