Twinfant Tuesday: Napping Routines for Daytime

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As most parents know, getting infants and toddlers to nap can be a real challenge. Getting TWO or more to nap at the same time is nothing short of a miracle. A typical day at home with any baby involves up to 3 nap and bedtime routines. Double that for twins, triple for triplets.

During the first two years of Mister and Missy’s life, I was fortunate enough to stay at home with them full-time. That meant dealing with 2 to 3 daily naps until they were about 9 months old, then 2 daily naps until about 18 months, and finally 1 nap each which continues to this day.

Some days (okay, most days) it felt like all my time was spent rocking them to sleep. I would first give each of them milk together in one room. Then burp Baby # 1 (usually Missy as she burped quickly) while the other was in an elevated position either on my leg or a bouncy chair. Next, Baby # 2 got burped and taken to their crib. Because they are fraternal twins, they have different sleeping patterns so we found it better to keep them in separate rooms. For example, Missy tends to take short naps and is a light sleeper during the day while Mister takes longer naps.

It was always a guess as to who would go to sleep first. Some days, Missy fell asleep right after drinking her milk, burped while asleep, and didn’t wake up while I burped Mister. Mister usually took a longer time to fall asleep.

Then, a short 45 minutes later, one or both of them woke up for a diaper change, snack, play, then lunch. Then it was soon time to redo the napping routine again for a (hopefully) longer afternoon nap of up to 2 hours.

Napping routine for twins
Napping routine for twins

With all the naps out of the way, it was time for dinner, bath and bed. This time with Mr. Mama’s welcome help. We were fortunate enough to have our family coming in to help especially in the first 5 months so I often got a break.

And when you are doing baby sleep routines 6 times each day, all you want to do is take a nap yourself!

2cuteblog is Mom to three year old B/G twins where at least one of them still naps every day. For that she is utterly grateful, especially on the weekends. You can follow her on twitter @2cuteblog or read more on her personal blog

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My Nightly Ritual

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My eyes are burning, stinging as I sit here typing. They are strained from pouring over a book; a good, soul-stretching one that is causing me to lose sleep. That is the way of a really good book. You fall into it, head first, and emerge with blood shot eyes and a deeper understanding of your own heart.

The book I am reading is about a little girl in need of a heart transplant. I do not yet know if she lives or dies. I find myself turning the pages eagerly, yet gingerly. I want to know what happens, yet my stomach is clenched, and I can’t help but to think of the two slumbering babes a dozen feet away.  Motherhood has changed me in innumerable ways, and one way is that I can no longer read or watch some of the things I did pre-kids. Law and Order SVU is out, as are really scary movies. I hide from the news of bad things happening to children, and shun violent television.  In my heart of hearts, I do not think these terrible and inhumane things are going to happen to my children. Yet, I know that even fictional characters have fictional mothers, and I can not separate my heart and mind. 

I guess I am softer than I used to be. I never want to be a “worrier,” but I find I am more easily alarmed than I used to be. It is as if all of my instincts are more sensitive.  I have studied and learned my children’s cries, their whimpers, their expressions, breathing patterns and normal temperatures. I alone know them better than anyone else in the world.

And yet, even when I am sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are okay when I lay them down to sleep, I can not stop myself from returning to their room, every single night. I creep in, often using the illumination from my cell phone as a guide. First I check on Jonathan, place my hand on his back to feel the rise and fall of his chest, or if he is restless, I crouch down and just listen for his little boy breathing.

When I am satisfied that all is well with my firstborn, I walk over to my little girl’s crib.  Faith likes to sleep bear-hugging her blankets. As she softly snores, I tug one of the blankets free, drape it over her cold feet, and whisper a prayer before leaving the room.  My children are close to 500 days old, and except for a few nights when we were away from each other, I don’t think I have missed a night.

I have tried to skip this evening ritual. I told myself that they were fine, that I didn’t need to bother them with the slivers of light from opening the door.  Invariable, I made it as far as my husband’s office, and had to turn around. There is something magnetic about a sleeping child. I simply can not help myself.

Ah, well, my eyes are even more tired now, and I am headed to bed. But not before creeping in to my little ones room, and making sure that all is well.

Good Night!

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