After a few sleepless nights almost 6 weeks into our new life I have decided it's time to implement a set routine. Everyone kept telling me how important this is with twins, for my own sanity apparently, but I thought I would see how it goes. The problem was that I would find myself up more in the night than asleep and I was slowly becoming grouchy. On Saturday I did something I always swore I wouldn't do....I bought a 'baby manual'. Top tips from the baby whisperer: Sleep by Tracy Hogg was the book of choice and it has given us some help so far. This book is aimed a singletons but I am finding I can adapt it to twins easily. The main priciple it works around is the acronym E.A.S.Y- Eat, Activity, Sleep and You. We are currently attempting to implement this in a three hour routine and we have adapted the timings to suit the routine of Holly. We want the twins to go to bed at 7 so that we have some time with Holly before her bedtime at 8 so I have implemented a three hour routine that incorporates a 6pm feed.
The idea is that you feed baby, have some activity, put baby to sleep and have some you time before it starts all over again. I was slightly concerned that at 6 weeks babies can't partake in much activity but the book does point out that for young babies activity can be just gazing at the wall (an activity my babies love). Activity also includes bath time, changing time etc so it isn't too hard to fill. As I said we wanted routine mainly so I could get more sleep, and Tracy Hogg suggests that a good day time routine leads to a good night time routine. A cluster feed is suggested for babies that are having a growth spurt (although I am unsure how you would know this until you are already involved in a sleepness night), this consists of two feeds close together around bedtime; in this house at 6 and 8. This is then followed by a dream feed at 10pm, this 'tanks up' baby to encourage a longer sleep period. Both babies are fed at the same time and as they are similar sizes they should be able to sustain themselves for similar timings.
There are slightly mixed results on this at the moment although I'm feeling positive - partly due to not being woken til 2am last night. Max only took one cluster feed but took the dream feed well, Fia, however, took both cluster feeds and not the dream feed. Maybe if both had taken all three feeds slightly more sleep would have been had.
The other big thing we are taking from this book is the 'shush-pat' method to help with sleep. fia is a geat self settler but Max doesn't find it so easy. This recommened method has been used by Daddy and Max, it appears to work great for them, with Max settling easier last night. I, however, am still trying to master this method but I'll keep shushing away in the meantime.
It is, however, early days and I'm not expecting too much just yet. My aim is to get to 4am without a peep from either baby, hopefully maintaining this routine will help us get there.
This book was definitely worth purchasing as it has given plenty of ideas how to help, just incase though I have ordered the contented house with twins.