10 Month Old Twins 

Month 10
These boys are growing so fast; I can’t believe they are almost a year old! I am trying to savor all their babyness as much as possible because soon they will be toddlers. 😳
Dylan is a crawling machine and pulls up on everything.l, especially me. He also loves climbing the stairs (with mama close behind). He thinks he is such an adventurer when I let him go through the baby gate and make a run for the stairs. He chuckles the whole way up and keeps looking back at me, like, “look at me! I’m so fast!”  
Leo is the master of sitting and playing with his toys. He also likes to get around via rolling or doing the backstroke on the hardwood floor which is hilarious. If you are curious what a baby looks like when he does the backstroke I posted a video a couple weeks ago. It’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. Oh! And just the other day he started clapping. He was so proud of himself and kept looking at me as he clapped, like, “look what I’m doing!” I clapped with him and that really made him smile. 
Dylan said “mama” around 8 months old and says it often and now has started to throw in the dada. Leo started saying “dada” this month but I’m waiting for the mama. They also say a lot of “ga ga ga, la la la., etc” lots of of good baby talk. I absolutely love it. 
Both boys eat a lot of solids and we are down to just nursing in the day now. No more night feeds! YAY!!! The twins go to sleep by 6:30 and wake up at 6:30am! What a game changer. 
Loving these twins, loving my Ian and loving being a mom of three boys. I’m a lucky lady. 🤗
Okay that’s the update for this month. Onward! 
Breaking News: This was written two weeks ago. Leo is now crawling! 

Sleep Training Update

Okay so the twins are just about to hit 10 months old in a couple days and I thought I should write an update on how sleep is going for any twin mamas who are curious.

First, I’ll start with the forewarning that I don’t think I have any good advice or successful tips to give so if you’re looking for that you may want to move on. Just being honest! 😂 Point being, we were unable to succeed at sleep training and we felt like it didn’t work for us in the end and I’ll lay out why below.
Basically, the thing with sleep training is a lot of the articles say again and again that they main thing you want is for your baby to be falling asleep on their own by themselves with out any help from you. Well, both of my boys were doing that just fine for the most part but yet, One of my boys, Dylan, would wake up constantly anyways throughout the night. When we started incremental crying it out, 5 minutes of crying then going in, then 10 minutes, then 15, by the time we got to 15 Dylan would be a wreck and after doing this a few weeks with some random days of success my husband and I decided that it just wasn’t worth it. Dylan would be screaming and shaking and his heart pounding and inevitably we would have to give up and just hold him. Now, this is probably the reason why sleep training failed for us. We never stuck to it longer than a week before caving in some way and hold Dylan and calming him down. But to be honest, what else could we do. It seriously bothered us how much our boy was crying and screaming and always in the end he would wake up Leo too. Then we’d have two babies crying bloody murder at 1 in the morning. I just think that with Dylan’s temperament of being sensitive and quick to go from 0 to 10, that sleep training him is not a good fit. Now Leo on the other hand, benefits from us not getting him if he cries. He will calm himself down after a minute or two and go back to sleep. And its rare that Leo wakes up on his own anyways. If we do attempt to comfort Leo he gets startled and gets more riled up. Its very interesting to see the difference in the two and see how some things can work for one baby and not the other.

 

Anyways, for our own sanity we decided we would not be letting Dylan cry on his own longer than 5-minutes otherwise he’d be a complete wreck. Now, sometimes Dylan would wake up and have little cries off and on  and we would let that go for awhile and he would be calming himself down and eventually he would lay himself back down and go back to sleep so I know he is capable of doing it. Its just those big screams that start right off and don’t die down. If one of us dont go in there he will work himself into a fit and then its takes even longer to get him to calm down. Dylan’s heart will be pounding and his whole body will be shaking it just makes me feel so bad for him. These are the times (and its usually most of the time) that trying to sleep train him just won’t work. Or at least we don’t think so. Its not worth the pain and tears and hours of crying and going in incrementally every 15 minutes at 12 in the morning. It just insane. Instead if Ryan goes in and after the first 5 minutes of trying to calm him back down to sleep doesnt work, then I will go in and just feed him and he will go back to sleep and its fine and we all go back to sleep. Sometimes Ryan is able to get him to go to sleep and I don’t have to feed Dylan till later but most likely not and I end up going in. And there are days my husband is gone traveling for work and on those days I just feed him because I need to get my sleep and its the easiest way to do it.

