Well, if you needed any confirmation of whether life is busy with two babies, the fact that it’s taken me 17 days to publish this monthly update might provide it! Hattie and Joe were five months old two and a half weeks ago and, as always, their most recent monkey photo can be found on the Hattie and Joe page. The monkey is shrinking rapidly!
It’s been a challenging month – that whole sleep regression thing really disrupted both babies, resulting in a lot of unsettled nights and short day naps. Things are still pretty hit and miss: we’ll have one terrible night (two or three night feeds, plus other wake-ups to resettle), and then a couple of good nights. I’m so thankful that, for the vast majority of the time, both babies resettle very quickly after night feeds – it might be a bit of a pain to have to get up a couple of times in the night, but at least we’re only up for 15 – 20 minutes.
The challenging bits have been supplemented by a lot of baby sweetness. I’m discovering that this is a truly delightful stage of babyhood: my two little sidekicks are usually very settled and good tempered during the day. Now that I’ve become more skilled at reading their tired signs, and – crucially – now that I’ve started relaxing into this motherhood gig a bit and going with the flow a lot more, our days together are a great deal more relaxed and enjoyable. And Tristan also gets far more of an opportunity to spend lovely times with Hattie and Joe in the mornings, and when he gets home in the evening – a far cry from the five solid hours of grizzling that characterised our evenings during the first twelve weeks.
In particular, I’ve become far more relaxed about schedules. I know plenty of twin mothers who can keep their babies to a pretty strict routine, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t really work for us, and that trying too hard to achieve it just makes me stressed out and unhappy, and erodes my enjoyment of Hattie and Joe’s company. These days, we work to a loose schedule. Each day starts the same way, with a tandem feed at 7/7.30, and then the babies are up for around 90 minutes before their morning nap, but after that things tend to unravel. If one baby sleeps for only 40 minutes, and the other one sleeps for two hours, they’ll often fall out of sync with feeds; the first baby might be fed and heading back to bed just as the second baby wakes up. This can often mean that I’ll have days where I scarcely have five baby-free minutes and, again, this has bothered me in the past, but now I’m seeing the silver lining and recognising that it’s lovely for the babies and me to have some one-on-one time. And let’s face it: I’m a stay-at-home Mum – what else do I have to do all day, other than chill out with my children? Now that they’re old enough to lie on a mat and play with toys, it’s perfectly possible to quickly do a bit of housework, or chuck a load of laundry into the washing machine while they’re up.
With both babies I’ve become quite relaxed about the feeding schedule, though. For a while I was very hung up on clock-watching and not feeding early, but these days I’m rolling with the punches a bit more. It seems ludicrous to me to listen to a hungry baby grizzle for 20 minutes, rather than just feeding them then and there. Occasionally I have days where both babies are super hungry and need a lot of nursing – like last Thursday, when they were out of sync all day AND both wanted to eat every two hours, which meant that I was feeding hourly, but on the whole most day feeds are three to four hours apart.
Even if the babies are totally out of sync throughout the day, every afternoon finishes in the same way: a tandem feed at 5; baths at 5.30, another tandem feed at 6ish; into bed at 6.30; and asleep by 7. This evening routine has worked for us since the babies were twelve weeks old, and it, more than anything else, has improved life in our house.
During the past month Hattie and Joe experienced their first head colds. What fun for all concerned! We siphoned truly remarkable amounts of snot out of their little noses – I’m amazed that their heads didn’t cave in. Fortunately for me they both remained pretty good humoured.
Anyway, here’s a quick update on both babies.
Our little Hattiekins is such a sweetheart! She’s smiley and happy most of the time, and is so lovely to have around. There are moments where she lets us know – very loudly – that she’s not pleased with life, but on the whole she’s great fun.
One big development with Hattie this month has been a new-found ability to wait a while for her feeds. She’sbeen a bit of a cat-napper recently, so she often wakes up long before she’s due a feed. Life is a great deal more pleasant when she’s not acting like I’m cruelly starving her.
We’ve also started solids in the past month, and Hattie is not yet a big eater – but I’ll save tales of puréed vegetables for a separate update.
Hattie’s recent ability to manage her appetite might have something to do with her recent growth. She’s really gained weight well over the past month, and as of 12 June she weighed 6.18 kg – up from 5.09 kg at her last weigh-in, on 24 April. The little girl – who had only outgrown her newborn-sized clothes a day before she reached four months – is now busting out of some of her 0-3 clothes! Until a few weeks ago she looked significantly smaller than Joe, and was more than a kilo lighter. Now, she looks just about the same size, and is within 500g of him. This is awesome because she’s now fitting some of the ridiculously cute clothes in her wardrobe. Check out this awesome outfit:
And I was very excited when she wore a dress for the first time:
Hattie is still rolling onto her side at every opportunity, and if she’s placed on her tummy she’s very close to rolling over onto her back. And she’s grabbing at any toy within her reach now, and bringing it straight to her mouth for further exploration. And she LOVES leaping around in the Jolly Jumper. She twirls and prances like a would-be ballerina.
Joe continues to be the world’s most chilled out little boy. He’s such a pleasure to have around – as long as he’s fed, cuddled, and put to bed on time, he’s sorted. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if Joe was my singleton baby I would like that this motherhood job was an absolute doddle.
When it comes to solids Joe has been an early adopter. He had been very interested in my meals for a long time – so much so that I can’t really eat or drink when feeding him anymore, as he’ll instantly unlatch and stare up at me expectantly. And if there’s food nearby, he’s watching it very closely:
Like his sister, Joe is rolling onto his side at every opportunity. He’s also very fond of putting his feet in his mouth (in fact, everything ends up in his mouth before long). The race is on to see who will roll over first!
At his last weigh-in Joe was 6.69 kg. He’s still fitting some of his 0-3 clothes, but only just. He looks the epitome of a well covered, cuddly baby, which is probably why it’s hard to resist snuggling with him. He’s also very smiley these days, and giggles a lot as well. It’s too adorable for words.
Joe is definitely beating Hattie in the hair-growing race – just recently he’s suddenly started looking like his bald days are behind him, whereas Hattie only as a very light covering of fuzz.
When he’s not bouncing around in the Jolly Jumper or staging pitched battles with the toys in the baby gym, Joe likes nothing better than to watch sport – both at home:
And when we’re out:
I promise that the six month update will be published far more promptly!