Around the three month mark I kept hearing from people “Do you have the babies on a schedule yet? You really should get them on a schedule. It’s so helpful.” I thought that I did have them on a schedule. “Sure,” I would say. “They eat every three hours starting at 5 AM and they sleep or play in between feedings.” One thing that is universally true about raising kids is that just as quickly as you get used to a certain phase, it’s over and on to the next one. I was just getting into the groove of our 3-hour-interval schedule when suddenly the babies started to become a lot more alert during the day, and cranky. They didn’t want to eat, they didn’t want to sleep — they wanted to be entertained. They wanted to sit up, play with toys, listen to music, talk. Our little ones were becoming far more interested in their surroundings.
And I quickly became very interested in the whole schedule thing. A couple weeks ago we decided to implement a daily routine. One piece of advice I had heard from multiple fellow moms was to bathe the babies before bed to “signal” bedtime. I had been resisting this because my husband doesn’t usually get home from work until around 8 PM. This means I am on my own at bedtime and with two little ones, I am outnumbered. Bathing two babies on my own every single night seemed cumbersome and was it really worth it just for a silly routine? At four months with a 2 AM feeding that was not going anywhere, I decided it was.
This is my current routine for our newly 5-month-old twins:
6:30 AM — Wake babies up & feed them (~7 oz a feeding now, but sometimes 8 at the first feeding of the day).
8:00 AM — Down for their first nap.
10:00/10:30 AM — Babies sleep for 2-2.5 hours. They wake up to play and are on the floor almost always when not napping. They roll around on blankets or in their activity centers, playing with toys & rings or trying to roll/crawl. Occasionally I will sit them in a bouncer (P’s favorite) or the bumbo (G’s favorite).
10:30 AM — Put the babies in their bumbos & feed them a “first food” like pears or apples (we like Plum organics baby food bags so we can use the snap-on spoons; whoever invented these is my new favorite person), followed by their bottles.
11:30 AM — Back to the floor for playtime, or if it’s nice out, a stroll around the neighborhood.
12:30 PM — Second nap for another 2 hours (again, if I’m lucky).
2:30/3:00 PM — Wake babies and feed them baby food and their bottles.
3:30 – 5:30 PM — Play, read books to them.
5:30 PM — Wake the baby that has been fed first the entire day, bathe, and get him/her dressed. Place in bouncer and bathe the other baby.
6:15 PM — Feed the first-bathed baby and put in sleep sack to lay on a blanket on the nursery floor for quiet time with a toy/lovie while I feed the other baby in the nursery glider.
6:45/7:00 PM — Put both babies in their cribs, in their sleep sacks with pacis, for bedtime. Turn on mobile and leave the room crossing my fingers that they don’t scream as I go…
A routine in pictures: