CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF SCHEDULES KEPT EVERY MONTH WITH MY TWINS:
My twin are a few days shy of 8 months old. I have been doing a lot of reflecting back on their schedules that I have maintained and kept with them since they were born. I know for many twin moms that having your two babies on the same schedule is kind of a necessity so that you can have some down time to get things done around the house and even to grab a shower and eat yourself.
I think what I have learned with twins is that you CANNOT have a perfect schedule. You are trying to raise two different individuals and they will need different things and different times. This is especially true of fraternal twins. Identical twins tend to fall into a more similar sleeping/ eating schedule than fraternal twins do. I think it is best to have an “ideal” schedule for your day, but allow room for variation. YOU CANNOT HYPER SCHEDULE twins. Please remember that they are individuals and you need to feed them if they are hungry. If you want to keep them on the same schedule, just wake the sleeping twin up and then feed them together. The same goes for sleep, please watch for their sleepy cues. Don’t try to keep one of your twins up longer if they are tired in hopes they will nap at the same time. Babies nap better when they go to sleep when they start to first show signs of tiredness. Please read my post called, “Sleep Windows” which explains this concept in more detail. https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/sleep-windows-get-them-to-bed-before-its-too-late/
I thought I would share my reflections on my experience with trying to keep my twins on a similar schedule:
1 Month old:
The girls basically slept a ton and it was easy to keep them on the same sleeping and eating schedule. I was tandem nursing so I really wanted them to eat at the same time. I felt like it was breeze during those first 4 months- with such sleepy heads.
2/3 Months old:
They hit two growth spurt during the time and make it very challenging to keep them on the same schedule. They started to wake early from naps. In order to still keep them on the same eating schedule, if one twin woke up hungry from a nap, I just woke the other twin up to nurse them together. They were able to stay awake about the same amount of time, give or take 5 or so minutes, so it was pretty easy to put them down for their naps around the same time.
4 Months old:
They were on a solid schedule during this time. I would say that in terms of schedule, this was a sweet time for us. They were on a very consistent 3 hour schedule. They would eat, play, and sleep about the same time with about 5-10 minute difference, but I always feed them at the same time.
5 Months Old:
The girls pretty much napped starting at the same time, they may wake a little early from one another, but at this age, they were able to wait until the other woke up to be breastfeed. This was nice and gave me a little more flexibility with allowing them to sleep longer if they needed it. However, at this age the girls had different bedtimes. My daughter Molly just needed to go to sleep sooner than his sister Anna. I was okay with this, because it made bedtime more manageable for me. I would nurse and put Molly down while Daddy got Anna ready for bedtime. By the time I was done feeding Molly, I feed Anna and put her down. I liked the one-on-one time I got with Anna this way.
6 Months Old:
I really hit a hard spell with the girls are 6 months. They were trying to get rid of the 3rd catnap at this age. This effected their schedule a ton. Some nights they would take a catnap and other nights they did not need it. Molly end up needing it more than Anna. When Molly would catnap, I would try to keep Anna in the kitchen and give her some small toys to play with while I got dinner ready. But depending on if they took a catnap or not, it would effect bedtime, causing them to go to bed at different times. Late on the nights they took a catnap and earlier on the nights they did not take a catnap. So again the girls had different bedtimes from one another most evenings, but my husband and I juggled the two like we did when they were 5 months old and it worked out. I had to learn to be flexible during this time. It was not easy, especially with my 25 month old needing my attention too, but we got through it. Thankfully, they still went down for their morning and afternoon nap around the same time. They would wake up from their naps around the same time, but again they could wait until the other one woke up to nurse together.
7 & 8 Months Old
They both finally got rid of the catnap so I did not have that issue anymore, it was just that Anna and Molly required different amounts of sleep. Anna being the one who slept less. So I learned to put them down for their nap at the same time, and just get Anna up early and have her wait to nurse until Molly woke up. That worked and we are still doing that now at almost 8 months old. They also cut their first teeth while they were 7 months old. This did effect their naps and nighttime sleep. They would wake up and cry for a little and then go back to sleep. I tired not to intervein because I knew if I went in there, they would not go back to sleep easily. On days when the teething was the worst, I did get them some infant tylenol. The tylenol really helped them sleep a lot better.
9- 11 Months Old
I feel like the girls are starting to stabilize with their sleep. It is nice to have them fall into a very regular pattern of naps times and similar bedtimes. Molly, my sleepy head, still required a little more sleep, but I just put her down a little earlier and let her sleep a little longer. Anna does not seem to mind waiting to nurse a few extra minutes as long as I entertain her. We hit a growth spurt during 9 months, which required me to feed them a little more. I really wanted to stay on the same schedule and not mess up the nap times, so what I chose to do is nurse before their afternoon nap to fit in the extra feeding. I did that for about a week and then they seemed to get over the growth spurt.