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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

I haven't been on for ages....mostly because at the moment my time is mostly spent in a haze of feeding, bum changing, and burping  ;D

My two are now 4 weeks old and are still taking 6/7 feeds a day (roughly every 3 hours in the day and they often go 4 hours after their last feed around 11pm/midnight)
This is because we're still feeding 'on demand' (on advice from our health visitor) but I was just wondering from what age do i start introducing a proper nightime routine...ie bath, bottle, bed??...and encouraging them to sleep longer overnight?

They're taking 4oz and on most bottles are finishing the whole lot.....should I up to 5oz now, is this a normal amount for babies only 4 weeks old? (it seems a lot for babies so young)

Also - for those of you who are on your own in the day/night and bottle feed - do you feed in tandem or separately....I haven't got a clue how to do it in tandem but would love some tips, as it's taking me anything up to an hour and a half to feed, and change them before putting them back down at the minute......do you change nappies at EVERY feed? (I have a friend who says it's not always essential but I'm not sure about this as our two ALWAYS have dirty nappies)

Lastly (and sorry for all the questions) what's normal for sleeping time for 4 week olds? My two sleep most of the time when not feeding (is this right?) do they then stay awake for longer the older they get?

Sorry to dash - it's the start of 'feeding time at the zoo' and all hell is breaking loose.

I'd really appreciate your thoughts/comments mums


B3ndy
xxx
 

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Hi B3ndy,

I'm dashing about today but thought I'd jot down a few bits...

Tandem bottle feeding: my girls have a bottle at 10pm and are always fed together so I can be in bed quicker!  DH puts them both in their bouncy chairs and feeds them like that, whereas I hold both babies in one arm and have a bottle in each hand (complicated to explain, but possible!)

Sleeping: yep, at 4 weeks mine were either asleep or feeding (or awake & crying ::) ) Perfectly normal - they will gradually become more alert and stay awake for longer. 

Routine: we started a routine from day one and have stuck to it.  Now they have feeds at 7/11/2/6/10 - when they were the same age as yours they sometimes had an extra feed in the afternoon, plus a nightfeed.  I personally don't bath them very often, but it does make for a nice bed-time routine.  Mine are always in bed by 7, and their 10pm feed is done in the nursery, so effectively they are 'in bed' from 7pm to 7am.

Milk amounts: mine are b/fed, so I have no idea what they take, although their 10pm bottle is 5oz and always has been.  As a rough guideline a baby should have 2 1/2 times its body weight in a 24 hour period;  in other words an 8lb baby needs approx 20oz.  I bottle-fed Josh, who always took far more than he was 'supposed' to, so it really is just a guide.

Nappies: at 4 weeks ours were still having dirty nappies all the time, so I changed at every feed.  That stopped at around 7/8 weeks I think, so I used to change them before every day time feed, plus the 10pm feed, but not during the night (unless dirty).  Now I change them before their bed-time feed at 6pm, and not again till morning. 

Sleeping through: a controversial subject!  I'm not sure how you go about 'encouraging' a baby to sleep for longer, or even if it's right to do so ???  I think they just tend to do it in their own time.  Evie started sleeping through at 6 weeks, but Evie took another month, despite being the same size and on exactly the same routine.  If you're bottle-feeding, when you increase the feeds you can make sure it's the daytime (preferably afternoon) feeds that go up, not the night feed.  Some babies will happily tank up in the afternoon/evening, and sleep longer at night, but I think it's all a bit hit and miss to be honest. 

I hope that helps a bit :)

xx Clare
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Claire

Thanks for the speedy reply.....I've just managed to log back on after ANOTHER eventful feeding frenzy (ie Torin gulped for England, taking 4oz, then I had to spend ages trying to ease his wind! ::) but Romilly only took an ounce, which is very unlike her - but is sleeping peacefully now, so I'm not complaining!!)

I'm intrigued by your feeding positioning for bottle feeding....you must have very strong arms! do you just use one bottle for Evie and Georgia then, or swap over? and how do you get them to stay still for long enuf? R&T would just end up battering one another! :) ....as for the bouncers - did they feed in them from the start? ONly my two seem a little too small for them still and kick off whenever I put them in them.

that's interesting about your night feed being 5oz for the girls and it always being that way? Is that the 7pm or 10pm (nightfeed)....you sugg giving more in the afternoon feeds as opposed to nightime - how come? I know the last feed is called a 'dreamfeed' with babies often sleeping all the way through it, but at the moment R&T sleep through or fall asleep during most feeds (anyone would think we kept THEM awake at night!! NOT the other way round! ;D)

Also - if I'm currently feeding 'on demand' how do you change these times to tally with for example the kind of routine you have? ......today both R&T fed at 7am....but then one woke at 10am for another whilst the other didn't stir til 1030am..and then one at 1pm the other at 2pm. I've tried to make sense of Gina Ford's wisdom but to be honest it left me feeling a bit  ^idiot^.


