How do I establish a daytime routine for newborn twins?
Essentially your daily routine will revolve around feeding your babies, winding them, changing them, letting them sleep and attempting to get some sleep yourself. In the early days your babies will need feeding every 2-4 hours. It helps if you can get them into some kind of routine.
There are two ways of doing this.
- One way is to allow them to feed when they want feeding. If one wakes up and is hungry and you know how to feed them both together it would be worth waking the other one up and feeding him/her too so that you then (theoretically at least) get more time between feeds.
- The other way is to feed them at set times for example 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm, 12 am, 4 am, 8am and so on (or three hourly if they’re hungrier). If you have other children to take to school you might have to impose more of a routine on them than if they were your first children and you had a freer schedule.
Watch your babies over a few days/weeks to see if there is a pattern developing. Do they fill their nappies before a feed, during a feed or after a feed? If it’s before, change them before the feed, if it’s after the feed, wait until after they’ve had their feed. I found having a small notebook to write down their natural awake and sleep times and when they wanted feeding and worked my twins routine around them. My twins were my first children and so I didn’t have to dash out for the school or nursery run and so could do this. If you have a nursery or school run or are heading back to work you might need to insert your babies routine into your existing routine.
Once they’ve had their feed, you’ve winded them, and changed them if necessary, put them in their baby bouncers for some awake time. If you’re doing chores around the house take your babies with you if you can. Don’t leave them unattended. As they get older you can put them on a play mat for some tummy time.
Make sure it’s clear when it’s day time.
During the daytime make plenty of noise. Put on the washing machine, have the radio on, use the vacuum cleaner (once your stitches have healed, of course). Talk to them even if they’re too little to understand what you’re saying. If at all possible go out for some fresh air every day it really helps to keep you sane. It also motivates you to get dressed (although getting dressed seems a bit of an additional, somewhat unnecessary task, it can help you feel human again (obviously if you’re in pain with c-section stitches etc and aren’t going anywhere then don’t do this) but if you’re otherwise well, even having a 2 minute shower will make you feel so much better.
If you would like to you could dress your twins in ‘proper clothes’ during the day time, rather than sleepsuits (babygrows), although it’s by no means compulsory to do so. Whether you pick matching outfits or not is up to you. There are some twins who love being dressed like their twin and others who hate it (whilst they’re young enough not to care either way you get to pick which path to follow)