Twinfant Tuesday: Why we love schedules

A few of the twin blogs out there have a feature called “Twinfant Tuesday” that I really love because they discuss a bunch of common “twinspecific” issues. So, I’ve decided to do a weekly spotlight on twin topics on this blog for 1. myself to look back on the next time I have a baby and want to compare/make myself feel wimpy if I complain about having one baby 2. for those curious about the details of life with twins  3. for my friends who also have twins.

I saw this article today and and was shouting “Amen, sister! Praise the Lord!” out loud while reading. Samantha and Amelia totally agreed with me:

I don’t know about moms of singletons, or moms with kids who aren’t twins/multiples, but I do know that schedules are necessary for twins. In fact, I don’t know any twin moms who don’t have their twins on a schedule.

I went through a phase when Samantha and Amelia were maybe four or five months old where I suddenly felt a huge load of momma guilt that I was forcing both of them to be on a schedule. After all, even though they are identical, the girls have different sleep needs. Amelia usually needed a bit more sleep and needed more help getting to sleep, whereas Samantha was better at getting to sleep quicker and also woke up happy after less sleep than her sister. It’s not fair to wake one up when she clearly needs more sleep just because the other one is awake, I reasoned.

We love being on the same schedule, mom! How else would we double team you? 
            

So, for a little while, I had the girls on different schedules…or should I say, no schedule at all. The girls slept when they wanted to sleep, which usually meant they were on completely opposite time tables. When Samantha was getting ready to nap, Amelia was just waking up, which meant I had to feed/make sure she didn’t cause bodily harm to herself at the same time I was trying to put Samantha down for her nap. Then, while Samantha was sleeping, I would play with Amelia. When Amelia finally got tired, it was Samantha’s turn to be up. “SAMANTHA AND AMELIA ARE INDIVIDUALS AND I WILL TREAT THEM AS SUCH,” I reasoned.

                                                                    Looking guilty…

Yeah, that lasted maybe two weeks until I realized continuing with the free-for-all-no-schedule thing was NOT going to work. I never got any breaks during the day because I was always caring for one baby or the other non-stop.

I’m aware that eventually, the girls will stop napping all together or that I might have another child in the future who will, by necessity, have to be on a separate schedule, but by then, the girls will be older and more self-sufficient. Babies are needy and it can get exhausting being the go-to “fulfiller of all needs” 24/7 when you’ve got two helpless creatures. Like what the lady in the above article alludes to, it’s not that having more than one kid of different ages is necessarily harder or easier, but it’s NOT the same as having twins. Moms of multiples hate hearing that having more than one kid/kids close in age is the same as having twins, and we hear it all the time! That’s another issue for a another time.

Anyway, I needed the girls to sleep at the same time so that I could eat, go to the bathroom, get chores done, cook, or spend a few minutes vegging out. It was vital for my sanity. So, back to schedules we went.

I was looking for the perfect picture to illustrate neediness. My view nowdays:

It hasn’t always been easy. We haven’t always been able to join friends for lunch or go over to people’s houses later in the evening. I’ve gotten responses anywhere from “Whoa, you’re pretty militant about your schedule” to “Oh I feel so sorry for you, you must be a prisoner in your own house.” Actually, the opposite is true. When we stick to the schedule, the girls are more rested, happier, and it’s easier to get out of the house to go to the park or visit friends. There have been a few times where I’ve tried to fudge the schedule by waking the girls up earlier in the morning, tried to force them to go down for a nap one hour earlier, or take a cat nap when they normally don’t– all of which usually end up in disaster. Schedules are the name of the game.

Even Bandit knows when our designated walk time is. He starts getting ancy and nudges his leash, reminding me it’s time to go. 

It’s taken a lot of trial and error, but for the most part, scheduling naps, wake-up and bedtimes has worked well for us. Bedtimes have been adjusted as the girls have gotten older, but it’s pretty much always been around 7-7:30 p.m. Wake-up time for the day has always been around 6:30-7 a.m. We finally got the girls off the annoying three-nap schedule in December and ever since Christmas, they have been taking a 1 to 1.5 hour nap at 10 and 3 everyday.

Not sure how this happened…

               

I personally thrive on routine and the girls seem happier knowing what to expect. Around the designated nap time, the girls have even started putting their wubbies in, grabbing their blankets and crawling over to me, because they know it’s time to sleep. After waking up, it’s generally the same routine of eating, playing, going for a walk/going to the park, bottle, storytime/wind down time and then nap. Before bed, we add a bath in there somewhere. There are exceptions when on vacation, when the girls are sick, etc., but for the most part, DON’T MESS WITH MY SCHEDULE.

I LOVE SCHEDULES. There, I said it.

Lots of love,

Signature

Speak Your Mind

*

Comments

  1. My sisters swear by schedules too, I think it is so vital! Good for you!