Thanks for taking the time to share your tips with me.....tbh I'm finding such conflicting info at the min my head is starting to ache! ;D (which isn't hard!)


cheers

B3ndy

xxx

(p.s  hope you all had a good hols in Portugal!)
 
G

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Hey B3ndy, nice to hear from you :)

We've had Daniel and Rachel in pretty much a routine from day 1.  We used to change nappies before every feed which was every 4 hours for the first 4 weeks.  By then, DH had worked out that they were roughly needing 1 oz per hour so we staggered the feeds every 4 hours - 4 oz then 5oz at 8pm and another 5oz at 1am.  By 6 weeks or so, they weren't awake at 1am so we (with the advice of Kabby) stopped waking them and let this one go on demand and by 8 weeks Rachel did 11 hours sleep.  Daniel was more hit and miss but after 10 weeks, he got the hang of it.
We just increase the feeds by an ounce when we notice them getting more tetchy more often just before the next feed is due.

I'm surprised that the HV told you to do on-demand.  Personally I find that very difficult when juggling 2 and the midwives and HV here insisted I do routine otherwise I'd go totally   ^idiot^ (I am anyway, but that's another story;))

We also got Pampers baby dry nappies, I think Clare uses the 24 hr dry Huggies but they didn't fit ours, and they are a big help in not having to change quite so much.  Daniel can get quite militant about not being changed as soon as nappy is filled but is better now.  We check them throughout the day as Rachel has a habit of exploding and keeping schtumm about it!
At 4 weeks, ours slept loads and it was quite boring although I could surf loads.  Now they are awake a lot more and are bashing the toys on the mat.  They also weren't keen on the bouncy chairs and the cats were the sole occupiers!

I can PM what we did after 4 weeks if that is any use to you :)

PS - Clare, how on earth do you manage 2 at one time in your arms!  I have to feed Rachel first (quicker) and then Daniel as he needs more winding during the feed unless Rachel is asleep!!!




 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
phew, nana and grandad are here to give me a break ....so just PM'ing you Glitter  ;)
 

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Sorry B3ndy - I didn't make myself clear ^idiot^

By 'nightfeed' I mean anything at a time when I should be asleep! ;D ;D  So between 10/11pm and about 6/7am I consider to be a night feed.  On the basis that this feed will be the first one to be dropped, I have always kept the amount minimal, increasing the daytime feeds instead.

When I bottle feed them this is what I do;
I lie both girls along my left arm; twin one with her back resting on my upper arm and twin two with her back in the crook of my arm.  I hold a bottle in my left hand and bend my wrist round to feed twin two, then use my right hand to feed twin one.  It does work, I promise! ;D
 

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Hey bendy good to see you here hun  :-*

We've been like you, bottle feeding on demand, after following scbu's lead on what to do once I gave up b/feeding/expressing.

Well we lasted on demand feeding til this week anyway!  And now we're all starting to go a bit  ^idiot^ including the babies!!  :)

So with the help of distraction, play, singing, dummies, etc, I have over the past few days managed to "tweak" them into a 4-hourly feeding pattern, day and night. 

I only decided to go for it though once I felt they were virtually at that point by themselves anyway, and I have to say (perhaps because I've done it when I've been sure they could handle it) it's gone really really well.  Touch wood.  That said, each feed takes a good 1.5 - 2 hours (and that's without the odd obligatory projectile vomit or two thrown in for good measure  ::) ) when I'm on my own...there's a lot of playing with the teat and comfort sucking going on, not really sure how to get round that one though.

Position wise I do a few ways - in their nursery they each get fed in their bouncy chair with me sat on the floor in between, downstairs we use cushions on the sofa, a bean bag armschair thing that the both fit in, or cushions on the floor as I now try to feed them near each other during the day - but have to separate them at night as inevitably one bops the other on the head and chaos breaks out....

We don't have any other routine on the go other than trying to show the babies the difference between night and day - ie darkness, quiet, etc. which I think is gradually getting there although I'm in no rush to get them to go through the night just yet simply because they were (and still are) such different weights that I don't think Harry would be ready yet.

Well I've really rambled on! Hope it's of some help, be interesting to see what anyone else does.

