You’ve always been really involved with the girls – was that a decision you made quite early on?
It wasn’t a twin thing. It wasn’t a decision I made, I naturally wanted to help whether there was one baby or two.
Did you feel more pressured into helping because of the twin thing?
No. It’s wouldn’t have made a difference.
At which point do you think it started to get easier?
I remember the first night they slept for about six hours [straight], from 12-6 and you wake up and think ‘Oh! It’s morning! Are they ok?’ They kept doing it didn’t they? About six hours a night. It was much easier then [from when they were about two months old]. Before that it was every 2-3 hours. Some nights we took it in turns, so that one of us would go in the girls’ room [they were in our bedroom] and get some sleep and the other one would do the feeds. One of us was able to get a proper night’s sleep that way. You were expressing so I could do the feeds as well. If you’d breastfed you wouldn’t have had a night off. Expressing was a much better way to do it. I worked out a technique where I would lay them on a cushion and have a bottle in each hand. Stuff like that you have to make up and work out yourself.
Nobody teaches you this stuff
You’ve only got two hands. You can’t hold them and feed them.
Can you offer any advice to new dads?
It’s little things, like feeding them in their car seats and getting them to hold their own bottles [at 9 months]. Help out a lot. Is it different if you’re a SAHM?
Yes, I think they take on the lion’s share of the childcare.
They [the breadwinner] should still help out though, especially at the beginning. They do sleep a lot though, at the beginning, but you don’t like to leave them. You couldn’t exactly go out but you didn’t feel like you could leave them, even to have a shower.
One thing you did that was really helpful, when you were on the early shift you’d come home at lunchtime and I’d go off to bed for a kip and you’d do the next feed.
Back to advice, the best thing we ever did was set up a routine. It was you that said…they naturally wanted to be fed every 3 hours, so you set it up so they were fed at 7,10,1,4, 7 and 10pm
I came up with that when they were five weeks old. We spent four weeks faffing around being a bit useless and then I said ‘Right, tomorrow morning we’re setting the alarm for 7…’
One of our friends at nursery says we’re very strict but the routine we have now was all generated from the routine they had from the start. They naturally wanted feeding every 3 hours from 7am and then as they got older they didn’t want it as much so we changed to every 4 hours and we still have the remnants of the same routine, of them getting up at 7 and going to bed at 7.
The perception of some parents is that routine is very cruel
But they seem to respond to that. They know they’re going to get fed at a certain time and that’s all they want really, when they’re little. We didn’t just impose arbitrary times from the beginning. They naturally led it and we met them in the middle.
You persuaded me to drop the 10-10.30pm feed and it was a revelation! I was convinced they wouldn’t sleep…
….we had to do it eventually. We would’ve tried it for a few nights and gone back if it hadn’t worked. We had a little phase of trying to put them upstairs at 7pm, but they really didn’t like that. They slept for a few weeks downstairs in the evening and we took them upstairs for their 10pm feed, when we went to bed.
I cracked that at c.9-10 weeks, but it wasn’t easy.
The biggest thing to start with was to feed them both at the same time. Feed the waker first, then wake the other one up and feed them immediately afterwards.