My 12 Week Old Twins Were Born at 36 Weeks & I Need Schedule Help!

Babywise schedule help for twins born prematurely.

It sounds like you have been doing an AMAZING job with your twins! So wonderful that you were able to keep them in until almost full term and to be able to breastfeed. Both incredible blessings! Congrats!!

I have twins as well. They are now 4 years old and sleeping 12 hours every night and have been since they were 4 months old. :) You will get there too! Let's review your question and the schedule you're using now:

Hi! I have twins who were born at 36 weeks no problems. They are now 12 weeks, breastfed, and having a really hard time sticking to the schedule. I'm also having trouble understanding when to feed and how to move in to the direction of sleeping though the night. I've read Babywise twice and it seems not to click. (It could be my sleep deprived brain!) I have my schedule set as:

  • 1. Early morning 6:00
  • 2. Mid morning 8:30
  • 3. afternoon 11:00
  • 4. mid afternoon 1:30
  • 5. late afternoon 4:00
  • 6 early evening 6:30
  • 7. late evening 9:00
  • 8. middle of night 11:00
  • 9. pre morning 4:00
However, my babies have a hard time and wont make it until 4AM; they normally wake at 3AM. Is this schedule good for this week of age and when do I move to change this schedule? I felt like after reading and hearing other moms talk about their child sleeping though the night that I should be able to get more hours at night of sleep, but that hasn't happened yet. What am I doing wrong?

Let's talk about your schedule. It looks they are taking a lot of feedings. If I were you, I would try to move to more of a 3 hour schedule during the day so you don't over exhaust yourself - that's a lot of nursing - especially since you are doing both babies each time!

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Try to move from 9 feedings to more like 7. If I were you, I would set a start time for each day; if that's 6am, great. Then try 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm, and then you could keep that 11pm or move to around midnight and make it a dream feed to get one last feeding in and then drop that 4am feed as soon as possible. Without the 4am feeding, that gets you down to 7 feedings a day, which is great for a 3-4 month old baby.

One thing that really helped me was pumping in the mornings when I had a lot of milk and nursing one baby and bottle feeding one baby with that pumped milk for at least one feeding of the day. Every little break helps.

Also, I found that at night I would sometimes "top them off" with some pumped milk after they nursed from me just to fill up their little bellies as much as I could. Even if they were very sleepy, I would just slip the bottle in and let them get that 1 or so extra ounce.

I think if you could rearrange your day a bit to try to get to the 3 hour mark for feedings, you will feel some relief and be less tired. Try keeping the twins up for just 15 more minutes during their wake time to see if they will take a longer nap for you to get you to the 3 hour mark.

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They also might be getting too much stimulation and therefore becoming overtired which can also create shorter naps in which case you would want to lie them down a little earlier than you are now. Just play around a little with your wake times and see what works.

The first 4 months are tough with twins so do not be discouraged - you are doing an incredible job!! I also did some cluster feeding in the evenings, so not waiting a full 3 hours, but maybe do your 6pm then bath and then 8:30pm then again around 11/11:30 (sort of like you already are!).

Once your day is more routine and you feel like they are able to give you a longer stretch at night (mine slept through the night with training at 13 weeks), I'd drop the 4am feeding. Follow the Babywise suggestions for dropping the feeding.

I went in the first night and picked up and rocked and said "it's night night time" and laid back down. Let them cry for x minutes - whatever you and your husband feel comfortable with - and then did the same thing again.

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Night two I didn't pick up, just patted on the back and affirmed them that "mommy is here and it's night night time" and then night three I didn't go in at all. Usually it takes 3 nights to break a habit and you can get rid of that feeding. It won't be perfect with twins because often one wakes the other and then goes back to sleep and the other stays up! But you will get there.

Stay consistent with your morning start time and try to get them sleeping in their crib(s) during the day and on a fairly consistent three hour schedule and usually the night time long stretches will follow naturally. You are so close! Don't be discouraged; keep on and they will give you that stretch before you know it! And give yourself lots of grace.

I nursed my oldest child for a full 12 months. With the twins, I just couldn't keep up and that's ok. They received formula and are healthy and thriving today.

Get some help during the day if you can...I literally lined up friends, neighbors, older ladies who were retired, anybody who would come (ha!) for 2-3 hours a day so that I could rest or they could hold one while I nursed another. It takes a village; if you don't know people, join a twin group or mommy group and start making mom friends that could come over and help. Their kids can play and you can have another set of hands; sometimes it's just so nice to be with someone else and feel like you have help even if it's not someone like a paid nanny.

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Every little bit helps! I'm going on and on so I will stop here. I am so excited for you. Twins are the BEST! I just love it and it truly gets better and better each year.

For more help, consider reading our tips for breastfeeding newborn twins. Feel free to follow-up with us in the comments below. Congratulations again and God's richest blessings on you and yours!

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