I have always been a regimented person and when I found out I was having twins I did research and had found that getting on a schedule could be a lifesaver. I knew right then and there that when my the bubs arrived I would want to get them on a schedule. Of course the early days when sleep is evasive a schedule is a little hard but they were pretty much on one right away. They were 5 weeks early and at the suggestion of the hospital and our pediatrician the babies should eat every three hours. That’s what we did for the first two months day and night, 3 hour blocks. Then around four months they started to drop nighttime feedings. During the day it was a regimented 3 hour feed/play/sleep schedule. It was pretty much:
- 7:00 a.m.-wake up/eat/play/nap
- 10:00 a.m. wake up/eat/play/nap
- 1:00 p.m. wake up/eat/play/nap
- 4:00 p.m. wake up/eat/play/nap
- 7:00 p.m. wake up/eat/play/nap
- 10:00 p.m. wake up/bottle and bed time
My life literally revolved around a three-hour loop of wake up, diaper changes, and feeding. The babies couldn’t stay awake for much more than an hour or hour and a half before they needed a nap and they quickly fell into loving the routine.
At some point around 6 months the schedule changed as the babies were able to stay awake longer. I broke into a four-hour block routine. However, the babies were waking up early and we are still fighting the early wake-ups. The schedule turned into:
- Around 5:45 they wake up but hang out in their cribs until about 6:20ish then have bottle and play
- 8:30-10:00 am.. Nap time
- 10:00 a.m. bottle and play; solids at 11:30 a.m.
- 12:30-2:00 p.m. nap time
- 2:00 p.m. bottle and playtime
- 4:30-5:15 p.m. catnap
- 5:15 p.m. solids then playtime
- 6:30 p.m. we start bedtime routine; baths, bottle and storytime
- 7:15 p.m. in cribs ready for bed
Just last week the catnap at the end of the day turned into a nightmare. They were crying hysterically when they went down and it was taking them over 20 minutes to fall asleep. I knew it was time to rearrange. I decided to follow their lead in order to revamp the schedule. They are 9.5 months and this is what it has turned into:
- 5:45ish a.m. wake up, stay in crib until about 6:20 and then bottle and playtime, solids at 7:30 or 7:45
- 9:00-11:00 a.m. nap time
- 11:00 a.m. bottle, playtime and solids at 12:30
- 2:00-4:00(at least try to get that long) p.m. nap time
- 4:00 wake up, bottle, play time and solids at 5:15
- 6:30 start bedtime routine of bath, bottle and story time
- 7:15 in bed and ready for bed
Everyday is not perfect. There are times when they wake up really early from a nap and bedtime has to be adjusted but they are so regimented that I have found that if they go to bed early to compensate for missed sleep they have early morning or night wakings. They thrive on the schedule. And more so than anything it maintains my sanity. I know what to expect of my day. I can play outings around the schedule. The schedule literally equals my sanity. Some may think it is ridiculous but it is what works for the babies and for me. I know there will come a time that they will not fit into this box but for now I will gladly accept it.
The one downside to the schedule is that I am so neurotic about it. People will invite me to a family gathering or a friend will say come and do this or that and I am scared to break the babies schedule. There have been times when I have broken the schedule and the babies are an absolute shit show. So, I am going to be working on that and take things in stride.
Another reason why the schedule was so important for me then and now is my pumping schedule. Having a structure like this has allotted me time to designate a schedule for my pumping. I am able to squeeze in almost all of my pumps while they are sleeping. There is one I am trying to drop a 4:30 pump but I am battling mastitis (AGAIN).
Do any of you have a schedule?