Monday, January 14, 2013

7 Months: Creating a routine for our twin girls

Emily and Erin will be 7 months on Saturday, and I think I'm finally ready for a routine. Yep, you read that right - we've never really operated on a schedule around here. I've tried a few times, but always given up after a couple of days. Part of that is due to our work schedules (ironically enough - things would probably be easier if we DID have a routine) but partly it's because when meeting the needs of two tiny people, it can be hard to pin something down that works for everyone involved for more than a week at a time.

I've noticed over the past few weeks that both girls seem to be much more interested in stopping their play to have a bottle than in stopping to nurse. I still nurse them fairly frequently, 5-6 times a day, but they usually have 3-4 bottles (of varying sizes) a day in addition to nursing. They are both able to hold their own bottles now, so this actually makes things much easier for all of us - they can eat at the same time! Nursing tends to make them sleepy and cozy, so I try to coordinate their nursing sessions with nap time, bed time, and any nighttime wakeups. Don't worry, they know how to fall asleep without nursing, but it's nice to have that comfort measure at 12:30 am - or 3 am - or 4 am - or anytime before 6:30! 

Now that I have an idea of how often they like to eat and how often they like to nap (and that list fits in one column) I'm going to start mapping out a schedule. I'm not sure if this is more of a routine than a schedule, because things don't always have to happen at the same time for our days to work smoothly, but times help me keep things straight. So here's what we'll be trying this week:

6:30 - Wake up. Change diapers, nurse, snuggle with Mommy.
7:00 - Play on mat while Mommy has a cup of coffee. 
7:15 -  Mommy showers and gets dressed
7:30 - Daddy starts work, babies get dressed.
7:45 - Play time. More coffee and breakfast for Mommy.
9:00 - Nurse, 2-4 oz bottle for both.
9:30 - Nap. Mommy catches up on housework, blogging, or gets ready for work (Thurs-Fri)
10:30-11:30 - Wake up. Change diapers. 2-4 oz bottle (depending on length of nap). Errands, outing, or appointments as needed.
1:00 - 1 oz of "solid food" in baby self-feeder. Nurse.
1:30 - Play. Lunch for Mommy.
2:30 - Nurse, 2-4 oz bottle for both.
3:00 - Nap.
4:30 - Daddy finishes work. Wake up, change diapers, 4-6 oz bottle for both. Family walk or playtime depending on weather.
5:00 - Mommy fixes dinner. Babies play with Daddy. Change diapers just before dinner (5:50)
6:00-6:15 - Dinnertime. 1 oz of "solid food" in baby self-feeder.
6:30 - Playtime while Daddy loads dishwasher.
7:00 - Bathtime. Turn on space heater in babies' bedroom.
7:30 - Nurse, offer bottle.
8:00 - Bedtime.
10:30 - Bedtime for Mommy. Nurse if babies refused bottle at bedtime.

As you can see, we have pretty packed days around here! There are definitely variations, depending on family activities and such, but I think we can probably stick to this for the most part. It will probably be helpful to have this in writing to refer to, especially when we're trying to plan activities! The naps are the most variable part of the day, but playtime is pretty flexible, so as long as they actually take two naps and go to bed within a 30 minute window, I think we'll be all right. I'll post next Monday about how this actually worked out for us this week!


  1. You're doing great! My daughter was about 8 months before we started a "routine" and even then, it wasn't quite as much as you have planned out. Although I think if I had twins I probably would have to rethink how I divvy up our time.

    Congrats on the schedule!


  2. I'm intrigued by the "baby self-feeder." Could you share what that is? Thanks!

    1. We have two different ones, actually! Here is a link to the one we use the most:

      It's not really a "self feeder" in the sense that the baby actually feeds him or herself (at 7 months, anyway) but the food just squeezes into the spoon, so it eliminates the bowl and the associated mess. It also holds a whole jar of food, so we don't have to get up and refill as often.

      The other self feeder we have is kind of a teether, where you can put frozen fruit or veggies in to soothe the baby and they can gum it out. Theoretically they can eat from it, but mostly my girls smack it around on the table once the novelty of sucking on it has worn off. Here's a link to it: