Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sleeping Sweethearts

I've been reading The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. Last weekend when my in-laws were in town I mentioned how I am going to get "blackout" type shades for the nursery so it can help then sleep during the day and my mother-in-law looked at me like I was crazy.

But you see I am hooked on Dr. Karp's philosophy that for the first 3 months they still want to be in the womb - with the same noise, movement and darkness. That means Husband (who I am going to force to read AT LEAST this book - he's read nothing) and I will be meeting all our tykes' whims. I prefer the idea that I could get them on a schedule (so no feeding on demand and sleeping at the same time) but I'm not sure that will work since it isn't their fault when they are hungry or tired. I am, however, determined to try to do both at once. So if one is hungry I feed both. If one wakes up I will wake up the other. I can't imagine not going insane otherwise but moms of twins please let me know if I am off-base.

My biggest criticism of the book is that it assumes 1 baby. When Dr. Karp talks about cultures where moms hold their babies 24/7 all I could think of was - what do you do with two? Never mind how my mind jumps to my mom with 3 at once - love you, mom!

I need to practice the swaddling, shushing and swinging so I feel prepared. I know my baby nurse is a big fan of swaddling so I'm sure she'll help me get all the techniques down.

I'm also afraid because this book seems to be geared toward the first 3 months - then I have to figure out what to do next with them. This all goes back to how a few generations ago moms often raised kids together and shared techniques, etc. Now moms have the internet (and their awesome MOT groups) but it is just not that same. I feel like so many moms worry more about whether their children have met certain "standards" they found on the internet rather than figuring out what works for their particular baby(ies). Since I will have no time for reading after they are born (or so I keep being told) tell me what books you like for the next stage in their development - especially because at the end of the 6 months I'm going back to work. I think that will be harder to transition then bringing them home from the hospital.

Rant over. I'm sure you're shocked but I have to work this weekend so now that Husband and I just met with our landscaper to get our landscaping starting we are off to Babies R Us so I can be home in time to review documents. And trying to get a nap in since I think I'm hitting that "wall" my doctor said most MOT hit around 28 weeks.


Rhonda said...

If you like the sounds of that book, then maybe Attachment Parenting in general will also appeal to you. It is totally doable to follow Karp's advice and to Attachment Parent twins. If you are interested, there is a Yahoo Group on Attachment Parenting Multiples and a wide variety of resources on babywearing twins, etc.

We never had luck with putting our girls on the same schedule. I came to prefer feeding on demand, etc. Around 6 months, they ended up on the same schedule after we introduced solid food, but before that, I grew to love the one on one time and dreaded the days they woke up together.

Take care,
fellow Founding chapter member and proud babywearing, AP'ing mom.

Liz Jimenez said...

I swore by that book, and my kids were big-time swaddlers. Definitely get the DVD, so you can watch it when you forget everything and your kids are 2 weeks old and you don't have time to find the book. I'd bet someone on the listserv could even sell/lend it to you (I already gave mine away!). Swings and bouncy seats can be your very best friends for movement, since you can't carry them both all the time...

I'm a big fan of encouraging them to do things at the same time (which is not necessarily in conflict with feeding on demand if you're going to try BFing), though I do recommend thinking in terms of "coordination" and "routine" instead of "schedule" for the first little while, if that makes sense. Trying to have them eat and sleep at the same time is a good goal, even if it doesn't always go to plan. But trying to stick to a "schedule" by the clock (at least at the very beginning) can be counterproductive to the whole breastmilk supply thing and, frankly, it just doesn't always work out that well.

Anyways, for me, it was really critical to try too feed and sleep them at about the same time, so that I could at least have a moment's break. My least favorite days were when they managed to be exactly opposite of each other. Ugh!

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I agree with what goddess in progress said about "routines" vs. "schedules." Babies have no concept of time by the clock, so it makes no sense to force an artificial schedule on them. But coordinating their routines so that they will hopefully eat and sleep at the same time definitely sounds like a good idea to me.

Also, I'm not an AP parent, but I've found that babywearing is really helpful. And yes, you can do it with two! The Moby Wrap will allow you to wear both twins at once, at least in those early weeks when they are small. (Check out this link. After they are too big for that, you can always get a front carrier and a back carrier, or two slings, to wear them around.

As far as parenting books go, I did like The Happiest Baby on the Block. The problem with books though is that babies don't read them, so not every "trick" works for every baby. Example: Josh HATED to be swaddled. No matter how we swaddled him- looser, tighter, heaver blanket, lighter blanket/lighter clothing- he screamed and kicked and cried. OTOH, Alex loved the swaddle, and we swaddled him until he was 5 months old! My feeling is, books are great for ideas, but eventually we just have to trust our gut feelings and our knowledge of our own unique babies and let that be our guide. :-)

Anonymous said...

My baby loved her schedule. It took about 2 weeks to get her used to it. She worked on a 3-hour rotation (eat, play, nap), starting around 7 weeks.
I'm all for attachment parenting, but I wanted to read about both perspectives and I found BABYWISE to be a very quick! and interesting read. Good advice in there, though some people will tell you its the devil's work. There's a lot of fluff to ignore, but the practical advice is very good. And it's the opposite of HBOTB, so you get both sides of the story.

Jen said...

GET THE VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!
it is so much easier than the book (which is great) because he shows you how to hold/swing the babies. and your husband can watch it too...
but, yes when they are both screaming and you're alone w/ them, it's not real helpful and you want to call up that doctor and ask him if he's ever heard of hyper ovulation or spontaneous embryo splitting and doesn't he know what that creates????? And how the %^&* are we supposed to do two at once?

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please do not read Babywise. It can be very, very harmful to a baby and has led to cases of severe dehydration, breastfeeding problems, and failure-to-thrive.

And, I am going to get on my soapbox here and say to "anonymous"- How cowardly that you would recommend this controversial and *harmful* book of parenting practices without even posting your name. If you think Babywise is so great, then put on your big girl panties and own your recommendation. This is not the forum to debate this- so feel free to comment on it at my blog entry If you have the cojones.

MommyEsq, I am so sorry to hijack your blog with this.

More info here:

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Rhonda. We tend to go toward the attachment parenting style. The Sears books are good, and just take what works for you and leave what doesn't. The Karp book is also good as well as the follow up The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Anonymous said...

I just had to comment because I LOVED that book! Get the DVD---I made my husband sit down and watch it and it was totally worth it (I couldn't sell him on reading the book when the kids were 3 weeks old). I also love Weissbluth's sleep book. Babywise didn't work for us---my kiddos are not 3 hour schedule babies. What to expect the first year is a good, basic reference.

I second the recommendation for a cradle swing, or two. They're fantastic! And's a life safer for a colicky baby.

Anonymous said...

And for swaddling, we LOVED the Miracle Blanket. It was the only swaddler that really worked for us.

Anonymous said...

stop reading books, get some sleep and practice saying over and over again...beign neglect worked on me and it will work for my children. Blackout shades...are you nuts??