Our Key to Twins: ROUTINE!
When we first found out that we were having twins, well after the panic and excitement ran its course at least, we started researching how to then raise said twins. We read blogs, forums, books, everything we could about how to not only raise them the best we could, but also what would make life easier for us in return.
There was a lot about the advantages and disadvantages around on-demand versus routine feeding schedules. When the twins were first born, we still didn't have a clear decisive approach to the on-demand or routine led approaches. The midwife suggested on-demand as she'd seen it work well for new twin parents. Following her advice, we spent the first two days doing on-demand feeding, which then dictated when they slept. After 48 hours of doing this, neither of us slept (as I had to hand Super Mummy the twins due to her caesarian). Both of us live and die by the amount of sleep we have, so knew instantly that not having a routine with feeding the twins was not going to work for us, especially after I returned to work.
On day 3 of being twin parents, we set in place a routine. It was largely led by the twins in the fact that if one woke up and wanted a feed, we'd wake the other and feed both at the same time. This meant at first that there would be about an hour that they'd both be feeding and then another hour where they would both be sleeping. In turn, it meant we got to get an hour or so of sleep as well, at least at night.
After seven months of successfully running a routine led approach, my wife handed over the reins to me while she went back to work and I took extended paternity leave. In the lead up to my first full day solely in charge, Super Mummy wrote a very distinctive routine plan that I could use to remember and follow. This was exceptionally helpful and reminded me what I needed to do and think about and when. Having a routine, not to mention the written down version of it, saved me endless amounts of time and stress as I knew when I could plan out other things like laundry, housework, shopping, etc.
Even to today, we still have a routine, while it's a little simpler then the original ones, it still means we know we will have an hour or two in the afternoon that the kids are napping to get things done, but it also meant that when we wanted to start weaning them off of milk at night, we could get them to sleep through the whole night. It worked perfectly and by 9 months old, both twins were sleeping from 7:30pm until 7am without waking or needing a feed. Needless to say, the routine has been a tried, tested and trued approach that we are still getting the benefits of nearly two years on.