By: Gary Marcella
Pop quiz – it’s 3:30 AM and out of your semi comatose state, you hear a baby cry, what do you do?. Quickly you think to yourself “is it my turn?” and when you realize it is, a four letter expletive is all you can muster up. This is a step by step guide to the feeding frenzy of twin boys solo – yes solo. If you and your partner ever want to get an ounce of sleep, you each must take a night shift by yourselves. I wish I had this guide before I had to wing it on my own, but low and behold, I won’t let any of you suffer the same fate I did!
Follow these simple steps to Twin Feedings!
The next thing that runs through your mind – did I hear one voice or two? This is a critical observation, you need to prepare yourself for what is to come. If its one, you quite possibly hit the lottery – not because you only have to feed one kid, you still have to feed them both, but NOT AT THE SAME TIME! After these initial observations – it’s time to spring into action (and don’t ever say “eh, I think I can sleep like 3 more minutes – rip the band-aid off and get it over with – 3 minutes quickly snowballs to 20, and then for sure they are both up!)
Step 1 – THE most important step – head to the bathroom. You have just signed yourself up for an upwards of an hour and a half session, the last thing you want to have happen is a bladder attack (or worse) in the middle. Remember, there is NO pause button, there is no timeout in feeding, this is your only option (well, you could try adult diapers, but trust me – hit the head and keep your dignity). If you must stop the feeding frenzy, you are going to break a critical Rule see – Step 3 (but don’t skip 2 – that is important).
Step 2 – Go straight to the kitchen to get the bottle ready. If you have to pass a hallway where the kids are, resist the urge to give away your presence (again, See Step 3) – memorize the path in the dark if you have to, but DO NOT check on them – you know they are hungry, a creek of the floorboards, a clumsy light switch and you have a monster problem and your bottle is not even ready. Once the bottles are ready, bring them with you to the danger zone, you’ll need them, or you’re liable to lose a finger!
Play your cards right, and Logan sleeping here is your end result
Step 3 – At all costs, DO NOT LET The Twins get more “awake” than they already are. This too is an important step. Once they open their eyes fully – you have a good chance of waking up “The Gremlins” (see the Gremlin post and video if you don’t believe me). This step means you should quickly access which baby is MOST agitated. In my case, it’s likely Logan – he is unreasonable at feeding time. Grab your target and immediately change him. This takes a bit of time and you have to hear screaming initially, but its critical you change him now and not after when he is sleepy from the milk coma that will ensue. You also run the risk of your baby pooping at feeding (Grady is NOTORIOUS for this, but waking him at the end is a worse fate if you do not need to). Also – this is why the bathroom trip is so critical, if these babies have 30 seconds without food pouring down their throats – well, you now have a gremlin on your hands.
Step 4 – You must have a vehicle for propping up your babies, boppy’s work well, but I prefer the bouncer seats – they are taller and it allows me to sit in the glider for the show (Plus it gives me the high ground in case a battle breaks out – I don’t want to be in the trenches). Strap your child in (this could come in handy later like in step 7) – Repeat step 3 and 4 for your second bundle of hunger, move them close together and you’re ready to go (see picture above).
Step 5 – God gave you two hands… USE THEM!! One bottle in the left, one bottle in the right and bring them in to the kill zone – their mouths!! They will tear into the bottles with a fury you have never seen before – as if you have been starving them since birth when clearly you are not. (Grady is up to 10 lbs and our little Peanut Logan is a whopping 9 lb, 3 oz). Don’t think your feet are free to do whatever they want – those chairs they are in are bouncers, when the end nears, you need to be working those bouncers with both feet – remember your ultimate goal here is to get them BACK TO SLEEP so you, in turn can go BACK TO SLEEP!!
You want to walk out the nursery and see Grady like this as you look back!
Step 6 – (Optional for the Brave – not for the weak at heart – Skip to Step 7 you weakies) If you are lucky, one baby will get a bit sleepier before the other – this is an opportunity, but very risky move only for the most experienced. You can cease feeding one and pick up the other to concentrate on getting him finished off. You run the risk of at any second, that baby wakes up and becomes FURIOUS that you stopped feeding him – even though it was him who stopped (I chalk that up to short term memory loss? – Oh, they’re babies!!). I have attempted this twice – one time went perfectly, and the second – yep crash and burn. Keep in mind step 3 at all times – you don’t want him waking up and your hands are tied, because now not only do you have one screaming baby, if you opt to put the other baby down, you run the risk of doing the exact same thing to your second – you see how this can easily spiral out of control and you are up TWICE AS LONG! PLEASE – stick to the plan and only when you have this original process mastered should you try Step 6 (and by no means do I have this mastered).
Step 7 – Bring in the closer! This step is critical, you need a closing move to transition a sleeping baby from chair to bed without stirring them. I like the baby body to chest, head on my shoulder rubbing his back. This is a great finishing move, but don’t go too fast. No doubt by now you are exhausted (no, not from reading this post – from feeding funny guy) – but if you screw up the closer, you are in for it. Other closing moves are baby in lap in the glider (but then you gotta get up from the glider – CAREFUL!). Of course, there is always the sort of cheating way of letting them sleep in the chairs – they are strapped in, and pretty much sleep in those things during the day, but I like a little challenge – I’m a gambler! Once the final baby hits the mattress – RUN!! Get out of there as quickly as possible, don’t get lulled back in by a simple moan or cough – that’s a gremlin trap. Get to your room and climb back in bed, you did well!
There you have it – if you’re planning on having twins, this is a MUST READ! (or if you just want to know how fortunate you are you don’t have twins, or even if you want to laugh at my expense). It felt good to get a full post out – I’ll try to do that more often, its fun!