I just wanted to post to say hello and welcome to this forum. It is awesome!
Here are my $.02:
At the beginning, you just want them to sleep at the same time : ) The NICU really helped us establish a schedule by setting up feeding times (they were fed by gavage tubes for about 2-1/2 weeks). Kendall's feeding times were 2 a.m., 5 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. and Jamie's were 2:30 a.m., 5:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., etc. It is hard to stick to a pattern like this when solely breastfeeding so my best advice is if one baby gets up to eat, either feed that one and then wake up the second baby and feed them. If they wake up at the same time, if b'feeding, try to tandem or if bottle, use two baby papasans and you will have one hand to hold the bottle per baby. After they get bigger, they will sleep a little longer in between feedings. My rule of thumb is for every ounce they eat they will sleep for an hour (i.e. 4 ounces = sleep for 4 hours).
Regarding breastfeeding, I didn't make it past 5 weeks and they spent nearly 4 weeks in the NICU so I don't have great advice for you. I just threw the towel in after I brought them home because I just didn't seem to be able to get them on a great schedule and I wasn't resting enough and I noticed my supply decreasing. I know I didn't give it proper time but I just wanted the sleep more, especially since I had my dd to take care of too. If I didn't have her to look after, I would have stuck with it longer. I had a great milk supply too and had a bunch in the freezer to use after I quit nursing. Tandem feeding is the best if you can manage it. Buy about four nipple shields as they really, really help the babies latch on and stay on the nipple especially if they are small. Pump in the hospital after each nursing session (for about 15 minutes max). I think this really helped my supply as well as drinking A LOT of water. The EZ2Nurse twin pillow is great for b'feeding twins too.
Now that I am bottle feeding, I find it is easier to feed one at a time because when I feed both of them at the same time, one will need to burp and when I am burping them it seems like the other always spits up a lot and then I have to clean up and change their clothes so the total feeding ends up being the same amount of time as feeding them together.
My girls are both over 8 pounds now (Kendall is 8 pounds and Jamie is 8 pounds 12 ounces) and are sleeping about 5-6 hours at a time at night, which is AWESOME!
the only way i was able to get both of my boys to sleep at the same time was to always put them down for naps and bedtime at the same time. they did sleep with me at nights until they were 4 months old but then we moved them to their cribs. it took about 3-4 weeks to get them used to sleeping in their own cribs but now (they're 8 months old) they sleep at the same times (sometimes one wakes up a little bit before the other) which is great now.
i was only able to breast feed for 4 months then i pretty much dried up. lol i don't think my poor bb's could handle all the feedings. what i did was i'd pump (or try to pump) a bottle which my mom or my husband would feed to one baby while the other nursed. next feeding we would switch. the baby who had a bottle would nurse and the baby who nursed got a bottle. eli was a little harder to get to attach to the nipple but he eventually got the hang of it. but like i said i couldn't breast feed after 4 months. i still leak a bit now but i'm not really making milk. in fact my bb's are starting to shrink. i'm back down to a 40d from a 42 dd while i was pregnant and nursing.
having twins is hard and scary and a blessing and gift all in one. there are days i want to pull my hair out and nights i get no sleep. but when i see my little guys playing together, laughing, giggling and talking it's so worth it. it's amazing seeing them and knowing i had them BOTH in my uterous at the same time.
Hi and welcome!
I found that when the sleep schedule was predictable, other things sort of fell into place. However, keep your expectations low..I'd say that for the first few months, my twins only cooperated with my ideal 'schedule' about 1 out of every 5 days :)
As far as breastfeeding, don't be afraid to try different things out. There are definitely moms out there that are able to bf exclusively, but it does take patience. I don't have a great success story in that regard, but I feel I gave it my best effort. They were primarily on breastmilk for the first month (while in the NICU), but I had to start supplementing with formula once they came home. We did about half and half for a while, but they were pretty much all formula by about 4 months. My kids weren't great at latching, so I mostly pumped fed via bottle. That was a little more work on my part, but I do think it's easier to feed 2 at once from a bottle. I also had a 2 year old when my twins were born, so I didn't have as much opportunity to really work on the latching.
For most feedings, I set up 2 boppy pillows on the floor and fed them at the same time from a bottle. When one had to burp, I'd give the other a pacifier to sooth them. My kids had reflux so were big spitters no matter what I tried. I just had a stack of bibs handy at all times. To avoid having to change clothe constantly, I just went thru a lot of bibs and burps clothes at each feeding.
The entire first year, I felt like I was buried in dirty laundry and dirty diapers, but it is all worth it!! Best wished to you!
I had to pump since my kiddos were refusing to latch on...and they were getting hungry!! My kids spent no time in the NICU, but they did stay in the nursery at night and the nurses would feed them around the same time or at the same time and we just continued that. While I really wanted to breastfeed "for real," it was great to have bottles waiting for others to pitch in and help feed. We have always fed our twins at the same time and they sleep at the same time. In the beginning, they would wake every three hours to eat....usually they woke up at the same time. If not, we would wake the other one up to eat. Same thing for naps...they still usually both fall asleep at the same time, but if no,t one goes down when the other one does. At night, we put them both to bed at the same time. This all just worked best for us. Each person is different. You will just have to try and see what works for you.
This is great advice. Thank you to everyone. There is so much to think about, and I think not having a high expectations on myself will be very helpful.