Monday, August 03, 2009

Schedule Vs. Routine Vs. Whatever

I've been working on this post for days and I really just don't have time to make this as clever and outrageous as I'd like to. So, here's the condensed version:

Did you know that the vast majority of advice I keep finding online and in books and hearing in person from more than a few "twin authorities" is to put the twins on a strict schedule? As in Ezzo's Baby Wise, don't dare feed them more than every 3 hours starting at 7 days old. Yes, the same Ezzo Baby Wise that was condemned by the American Association of Pediatrics as a dangerous parenting strategy likely to lead to dehydration and failure to thrive? What's even more surprising is the lack of awareness of the controversy these people have when they say this. Is it because twins are really so rare that parents think it's ok to use a parenting style for them that is condemned for singletons? Is it because so many twin parents are first time parents that they don't know any better? W. T. F. And it's not just a few places: It's a good deal of the twin parenting advice.

So, um, yeah. What is probably even more surprising is that I have luckily found quite a few MOMs (Mothers of Multiples) who do NOT follow this advice for a strict schedule, even if they do follow a routine (which we are doing, too). Back to an aside I would fix if I could edit this: When I say Strict Schedule, I mean that people are actually saying to me that they ONLY feed their children every 3 hours. And maybe once or twice they fed them at 2 hours and 45 minutes, but that was the absolute exception and they resolved never to do it again. (The last part is the only exaggeration)

So a routine? Yes. The babies get up at 8. Christopher has his alert time then, then goes to sleep. I feed them again. Bridget has a much shorter alert time and then I nurse both again and they eat and go back to sleep. They nap for most of the afternoon (and if they don't get both these long morning and afternoon naps, there is hell to pay) and then they have alert time late afternoon and evening and go to sleep for the night between 9 and 10. They wake up a few times in the night--like once or twice, oh, I am SO NOT KIDDING and we are SO LUCKY--and then are up at 5 or 6 for snacks and a nap.

That is our routine. It is not a schedule. They eat when they want to eat. And Christopher, weighing it at over 11 lbs (from 7 lbs when he came home 4 weeks ago), eats more frequently than Bridget who FINALLY broke 8 lbs last week (up from 4 1/2 lbs 5 weeks ago). And both of them eat more frequently than 3 hours at more than one time during the day. And they should!! It is obviously helping them. The only person it isn't helping is *me*. I don't know exactly when they are going to eat and sleep every day. I do, however, now where two watches which let me know who ate when so when I'm getting ready to do something, I have a rough idea of who is going to demand a boob when and plan accordingly.

But so effing what? I'm a big girl. I can handle my day being disrupted by two babies. They have been on this earth just a little while and need to know that someone is going to take care of them when they are tired and hungry. (Did you know that Ezzo/Baby Wise promotes not picking infants up when they cry? Oh, and the whole spanking with tubes and sticks to not leave marks?)

ANYWHO, it's busy with twins!! We are actually doing well. It's sooooooo much better now that Bridget's reflux is medicated. She's still a crazy kitten, but she's not screaming in pain for hours on end.

Ok. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I hope to blog on less annoying things later on. And if you used a schedule and it worked out well for you and your family, that's great. It's not our cuppa, and I guess the real reason it's been so annoying to me is that I've heard it again and again and again and no one has acknowledged that it's very controversial advice.


Kim said...

Can't wait to see some pics of the twins and Conner!!!

Julia said...

I didn't think this post was annoying at all. Kind of fascinating that the so called "experts" think they know what is best for each individual child. Plus, shouldn't they be eating more (or more often) since they were early? I am thankful that you are willing to share your experience with us all!

Piratewench said...

Someone actually advocates hitting children with objects? That is shocking to me!