 

So this is the route we have chosen to go. But can I say its easier for us. A little. But its better than the tears. Dylan has his good nights and bad nights with most of them being bad since he wakes up to a couple times in the evening but other evenings there’s not even a peep from him until 1:30 or 2:30 in the morning and then I feed him. Ill normally end up feeding Leo as well right after. Then around 5 in the morning like clockwork Dylan will wake him up again and this time he seems like he is ready to start the day. I will try to distract him with toys and then eventually he falls asleep or if that doesnt work, I nurse him again just to get him sleepy and then he’ll go back down till about 6:30. I need that extra hour of sleep so this is why I do that second feed. Leo doesnt normally wake up but if he does I will feed him too.

Basically, my husband and I are working off of 5-6 hours of broken sleep most days and every once in awhile we get a lucky break of 7 hours of sleep with me doing just one feed in the middle. Those happen like twice a week and I treasure those nights.

I know that Dylan and Leo will be a year soon so I am hoping they drop their feeds naturally because trying to push them (specifically Dylan) to go longer at night with out eating ends up being a struggle.

This is where we are at now. Do I think we are killing at this? No. Do I think we are doing the best way? I really don’t know but its the only thing we can come up with. All we are trying to do is just survive. I think every baby is different and every parent is different and you just have to do what you think is right. When I hear about those babies that sleep 12 hours straight I am just like, “wow, you are so lucky.” Thats all. There’s really nothing else to be said because we can all compare and feel down on why can’t we do this or that, or why isn’t my baby doing this or that but in the end we are all just doing the best we can and trying to keep our head above water. There are so many other things that I am good at, that I seem to do that other moms compliment me on, like being able to take all  my boys around town to parks, wading pools, etc and on my own. People are constantly surprised that I can manage all three. So maybe that’s my skill? Who knows? To me that part comes easy. But the sleep part? Not so much.

 

So good luck to all you twin mamas out there in whatever struggles you may have. I am sure there are other things you do great at so remember that and just press on.

 

Much love.

8 and 9 Months Old 

I never got around to posting Month 8 so I am doing 8 and 9 together. 
Both boys started sitting up independently about a month ago. Dylan started crawling just a week ago. I knew he was going to be first! He is already trying to pull up on everything as well. Leo will sit in the same spot for a good 30 minutes observing everything and looking at his different toys. Dylan is all over the place and does not really sit still. 
The twins are so much fun to be with and Ian really gets a kick out of them. When I walk around with all three in our stroller, Ian will spend his time playing peek a boo, singing them songs and trying to make them laugh. The twins love it and think he is the coolest. It makes my heart melt. 
We are loving summer and spend our days at the neighborhood parks meeting up with Ian’s buddies for play dates. The twins like swinging in the swings and also love to sit in the sand and feel it on their toes and hands. This does involve some sand eating which I try to intervene here and there but some makes it in the mouth. 😂 We’ve also hit up the wading pool a few times. The twins love it, especially Leo. He will just relax in his floatie as if he’s sunbathing. I’ve never seen a baby as relaxed as he can be. It boggles my mind. Dylan meanwhile is splashing all over the place and just having a ball. Of course, than Ian got jealous and wanted his own floatie and I ended up letting him use Dylan’s. I learned my lesson and realized we need three floaties, one for each of them. 😂
The twins are pounding down the solids and are eating three small meals a day along with nursing. That’s a whole lot of eating which shows in their size. They are both wearing 12 month old clothes. 
Nights are still good for the most part. Every few nights Dylan can be a stinker but it happens a lot less frequently so I’ll count it as a win. I’d like to lose the one feeding they have in the early morning and push it out to 7 or 8am so we may work on that this month. We’ll see. 
I think that covers it! 

7 Month Old Twins 

The boys are getting so big! I can’t believe they are past the half-year mark. Ryan and I love watching these two boys grow and seeing their personalities continue to grow and blossom. 
Leo continues to be Mr. Chill but now with a splash of class clown which is hilarious. He is so goofy sometimes! 
Dylan is continuing to scoot everywhere and can move across the room so quickly. I am pretty sure he will be crawling soon. 
They both are eating purées plus solids like pieces of toast or baked French fries. 
Overall, life is much better! Even though sleep was rough for a while there, it now seems to be turning a corner. I have the twins on a nap schedule in the day and they go to bed and are asleep by 7:00pm every night and wake up at 7:00am with one feed at 4am. We did have to do some sleep training to get them to this point. They were both waking up frequently in the night but not because they were hungry. The sleep training was SO hard and it’s still something we’re doing but it has made a huge difference. 
Onward to Month 8! 

