When I was pregnant, we heard over and over, “Boy is your life is about to change” or “I hope you’re OK with no sleep for the next five years!” Being naive and go with the flow type of people, we laughed and even said out loud a few times, “The babies will be on our schedule.” That thought and statement is more than laughable now that we’re in the thick of raising two beautiful, but very different minded twins.
In the beginning, I had no control over setting a schedule. The babies needs dictated their schedule. They needed to be changed, fed and then put back in their bassinets every two to three hours. Every once in awhile, they may go closer to 4 hours before needing something from us. Life moved like clock work. It was hard, yes, but it was predictable. Now, as the twins are growing and getting older, their schedules have ebbed and flowed a bit. I really am a go with the flow kind of person, but for my own sanity, I prefer to keep the babies on a “somewhat” regular schedule.
Keeping the babies on a regular schedule does amazing things for them; they are rested, they are happy, and they are fed at the same time every day (they currently eat every 4 hours between 8 am and 8 pm at the latest; sometimes it’s 7 am to 7 pm, but it only varies by about an hour here or there). When we first started with the eating every four hours, they took a short nap (maybe a half of an hour) in the morning after breakfast in their swings, and then they took a longer nap in the afternoon’s in their cribs. I cherished the time in the morning to enjoy a cup of tea while they dosed and then I got things done in the afternoons during their longer nap.
Recently, I noticed they were really tired and even a bit cranky in the mornings, so instead of putting them in the swings, (which they are almost too big for) and where they are easily woken up or distracted by whatever I may be doing, I stared putting them in their cribs for morning naps. We started this about two weeks ago and it’s been so good for the babies, but, even better for me. I now have time to take a shower and make my bed, catch up on a few emails, connect with some friends via text or a quick phone call. Before making the switch from morning naps in the swings to morning naps in the cribs, I felt very frazzled. I rarely had time to eat a good breakfast, shower or even clean the kitchen up. Now, I have time to take care of myself and get a few things done around the house and some days, I even have time to write a blog post or do some admin computer work. That never happened before we started taking longer morning naps.
This has allowed me to be fully present when the twins wake up from their morning naps and enjoy feeding them lunch and then playtime after lunch. During playtime, we read books, bounce in our bouncers and often play on the floor. We have started using blocks and rings to develop their motor skills and sometimes we just lay on the play mat and the twins talk and play with each other. They love playing and being with each other and I love being a part of it.
By keeping a pretty strict and tight schedule, we are all thriving and we are all happy. I do go with the flow and veer off course, as far as the schedule goes, if we have plans that would involve us going out during nap times. Other than altering nap times, I don’t alter food times. Even if we are out and about, I plan ahead and bring pre-made bottles and baby food with spoons, bibs, a couple of small bowls and whatever we may need to feed them on the go. They are able to sit in restaurant high chairs and really like being out with their people (we consider ourselves very lucky to be “their” people but they also enjoy seeing strangers and smile at anyone who pay them a little bit of attention). Believe me, they get a lot of attention when we go out!
I realize that not all mom’s are able to stay home with their kids so keeping them on a strict schedule may not be as easy as it has become for us. For those busy, working outside of the home mom’s, what do you do to keep your kids on a schedule that works for your sanity? Right now, being a newer twin mom, my sanity and well being is very important not only for me, but my entire family. If Mom is happy, then everything else works the way it should and the entire family is happy! Which is what we are all striving for, right?! A happy life filled with moments that we cherish.
Please comment below if you have any tips or pointers to keeping a good schedule or living your happiest life!