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Babies are peculiar creatures, will do exactly what one person wants them to, and nothing another wants them to.. You aren't not a crap mother, and not getting the whole feed down Adam doesn't make it so..because lovely lady if it did, we would all be crap mothers.

Hi Tertia,

I post on IVFC, never before on your blog. Regarding Adam's feeding, we have similar trouble with Joseph, our smaller twin. He eats slow. What I've found to work with him is to wake him up, strip him if necessary (leave on the diaper and bib), and feed him that way. The cold helps wake him up. Also, try burping him after every quarter of an ounce. A final thing I found that seems to work with him is to lay his head on my chest and I recline, then feed him with the bottle in front, rather than cradling him on my arm. Maybe these will help with Adam. And, don't worry, you're an awesome mother and will continue to be one.

First to comment!

Obviously I don't know much about having a newborn, but I do think you are right in prioritizing nutrition and growth for the first weeks. Routines will establish as they grow, and as you become accustomed to being a mom. How do you set a routine, when you don't know what routine to set?

I'm just so damned happy that you have those babies at home. Sleep when you can.

What harm can come of letting them sleep until they are hungry and then feeding them? If they eat more, isn't that better?

But don't take my thoughts as anything. I don't know anything about babies!

((hugs))

Tracey

Damn! I can't type fast enough. I ended up third.

*pout*

I'm a dumb American - so I will assume that "winds" means gas. Is it possible to put a drop of simethecone in with his milk to relieve some of the gas pains? The brand name in the US is Mylicon. A drop or 2 would help.

My son woke up on his own to eat - he was a nearly 10lb baby though. I would say maybe stretch it to 4 hours and see if that helps any. I think the docs here go by wet and poopy diapers more so than the number of feeds. Don't remember the number they are supposed to have - but something on order of 6 or 8 wets per day.

Also - just for your knowledge, many full term singlets also have trouble with feeds. I'm sure you know this. Just a reminder that you are NOT a terrible mom.

I think you are terrific!

*delurking*
You are a great mother, and the fact that you worry so much is proof.
You have to remember that the nurses in the NICU have a lot of experience with burping and getting babies to drink all of their bottles.
When my daughter had a lot of gas, our doctor suggested a product called Mylecon (sp?). We just put a little in with her bottle, and it helped her burp better. It helps break up the gas bubbles or something like that. I don't know if it's available in SA or not, but you might try something like that.

Please don't worry about routines at this age!!!!!! They are way too young! You have plenty of time w/them to get them on a schedule...do it later.

I think you've got a good plan. Sometimes you just have to adapt. I second the Mylicon drops. I had to use them with both my kids. I just gave them a drop or two before giving them their bottles and that helped with the gas.

Good luck.

Absolutly, you can't spoil them. Don't even worry about that!
IMy Kate was 4 weeks early. She really HAD to be woken up at least every 4 hours to feed, b/c she just wouldn't do it herself. Preemies need to be woken. My best friend had her 1st @ 34 weeks, and she was not told to wake Hannah up. Hannah landed back in the NICU for failure to thrive. Feeding tube, etc. Just until she gained some weight. I'm not trying to scare you (really!)-but they were doing the on demand thing and it just didn't work. I would pump, and then wake my kid, and then bottle and syringe feed her. Believe me, I know how hard it is to wake up a preemie. But even if he gets some food on a regular basis it should be ok. But it's not you-you're doing a really good job. But what you're trying to do is HARD, make no mistake about it!
I'm sorry, I feel like I'm being a real wet blanket, but I think that they're probably too little not to feed them on a schedule. But you're scheduling them now for a different reason than you will later. Soon you'll probably be able to feed on demand w/no problam.

First, babies do drop from their birthweight in at least the first few days- I'd expect it also won't be uncommon form Adam as these are his first few days home. I think you need to try what works for you- experimenting is fine! Try letting them set the schedule for a few days- instead of waking them, wait until they wake. You seem like a charter, so your charts will tell you fairly quickly if they're getting more (or less) using that method. With my neices and nevvies, it was the nappies as well. If they've got output...they're getting input ;-)

Oh- and I am a fraternal twin. According to my mom, the routine wasn't as important for us as it was for her, so she wasn't stuck in a constant loop of caring for one baby after another. So if you think you can stay sane w/o it...go for it!

I know nothing about premies, so I'm absolutely no help. I can attest to Mylecon drops as being heaven sent. I would second the recommendation for frequent burping during each feed.

My daughter was born nearly 9 lbs, and she lost about two of it then started regaining fast. What I'm trying to say is that you're not a terrible mother if they lose weight. You'd do anything for them, and have.

I loved your pictures of them yesterday. Makes me want to nibble on their toes. Oh so sweet!

Call the Ped.--you'll feel much better!

Tertia,

You are doing fine. Totally not a crap mom. Same problem MILLIONS of other moms face so don't feel like you are the only one having this issue. Docs put the fear of god in you (well...me)and you feel like if they don't eat that one extra ounce the world surely will come to an end. Nope. Keeps going. He is still adjusting to life out of the womb (and now the NICU). It will take more than a day to have both of you find your rhythms with each other.

I'm sure you've gotten lots of burping advice by now, but with my son I found that postioning him on my shoulder with the hard part of the shoulder in his rib/abdomen area put more pressure on and seemed to help get the gas out. Make sure you are tapping hard enough to get something too - I remember someone saying in another post that you need to be able to clearly hear the patting, quite firm. Very true. Soft patting does nothing.

I saw on a show today infant massage for gas. They basically are trying to follow the path of the baby's digestive tract. They put the baby on the floor on his back. Then, seated at the babies feet, they rubbed at the midline of the baby from the right side to the left (OF the baby, not you)(So you are moving your hand from your left to right)with a little pressure. Then they repeated it going right-left-straight down from the left side. So it resembled an upside down "L". Then the whole thing again and making a full square-ish circle. It is supposed to help the gas move along it's natural pathway.

Also, you could try dipping the nipple in a drop of sugar water when he's starting to fall asleep, sometimes the flavor change would perk up my son a little.

My unofficial idea also is that it takes them a week or so to really get into the eating cycle - maybe from coming off the epidural meds? My c-sect started as a regular delivery w/epidural but couldn't progess (small pelvis, large kid) it turned into a c-sect so I was on an epidural about 8 hours i figure. My son was a nightmare to feed for about the first week, feel asleep every time and we had to work out butts off to keep him up. Then he seemed to snap out of it and be more alert. Still reverted from time to time, but a lot more good feeds after that first week.

Congrats on both your babies being home with you!

How about a different bottle? I don't know what you are using, but try a different one. Perhaps Avent, VentAire, Dr. Brown's or one of the collapsable bag types. All use different methods to reduce air intake and a different approach may be what you need. He will eat more when air isn't filling his belly as much. He just feels full because of it.

Also, my son had horrible gas while on either Similac or Enfamil. Carnation Good Start works wonders for less gas- it has proteins that are more broken down from the start and easier to digest.

You are a great mama! We all fumble in the beginning.

So happy both babies are home at last!

Now for some suggestions:

Re: 'wind': Make sure the bottle is angled so that the nipple is full of milk, not air. Stop frequently (as one other poster already recommended about every half an ounce) to burp. My second son was also very 'windy' as you put it. Our best burping methods were either: bend him forward facing you while sitting him on your lap and rub his back, or standing with him against your shoulder jiggling up and down and squeezing (gently).

All four of mine were on a modified demand schedule, i.e. I let them wake on their own to feed but at the same time tried to wait a minimum of 2 hours between feedings. However, they were all full-term seven pounders, and I think preemies need to be woken, at least until they reach a certain weight. Ask your doctor if you can let them wake on their own.

My oldest used to frequently fall asleep while nursing, so I used to tickle his feet to keep him going. Otherwise he'd wake yelling with hunger shortly afterward.

Most important advice of all: relax. You are doing fine. You are not a bad mother at all. It's tough at the beginning, but it will get easier. I promise. At least until they hit the teenage years!

Hey Tersh,

Am so so stoked that you have both babes at home with you!!! Congratulations once again, and am certain you are a GREAT mom!! A suggestion (I know, coming from me) from a friend of mine regarding winding, is if you do some leg exercises, (on the babies not you) before feeding. Just bending them and stretching them and moving them around a little, apparently helps with the winding.
Anyway, good luck, and ENJOY!!!

I don't really have any advice to offer, but just want to say hang in there. Mothering is a learning process and you're doing the best you can!

I don't really have any advice to offer, but just want to say hang in there. Mothering is a learning process and you're doing the best you can!

T,

You are a terrific mom. No one warns you that one of the greatest perils of parenting is losing all self confidence. I struggled terribly with it and know just what you are feeling. Rest assured that you are a terrific Mommy to worry so.

My girl was a preemie and slow feeder as well. She spent 11 days in the NICU primarily because she couldn't stay awake long enough to finish her feeds (sounding familiar). What I did was feed her 1/2 or a 1/4 of the feed, burp, continue feeding, etc. I also would undress her but it was actually helpful in late March in New England.

You may want to try different bottles if he is getting gassy with the ones you are using. I hear the Dr. Browns are good. We used the Avent and did ok. Once we transitioned over to actual nursing there was less gas as well. As for burping, you may find that laying him on your lap on his belly, supporting his head by his chin with one hand and patting his back with the other may help get the "winds" out. The added pressure on his belly will help get those bad bubbles out.

Keep up the good work, Mom!

I'm going to forward this post on to two good friends I have, both have sets of twins, one set aged 2 and one set aged 3, so those newborn days are not too far in the past. Maybe they can offer some words of wisdom.

Hi - My son was full term but only 5 1/2 pounds b/c of interuterine growth retardation. The docs stressed that he had to eat. I only woke him up for the first week or so, then I stopped b/c it was too hard. He would fall asleep, I would get frustrated and tired from all the waking. I would let them sleep a little more at night so that you can sleep (maybe every 4 hours or so). Then if he wakes up hungry he might be more inclined to eat. He did not have alot of gas though so I don't have any advice for that. Hopefully it will calm down soon.

Elizabeth

My girls were born at 35 weeks, stayed in the nicu one week. We continued waking them up every three hrs around the clock for feedings the first week we had them home. THen after talking to our ped, we stopped doing this at night time...they were at good weights (similar to your babes actually) and he felt it wasn't necessary anymore. We had the same issues as you - impossible to feed them because they'd fall asleep, etc. We found if we waited for them to wake up on their own they were more alert (obviously, from crying!) and like clockwork they would wake up every 3 hrs 15 minutes..so they ended up on about the same schedule, but letting them wake up hungry helped us quite a bit.

As far as trying to get them to finish a bottle, I did all the same things you're doing...just keep at it. The one other tip a nicu nurse gave us that helped our one dd a lot was stroking (almost tickling?) them under the chin/on their cheeks -- somehow this stimulated them to feed longer.

If Adam is still really gassy you may want to try different bottles - we ended up switching to Dr. Brown's bottles (don't know if you have those there?) which have some special patented mechanism that supposedly helps w/air -- we saw a tremendous difference in our daughter after switching to these, so I'm an avid fan. They have a few extra pieces to wash, which was a pain, but worth it in my book.

Hope some of this helped - you're doing a great job...hang in there!

Tertia,

First off....not a crap mom.

Second... I can totally relate. I'm a mom to B/G twins. You cannot spoil or make habits for babies for at least the first three months, so do what you need to do for feeding and sleeping. I demand feed my two. Whenever they were awake basically, they were feeding. (At least that is what it felt like) If they slept over three hours (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha...sorry) I would wake them (per my Peds instructions) to feed them but that was a rarity for me. If they fell asleep through feedings. I stripped them down to their diapers and rubbed their heads and behind their ears to wake them. I think the heat used to knock them out alot (they were born in June in Southern California)so we cranked up that a/c for a couple of months.

I'm not sure where you are located but simethecone (mylicon) didn't work for us. We used gripewater (got it shipped here from Ireland). http://www.auravita.com/products/AURA/SSLI10460.asp It was an utter Godsend. My son was so windy/gassy/colicky but you give him a dose of gripewater and buuuuuurrrrp!! (or out the other end... I wasn't choosy) They have a brand of it here http://www.babys-bliss.com/ but I didn't find it as good.

Also there is a wonderful DVD by Dr Harvey Karp called 'The Happiest Baby on the Block' http://www.thehappiestbaby.com/ I would recommend investing in it or borrowing a copy. It's how to soothe a colicky/restless baby (another trait from my son) I found it really great and helped me get at least two hours of uninterupted sleep.

Just so you know. You are in the hardest stretch. It does and will get easier. Email me ANYTIME if you want any advice/help. My twins weren't preemies but they came with their issues too so I will help you as much as I can or you need.

Good Luck.Congratulations and enjoy.

They are worth everything I went through to have them and I know you can relate to that more than anyone!
Sinead

TERTIA!! You are NOT a crap mom. That's the hormones talking, I'm betting. I have zero experience with twins, bottle-feeding, and preemies, so I dont' want to offer any advice except to say to listen to the moms who post here who have been in situations like yourself. Just wanted to send some "go Tertia go!" rah-rah love your way, hoping that helps some.

Another thing I can offer as an experience parent is that I think of new parenting as "hitting the ground running." You'll be troubleshooting a lot during this time; that's expected. Making mistakes does not make you a bad mom. Asking questions, learning, trying your best makes you a stellar mom in this mom's book.

Hey Tertia,

I have been lurking for months but never posted. I just wanted to let you know that you are doing a wonderful job. I have been exactly where you are right now. I have 18 month old boy-girl twins and they were also very tough to feed. They were only born 1 week early but were small like preemies. We had to struggle just to get 1oz of milk in them. We were told to wake them every 3 hours to feed them. We done that for the first week and we would literally kill ourselves just for the 1oz. We would also let them drink alittle, burp them and then feed them some more. If they would fall asleep and wake 30 minutes or so later we would try and feed them the rest of the bottle. At their first ped appt I was so worried that the boy had lost weight but to our suprise he had gained 7oz. He told me to start feeding them on demand. That worked alot better. I still kept a chart of when they were eating and how much but most of the time they would not go much longer than 3 hours and they were waking or crying wanting to eat. They didn't start eating really well until they were a couple of weeks old. I also agree with the other moms who suggest trying a different bottle and see if that helps with the burping. I think we tried every bottle they make. We settled on the angled neck bottles. They seemed to work well and were not much to take apart and clean.

It is really tough being a first time mom, especially to twins, you are a great mother and will get through this.

Best of Luck!

Complain all you want dearheart, no matter how badly you want them it doesn't change the fact that newbies are hard. Oh how I love tiny little baby feet, give them a kiss and a nibble for me will you?

Feed them when they're hungry. If they don't ask in 4 or 5 hours, then go to strip down and bottle up mode.

For my son, who was generally a very pleasant and easy baby, we put Mylicon drops in every single bottle for a couple months. It works very well on the gas, but is not absorbed into the system, so it isn't a medicine going into their bloodstream. He also was a very slow feeder, but not a big burper or puker. I burped him with him sitting up across my lap, my left hand supporting his chest. I pounded pretty hard, too.

I also recommend the Dr. Brown's bottles. They really reduce the amount of air the baby ingests.
Welcome to the wonderful world of twins. It gets better, I promise!

Oh, tired mommy, I feel for you. Before I had my twins I read all this stuff about how you had to start right from the beginning with the routine and the schedule and how you had to keep them on the same schedule, and wake one when the other ate, and all that. In the NICU, they were on this incredible every three-hour diaper, eat, burp, sleep schedule that I thought I'd maintain at home. Ha! Ha!! HA! Forget all that. It is all about survival.

I think that it is very hard to wake a baby who wants to sleep to get them to eat. I quickly adopted the rule that my mother urged on me, which was to never [okay, not never, but seldom] wake a sleeping baby. I let them sleep, and when they woke up, they were hungry, and ate until they were full. And my girls were smaller than your twins when they came home. And they gained weight just fine, at their own pace. My doctor was perfectly pleased. Other twins from the NICU gained faster when they got home, others gained more slowly. But I stopped driving myself completely insane, and tried to stick to driving myself partially insane. I found that if they were just too sleepy, they wouldn't eat anyway. Now, if they started going for a really really long stretch, I would fret and look at the clock, and at some point, I would wake them. But generally, I let them sleep when they were tired. Babies need to sleep to grow, too. And you'll soon get to know your own babies, and what works best for them.

I couldn't imagine how all these other supermoms could follow this set routine when I couldn't. But honestly, they seemed way more stressed than I was. So I'd rather have disorganized kids and less stress. It is just not in my nature follow a strict schedule, and you can't change a tiger's stripes, or whatever that phrase is. I just went with the flow; fed them when they were hungry, changed them when they were dirty, let them sleep wherever and whenever they wanted, and treated them like normal babies, and they have thrived. I think you'll feel better after the first weigh-in when you see that they really are gaining and doing well.

As for the burping, I wish I could help. It will get better. And if he seems inordinately gassy, you may want to try a different formula.

Stumbled across your site recently and am loving the updates on your two little miracles. I have a 6 1/2 month old son who is such a joy. When he had trouble burping, I called the nurse hotline and they told me that in the NICU they would do baby "situps" to help them get the gas up. Basically, hold them under the arms, sitting on your lap facing you, and slowly bend them up and down like a little situp. It did work!! They also said to rub their head while eating as this relaxes them. Finally, we used simethicone drops as well. My nephew, who is now 4.5 months, had TERRIBLE gas and they found that benedryl worked on him. Apparently it is a "universal" drug, one of its benefits being a stomach relaxant. Hope this helps! Congratulations and good luck!

I NEVER woke my daughter to feed her!! Her pediatrician even suggested to let her wake herself when hungry.

You're not complaining. You're sharing and hopefully you'll always do that with us.

You're not inadequate. This is a big learning curve!

Wind is hard. I didn't have a preemie but a baby who was horribly lactose intolerant and an ex who kept giving him regular formula (instead of my expressed milk).

But I can't give advice on this, except to say you're not inadequate. You're a new mom and a new mom of preemie twins. This will work out.

