We've had a solid couple of weeks of everyone being at an amazing age. Me, the Dotytron, the Big Yam, the Wonder Twins - we've hit a groove where everyone is just super-fun and it's so rewarding being around them. Having said that, I expect things to take a nosedive like, in the next five minutes, but for now, we rejoice and are grateful for what we have.
I recently joined the Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association (which is saddled with the horrible acronym, TPOMBA) because when I was going through that rough patch in late January, I had heard through my chiro that they would send you free help or like, someone would come and help hold a baby or tidy your house. So I was like, a $40 membership is obviously worth that to me, so sign me up! Then I started calling the links they sent and the people on the phone were like, "Uhhh, do you feel depressed? Do you think you're a danger to yourself or your children?" and I was like, "If you put it that way, then fine, feeling stressed about how I'm going to execute a Monday night tempura-battered haddock, fried artichoke, and lemon dinner doesn't qualify me" (as I'm chatting with the phone cradled against my shoulder while cutting out quilt sashing). ANYWAY, membership to the group allowed me onto their Facebook page and as usual, uptight parents be stressin' yo!
Here are our tips for getting your baby(ies) to sleep.
2) a dark room, a noise machine, and a cool house temperature (so they don't overheat with the swaddle)
4) don't go buck trying to make the house completely pin-drop quiet (like the Roomie, who whispers when her daughter is napping, even though she's on a separate floor of the house). My logic on this is: the womb is hella noisy!!!
5) let your baby figure out how to self-soothe around the 4-6 month mark. Remember that some babies just need to get some ish out and cry a bit before they settle.
6) and NEVER, fall in love:
Technically, you should cue this to the 3:10 minute mark, whenever you've preceded the video with the words, "...and NEVER, fall in love."
Bedtime routine is the Dotytron's speciality. He's way better at it than I am, mostly because I lose patience and have a tendency to be all, "Mama needs her ME time" and just dump the babies and let them cry and come back when I've decided that it's an adequate amount of time for sleep, even if they've spent that entire time crying. This results in tragic scenes like the way the Quincess' face gets all puffy and his eyes get small and he looks like he got beaten up from crying so much (this is mostly because the Quincess produces mad sinus fluid so when he cries, all those pockets get filled up with mucous and so he looks like he's having a sad allergic reaction - an allergic reaction to sadness?)
Anyway, this method has always worked for us. Around the 3-4 week mark, when we've started giving the baby a bottle a day, their last feed of the night (anywhere from 8pm - 10pm) is a giant, MEGA bottle of pumped breastmilk. We basically carb-load the f**k out of them. Then, we swaddle, put them in a dark, chilly room, and put the sound machine on and we've found that they can generally sleep very long stretches and will only get up once to feed. Nap schedules are very routine. If I'm at home, I find that up to a year and up, babies are up for 2-3 hours, and then need to nap for 2 hours. Recently, I discovered that I'd been following a 2-3-4 method with all of my boys. That is, after they're up for the morning in the morning, the first nap is two hours after they're awake for the day. Then down for 1.5-2 hours and then up for 3 hours, and then down for another 1.5-2 hours, and bedtime happens about 4 hours after they awaken from afternoon nap. Naptime at home is very structured along that timeline and pretty scheduled. The routine doesn't vary - swaddle, binky, cold, dark, room, let them cry it out. Most babies, if they've had a decent night's sleep, get tired according to that schedule, and the key is to not miss those signs of tiredness and align yourself with their natural schedule. It's bad for everyone when you over tiredness happens (take it from someone who goes apocalyptica.)
All that being said, I'm not OCD about nap/sleep schedules the way some people are. Those are the people you never see out of the house past 7pm or who can't go out for dinner or lunch at a normal time because they're so wedded to their sleep/nap schedule. That way lies a prison-life, to me. So I'm all about the schedule, with flexibility. As long as most days, one of the naps during the day is in the crib and is a proper nap, then I'm okay to continue living my life and letting them catch some interrupted z's in the stroller or their carseat. Whatevs. I gotta do me, you know? Same goes for the bedtime. As long as most of the time, they're in their crib according to the usual routine, some deviation so that we can go to friends' for dinner or have a night out and not be stressing is okay. You just have to realize your/their limitations. So yeah, it might break bad and there might be some tired, cranky, crying babies. Generally, you ride that out, strap them into a carseat, put them upstairs in your friend's house, and they'll pass out eventually. You can always wear them in a baby carrier if they're making your life hell, and they'll pass out that way. Basically: you have options. It's all a compromise and it's all about understanding where they're coming from, and the babies understanding that you gotta treat yo' self sometimes.
Anyway, enough about that. Photos!
Another from the edition of the Great Gazoo having a toque stuck to his head
The dainty little Quincess does this sweet move when he's eating where he delicately holds his hand in front of his mouth. It looks like he's a demure Chinese girl hiding her chewing from the village matchmaker, but I think it's his way of keeping the food in his mouth while he slowly and fastidiously chews. Either way: it's the cutest.
As is this little scene!
The Big Yam requested a cape so that he could be Elsa. So I clipped a piece of fabric to his shirt and had him wear his birthday crown while he slowly paraded around the house and had me periodically adjust his cape. Cutest. Thing. Ever. After doing this for 10 minutes or so, he looked down at his chest and said, "But, but Mama, I need boobies. Elsa has boobies." WAY TO GO WITH YOUR FEMINIST MESSAGING, DISNEY. COMING THROUGH LOUD AND CLEAR.
The definition of the word "fartsacked"
Leonard looking like he had just been bawling (which he had)
Quincess showing off his hick, one tooth.