Cedric and Ezra are asleep in their pack and play, so I figured I'd take a moment to write about what a typical day in our household is like. I'll start at the beginning of the day. But, here's a spoiler alert: it's hard to determine exactly when the beginning of the day is because our days seem to keep rolling into each other.
For our six-week old twins, the days are broken up into three-hour cycles: 12, 3, 6 and 9AM and 12, 3, 6, and 9 PM. I think that Cedric is ready to move to a four-hour cycle, but Ezra is not, so we are intentionally keeping them on the same schedule to maximize our sanity.
During the day we try to feed the kids and then have "awake time' right after the feeding. That means we'll do stretches, tummy time, diaper changes and staring at interesting things right after they eat. This works about 3 out of 4 feedings. The kids are getting more consistent with eating and then staying up to play as they grow. Ezra was born at a low birth weight, so feeding him regularly is the most important thing.
During nap times, we wash bottles, put in a load of laundry, stuff our wonderful g-diapers, or try to get other household chores done. Before I get much more into the play by play action, let me tell you a bit about our situation, so that you don't try to compare apples to oranges. As the subtitle of our blog says, we are a two-dad family. We live in India and work at a world-class school. Chad has been home with the twins since they were born, and in January he goes back to work. I get to stay home from January through the beginning of February. And, yes, we have full-time help (a nanny and a cook) who work during the days 6-days per week. So, we are able to get quite a bit done during the day, because there are usually three sets of hands at home at all times.
After the 6:00 feeding, we do a bath about every 3rd day. Then we put the babies in their cribs for the night at about 7:45PM. We have found that if we put them down after this that we miss the "window." and they have a hard time getting settled down. When they go down at 7:45, they sleep until 9 and go right back to sleep after. If they miss the window, they typically stay up until 9, and then are don't get settled until 10:30 or 11!
For the feedings during the day, we usually feed them at the same time, and then for the feedings during the night we feed them one-at-a-time so that only one of us has to get up. And for the night feeds we try not to keep them as calm as possible, and then put them right back to bed. This works most of the time. Every now and then we end up with fussy babies in the middle of the night, but not very often.
I can't stress to you how this schedule has saved our sanity for the first month of their lives! Our kids have thrived on their three-hour cycles and are typically very happy babies. Knowing that they need to eat at 12, 3, 6, and 9 twice a day has allowed us to physically and psychologically prepare for what needs to be done. For example, I know that I can go to bed right at 9:30PM, and then wake up for the 12AM feeding, get to bed at 1AM and then wake up and do the 6AM feeding before heading to work. This allows Chad to sleep until 3AM, and then sleep in until the kids need to eat again at 9AM. So, we're both tired, but we're not exhausted.
I hope that this doesn't seem too mechanical or robotic. Really, these last 6 weeks have been magical. Our routines have allowed us to get as much sleep as possible and have as much energy as we can to take care of each other and our babies. When people ask how we're going, I always say that we are having a great time because it is the honest truth! We love parenting our twins.