So, go read the other comments because I'm not helping you very much right now.

Some bottles let in more air than others. It might take a change in your bottle to get less air.

Tertia-

The babies are home and you are still making me laugh. Type A girl. YOU are not a failure if the babies are not on schedules and sleep through the night by 1 week, walk at 5 months etc. Remember all those people who brag about how effortless it is to get pg. Well, the same folks are blowing all the smoke about the babies sleeping through the night on day 2. It takes awhile, some longer than others. Everday feels like a year. It gets a bit better almost everyday.

You bend the cute little buggers into a schedule soon enough. Keep up the great work.

Not sure if your babies are too young for this or not - I would obviously ask the DR first.

I helped raise a very windy little one, and the DR recommended we add a little cereal to his bottle. This helped AMAZINGLY well.

Like I said, for the life of me I can't remember how old he was when we did this. It was before he would have normally started on cereal (you know, that crappy tasting mush).

Good luck!

First of all, be easy on yourself. You're doing a great job.

Secondly, I'd check with the ped and see what his thoughts are on demand feeding. Sounds like there's alot more experienced moms here that gave you some great advice. Just my thoughts.

Oh yeach, and congrats on having your kids home!

First of all, you are not a bad mom. Babies have their own way and no matter how small or young, they normally get their way for the first six weeks. If they will not feed when you wake them, try them just waking up on their own. Or wait a little longer before you wake them. The heat is probably effecting that a little. But mine where just like that. They always take the bottle better for the nurses in the NICU. It always took about an hour each to feed my two when they first came home. Do not worry about routine. Try whatever works for you and the babies, that is the most important thing. Like someone else said, try different positions to feed the babies. The nurses used to sit mine up in their laps and feed them that way. We did for a while. If he does not gain weight that is okay, they can add calories to the formula to get him to gain more weight. He is a good size anyway, so it should not matter that much. But different things can be done to get him to gain weight if he does not the first week. Remember that all babies are different and it takes a while to know what they need and want. You will get the hang of both of them soon. It took us a long time to get it all straighten out. Best of luck.
Many prayers coming your way.

Ask your doc if on-demand feeding at night is OK--mine was full-term, so I have no experience with preemies.

I did want to say, however, that I went with the on-demand method, which she developed into her own routine pretty quickly. I worried a lot about routines in the beginning, but just went with the flow and before I knew it...presto...routine had been established. And she did it all by herself.

Bad habits? There is no such thing this early on. Trust your instincts--you'll do great!

-S

Ask your doc if on-demand feeding at night is OK--mine was full-term, so I have no experience with preemies.

I did want to say, however, that I went with the on-demand method, which she developed into her own routine pretty quickly. I worried a lot about routines in the beginning, but just went with the flow and before I knew it...presto...routine had been established. And she did it all by herself.

Bad habits? There is no such thing this early on. Trust your instincts--you'll do great!

-S

You've gotten a lot of good advice here, so I'll just repeat some of what's already been said. Luke was born at 37 weeks and was 6 pounds. I never woke him to eat and he woke on his own just fine every 3 - 4 hours to eat (and gained weight just fine). In the early days it did easily take 45 - 60 minutes for him to finish a bottle - he'd be slow, fall asleep, etc. Stroking their cheek triggers their sucking reflex and will get them to automatically start sucking the bottle. They will get faster in time, believe me.

Also, I'm a big fan of the Dr. Brown bottles too. We had much less gas with those. And definitely try burping every ounce. If you put him over your shoulder, have his belly up on your shoulder to put some gentle pressure on his belly. And pat firmly. You can also try rubbing his back firmly in a circular motion. Another one that works well with small babies is to place him in your lap, him facing forward (away from you), and lean him over one arm (again to put some pressure on his belly) and burp him this way. This worked better with Luke in the early weeks than the over the shoulder method.

The routines will come in time - for now just do what you have to do. You're doing fine. The early weeks are tough due to the sleep deprivation and not knowing what you're doing. You'll be a pro in no time and can worry about schedules later.

On the mylicon gas drops, they work for some babies but not for others. They never did much for Luke, so we were just sure to burp him often.

Hang in there - you're doing great!

Have you gotten a scale yet? That on top of all of this good advice could allay your concerns immediately about trying on-demand feeding -- and make those charts so much more complete....

Absolutely NOT supposed to be checking blogs today, no time at all, but have to say, NEVER kept babies on schedule, fed them entirely on demand, v v crazy and not necessarily recommending it, but didn't spoil them or anything like that.

Don't know if anyone mentioned modified demand feeding (no time to read comments): begin day with first baby's wake up cries, feed baby, then wake other baby, feed that one. Wait until first baby cries for food (not necessarily first one fed at earlier meal), feed that baby, then feed other one. Continue in this vein all day and into the night. Might consider just demand feeding each of them separately at night because of the whole "hard to wake" thing.

Assume you know to try all the different burping positions. William had reflux and holding him upright (draped across my palm/hand in the early weeks), bending him slightly forward, so that he bows toward me or my knee, and rubbing his back--always worked well. With girls, when burping didn't happen fast (and someone else was wailing to be fed), could sometimes speed things along by laying one of them flat across my knees, head slightly hanging off one leg, and rub her back until the burp came up. Slight risk of spit-up, but sometimes worth it.

Hard to suggest undressing Adam to wake him up for a feed, knowing it's dead hot there. We had winter weather and a drafty house working in our favor there.

Whatever happens with the weigh-in, you're not a bad mother. You're an excellent mother. Your doctor will razz you, though, so be prepared if it happens. It probably won't. I thought the babies started eating very badly after discharge but they put on weight in spite of that.

Okay, can still make swimming lessons if I skip checking for an update from grrl.....

Sometimes I could get my colicky son to burp by laying him on his back and bending his knees up to his chest. Alternate, so it looks like he's bicycling.

When you have him over your shoulder to burp, cup your hand. Pretend you're clapping and trying to make a large noise.

Good luck. You aren't a bad mother.

Totally NOT a crap mom. Call your Doc and get any idea what they think about the feeding & wind (gas?). I'd bet the advice is going to be different for each baby because they have different medical circumstances.
Good Luck!

Tertia,

You sound lile you are doing an excellent job. I would try to let the babies sleep and wake on their own. If you see they are not getting enough you can always decide to wake them or one of them if you feel its necessary. My son was very windy in the early weeks so I can fully relate. My dd (his twin) wasn't and she was much easier (no longer). I didn't attempt a schedule in the nighttime until they were several months old. I think air conditioning will also help - neither of my babies seem to eat as much when they are hot.

Good Luck! These early months are incredibly challenging. One day at a time!


Alix

You've had a lot of advice, so I'll just agree--on demand but wake to offer food until the ped says it's okay (usually when they're back to birthweight or perhaps at term for preemies, though these guys were not that premature). The Happiest Baby on the Block is a MUST-READ. If you can't get it over there, LMK and I will mail you a copy (seriously). Pressure on the tummy and upright position can help with gassiness. I do the "colic hold" where the baby is lying face-down along my forearm, and then that forearm--oh, never mind, here's a picture: http://www.theparentline.org/keiki_vol01.htm#page4

I'm a mom of twins and I'm a firm believer in on-demand parenting. Six weeks (esp when that's only 2 weeks past full-term) is way too early to worry about sleeping through the night. I'd wait for 4-6 months to do really gentle sleep independence. But then that's me. It *can* be done with twins, especially if you have help. Make sure you manage people's expectations of you--I think you should post something here saying you *won't* be emailing people back--not that you're sorry you haven't had time! You are taking care of twin newborns, girl!

And you're allowed to complain. It's hard. That doesn't change that you're grateful. Despite what people say, when women are going through IF, we usually don't think it's all going to be easy--we want the whole package, hard and fun.

I'm rambling. Hang in there. Listen to those instincts. They're the best thing you've got. Hugs. Cate

Someone already said this, but I'm a dumb American and I don't know which "end" of the baby is windy. If you're talking about gas, a trick I learned in helping them relieve gas pain is to put the baby on their back, and then slowly move their legs like they're riding a bike. That, and while holding their feet, gently pressing their knees to their tummy for a few seconds and then stretch their legs out fully, and then repeat a few times. When Aidan was having tummy problems, I used to do this with him, and the farts he would let loose were amazing!

If you're talking about burping, something someone told me is that often Moms are too quick to throw the baby over our shoulder, and that traps the air in their tummy. It helps to slowly get them upright and put them over our shoulder. That way, the air bubble(s) have time to work their way up and out. I don't know if this is true or not, but it makes sense to me.

Also, I don't know who recommended the Mylicon drops but I heartily agree that it works MIRACLES. That stuff is amazing. If you can't find it where you are, I will be more than happy to buy a bunch here and send it to you!

First...much congratulations! I have been following your journey ever since I started looking for support in dealing with my own secondary infertility.

My daughter was born six weeks early. She spent 3 weeks in the NICU because of feeding issues. When I brought my daughter home, I was strongly advised by doctors that I could not leave her to her own accord to wake up to feed. When she got closer to her due date, the pediatrician worked closely with me to get to the point where we could rely on demand feeding. It meant going to the doctor every day or two days to have her weighed. When it was apparent that she was thriving, we were good to go. I also had the option to either purchase or rent a scale to keep in my house so that I could monitor her progress.

The other thing that I learned was that you also need to allow for the baby's individual eating habits. My daughter never tracked according to what the pediatricians have established as normal in terms of amount that she ate and intervals. For that reason, I believe she spent more time in the NICU than was really necessary. They kept trying to make her feeding habits fit the norm. My daughter would never feed more than 10 minutes at a time and, as a result, would feed every hour. It was a lot of work but she thrived. Till this day (at 3.5 years old), she continues to be a "grazer".

Think of it this way...this feeding thing is just the beginning. For me, figuring it out was a balance between intervening and guiding just enough so that I was comfortable that I was providing her with what she needed while also allowing her to do it her individual way. Welcome to motherhood!

That was my experience with my little preemie. Hope it helps. Lots of luck.

Definitely NOT a crap mom...honey go easy on yourself!

Even experienced moms who have only ever had to deal with singletons (ie: me!) go through this stuff. Trust me, getting to know a little one and adjusting to the new dynamic of another personality in the house is HARD work. It takes a while before you hit your groove, but hit it you will! I promise.

All of my babies lost a bit of weight during their first week or so at home. I think it's fairly common, as long as it isn't drastic weight loss. Just keep trying to get that feeding down, and Adam will come around soon. Hang in there...OK?

Tertia,

My dd was SOOOOOOOOO gassy!!!! there was one night at about 2 weeks old where I was walking, rocking, patting everything I could think of to get her to burp. NOTHING! I was also trying to let dh sleep since he had to work well at about 2 am I literally kicked open the bedroom door, waking him straight up in bed and handed dd to him and said, "you have to take her! She won't burp or quit crying I can't take it anymore" I was in tears too. Of course later I felt like the worse mother in the entire world. How can i be so bad that I can't even burp her! It was a really hard time for me. Finally I talk to our ped and he said I could give her gas drops and WOW did they work! I didn't put it in her milk because I could never guaruntee that she would actually finish a bottle, real bad eater at the beginning too, so I would just put it directly into her mouth with the droppeer. It's real sweet so she had no problem taking it. It really does make a difference. Maybe you have something like that in SA?
I also had to wake dd up every 3 hours to feed. DD was only 3 weeks early but due to placenta issues she was real small. 5.4lbs at birth but she lost weight so when we took her home she was only 4.10lb's. We had to undress her and put a cold cloth on her and it would take at least an hour to get her to take a bottle. I was envious of people that could count the oz's their babies ate. We were counting the ml's. She ate so little that we ended up having to do every 2 hours. Plus I had to pump as she wouldn't latch and wouldn't drink from a bottle so I had to feed her with a tube that I taped to my finger and she sucked on my finger. we did this for about 2 weeks until the ped gave us some small preemie nipples and fianlly she began to drink from the bottle.

So I guess what I'm saying with my long winded post is you are so not alone. I spent many a night crying and wondering why it was so hard. All I can say is, it does get better. It doesn't seem like it now but it will. 8 months later i can look back on it and not actually remember how bad I felt. I actually asked dh when we were going to do the FET and he thought I was nuts!

Best of luck to you and I hope you get Adam eating just as well as his sister!

OH by the way, maybe I missed this but..

Who's older? Who came first? You know this will be very important to them later!!
;o)

My baby was born a barely 36-weeker and was smallish from HELLP and IUGR. He had a lot of the same problems that your Adam does. Here's what helped us out: a) before feedings, we'd change his diaper to help wake him up; b) we gave him Mylicon drops (simethecone) before each feeding; c) we switched him to lactose-free formula; and d) we let him set his own schedule. The last one was hard to do initially (I was almost too panicky), but it did work out for the best. You might also switch his burping positions around a bit to see if that helps--my daughter would only burp when "up" on my shoulder but C would only burp with me sitting him upright. Preemie care can be so hard, so try to hang in there!

My dd was 3 weeks early - 6 lbs 9 oz. Ped said not to wake her unless she slept more than 5 hours. Ds was 7lbs 9 oz and I never woke him to eat. Sorry for not using metric.

You are an awesome mommy!!

I'm not sure if it would help, but there's a bottle with a "bend" in it that's supposed to be more "natural" (oy, there's that WORD!) for babies, and that may create less gas issues, because of the change in positioning? I don't know.

I did a search for it, but only found "Doctor Brown's", which looks like it might do a bit of the trick as well.

Of course, I'm a gadget whore.

I agree that you can't spoil a newborn... I was never able to get any of mine on a decent schedule (day and night) until they were almost 3 months old, and it never hurt them at all.... And I for one never woke them up to eat at night, only during the day... But I don't know the protical for a baby that's been in the NICU... But my daughter was smaller than Kate when she was born, and for the first couple weeks would barely eat anything.... She gained SO SLOW!!... But as long as they are peeing and pooping, you know they are getting enough... But I honestly wouldn't worry about a schedule until they are a little older, and sleeping more at night.

Good luck with your beautiful babies!!!

Hugs
Julie

AJ and Torie both came home at just over 5lbs. Our pediatrician (a mom of preemie twins herself) actually encouraged on demand feeding. You know what? They actually ate more that way. Yeah, I hardly slept the first few months. Once you have established eating at home, then you can introduce a schedule. (Do introduce it eventually, don't be like me and still not have one at 1 year!)

Also, we had to give AJ simethicone drops with every feeding. I think it is safe to give for like 12 times a day.

Congrats on having the whole family together. I spent so many hours with the two together at home, and just staring at them. You know what? 2 years later I still stare at them in wonder.

My first was a 36 weeker, and a sleepier kid you never saw. He was impossible to wake for feedings, we had a terrible time getting nursing established -- the poor kid never ate with his clothes on, and I always had a washcloth and ice water on hand to drip on him.

In Chicago. In January. And still he slept.

Our pediatrician and lactation consultant both recommended letting him sleep all he wanted at night, and working during the day to get his feeds in. I'm not sure how well that would work for you with twins, because he during the day we woke him to eat every two hours, each feed took him an hour, and I felt awful because it seemed as though I was torturing him, but he never went through the days-are-nights-and-nights-are-days thing my other two did. Like you, I kept a log of how much he ate and how many wet and poopy diapers -- as long as the numbers worked, no one cared when the feeds occurred. If he's going to sleep all the time, why not concentrate it at night?

I also give a hearty thumbs-up to the bicycle-legs maneuver for gas. It's brilliant.

Hang in there, Tertia. You're a great mom, and this is the hardest part -- you and the kids are still figuring each other out. You'll feel a pro in no time.

Hi Tertia--I have no kids and therefore no advice (well, I could try to make something up...), so instead I'm just delurking to say you are doing fine and Kate & Adam will be fine! I imagine it's an overwhelming time and I know I'd be unbelievably strung out if only getting a few hours' sleep a night. For me the lack of sleep makes everything seem so much more ominous & dire, even when it's not. You love your babies and you'll figure it out!

I have only had full/almost full term singletons, so I'm not sure if there is a different method for preemie twins, but I found the on demand worked best for me. i was nursing, though, and apparently breast milk digests far faster than formula, which may explain why the demanding came every hour on the hour.

I think that doing what feels right to you and the babes is the best option. Sounds too simple, I know. The best advice I have received regarding eating habits came from my doctor (of all people). He said that he isn't looking for weight gain or growth of height, necessarily. What he is looking for is a happy, healthy looking baby. Because happy babies are thriving babies, generally. My first is three and has always been in the very lowest percentiles, and my doctor has never been concerned as she is healthy and happy (well, except for her fits of teenage angst).

I guess this is my round about way of saying it will all work out and try not to lose too much sleep over worries. Also, so far as "windiness" goes, we have gripe water over here in Canada, I'm not sure whether you have that in SA.

I don't have time to read all the comments, so I'm probably repeating stuff, but here goes:

I found a routine/schedule for my twins in the first few months was pointless. I let one wake up on her own and then woke the other to feed her. I never let them go more than 3 hours without eating during the day, but I NEVER woke the first one during the night. I would only wake the second after the first baby woke up hungry on her own.

I definitely felt like I was just muddling through for the first few months and we had a few scary weigh-ins, but that quickly turned around after 1-2 weeks.

It's really hard to wake a sleepy preemie to eat and we found that the amount they'd eat would vary. Sometimes we'd get a good 3-4 oz in them and sometimes just 1-2. We kept an eagle eye on the diapers and as long as they were wetting and pooping regularly, we felt good. Also, our doctor told us to come in whenever we wanted a weight check, just to reassure us.

Spoil a baby with love and attention, and by being responsive to his/her needs?! Pssshaw! Just about as ridiculous as the thought of you being a bad mother. No assvice, just support. Hang in there. The first weeks are tough for us all, and it DOES get more enjoyable as you get to know each other better. Just keep listening to those little mites--you're doing a great job!
Keeping my fingers crossed that some of this great advice does the trick for A's tummy. That tummy rub might help K's constipation, too.
xoxo

First off, speak to your Dr. When in doubt, call the Dr. especially since your babes are preemies.