Sleep Training our 7 Month Old Twins

These past couple months have been really rough sleep wise. The twins were on a great schedule of eating at 2 or 3 am and then again at 6 or 7 am (so basically one feed a night) but then at around 5 months old they went through a growth spurt or something and started to eat three feeds a night. They seemed to get past that and went back to two feeds a night again which would be fine except for Dylan is waking up frequently after falling asleep at 7pm and needs to be given a pacifier or picked up a couple times an hour with it getting really intense between 10 and 12 pm. He wasn’t hungry or needing a diaper change, he just seemed to want to be held or have me standing there with my hand on his chest. I have tried taking him into our bed to see if he just wanted to be near me but Dylan just gets excited and riled up instead of going to sleep so cosleeping isn’t really an option, which I guess I am glad its not because I like having the bed to ourselves. 

Finally, three days ago after several weeks of sleepless hours between 10 and 12/1am of constantly trying to get Dylan to go back to sleep we decided that at this point sleep training was necessary. I read a fellow twin mom’s blog about why she decided to sleep train her twins and it totally hit it on the nail for me and was the incentive I needed to do it (Blog Link Here).

 You see, I had such a fear of sleep training and I didn’t understand how parents could listen to their baby cry without going in to comfort then. Ryan and I didn’t do any sleep training with Ian and although it took a long time for Ian to sleep through the night, he eventually did by about a year and has been a great sleeper since. With Ian we did a lot of cosleeping and letting him nurse when he wanted. But after a year my milk had run out so we kind of naturally weaned him off of the night feedings which in turn let him sleep through the night. Bedtimes were a long drawn out thing though and could take up to an hour to an hour and half with lots of rocking but again we stuck it out and by a year and a half he was happy to go to bed and bedtime is a 20 minute deal ever since. So lots of good success came out of it all and we never had to let Ian cry it out. Well, what we’re discovering now is that what worked for Ian isn’t the same for Dylan let alone when we have two babies. Dylan has some sort of sleep association with needing me or Ryan near him anytime he wakes himself up. I also have a theory that he is waking up when he moves through a sleep cycle and doesn’t know how to put himself back to sleep. He is not hungry, he is just mad/sad about waking up! Keeping all this in mind we decided now was the time to sleep train so Dylan can learn to soothe himself back to sleep without needing mommy or daddy. Here is my log with my progress so far. It’s been hard (REALLY HARD) but we’ve started to see results so that has been AWESOME. 

Night 1:

Ryan went out of town for a work trip so I decided that was a good time to start because that way just one of us was suffering. Sometimes when one of the twins is crying or freaking out we kind of can take it out on each other because you know, you can, whereas you can’t get mad at your baby. So it was good to just to do it on my own and cry and suffer without needing to also see Ryan suffering too. 

The night started out well with Dylan waking up a couple times between 9-10:30 but I let him be and he went to sleep ON HIS OWN after a minute or two of light crying. That was pretty great. Normally we rush in to give him a pacifier and to see that if we just leave him alone he can just work it out! Well, that was so good to know. 

Well, then things got tough. Starting at 10pm and till 12:30pm Dylan cried. I would go in, using increments, first 3 minutes waiting then go in, then 5, then finally 10. By the time I got to letting him cry for 10 minutes he had worked himself into a state. This was at 12ish and I had to pick him up to calm him down and he was shaking and having little hiccups while crying – IT WAS SO HARD. Why was I doing this to my baby?!!! It felt so wrong! I kept just wanting to give up. Meanwhile a little earlier I had brought Leo into my room because he was waking up from Dylan’s cries. I managed to continue to stick it out but man, I was feeling drained. Finally, FINALLY, after picking up Dylan after a 10 minute cry and setting him down calm and almost asleep, he went to sleep. This was at 11:45pm. After waiting 10 minutes to see if he was actually asleep I too went to sleep. Around 1am Dylan woke up but I decided to feed him since his normal feeding schedule has been 12am and 4am. The point of this sleep training was more to get Dylan to sleep on his own from 10pm to 12am and eventually we would push out his feeds but not tonight. Leo meanwhile was still sleeping and normally I would wake up Leo to feed but I decided to let him keep sleeping. Leo stirred around 2am and I nursed him then in bed. Since he was right next to me it was so easy and I was able to be half asleep during it. Then Dylan slept till 4am and I fed him again. Leo kept sleeping again so I let him. Leo woke up at 6am wanting to play so I decided to feed him just because I wanted to try to get 1 more hour of sleep. It worked and Leo went back to sleep. We all got up at 7 am and that was the first night! Whew. Exhausted. But I made it. The good news that came out of it, Dylan ate a little later at night at 1am and and 4am. Leo only really needed to eat once! I was prepared to continue with this sleep training the next night even though it was so hard 

