How can I manage to bath my 7 week twin girls at 5.45pm and stay with in the routine times?
I am generally happy and successfully applying and following the routine. I do, however, have a big problem with the bathing time at 6pm. I simply don’t manage to bath both girls in the given time frame. This might well be due to me being a new mum and handling twins being very stressful. At first, the twins really enjoyed their bath but the more I am trying to manage the tasks, on my own, within the time frames given in the book, the more stressed I get as I find it impossible to do so. It seems as though the twins are picking up on my stress and enjoy their bath less and less.
I got so frustrated that I skipped the bath today only to realise that it was impossible to keep the girls awake after their 5pm feed and they were not hungry for the 6:30pm feed.
I was now wondering if it is possible to only bath one twin a day and take it in turns or can I adjust the times – and if so, how? Is there any advice on how to achieve the task better (e.g. can I use the same bath water for both twins to save time or e.g. is there a particular easy to use bath / bathing method I could use?)
My twins feed at 7am 100mls, 10.15am 130mls, 2pm 95mls, 5.15pm 100mls, 6.30pm 60mls, 10.15pm 100mls, 2.30pm 100mls.
They nap at 8.30-10am, 11.30-2pm and 4-5pm. They settle at 6.45pm.
Bathing newborn twins alone can be a daunting task. There is no reason why you cannot bath each one every other night until you feel that you can manage both of them together. If you want to bath both girls on the same night then, if you are staggering their feeding times, so one is 15 minutes ahead of the other, you may like to bath them one after the other.
In order that they are not so tired and more able to take their bedtime feed begin the 5pm feed slightly earlier. Wake one twin around 4.45pm and give her 80-90mls. Let her sit in her baby chair or play under the gym whilst you feed the other twin the same amount. Aim to be in the bathroom by 5.40pm at the latest. If you want to bath both girls, have baby chair in the bathroom and possibly a dummy. You may not like the idea of using a dummy but, when coping alone with small twins, it can be useful to use a dummy to help you remain unstressed at certain times of the day.
Prepare the bathroom whilst they are having their lunchtime or afternoon nap. Lay out two sets of night clothes, nappies, plenty of towels, two dummies, any creams used and two baby flannels. You may like to have a changing mat in this room as well. Make sure that the bathroom is warm enough for them to feel comfortable when undressed. With twins you may find it easier to use the main bath and have two of the towelling type bath chairs available. These provide support for the babies and, although you cannot let go of them completely, you will be able to have one hand free to wash each baby.
Warm their bedtime feed and place the bottles in an insulated bag so the girls will not have to wait for their feeds to be warmed once they are dressed. Before starting bath time take the bag, and any bibs or muslins used, to their nursery or the room where you feed them.
Undress the girls and allow them to have a free kicking time with no nappy on whilst you run the bath. The twin who fed first at 5pm needs to be bathed first. Let the other twin continue kicking if she is happy to do so. If the second twin becomes fractious then you can use the dummy to help her wait her turn. At this age having a bath does not take long so your first daughter will only be in the water 5-10minutes.
If the girls seem apprehensive of the water make sure it is warm enough for them. Using the towelling chairs enables you to have a deeper bath which will be more comfortable for the babies than a shallow one. Use one of the baby flannels soaked in the bath water to lay across the baby’s tummy. This can help her feel more secure. Once she is finished in the bath take her out and wrap her up in a warm, dry towel. Put on her nappy and then let her lie and kick whilst her sister has her bath. Providing neither twin has any kind of infection, or skin condition which could be contagious, there is no reason why they cannot be bathed in the same water. If your bathroom is well heated, and you have plenty of warm dry towels to hand, the twin who was first bathed should be fairly happy to have a short kick. If she is distressed, use the dummy to calm her as you bath her sister. Once the second twin is bathed take her out and dry her. Getting two babies dressed can be difficult if they are now ready for their milk and bedtime. Use a dummy when you need to and leave any clearing up of the bathroom until you have settled them for the night. Dress them both and take them to the room where you feed them. If the twin who was fed second at 5pm is able to wait for her feed you may still be able to keep the staggered feeding going and settle the first twin in her cot before feeding the second. If they are both tired then feed them together. As the 5pm/6pm feed is in reality one feed split into two the second half may be smaller than usual. Providing they settle well at 6.45pm and sleep until woken for their 10pm feed then they are taking in enough milk for their needs.
If you decide to bathe the twins on alternate nights then still begin to feed them around 4.45pm and follow on with the above sequence. The twin who is not having a bath may still enjoy some free kicking time with no nappy on whilst her sister is bathed. You can then dress them both after the bath has finished and follow on with the feeding as before. Again, having a dummy with you can help if one of the babies becomes fractious.
As the twins grow bath time should be less of an ordeal for you all. Being organized and starting in plenty of time should help you feel more confident and enable the girls begin to enjoy this time of day more.