Generally babies are fed 3-4hrs due to them not being able to regulate their blood sugar levels, causing them to sleep too much. This goes on until they are about 4mos old. Low blood sugars are dangerous to newborn babies. This why babies are up at night and sleep during the day.

My babies were all preemies. Each one was different when it came to feeding. My oldest one had to fed every 2hrs. Not too bad. My second and smallest preemie as well as special needs was fed 3/4hrs in the NICU and didn't grow, but I understand the reasoning behind why they did that-all related to his birth defects. When I finally was able to bring him home, I fed him on demand as he seemed hungry 24/7. He grew tons within 4wks of being home. He still eats all the time despite a special feeding tube in his stomach/intestines and he is soon to be 6. My 3rd was a lazy eater but had low blood sugars and had to eat 3/4hrs or just wouldn't eat. He was also jaundice and frequent feedings keep that at bay. My youngest one, well, I didn't wake him up for anything. I needed my sleep to function each day. He was fine despite our Pediatrician freaking out a bit since he was more jaundice than all my boys. I also did co-sleeping with Peter and he is my happiest and healthiest.

Good Luck!

T, you don't eat the same amount every time you eat. Neither do babies. Forcing a measured amount of formula into them at every feeding is the best way to get them to lose their own sense of when they're hungry. Which leads to major fat-ass, as my father has. Demand feeding teaches them to pay attention to their bodies' signals and eat when they're hungry and not eat when they're not.

Also, if Adam doesn't ever gain weight, he's going to be a mighty strange-looking teenager. 2 meters tall and still only 3kg. Poor guy will never get a date.

Oh, I just went back and read some of the comments, and I wanted to say that I agree that trying different bottles could definitely help. One of my girls did much better on Dr. Brown's bottles, some people like Playtex (I assume you have these same brands). The NICU nurses actually thought that Avent bottles were hard work, and didn't love them until the babies were much older.

Keep the faith, Tertia! You are NOT a crap mother! You have been through SO much and I am so glad you feel like you can come here and vent. I'm just having one baby and I think I'll probably feel more overwhelmed than you're feeling! I promise you, you all will make it through! And remember, the NICU nurses are TRAINED to do this...that's their job! So of course they will make us all sick with how easy they make it look!

Rachel
pg with Lucy, 34 weeks

Do on demand. What happens with on demand feeding (besides a little less sleep) is that the babies put themselves on a schedule that works for them. You're able to give them what they need when they need it. A natural schedule will appear after several weeks. Don't be fooled - it takes about the first 3 months to really, truly get a schedule down. Until then, you're all just getting to know one another! Do on demand and see how things progress naturally.

Jenn

I always had to lay Aaron across my knees to burp him. The pressure on his tummy from my knees seemed to help a bit. Its tough when you have a lazy burper. I found that gas relief drops from the pharmacy were a lifesaver for Aaron. Gerber has them at a rather fair price and the bottle lasts quite a while.

Okay, first off, I agree with recommendations for Dr. Brown bottles and Mylicon drops. They both worked wonders for Miss P. My SIL had to resort to Neutramigan formula rather than Enfamil. It's made for gassy, colicky babies and made a world of difference for her boys. Thankfully we didn't have to go that far because it is stinky and requires a blender to mix.

On the whole bad mother thing: you are SO not a bad mother. Bad mothers don't worry about their kids; that's why they're bad. You are a wonderful, caring mother who is smack in the middle of the hardest part. I promise (and you can bitchslap me if I'm wrong) that you will find yourself at 12 weeks post-partum (where I am right now), gazing down at your TWO perfect babies (I only got one!), and a misty haze will cover the past three months.

I truly do not remember how bad it was at first (though I force myself to be honest to pregnant friends when they ask). And I would gladly go through those first six weeks again just to be where I am today (this is why people have more than one child). We're not on a "schedule" but we're finding our way toward one. I've let her call the shots and followed along, figuring we're both learning here.

You, Marko, Adam, Kate, and your enthusiastic nanny are on the ride of a lifetime and all I can say is, take lots of pictures, because babies change daily (unless we're talking about Julie's Charlie, in which case, she doesn't change him much at all!).

Aaagh, I am so happy for you that you are having these "troubles," albeit being very legit ones! And I am also so happy to hear that more people don't think a newborn can be spoiled -- it's ridiculous to even use that word despite that I am sans child and have no tangible experience.

I know you're really looking for advice in which I have nothing tangible to give (I'm just so damn addicted to you!) but a good friend did the on-demand thing with her preemie twins (born at 36wks.) and eventually got them on a schedule; however, see what the pediatrician says since each case with timing of birth, weight and health issues IS completely different.

Can't wait to hear how you're working this one out. Much love, Mummy!!!

Going throught same thing minus one, so only a min. to comment

stay awake - tickle feet

burp - place him on you knee and bonce like you're nervous then thump back twenty times

sleep - swaddle him tight, if he gets gas while he sleeps he won't wake

gas and bottle - we had a stay in special care and he had to feed every 4 hr and a certain amount before he could leave, the way they got him to eat was when he got the bottle they would apply pressure to his chin with there finger to keep his mouth shut( he didn't like the bottle )he ate more and got less gas and would finish the bottle.

gotta go need to eat

Look at it another way... he weighs in in a week, so you'll find out then wether or not he's getting enough to thrive. If he isn't, you'll change tactics. If he is, you're doing great. As long as he's staying hydrated and being offered as much feeding attempts as possible, I can't see how things could become irretriveably bad in a week. You're going to suffer enough with the sleep deprivation. Don't add more with second-guesing yourself every step of the way.

Now mind you, I know nothing about preemies, so there might be a very good reason to be extra paranoid.

A compromise might be: instead of letting sleep until awaking OR trying to adhere to a 3hr schedule, maybe set a 4 hour limit to how long you'll let him sleep. If he's up in 3 or 2, great, feed away. If not, let him sleep up until X hours, then wake.

My daughter was born 5 weeks early. She wouldn't let me wake her to eat either. My pediatrition said to let her sleep and wake on her own for a feeding. Especially during the night hours.

