Twins & Multiples: Surviving the First Year

Bottles & Bedtime

Other mothers decide that formula is the best option for them. With formula, more people can help with feeding -- and Mom can get some relief during middle-of-the-night sessions. Some mothers of multiples combine nursing and bottle-feeding so that their babies get the benefit of breast milk but others can help with the feeding. "Our son had a difficult time latching on, and there were nights when we'd both wind up in tears -- him out of hunger and me out of frustration," says Rhonda, of Richton Park, Illinois, the mother of 2-year-old twins. So she frequently nursed her daughter while her husband gave their son a bottle.

Your newborns can sleep side by side in the same crib for the first few months, but if you're keeping them in your room in bassinets, each baby will need his own. When the babies start wiggling around, move them to separate cribs, but keep them in the same room, where they can see and hear each other. Triplets can sleep crosswise in the same crib.

When one of the babies wakes up to be fed in the middle of the night, wake up the other one after you're done if it's within half an hour of her normal feeding time. "It's hard to wake a sleeping baby, but if you don't, you will be constantly tending to babies and not getting any sleep," says Sheila Laut, coauthor, with her husband, William Laut, of Raising Multiple Birth Children (Chandler House Press).

During the first few months, it may seem as if you seldom have a moment to catch your breath. But things will get better. Maria, the Pelham mom, says she turned a major corner when she got her twins on a regular nap schedule. "When Bayden and Helena were 5 months old, I started putting them down for a morning nap every day at 9:30 and an afternoon nap at 1:30," she says. Maria used the morning naptime to shower, pump milk, prep bottles, empty the dishwasher, and plan the day. She used the afternoon naptime to make phone calls and pay bills.

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