Many parents find having a routine is invaluable in caring for more than one baby. If your babies were in special care they may already be in a routine that you can continue with, but be prepared to change and adapt this as the babies get older. By thinking about your babies’ needs, such as feeding, sleeping and play, you can develop a pattern that works for you and them.
A routine needs to be flexible and something that works for you and your family situation. For example; if you want to get your babies to have a regular bedtime then you will need to establish what time works best within your situation. Does your partner come home from work at 6pm, so it is easier to do bath and bed time once they are home so that they can help?
Routine helps children to feel safe and secure, it also helps them to predict what is going to happen next in their day. If you have the same routine when feeding, putting them down for a nap or to bed at night, your babies will come to expect this and will settle or be more accepting of it because of its familiarity.
Try sharing tasks between you, your partner and anyone who is helping. So, for example, one of you might do the laundry while the other one cooks supper. Remember, as babies grow, the routines will need to be adjusted in response to their changing sleep, feeding and wake patterns, especially during periods like growth spurts and teething. While routines can be helpful in organising your activities, try to avoid being too rigid and setting unrealistic expectations.
Ask yourself which household chores are essential and which are desirable. Until things calm down, stick to doing what’s essential and, when that’s done, take whatever moments are left for yourself, your partner and your babies – or just rest.
Organise your home so you can find things quickly and easily. For example, it’s worth having one changing mat and changing equipment upstairs and one downstairs, and a bag that is kept packed ready with spare clothes, nappies and wipes etc in case you want to go out.
Try to get out every day and do something you enjoy. Remember that while you will undoubtedly have some bad days, you will also have some really good days.