Time for another day in the life post! I know you’re all dying to hear how our routine has changed.
Truthfully – and if you are reading this with brand new twins, please take my word for it – the older they get, the easier they get. In some ways, once twins are capable of entertaining themselves and each other, they are even easier than a single baby, because they have a built-in playmate. The desperation I remember feeling in the early months is pretty much gone; now the only thing I wish for is that they were old enough to get their own breakfast so that I could sleep in. Alas, that’s still a ways away.
So. Our daily routine at eight months is as follows.
7:30 AM: I am woken up, eventually, by either cheerful shrieking or chants of “Mamamamamama” from the nursery. Sometimes the shrieking starts as early as 6 AM; sometimes it doesn’t start until 7:40. Either way, I don’t go in until at least 7. Usually it’s closer to 7:30. I throw on a robe, change both diapers, and maneuver all three of us into the glider in the nursery with a boppy on my lap. Legs balanced against the arms of the chair, the babies nurse for about ten minutes. When they’re done, I burp them and set them on the floor to play together while I check email and Twitter on my phone and try to wake up. Occasionally Daddy stops by the nursery on his way out to say goodbye; the babies see this as an opportunity to try to escape through the doorway.
8:00 AM: I choose outfits and dress them; the first baby to get dressed gets to practice standing in the crib while I change the other one. Then I carry them both downstairs (yes, at the same time, yes, there is a lot of wiggling, yes, my arms have gotten progressively stronger). I set them in the living room, which is fenced in with play gates, and they play with the eight million toys strewn all over the floor while I get myself water and figure out what our plans are for the day.
8:45 AM: Breakfast time. We are introducing solid foods through the baby-led weaning method, which I won’t go into a great deal of detail on since it is easily googleable. Suffice it to say that they get real food, not purees, and they feed themselves. I gather up breakfast food for them while they are playing – usually some fruit and some sort of bread product like a frozen waffle or a slice of homemade pumpkin bread – and then get them into their high chairs in the dining room. I set their food in front of them and they start eating while I grab breakfast for myself – either cereal or a bagel. I eat at the dining room table, in a chair placed in front of the two high chairs so that I can reach into the seats and pick up food they have dropped in their laps and put it back on their trays. Breakfast lasts about fifteen minutes; they eat a little more of what I give them every day. After they are done, I wipe hands and faces and put them back in the living room to play while I clean up.
9:15 AM: Nap time. I carry them upstairs and put them in their cribs with a couple of soft toys. I open the blinds so they can look at the trees outside their window, tell them to go to sleep, and leave the room. I take the baby monitor downstairs with me and keep an eye on them. Generally, baby boy falls asleep very quickly, while baby girl practices her pulling up and cruising in the crib for half an hour before falling asleep. While they are napping, I pay bills, or fold laundry, or shower, or whatever I need to do.
10:30 AM: They wake up, babbling quietly to each other. I eventually go and get them once they make it clear that they are bored and get loud. I change their diapers and carry them back downstairs.
11:00 AM: Time to nurse. We tandem nurse on the couch; they nurse for about ten minutes. When they are done, either they play on the living floor or we take a walk to the park up the street so that they can swing or crawl on the grass, depending on the weather.
12:30 PM: Lunch time. Another solid food meal; usually leftovers from last night’s dinner for all of us. Same routine – get the food ready, get them into their chairs, all eat together. After lunch, there’s a long period of play time; if we need to go out, this is when we do it (Costco is a favorite).
2 PM: Nap time. Up to the cribs. They usually both fall asleep quickly.
3 PM: Back downstairs, and time to nurse again. Another ten minute tandem session. More play time follows; at some point Daddy comes home from work and joins in.
5 PM: I start making dinner.
6 PM: Dinner time. We all eat at the dining room table, and we all eat the same thing. Baby led weaning is amazing. So glad we are not doing purees and creating picky eaters.
6:30 PM: Babies and Daddy head to the living room to play while I clean up from dinner.
7 PM: We change their diapers and put them in pajamas; one final nursing session on the couch. Ten minutes; frequently one or both is asleep by the end of it. Daddy carries them both upstairs and puts them to bed; they are usually asleep by 7:30. If it’s been a rough day with not enough naps, it can take a little longer, with Z fussing. But Daddy’s always back downstairs by 8 at the latest. We either do our own individual thing on our computers or watch TV together.
9:30 PM: I pump for ten minutes, to make sure my breasts have been drained one last time and to keep building our freezer stash (most of which will wind up getting donated, I suspect). We go to bed between 10 and 11.
I should note that now that they are older, this routine really only describes the days when we are home all day. There are many days when we have appointments or errands to run, which can jostle the schedule a bit. The 3 PM nursing session sometimes happens in the car, or in a breastfeeding lounge somewhere. When that happens, I must confess that they generally do not get a good afternoon nap; for whatever reason they just don’t seem to be able to get a good nap unless they are quiet in their cribs. As the weather gets colder, I plan to stay home more, just to give them more days to get good naps in. My husband is fond of saying that sleep is just as crucial of a resource as feeding, and should be managed as carefully. He’s right!