Katie x

PS Clare am going to try your position for the next feed I do on my own...sounds intruiging...not sure my wrist bends round that far though!  :)
 

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Hi B3ndy,
Sounds like they are doing well, I saw your DH walking along with them the other day, I hope you were catching up on some zzz's!!
I am a bit of a strict 'routiner' so this might not be everyones cup of tea, but it has worked really well for me (and continues to)
I introduced bath, bottle, bed from the day we got them home. And yes, they just slept all day until about 14 weeks old! (Except from 6-10pm when they just screamed). I started putting them down at 11pm, they'd wake at 3 or 4 then 7 or 8. Once they slept a bit more, I brought the bedtime back a bit until it finally got to 7.30 and they were sleeping 12 hours, but this wasn't until at least 6 months. At this point, I started daytime naps in their cot in the morning and buggy in the afternoon - even at home (so they got used to it and I could take them anywhere)
I tandem fed them all the time, whether breast (on a E-Z-2 nurse pillow) or bottle, in their bouncy chairs. One facing towards me (on my right) and the other facing away. Made my arms ache less! Unless someone was here, when I got them to help out. I would prop the bottle up on one whilst winding the other (never when left alone though, in case social services are reading ;) !!!!!)
I agree with Claire re: making sure they eat lots in the afternoon to get them to sleep longer - I used to think it was the final feed that mattered but was very wrong!
If you want a demo, PM me and I can pop over one morning when my two are out of the way xxx
Love
Jane
xxxx
 
G

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GF makes perfect sense when she says to get all the feeds in during the day.  I did wonder how we'd do it after reading it but we have and the babies are fine.
Both DH and I are project managers so routines are great for us ;)
 

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Ooh Glitter lovely had no idea it was me that got you to drop that 1am feed!!

Hi B3ndy glad to see you are hanging in there with your twinnies!

For what its worth here's my penneth worth!

I came home with my 2 in a 3 hour feeding routine from the hossie with the advice to wake to feed every 3 hours for the first 2 weeks through the night as well (they were 4 weeks early).  At 2 weeks we did GF and have stuck with it ever since, including bath and bed and we stopped waking the girls at night to let them set their own routine. 

Feeding: I really really don't know how anyone manages to demand feed twins and I have the utmost respect for all of you who managed it, mine got fed together, whoever woke first got fed first then I would wake the other one up.  I tandem BF with an EZ2 pillow but have to say I don't really bother now.  My feeds used to take 1.5hrs, followed by 20mins expressing, now they take 30mins max and that includes a nappy change! As they get bigger they get quicker!  I do an ebm feed at 10pm and Stella always take way more than she should and Jose far less!  I have always woken them to feed following GF routine, so mine rarely yell for grub as they know it comes anyway!

Sleeping: Mine slept between feeds until about 4/5 weeks and then began to be a bit more awake during the day, now they have 2 naps and a long 2 hr sleep in the day and go down at 7pm each night.  I got the sleeping bit of the GF routine nailed first and around 12 weeks started working on the naps, they have always done the long 12 - 2pm sleep since birth

Nappies: I changed at every feed - I still do now as I use reuseable nappies 70% of the time and they need changing more often.  They are a lot drier now then they used to be though.

Hope this helps if you need anymore info let me know!
x

 

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I must be the exception as I demand feed mine.. as I did with DS... but it still works out at about every 3 hours, TBH.. some days they feed more often, but I prefer doing extra feeds to crying. It helps make sure I have enough milk, for a start.

Demand feeding doesn't mean no routine though... as we have a 5 yo DS, things are quite fixed, for eg the babies tend to wake and feed about 6am.. I wake DP at 7, and the babies and I sleep till about 8/8.30 (DP takes DS to school)

In the evenings, I sit down in front of the tv and feed the babies as much as they want from about 5pm, DP makes me dinner and puts DS to bed.. the babies tend to go off to sleep between 8 and 9, then ******* has a feed when I go to bed, and a couple more in the night (we cosleep)

***** has always gone 5h at night, now I think he's going 7h...

This just suits me better, I'm not really a clockwatcher.. and I remember from DS how quickly all this passes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi mums

thanks for all your words of advise....I've been getting my knickers in a bit of a twist with the feeding thing - I think sleep deprivation has a LOT to answer for!!
anyhow we had a fairly good day y'day with a sort of half and half 'demand feed' / routine feed ....as Torin was waking every four hours for a feed, also during the day, which was a BIG breakthrough....BUT it wasn't so good for his sis because as much as we tried Romilly just WOULDN'T wake after her big bro had been fed so she could have her bottle  ^bigbad^...and ended up feeding a whole HOUR AND A HALF after him in the afternoon.