Night 2:

This night was intense, even worse than Night 1, but I made it through. Dylan ended up eating only once so that was the great news out of it. We were down to one feeding! 

Again, after both twins falling asleep easily by 6:45pm, and minimal wake ups until about 10:30, Dylan started his usual shenanigans. Dylan was up crying intermittently from 10:30 to 1:30. Yes, 1:30! Arghhhhh. I was so tired. But when he finally fell asleep he slept till 4 with no feeds! So that was the good news. The bad news was that I was about to keel over from lack of sleep. 

Basically from 10:30 to 1:30 Dylan kept waking up but he didn’t seem hungry when I held him which Is why I didn’t feed him at 12:45. He just needed comfort but as soon as I set him down he would cry again and I would give him 10 minutes before going back in. Eventually he gave in and fell asleep at 1:30am. Meanwhile Leo was sleeping again in my bed. I moved him in there because he began to wake up from Dylan around 12am and I didn’t want to deal with both twins crying. Leo only ate once as well at 4 in the morning. I transferred him back to his crib after feeding him and both of the boys then slept till 6:45am and woke up happy and ready to play which is their normal MO. They then ate at 8am. So overall even though I suffered till 1:30am, both boys ended up with just one feed! Progress!

Night 3:

Ryan came home and took over on the sleep training so I could get much needed rest. I got to sleep in the guest bedroom with white noise and it was amazing. I woke up with a start at 3am. 5 hours of straight sleep. Thank. The. Lord. Or more like Ryan in this case. 

Ryan came in shortly afterwards with Leo. He said Leo kept waking up so I took him. It was 3:30 so I decided to just feed Leo and Dylan and see if they would sleep the rest of the night. And it worked! They both slept the rest of the night in their cribs and didnt wake up until 7am. I fed them as usual at 8:00am. So lovely! I talked with Ryan more about his night and it turns out that Dylan only woke up twice in the night and it was Leo who kept waking up! I couldn’t believe it. That is such a difference. Leo is normally a great sleeper so I think he may have just had an off night. We shall see how night 4 goes. I am just happy that Dylan had a great night!

To be continued…

 All in all though, I feel like in just three days we have made a big shift with Dylan waking up less on that 3rd night and both boys only eating 1 time instead of 2 or 3 times. I am happy feeding them one time a night until they are around 9 months and are eating more solids or if they just don’t seem hungry anymore at that time. Whichever comes first. 

Exercising After Giving Birth to Twins, Post Cesearean 

One thing that I had looked forward to all through my twin pregnancy was being able to exercise. I love to run, bike, workout and be active. Of course, it was nice to take it easy but by the end I was so ready to get back out there in my running shoes. Little did I know that recovering from a second cesarean would be completely different from the first one.
I delivered the twins via cesarean so I figured I would have to wait to get back in the saddle the requisite 6 weeks and get the doctor’s okay. No big deal. I received the okay but the idea of running just sounded crazy to me. My body was still bloated from all the fluids (I cannot believe how much my feet and legs swelled up – it was several weeks until they looked somewhat normal and even now my feet are a size bigger than before.) Plus, I was still having major cramps and my incision was very sore and tender. Almost none of my clothes worked for me because the rested on my incision, especially my low lying running pants. No way was I putting those on! 

My bloated feet. Sorry for the visual. 

When I had my first son, Ian, I felt like my recovery from cesarean was so much faster. Looking back now, Im realizing since Ian was in the hospital for two and a half weeks and I was getting a lot more rest than I did this time around. I was able to go home every night and get 10 hours of sleep those first two weeks while Ian was in NICU. But this time with newborn twins at home PLUS a toddler PLUS living in a house with two stories whereas before we were on one level it was just insane. Additionally, after talking with other moms and my doctor I found that the second and third babies are a lot more painful to recover from. Something to do with the uterus contracting more and causing more cramps. Basically, by week 6 I was nowhere near running and was finally feeling well enough to go for walks. I didnt want to push myself and get injured so I gave myself 4 months to completely recover. Thats a long time but to me, it was worth it. I did do small little runs at 3 months and some light yoga but that was it. By the time January rolled around my body felt better and I really did feel ready. 

