Monday, March 14, 2011

An intuitive approach to feeding and sleeping schedules for twins

At this point in my pregnancy (26 weeks), I’ve started thinking about those first few months after the twins are born. I have a number of people who are very close to me who have twins – both family and friends - who have all highly, let me say this again HIGHLY, recommended scheduling the twins’ feedings.

They say that it is better for everyone – mom and the babies. It will hopefully provide me with some semblance of emotional and physical sanity. The babies are known to sleep better, eat better, and be less fussy. I have heard multiple stories of twins (no pun intended) who sleep through the night at 12 weeks because of the schedule.

So I have been hard at work learning about the schedule. Turns out that there is a whole philosophy behind this, and I have a feeling that this topic will come up again in my blogs – especially once I have experience with it.

To be honest, as I’ve been learning, the whole scheduling thing has been kind of stressing me out. What I understood from everyone who has experience with it is that you don’t feed the kids on demand. You feed them certain amounts at certain times of the day, and with multiples, you urge them to eat together. Otherwise, mom – in this case soon to be me – will never have a moment of much-needed rest, i.e., sanity.

Baby nurses have told me that newborns eat every two to three hours in the beginning. If those twins aren’t eating and sleeping at the same time….well, I’m sure you can figure out what that might be like.

But at the same time, I have understood from a lot of people – including the same baby nurses – that the babies themselves let you know what their schedule is – which seems on the surface to be contrary to the other pieces that I’ve been told.

After lots of talking, I totally get that the schedule is key. I’m a fan of the concept, and I want to learn about it and implement it.

I’m at the point now where I want someone to tell me exactly what to do: “Feeding #1 is at 7 am; feeding #2 is at 10 am” and so on. But I have to wait. I’ve been told that the hospital will create the schedule, which has made me feel better.

Besides the not knowing where to turn to learn about the schedule, I have also been stressed about not wanting the schedule to be messed up. I’ve met with different childcare professionals who are not into the schedule. They believe in feeding when the baby is hungry. But they assure me that they will follow what we ask.

I want to be sure to get this right so that I don’t wind up torturing these two little ones and starving them to death, but at the same time, keep the schedule so that it works for all of us. Healthy mom, healthy babies, happy everyone.

As for the first stressor: the how. The answer totally hit me just the morning. I’m on a schedule. A diabetic schedule. Please, I’ve been living the schedule all of my life. Check sugars at these times, eat at those times, and take insulin at such and such times. I’m so scheduled that it’s hard for me to not be on a schedule. (And I do sleep well.) The doctors tell me when to check my sugars and what to do. I’ve got this one down.

I suppose the difference is that soon I’ll be responsible for two little helpless beings’ schedules. That’s the freaky part. My wonderful friends gave me the best advice they could give: You’ll just know. Intuitively.

Intuition is a beautiful thing. Probably the smartest advice out there. I need to step out of my own way. Calm those crazy thoughts. Get out of my head. And just breathe. And then let the real me – the intuitive me – do the talking.

The second stressor: Dependent on others to abide by my wishes. Even freakier.
Here we go with that “letting go” lesson again….I can’t control others. I need to just trust that they will listen and do what’s best.

Pregnant or not, diabetic or not – we all get sucked into stressful thoughts. They’re fear based. And the best thing for all of us is to get out of our own heads. Be present and wisdom will follow. Have some faith and trust.

We can all heed the advice of mothers around the world – and just trust our intuition no matter what the circumstance. I’ll let you know how it goes…

1 comment:

  1. The intuition thing is a great way to go :) I worried too much with my twins and didn't relax and go with the flow. If I could go back I would schedule feedings to get more rest. My kids did schedule themselves together except I was pumping breastmilk since I couldn't get them to latch on. I noticed though, that it seemed natural for them to want to eat at the same time and then sleep at the same time, too. When I settled down, things sort of got into place.