How do people get round this?

We also tried giving them a 3oz instead of a 4oz bottle at their 2/3am feed (so we could move towards dropping this feed eventually) but Torin went balistic and ended up having an extra bottle to calm him down.....what can I do to get round this? I'm not sure how I will get round to dropping this feed when both my bubs actually polish off their 4oz bottles at this time. :-\

Also - for those of you who are feeding to a routine how did you know when to wake your babies at night once they started sleeping for longer? if you just waited for your babies to wake doesn't this mean reverting back to demand feeding for a while?

What's more, if I'm going to get my two into more of a routine I have two babies with very different sleeping habits ...ie one could sleep for England ALL DAY/NIGHT...whereas the other (interesting the bigger one) wakes and wails the house down for his bottle.
Does anyone have any tips for waking up a very sleepy bub so I can get them fed closer together?

sorry for so many questions, and I feel bad feeling like this (wishing away the early days of T&R) but I long for the day when I can get more than three hours kip in a row!


cheers


B3ndy
xx

(Jane and Glitter I have PM'd you both)
 

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Hey B3ndy,

Firstly a big  ^hugme^ your way...totally understand the sleep deprivation feeling.

Since my message to you on here (where I thought I'd managed to "tweak" their feeding times) I have gone back to demand feeding.

I must admit mine do seem to have synchronised now and either feed at the same time or within about half an hour...overnight I make sure that if I get up to feed one I feed the other too (so if the 2nd twin is asleep I'll get them up, do their nappy, remove their blankets, etc) and they seem fine with this. Sometimes my babies will dream feed, ie feed without properly waking up.

As for dropping feeds...I can't remember how old your twins are, I think they're a little younger than mine aren't they?  I would be inclined not to push them dropping feeds at this age if they're not ready, but that's just me, I'm possibly too soft!  ;D  Mine have now got their 3am feed down to 2oz and and are starting to sleep longer, so I don't think it'll be long before they drop it all together; in turn I am now keeping them gradually more and more entertained/occupied during the day as they're more alert...and much more fun now that they can both see!

It may not feel it now  ^hugme^ but it sounds as though you're doing well to be having 3hrs of sleep.....because Lilly enjoys a leisurely feed  ::) and Harry has reflux/colic probs a complete feed takes 1.5hrs but sometimes 2.5 with sickness, and mine often decide they want to feed every 3hrs meaning I can get just half an hour between sometimes!  Though it is happening less often now...a couple of weeks ago I was barely able to walk in a straight line at one point I was so tired, but touch wood last night for example they went for 5hrs between feeds which is becoming more and more regular.
You will get there hun, and in the meantime hopefully one of the other twin mummies may have some more practical advice for you!  :)

x
 

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Hi B3ndy

Waking baby - its hard but I used to get mine undressed to wake them up to feed - if that failed then I'd blow gently on the face, tickle feet a bit, sit them up, its a hard work but they do come round.  Sometimes I'd put them to the breast and they would feed anyway half asleep and wake up part way through.  You need to be a bit determined.

I do think yours are a bit early to 'drop' the 2/3am feed, in fact this doesn't drop it simply moves out later and later during the night until its nearer 7am.  This is partly determined by the weight of your babies so I'm afraid you have to hang in there for a bit longer and then they will start sleeping through to 4am, then 5am etc, don't cut back on the amount they are getting.

Don't wake the babies at night, let them wake you....however this does mean if one wakes for a feed you will need to wake the other...unless you want to be up a lot!  I fed to a routine to 10pm then let the babies set their own feeding at night, it was at the start 2am and I would feed the crying one first and then wake the other to feed them.  Then I would get back into my routine for 7am.

You will find if you feed both together and put them down to naps together after a while their sleeping habits start to sync.

HTH
x
 

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Don't try to force the dropping of a feed with small babies, they need it to grow... I'd wait till they drop it naturally. Benefit of demand feeding is you know they are getting what they need.

Personally, I prefer to feed them separately at night.. I'm bf.. I can't tandem feed when I'm sleepy.. plus I feed in bed... and in fact ***** doesn't feed that much at night.. I never wake anyone to feed...in fact I never wake them except for the school run!!!

I have a routine for myself, and they fit around it, rather than vice versa!

THings will get easier as they grow, I promise.. regardless of what you do... really!!  I'm not really into routines, but we all end up in one, with no effort!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
once again thanks for your words of advice twin mummys

don't know what I'd do without you all!!  :-*  :-*

lol

B3ndy
xx
 
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