Sleep is important. We all need sleep to rejuvenate and function like a normal human being. Stepping into the world of motherhood means pretty much giving up your sleep for months altogether. Today I am talking about my sleep (less) story and how to cope up with prolonged sleep deprivation, which can extend up to a year when you have a baby. That’s a minimum!
ONE YEAR (guaranteed)
Everyone says, “Oh sleep when the baby sleeps”. Well, that’s not possible with twins. It just isn’t. By the time you finish feeding one, changing diapers and swaddling the baby to sleep, the other one wakes up. People often ask me “how do you manage?” I still do not know how to answer that question because I just do and honestly do not know how. But raising my girls has definitely enlightened me with some knowledge of getting a decent amount of sleep in the first year of motherhood. And here is what you need to do when you have two infants to care for.
Support full term baby
Having a full term baby with 9-month gestation period should be the top priority for the new moms and medical assistance. But unfortunately, many exploit the gift of medicine to avoid long labor hours. Babies who are born prematurely require immense care and nurturing which can get overwhelming for the new mother. Many of them are born underweight and have latching problems while breastfeeding because of low birth weight. So support full term pregnancy for healthy babies and happy mommies!
Twin pregnancy often comes with complications. There are higher chances of C- section and not to forget twin pregnancies are considered full term at 37 weeks. Bottom line is that most mothers of multiple pregnancies have a much higher chance of having premature babies. So be prepared and gather all the knowledge you can read blogs, books, and apps. Whatever you can get your hands on.
It might sound obvious, but it’s important to mention. I had hired a day nurse and a night nurse to assist me in the first month. Along with that, we also had our family who generously helped us get through the first 40 days. Do your research well in advance, hire help according to your needs and what fits best with your family schedule.
Setting up a routine
The best way to get some sleep time for the new moms is to maintain a routine with your newborns. Don’t have a very high expectation that your babies will follow it but feeding, bathing, and swaddling will give you and your family a schedule to stick to. And after few weeks, everything will settle down in a routine including your little ones. Following a schedule became one of my priorities mainly because it gave me some time off to nap.
Try feeding together
Breastfeeding twins at the same time require some serious skills! But it is possible, with a lot of practice and with the help of twin feeding pillow. Start with feeding them alone and eventually you can try feeding them together to save some time and energy. If your babies are on formula, feed them together with your partner or nanny.
Divide and rule
When you and your little ones get through the 40 days time period, its time to apply some divide and rule policy. Basically, when one is old enough to wake up when the other one cries, put them to nap in separate rooms. This is a lifesaver when you have twins because if you put them together they will always keep waking up each other and you will spend all your energy in swaddling them to sleep.
The golden rule of raising twins in their first year is time management. It will help you save time and energy because there are no days off in parenthood. Every day there is something new to learn and teach so get some rest and rejuvenate.