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Hi

My twins are now coming up for 5 weeks and I was wondering when should I stop feeding them on demand and try and get a routine in place??? I haven't a clue how to do this and am quite worried that if I leave it too long they will be hard to get into a routine.

Jen xx
 

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Hi Jen!

I fed Daniel and Charlotte on demand even though Daniel was bottlefed and Charlotte was breastfed and I couldn't feed them at the same time. I found that they got themselves into a routine after 6-8 weeks. I think that this was partly because of me not feeding them at the same time because quite often one had to wait for the other to finish feeding and so they got used to having to occupy themselves instead of worrying about being hungry. So I didn't ever set up a routine but we got into one anyway. I can't imagine that it's too late to try to get them into a routine if you want to try it. Good luck.

Jules
 

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I thought I'd reply as someone who did not feed on demand just so you can compare. Its not too late at 5 weeks to start a routine. I started at about the same time - maybe a week earlier. I did the Gina Ford "Contented Little Baby" regime which works out at a feed about every 4 hours.

The most important thing with starting a routine is not to let the baby/babies sleep later than 7-7:30am and not to let them miss daytime feeds even if it means waking them from a nap. This way they will get a lot of food on board during the day which cuts down on the need to night feed.

Also I had black out blinds on the windows so my baby could get used to the difference between day and night and at night, my babies were fed in the dark without talking or eye contact.

It sounds mean when you write it down but both of mine sleep through the night and still enjoy following a similar routine now. Touch wood we haven't had any problems with them getting up at night or not wanting to go to bed
 

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hi all
i also fed Mia on demand right until she was about 9 week now shes 14 weeks  and she will go 4 hours without fail her last feed will be about 11pm and she will wake at 6:30am when her daddy gets in have 3oz and fall back to sleep until 9:30 what a sweetie
                              love baby wisper
 

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Talking to my friends I think babies vary on this. Some babies get themselves into a routine that suits everyone with not too many night feeds but some babies either can't or won't.
My first was what they call a "nip and nap" baby. If I let him feed on demand he would take just enough to get himself comfortable and sleepy but not enough to stop him being hungry again in 2 hours time.
I'm not great at missing out on sleep and it meant he was not getting enough rest either so I introduced a strict routine and it suited him really well. He is nearly 5 now and still likes to have meals and bedtimes at set times - its just the way he is
I guess its up to each individual. You could always give your baby a couple of weeks feeding on demand and see how you go. I think its not until about 6 months that most books will tell you its a bit harder to introduce a routine so you've got time to find out what is best for you
 

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Jen

Do what works for you, I think most babies settle into their own routine.  You could try feeding every 3 - 4 hours in the day and then on demand at night.

Clare
 

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Hi Jen

I wouldn't expect too much before 6-8 weeks anyway.  I breast fed both babies on demand and Jack fell into a habbit of snacking every 2 hours, but still slept through 7 hours at 6 weeks and increased on that until by 6 months he was doing 15 hour nights with several half hour naps in the daytime.  I fed Ben a bit differently from day one by combining breast and bottle - but all with breast milk, just the night bottles were expressed in the day - and he was the sort of baby who always did 3-4 hours and slept through 6 hours at 7 weeks and increased from there to 12-14 hour nights with a 3-4 hour daytime nap by 6 months. 

A lot of it also depends upon how much milk your baby is able to take on board as to how long they can go between feeds.  If your breast feeding, the feeds are also a drink, so 4 hours might not suit the baby.  With bottle feeding, you can give water in between, so thirst isn't such an issue. 

Don't stress too much about the routine as the majority of babies will fall into their own feeding routine at the end of the day, but it can't be rushed.  You could always put in place a bedtime routine though, of a bath, last feed and bed.  I did this at 6 weeks with Jack and from day 1 with Ben, and it was far easier to establish with Ben.  Even if babies still wake for night feeds - which they may do for several months yet (but fingers crossed they won't!) - it's nice to have a set bed time and just treat any feeds after that as night feeds, which the babies will drop as and when they are ready. 

Maybe after about 6-8 weeks of age, try to extend the gaps between feeds and see how the babes go.  They'll no doubt let you know if they're hungry as they won't be settled between feeds. 

Please don't worry about things too much though - it will all fall into place in time.  Things are still very early days for you and this is all so new - enjoy!  :)

Love

Jayne x
 

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Hi,

I've got twins and was in an awful mess when I came out of hospital.  They were insistant on feeding them on demand and I had 2 colicky babies and didn't know it at the time.  Of course we fed them every time they cried and they ended up throwing up all over our bed.  I decided that was it enough... I needed to know what I was doing and when.  I can at least plan to go out between 1pm and 3pm in the afternoons.

I fed my twins at 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm, 12am and 4am.  I eventually relaxed the 4am feed and now my twins go from the midnight feed to 8am.

Good luck with whatever you plan to do
 
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