My first 4-mile run in January was such a challenge but felt great. I didnt have pain (well, cesarean pain – the breath rushing through my lungs again was the regular exercise “pain” and I was happy to push myself through it.) I ran the whole shebang. My miles were slow and slogging at around 11 minutes a mile but I did it! What a great accomplishment. 

From there, I have been running two to three times a week and slowly my pace has increased and I have felt those wonderful endorphins feel me up. It is so freeeing to go for a run when you are stuck at home with three kids, especially in the winter! People may say, why would you choose to run on your free time but that’s the point. Its freeing to do it! It clears your mind, you feel accomplished and plus, your body loves you for it.

Last week, Ryan and I took all of our boys for a run on one of our first warm spring days. I pushed the twins in the Bob Revolution stroller and got an arm workout along with the 5-mile run. Ryan pushed Ian in the Burley. As we ran around the lake, we got so many looks of amazement from others walking around the lake. Our little train was the main attraction so to speak. Like, I keep saying, having twins is like winning the compliments lottery. Everyone wants to look, say hi and wish you well. Its lovely. 

At the end of our run, we stopped at the park and Ian got to play and the twins went in the swings for awhile. We finished it off with a picnic and I nursed the twins while Ian ate and then played with his daddy in the basketball court. It was a wonderful Saturday morning. We’ll be doing this often through spring, summer and fall.

Here’s to exercise and playtime all in one go. Cheers.

It’s getting better…. I think? 

Okay, so sleep MAY be improving. I’ll put the emphasis on “may”. It’s been four days  of the boys being asleep at 7:15pm and having only one or two feeds in the night and less fussing from Dylan. I’ll take it. 

Our night routine now is something like this:

6:40 – Upstairs to the nursery with the twins, singing while I change them into their PJs. I used to do this all downstairs but I think doing it all upstairs in their room where it’s nice and quiet really sets them up for bedtime. 

6:50 – If they aren’t too tired then I also will read a couple books while they sit in their rock n plays (the rock n plays are off)

6:55 – We have started to do bottles at night of 8 ounces of formula or breast milk (if I’ve pumped) mixed with a little rice cereal to see if this will help sustain them longer through the night more than nursing. Although the last two nights Dylan didn’t want the bottle so I nursed him and gave Leo a bottle. 

7:00 – Burp them both and lay them each in their own crib and turn on their Fischer Price Aquarium. I love these aquariums. They will just stare at the fish and lights until they fall asleep. Very little fussing. Sometimes I have to give Dylan his pacifier if it drops out but that’s it. 

(Here’s a link to the aquarium if you’re interested: http://www.fisher-price.com/en_CA/products/ocean-wondersaquarium-with-remote-control )

Dylan usually wakes up and fusses around 9. I first try giving him a pacifier and sometimes that works and he goes back to sleep but if he continues to fuss I burp him and he normally he lets out a big one. I then and lay him back in the crib. If he continues to fuss in the next hour I transfer him to the rock n’ play (with out it rocking) so he can get more of an incline while sleeping. I’m hoping as he gets older this gassiness will go away and we don’t have to do this. Amy one have other ideas on how to help with Dylan’s gassiness? It seems to turn on only when he’s laying down and happens every night. It also happens during his long nap in the afternoon. 

For the night feeds I end up feeding them both around 1:30am and then 5:30am. They wake up for the day around 7:15am and eat at 8:30ish. 

This is our current schedule, and it seems to be working so far.  The best part is we have our evenings to ourselves after all the babies are in bed and Ian is in bed. (Ryan puts Ian to bed at 7:30). 

The next step is to eliminate one of the night feeds. We shall see how we go. Last night we did push Leo to only eat once even though he woke up crying at 2am. I asked Ryan to rock him back to sleep. Normally we just give in and feed them. But it worked! And yes, eventually we want to not have to even do that but right now it’s baby steps! We don’t let our babies “cry it out” it’s just not in our hearts to do it. It was the same with Ian. So yes, we’re doing this the long and hard way but really this is just a short time in our lives and eventually they will be sleeping through the night! Until then… we persevere! Onward. One day at a time. 

Again, any tips and tricks for Dylan’s gassiness is appreciated!