Sunday, January 15, 2012

Twin Advice: Managing 2 Babies Solo

Bouncy Seats.
As I have mentioned before, bouncy seats were crucial to my ability to take care of both babies by myself. I used the bouncy seat as an extra pair of hands to hold a baby while I was busy feeding, changing, bathing, etc. the other baby (or both babies so that I could eat, run to the bathroom, etc). I had them scattered throughout the house so one was always close by. As the babies get bigger, Bumbo seats and Exersaucers can also serve this function.

If you are nursing, tandem feed.
On top of saving you lots of time, this will also save you from having to try to keep the other, often starving, baby happy while you feed his or her twin. When I was able to figure out logistics of doing this, it significantly decreased the amount of crying in my house - and my stress level.

At some point, you will find yourself alone with 2 fussy babies who both want your undivided attention. Here are some strategies:
- Hold one baby in the crook of each arm. This is the most simple and straightforward way to deal with the situation. You are able to hold both babies close and walk, sway, rock, sing, etc. to soothe them. However, even with very small babies, your arms will get tired after a while, and sometimes a super fussy baby will not put up with the divided attention, so it is important to have some alternatives.
- Hold the fussiest baby in your arms, and put the less fussy baby in a bouncy seat in front of you so that you can use your foot to gently bounce the baby.
- Hold the fussiest baby in your arms, and put the less fussy baby on the couch directly next to you. This way, while not being held, the less fussy baby can feel you right next to him and you are close enough to stroke his head
- Hold fussiest baby in your arms and put less fussy baby on your lap, resting on your legs, facing you. This can be done in a regular seated position, or, my personal favorite, while reclining on the couch with your knees pulled up (so that you can fall asleep yourself once you get the babies asleep!). This way, the less fussy baby still feels like he is being held, and you can move your legs gently from side to side to "rock" the baby on your lap, stroke his head, etc.

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