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 feeding routine that you can continue with. When your babies are new born the most important thing is to make sure they are feeding well and often. New born babies will not have a regular sleep pattern and will wake up regularly through the night. As the babies get bigger and move out of the new born stage then more predictable feeding and nap schedules will be able to be established.
A routine needs to take into account all your babies needs for example feeding, sleeping and play. It needs to be flexible and something that works for you and your family situation. For example; whilst establishing a regular bedtime is it possible to get in some support at a specific time? Or if you find yourself having to do bedtime on your own don’t make your routine too difficult. A bath doesn't have to be part of the bedtime routine. Maybe bath at another time during the day or bath one baby on alternate days to lighten the load at bedtime.
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.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and share tasks out to lighten the load. 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.
Getting out and about is very beneficial but also difficult with two or more babies so start small. Aim for a short walk around the block on a regular basis before building up to bigger outings. Remember every day is a new day, try and focus on what has gone right throughout the day rather than what has gone wrong!