Looking back on Little Bliss
Little Bliss magazine will celebrate its tenth anniversary in April. To mark a decade of our magazine for parents, we’ll be looking back at some of the most inspiring family stories and popular topics from our previous issues.
Issue 21, Spring 2011: My top tips for mums of multiples
Bringing home a baby who has been in special care already presents additional challenges. But if you have twins, triplets or other multiples, the difficulties in coping can quickly become overwhelming. Jeanne Callanan, whose twin girls were born at 29 weeks, shares her top tips:
Try to get your babies on the same feeding and sleeping schedule. Whether the feeds are every two, three or four hours, if they aren’t eating at the same time, you will never get a break, especially since many babies born prematurely have feeding complications, which can result in even more time being needed for them to be fed. If you are breastfeeding, each can have a side. If you are expressing or using formula, you could get two bouncy chairs—or just use your car seats—and feed them simultaneously.
The same holds true for sleeping. Make sure your babies are napping at roughly the same time during the day and going to bed at the same time at night. It is possible that one may drop a night feed before the other is ready to, but by having the babies on the same schedule you will be able to cope more easily. Moreover, synchronising their schedules will not only establish a good routine for your babies, but will also create time for you to have a rest or take care of other responsibilities.
With multiple babies at home you will have less time to do anything and you need to prioritise. You don’t want to have to worry about having to put a load of washing on every time a baby spits up or a nappy leaks. A tip I found useful was to have ‘one on, one off, and one in the wash’. Make sure you have enough of everything to be able to avoid doing laundry too frequently.
With multiple babies you don’t want to have to run up and down the stairs every time you need a nappy or a change of clothes. Find a place on each floor or in the rooms where you are spending the majority of your time where you can keep a few supplies for a ‘changing station’. This will save you time and also make it easier to keep an eye on everyone at once.
If you are breastfeeding and have lots of milk, try to express some at the beginning or end to use for night feeds. This will enable you to get some rest and for your partner to have time to bond with the babies. However, if the experience of having premature multiples has left you either physically or emotionally exhausted, or both, and your milk supply is not good, don’t be too hard on yourself. Use formula when you need to and remember that the most important goal is that the babies are growing and putting on weight.