The First Year of Raising Twins: 3-6 months

by healthnutmama on January 15, 2010

Be sure to check out my first post on this serries:  The First Year of Raising Twins 0-3 Months.

3-6 months is fun!  They become more interactive, make funny noises, and get a lot pudgier.  =)  My 12 week mark was a milestone for me because Nathan finally got the idea of breastfeeding and I was able to stop pumping and just nurse.  I had pumped every single meal up to that point.  I had to supplement with just a little formula (maybe 4 ounces a day), but when they started nursing full time, I soon produced more milk and quickly gave up supplementing with formula.  And, by the way, we had been making our own formula from powdered goat’s milk and adding vitamins to it.  There are a lot of homemade formula recipes out there, but check with your pediatrician before you yank your baby off store bought formula.  You want to be sure that they get the essential vitamins and minerals that they need to thrive.  More on homemade formula later.

The conveniences and products that I had in the first 3 months were still very needed in the 3-6 month stage.

Schedules

Hopefully by this point you have a good sleeping schedule established or at least are well on your way.  It took me a while because Lucy never needed as much sleep as Nathan, so I had to learn how to get them in sync with each other and be somewhat flexible.  And as the months go on, they don’t need as much sleep anyway so you need to have an idea of when you want their main naps to be, long-term, and work toward that. I knew I wanted an afternoon nap that lasted 2-3 hours.  So from 1-3pm was my goal.  Then they went back down around 4:30 or 5pm for a 30-45 minute cat nap.  They really did need that.  That nap lasted til they were about 8 months old.  And in the mornings they took a nap somewhere around 8am for 1-2 hours.  But I knew they would eventually drop that too.  Turns out they are now almost 15 months old and are just now starting to drop that morning nap.

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Of course you can’t always prevent an occasional cat nap.

One thing that helped me get them on a good sleeping schedule was to make sure I fed them at the same time every day.  I was a little lenient on this because when I had both babies sleeping at the same time there was no way you could talk me into waking them up.  I was desperate for down time.  It usually worked out just fine, and I was never really thrown way off schedule. As long as I could stay within 30 minutes of my designated feeding time, I was okay with that.

Let me add in this very important point.  If one wakes up to eat, wake up the other as well.  If not, you will be feeding around the clock and never get them on the same schedule.  Trust me, it’s worth it.  You get more rest in the end.

A few new things that made life easier:

  • Johnny Jump Up:  Oh my, this was excellent.  I borrowed 2 of them.  One had a tray on it and it was much easier for the babies to balance and be comfortable.  My twins were about 4-5 months when they first got in the Johnny Jump Up.
  • Baby Walker or some sort of entertainment thing such as an ExerSaucer.  If you have stairs, I would not recommend a walker.  Too many accidents happen.  The ExerSaucer still provides entertainment and the baby can rotate the seat, providing some mobility.  I got a walker at a yard sale for 5 dollars.  I didn’t buy two.  Usually I put one in the walker and one in the johnny jump up.  My mother in law brought over a mobile where they could lie on the floor and look up at all sorts of colorful things that made noises.
  • Teething toys.  It was during this age that they started holding things in their hands and were enamored for long periods of time.  Precious time.  And they stick everything in their mouths and have that need to bite.  My friend Lacy had some NUK spoons that my babies loved to use as teething “rings”.  They are rubbery and soft and easy to bite on for a baby.  Lucy stole one without me noticing so we quickly returned it and I wish I had bought my own pack for the twins.
  • Bumbo Seat.  I almost forgot!  This was just great.  I would prop up one baby in the nook of the twin nursing pillow (aka big boppy) and one in the bumbo seat and they had a grand time staring at each other.  Also, it’s great for feeding time.
  • Bouncy Seat.  I could peel potatoes at the kitchen table while bouncing Lucy with my foot while Nathan enjoyed the swing.
  • Baby Swing.  We had two of these and I’m glad we did.  If they were both fussy, I put them in the swing and vacuumed the living room.  The sound calmed them down right away, and I got some cleaning done.  Two birds, one stone.

Most of the above, I either got at my baby shower, yard sales, or just borrowed them for a period of time.  Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to borrow something if they aren’t using it.  It helps to not have to pay for these things.

The only thing that I had two of, was the baby swings.  Everything else, we just rotated throughout the day.  And we took lots and lots of walks.  Nathan and Lucy love being outside.  I got stuck in the rain a few times but that Schwinn stroller has a rain shield that unfolds from the canopy!

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Lucy with the nursing pillow, Nathan in the Bumbo.

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Tell me this isn’t precious.  They would even hold each others hand in the stroller quite often.

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Do they look alike or what?

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Fun entertainment

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Happy Nathan in the bouncy seat

During the 3-6 month age, you really see a lot of progress with movement and coordination.  It’s nice because the babies are able to entertain themselves more, but it’s also hard because you have to keep an eye on them more.   Nathan fell off the couch twice and I about had a heart attack.  Lucy once.  I underestimated their abilities to move.  They progress so much faster than you think.  Be careful with some of the products listed above.  Especially the walker and the bumbo seat.  Babies have died falling down stairs in a walker and also falling off tables in the bumbo seat.  Please, please, please never leave your baby or babies unattended in these pieces of equiptment.  It’s just not worth it.

Josh and I also decided to never leave our babies in the same room as a dog, even if it’s the family dog that’s 10 years old and has never growled or bitten in its life.  It’s still a dog with canine instincts and it’s simply not worth the risk.  You may be thinking, “well, yeah Megan, we know this and we’re not stupid”.  But please know I am not saying these things to make any mother feel stupid, but the fact is these things do happen and sometimes it’s from just one forgetful moment.  And in that moment an accident happens.

I’m sorry, this isn’t supposed to be a lecture, just a cautionary word of advice from a mommy who’s babies fell off the couch.  Thank God they didn’t get hurt, but they could have.  I learned my lesson.

Okay, are there any suggestions from you?  Mother of twins or singleton welcome.  One baby or two, anything that helped make these months smoother, let me know!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana January 18, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Another great post! Everything you said is so true. I have also gotten a much-needed free hand from the Bumbo and a bouncer. Raegan was never fond of her swing, so some days were rough in the beginning since I didn’t have the bouncer then and she wanted to be held all day. One thing I love about being in a moms group is going to other people’s houses and trying their things before purchasing my own. I have been able to try a Bjorn, a bouncer, Bumbo, and Exersaucer to see if Raegan liked it before I took a chance on buying expensive items. It’s also a great network for swapping baby clothes.

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healthnutmama January 19, 2010 at 5:22 am

We have a play date too and it’s great for the babies. We’ve swapped toys a few times and that helps when the babies have something new to play with that I didn’t have to buy. =)

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