Tuesday, April 3, 2012

You asked.....

Thanks for sending in your questions! I enjoyed reading and answering them!

So, without further ado....

How do you juggle your twins (and you have an older child too even!) by yourself outside of the house?  I have twins the same age as yours so we are in the same boat with the walking, crawling, climbing, getting into things, etc. I have a good handle on things here at home, but between the scheduled naps and meals and thinking of how I am going to keep them safe out in public while I am alone, etc., we don't get out much. I don't want them to miss out on experiences outside of the house because I am too nervous to go places by myself with them very often. I take them on walks almost daily alone, and if my husband or mom is with me and we are out and about, it isn't really a big deal, etc. but when it is just me, it is tough. :) I want to break out of this rut though, now that my girls are one. I want to be able to have play dates out side of my own house and let the girls socialize with other little ones more too. Do you have any suggestions or advice for me?

My Answer:
It is tough, no matter how you do it, it is not an easy feat!!  I really have to gear myself up for it, and plan it out. I just forced myself out. I would only go places that I knew I would have help with them once I got their (friends who I know won't leave me hanging!) They'd come out and help me unload kids, or grab my diaper bag. And also, it was easier for me to go to a place that I knew was "kid-proof" or "kid-friendly", with more than one child to keep an eye on, this is important!

If it's to the grocery store, I'd put one in a front pack, the other in the cart and go! If it's to a park or something, go where you know there is lots of grass, open spaces and the street isn't too close. Holmes park is good for this! 

As far as friends houses for play-dates, we have done this a few times and it is exhausting, but worth it! What has worked best though, for me up to this point, is to have the play-dates at our house! Invite people to you! People just want to see you and your kiddos, so they will come! This has worked out the best for me to get in some social time, as well as our kids. 

I was told to get out often, and early on even if it is hard, because the more you do it, the easier it will become. And I believe this is true. Maybe the first few times, ask to meet a friend somewhere! Meet at the mall to walk around, or Target...or the park! And make sure wherever you go, you are well prepared with snacks and toys and comfort items and never try to go at or near a nap-time. I always plan my outings, or get-together's for right after they've woken up. You can always do a meal on the run, but you don't want grouchy tired kids while out and about...that only adds to the craziness! :)

I hope this helps! And I think it's normal, that for the first year of twin life...you tend to stay home a lot and I did too. It's only been recent that we've ventured out more! 

Do you have any desire or idea that you'll have more kiddos? :) 

My Answer:
At this point, we both feel very much complete with our three boys :) I am ready to start life and do life with these boys and thinking about the "baby phase" and doing that again...you are so limited to really what you can do with everyone and I just want to get goin'! It's no secret we've had tough kids as babies (reflux, breastfeeding issues etc) and with 3 NICU experiences, and my last pregnancy ending in a c-section, those factors definitely play a part in my being done!
All that to say, if God made it happen, we would be overjoyed of course, but we are not planning on anymore. I never imagined three boys, and now I can't imagine it differently. I don't feel a hole in my heart for a girl, or for any more kids....so I think I feel very blessed and complete!

I'd love to know what your approach and style is with sleep training! 

My Answer:

Sleep is one of those "highly debated" topics among the parenting/mothering community. There are dozens of approaches, each one claiming to be the best, and each one claiming to have the research to back it up for different reasons. I truly feel that there is not one approach that works with all kids, they are all different as well as the homes they live in. So, while our approach may have worked for our 3 kids, that doesn't mean it will work for you. 

Having said that, here is what we did!

Our boys were high maintenance, so the first several months we did whatever we could to get sleep. We swaddled, used pacifiers, used swings, and bouncers and car-seats and rocked them and wore them and fed them...whatever it took. By about 3 months, we had moved the boys (this goes for all three) into their own rooms. We still used a few of the "sleep props" but they were starting to sleep longer at night without a feeding so we thought this was a good time to transition. 

Around 6 months we began letting them cry-it-out. 
We used the book Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth (a distinguished Pediatrician and father of four) for all three boys. I like the book because it talks about why sleep is so important, why bedtimes are important and how that affects everything. He emphasizes early bedtimes and consistent routine. He also has three different approaches to getting your child to sleep, so CIO (cry it out) doesn't have to be your only option. 
We found, with our boys, that the "going in and soothing them when they cried and then leaving" approach just made them more angry and more upset. So for us, the easiest way was to cold turkey, let them cry until they fell asleep.
It was hard, I am not going to lie. But by doing this for naps and bedtime and sticking to it, it only took us 3 days tops and since then they've put themselves to sleep without hardly a peep.
He outlines what a good schedule in the day is like, as far as times for each age and also bedtimes. I know a few friends who have also successfully used these methods.  I think at a certain point, kids are well aware that you will drop whatever for them, and they can manipulate at a young age. I think it's good to teach kids to fall asleep on their own, and without help. If you start this process early enough, it won't be as hard on you later if you try. The older they are, the harder the habits are to break.

The main thing is to be consistent. If you choose to CIO, then you have to stick with it 100% of the time. That doesn't mean CIO until a certain point and then go rescue, because to them that means...if I cry long enough they will come. For naps, there is a limit, but he talks about what to do if that limit is reached (get them up, play for a bit and try again in an hour)...for bedtime, there is no limit. 

I realize that this makes some people uncomfortable, and that's okay. You have to do what is best for you and your family. Sleep affects your mind and your health, it's important for your children to get it as well as you. So, for us we chose to do this. And at 3 1/2, Jack goes to bed like a champ, takes a nap like a champ and has for years. We are consistently consistent. 

I would love to answer more on another post! So send me some more questions :)


  1. Oh, I like your post about the sleep. I've been meaning to e-mail you about your sleep techniques, this reminds me, I think I'll do it now! haha

  2. i loved reading your answers - thanks for sharing your insights and thoughts! wise and wonderful mama ;)