Twinfant Tuesday: Bed, Bath and Beyond

I was on my own for the bedtime routine last week, which meant I really had to be organized since I knew I’d probably be exhausted by the time evening rolled around. Here’s my procedure for getting everything done as quickly and painlessly as possible when I’m flying solo.

1. Have everything organized. As soon as the girls wake up from their afternoon nap, I lay out two diapers, two sets of pajamas, two sleep sacks, two towels, two tooth brushes and toothpaste. Setting everything out earlier in the day when I’m not as tired ensures that I won’t be using up brain power picking out everything when I’m frazzled at night. Also, right before bath time, I set out two bottles, two Wubs, dim the lights in the living room, have my phone ready to turn on the white noise app and have blankets at the ready.

2. Start the bath water (duh). While the tub is filling up, I undress the girls to their diapers, which I take off at the last second (they’ve been known to pee all over the place (i.e. me) as soon as their diapers come off).

3. Bathe each girl according to body quadrant. I think it’s easier to clean both girls at the same time as opposed to fully bathing one twin and then the other. If I clean Samantha’s face, I then move on to Amelia’s face; then, Samantha’s arms and hands; next, Amelia’s arms and hands and so on, with the last being their hair (they HATE having water dumped over their heads, so I do this last). The other reason I do it this way is because it ensures both of them are getting a decent cleaning job. Samantha and Amelia don’t sit in the tub for more than five minutes before standing up, looking over the edge of the tub, trying to turn the faucets back on, splashing each other, splashing me, walking around the tub, bumping into each other and wreaking general havoc. It’s such close quarters that they get in each other’s way, and when they have had enough, they let each know! My point is is that it’s messy, tiring, and WET bathing the girls. If I bathed them one by one, by the time I got to the second baby, I would be so over it that I’d throw a little soap here and there and call it good. Hence, the simultaneous bathing by quadrant.

Side note: I recently bought the girls some bath crayons because they love getting their hands on anything pen or marker-like and I figured they’d love drawing all over the bath tub. The package that the crayons came in even shows a little baby happily drawing all over the tub with the crayons, so I figured Samantha and Amelia must be old enough to handle them as well. Major FAIL.

They loved them, all right, but not for the right reasons. By the end of the bath, both girls had wax coloring all over their mouths from trying to eat the crayons. I even demonstrated the correct use of the crayons, but as soon as I gave them back to the girls, a chewing they would go. I ended up having to take out the actual crayon portion, leaving the plastic shell for them to grasp and gnaw. I guess we will try again in a few months.

4. Assess who is ready to get out first. Or should I say, assess who is whining and shrieking the loudest to get out. This is normally Samantha. As soon as I start washing her hair, she freaks out and pounds on the tub to be let out. I make sure Amelia has some toys to keep her occupied for a minute, pick up Samantha, wrap her in the towel and then set her on the bed before going back to Amelia, praying that Samantha doesn’t decide to dive off the bed kamikaze style. Our bathroom opens up into our master bedroom, so I can easily keep an eye on Amelia in the tub while I’m drying Samantha.

5. Dry the girls off and pick the wiggliest one to dress in pj’s and sleep sacks first. Again, it’s all about the exhaustion factor. By the time the girls are ready for their pj’s, it’s the end of the day and I’m tired, they are tired and I’ve most likely already changed ten diapers and four sets of clothes (I usually have to change at least one twin’s outfit after lunch when the food splatters become too noticeable to take them out in public). At the end of the day, the LAST thing I want to do is wrestle another baby monkey into her pj’s. So, I like to get the hardest to dress over with first so that I have the easy one to look forward to. Who the most wiggly one is changes on a nightly basis…they like to keep me guessing.

6. While dressing one, give the other twin her toothbrush with some tooth paste. We have some banana shaped baby tooth/gum brushes that the girls love, so she will “brush her teeth,” while I’m occupied with the other twin and then we switch.

7.  Carry twins, one at a time, into the darkened living room. Flip on the lullaby music and white noise and place twin with bottle and blankie on the floor on her Boppy. If she’s not too tired, the other twin sometimes crawls and follows me to the living room, but otherwise, I just run back and grab her. Pick up twin on the floor and her Boppy and set on the double rocker next to me. Place other twin in left arm with bottle and blankie.

8. As soon as the girls are done with their bottles, have them “brush their teeth” again to get rid of any formula residue. Next, pop in their pacifiers. Sometimes, if they are not too tired, we read a few stories, but usually I just rock them, singing a lullaby or listening to the lullaby music until they are asleep. This normally lasts 10-15 minutes, unless Daddy comes home right before they are about to fall asleep, at which point their eyes pop open and they giggle with glee. After handing them off to Daddy, they are so excited that it may take them another 30 minutes or more to get to sleep! That’s when I hand both girls off, wish him good luck and take care of everything else I didn’t get done that day.

9. In the absence of Jake, after the girls are asleep (double check the level of sleepiness with the “dropping arm test”), carry one twin to her crib in the nursery. Turn on the monitor and white noise in the nursery and go back for the other twin. Kiss goodnight, shut the door, and yell (quietly), “FREEDOM!” Usually, it’s now 7:30 and the night is still young.

That’s a wrap!

Lots of love,

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  1. Whew!! That makes me tired. The ending cracked me up!