Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Home Alone

Yesterday we were home alone all day for the first time. In the morning I had my first "screaming at the same time and can't get them to calm down". Thank goodness for the breastfeeding and the swaddling. They took a nice long morning nap so I could regain my sanity. Then they ate and we went to see Goddess in Progress who let us have our own Mom of Twins Sale Preview. On Saturday my Mom of Twins group is having their semi annual sale. If anyone has any equipment suggestions (toys, etc.) that you think we'll need as they get older let me know so I can look for them at the sale. Goddess gave us some clothes and an exersaucer.

After we got home they ate again and were up for a while. I fell asleep with them on the couch (despite wanting to take them on a walk).

From 6 pm to 9 pm (their bedtime) it is the betwitching hour at our house. We try to keep them awake but Penny always wants to sleep. Whoever is in charge of Ned has his or her hands full - and he is always hungry. Plus we have to manage to eat and catch up with each other. Penny refuses to go to bed at 9 pm. Invariably I stay up until 11:30 pm to get her to go to sleep. And last night she was up again at 2:30 am to eat (but only ate 2 ounces of formula - Ned usually eats 3-4 ounces). I don't know how to get her to realize that she should be up during the day and asleep at night. At least they both slept until 7:15 am so I got almost 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Feeding them at 2:30 am (by myself) took over an hour (I did one at a time since Ned was still asleep). Plus I dropped a bottle of formula all over their nightstand. It's on my list to wipe down today. I skipped the middle-of-the-night pumping because of exhaustion and let's just say I was a milky mess this morning. If they get more efficient at breastfeeding I may just do that in the middle of the night instead of formula. The question is how to get my supply stored up (in the fridge/freezer) for the 9 pm post-breastfeeding bottle (they take about 3 ounces each on top of breastfeeding - last night Ned took 4 ounces). It is really hard to find time to pump and after I breastfeeding I only get a couple of ounces (even an hour later). I guess I could do formula if we have to. Ned is much better about eating to put himself into a deep sleep at night. Funny how Penny does that during the day. I've tried to increase feedings during the day (we are still around 6 a day) to help them realize that day time is for eating but they aren't cooperating.

In-laws are coming this afternoon so I have to run around and do some chores. My house will still be a disaster but I need to make some headway while the tykes are taking their morning nap.

6 comments:

LauraC said...

You made it! That is a huge accomplishment to make it through the first day alone.

We had horrible witching hour every day from 5-9. The only thing that reliably worked to settle the boys down was to go outside. I've read daytime daylight helps trigger melatonin production in babies, so getting them natura light helps in resetting the day/night clock. But even that takes time.

Mostly I think it helped mama get some fresh air after long days inside with crying babies :)

Goddess in Progress said...

Yay for surviving your first day! I remember mine very clearly. Within 15 minutes of M walking out the door, both babies were screaming and the dog was puking acorns on the living room floor. I counted it as a great success because I didn't burst into tears. :-)

A few suggestions/ideas, if you want them:
1. If the witching hour is 6-9, have you considered just putting them to bed earlier? An early bedtime is a great thing. I'm not sure what the logic is behind trying to keep them awake from 6-9, but I would have to disagree with it. If they're ready to sleep, let them sleep. 3 hours is too long for them to be awake at that age, anyways.
2. Do you have a bedtime routine? Probably not, since they're so little, but now's as good a time as any to start one. It won't make a huge difference at first, but in the long run it will help. Do the same thing every night, whatever it is. Maybe a bath, a story, a song, a last nursing session (regardless of when they last ate). Lights down, in the nursery, etc. If you are consistent, they'll start to recognize it as a cue that it's time to go to bed.
3. It's TOTALLY normal for babies this age to "mix up" night and day. Most babies don't differentiate between daytime and nighttime until 6-8 weeks. Give it a little time and set up a good bedtime routine and they'll start to figure it out.

Oh, and once they're slightly stronger nursers, I suspect it will be WAY easier to nurse overnight than to prepare bottles (what a pain!!).

HUSBAND!!! It's your job overnight to go get the babies and bring them to Mommy so she can nurse them. It only takes a minute... :-)

Nancy said...

WOO HOO! You go girl! Your first day alone. . . and you're still alive to blog about it! nice :)

And I agree with goddess 100% (typical ;) )

Also, why do you need to pump for that one feeding? Would it be possible to start nursing them and then switch to formula to top 'em off for the night(or the opposite - nurse 'em as the top off)? Just a thought.

brittae@yahoo.com said...

I remember someone telling me not to make eye contact or talk during the night feedings. I did this and I think it helped. I don't remember when I started, but it seemed smart. No stimulation = less fun feeding & quicker going back to sleep. I also kept the lights dim. And naps had light but bedtime was dark.

I had a hard time setting a bedtime routine until my daughter was MUCH older, but they say it works well.

I'm due with my second this weekend - I can't believe I'm going back to the baby days!

Cynthia said...

Yay! Congratulations!

I agree with Goddess re: trying an earlier bedtime. Neve's bewitching hours start at 5:15pm on the dot and I can't get her in bed soon enough after that! Earlier bedtime doesn't necessarily mean that they will wake up earlier. Neve gets her last feeding of the day at 6:30pm these days and she's waking up for 1 power feed sometime after 12am and then she's back down until 6:15-7am. I know she's older, but we started trying to put her down after her 7pm feeding "for the night" very early on (when she was 4 weeks old, she was still getting up every 2.5-3 hours during the night, but it was all business -- minimal lights, no noise, etc. so that she got the hint that it was still time to sleep and not time to play). During the day, we tried to play with her more, engage her and keep her up after feedings to try to make her realize that it was daytime. Granted, that often lead to an overstimulated baby and we had (and still have) a hard time getting her down for daytime naps, so take my advice with a grain of salt!

Keep up the good work!

Rebecca said...

Surviving the first day home alone is a huge hurdle! (On mine, I got mastitis. Fun times. Fun times.) See, you are doing much better than I was.

As for your evenings, have you tried cluster-feeding Ned? Janice always recommended that for those fussy evening hours. That would increase your daytime feedings, and also probably mean you would need less (or none) of a supplemental bottle. I actually think your babies are sleeping REALLY well at night for such itty-bitties. Maybe this meanns that they will be good sleeprs. :)