Oh yeah, I've been through this hell. Cale was the gassiest baby on earth and it made him inconsolable. I am going to have to endorse the Dr. Brown bottles. They are a pain to put together, but after awhile, you can do it in your sleep. Somehow, don't ask me how, the bubbles that come up the bottle as the baby sucks go up this vent thing instead. But it really works. For three months it was these bottles, lots of burping an Mylicon drops in EVERY bottle.
Our NICU nurse burped him by holding him away from her with one hand supporting his chest, and therefore putting pressure on his stomach, and patting him with the other. And she recommended doing it very firmly, which surprised me, since he was so hard to get the gas out of.
Just keep trying to get as much down him as you can. How much is he taking every three hours? I would never let him go more than four hours between feedings.
Hope we all helped.

Ditto the gas drops, as per posters above.

My LC said to feed every 3-4 hours until they've regained their birthweight. After that I say go with on demand.

Bicycling Adam's legs (lay on changing table and move his legs like he is riding a bike) may help with gas. I know it seems a bit silly - but give it a go.

Those newborn days are so tough (with just one). Just hang in there - and sleep when they sleep. It does get easier.

Every new parent has this anxiety. You'll be fine.

Oh, long posts above, but I'll add my own bit.
1. I don't know about changing bottles (and don't like Avent: tried water that stood in it for a couple of hours - reeks of plastic), but messing around with nipples is a possibility (bigger hole = more milk, but also more chance of spit-up).
2. I had the idea of not imposing routines, and found out that the Kid started behaving like a swiss watch after a few weeks. They tend to. You may want to tweak it when it starts happening, but there is not much point sweating it before it happens
3. My DD (term) always ate about half of what's expected at her age. Growth and weight on 50th percentile all the way through: they don't necessarily need what it's said they do. I counted the nappies.

I just remembered something! Our NICU nurses told us that he had to be finished with a feeding in 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, he would become too tired, and would be too tired for the next feeding (feeds every 3 hours). I guess you can get into a viscious cycle. I would try cutting him off at 30 minutes one time and see if he's perkier for the next feed, and see if that breaks the cycle. He may just be expending too much effort and can't catch up.

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Tertia,

You are an amazing mom!!!
My boy was born at 35 weeks weighing 4 pounds 13oz. and spent a week in the NICU. I was also told to wake him up for feedings every 3 hours. It took him at least an hour to finish only an ounce and a half, because he kept falling asleep. I remember how frustrating it was and feeling like a failure because he didn't gain weight right away. My pediatrician said I could stop waking him when he starting gaining some weight. He was about 4 weeks or so at that point. I would say you should follow whatever the doctor recommends. Trust me, it will get better!
I was told I can use Mylicon (simethicone) for the gas, which helps tremendously.

Gripe water, Gripe water, Gripe water.

I never had a premie -- so I can't give "expert advice" but I will say -- you are not a crap mom.

Follow your instincts.

Haven't had time to read your responses thoroughly, so this is probably redundant.

I remember being so stressed about getting our DD on a schedule right from day one. Every day that passed that I allowed her to let me know when she was hungry was another day I felt like I was failing as a mother, allowing a 4 day old baby to let me know how things should be done! The horror!

Like someone said above, the babies do get themselves into a routine, with your guidance, but if you don't get to it for 6 weeks or more, it will happen eventually and it won't be too late! It will all fall into place once you have started a routine for yourself and how each day will go. Promise!

As far as the wind -- I always put DD on my right knee in a sitting position, holding her slightly forward and keeping her head steady with my hand under her chin (it sort of looked like I was choking her, but I assure you I wasn't). Good, hard pats and intermittent back rubbing seemed to work. If not, I put her up on my shoulder, with her arms over my shoulder, which seemed to help the gas escape.

Also, mylicon drops, and the bicylce move with Adam's legs.

Lastly, farts do not equal burps, so you need to keep at it even if he is tooting up a storm.

I think the air conditioning will be a HUGE help, all of you will be more comfortable!

You are doing a great job. The early days are so exhausting and its hard not to second-guess everything you do/don't do.

Follow your instincts!!

you cannot spoil a baby. you are so right. tertia, you do what you have to to get the milk down. all ours took one hour plus to feed, and it was awful. i once wrote that i INTENSELY DISLIKED feeding our babies because they took so long. and waiting for the eternally hidden burp is such a pain.

those nurses feed babies bottles for a living. they are PROS. we, are amateurs.

we stuck with avent bottles, but many use the dr browns. there are also different positions for feeding the babies. i found carys had less wind the higher up she was sitting when i fed her.

our dr told us that after one hour, STOP FEEDING. the energy the babies consume in trying to feed outweighs how much they are taking in by that point. rest up for the next feed.

this is the time to call in friends (physically there friends) and get them to try their hands at feeding. let them help. you, take a bath or play with the other baby or post or take a walk or read a book.

xo

I admit to not reading past the first few comments, so I'm probably not going to add much that hasn't already been said. :)

I'd say a strict schedule is certainly not the best way to go, however neither is strict on-demand feeding either. If you were dealing with full term babies, then on-demand might work. But you aren't. Preemies need lots of sleep, that's a given. But they sometimes just don't 'demand' to be fed often enough to grow adequately. So you have to nudge them along some.

If you're currently doing a 3 hour schedule, first thing is to make it around the clock, which you probably already are. So feeds would go like this: 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, etc. til you get back to 6am again. Let's say you attempt to wake them for a feed and they are just TOO sleepy. I'd let them sleep another half hour, no more than an hour more, for a total of 4 hours between feeds. Then try again. At the four hour mark, I'd be very, very agressive with getting the bottle down them.

Also, after 30 minutes, the feeding should usually be finished. Anything after that is considered counter-productive, as it is usually taking them MORE energy to eat for that long than they are taking in.

You'll be amazed at how these two will 'wake up' in the next few weeks. It makes a huge difference in being able to get full feedings in them. It also helps tremendously that you'll get to know them and their little personalities over the next few weeks, so you won't question yourself as much. I promise.

Hang in there!

Like everyone else said, you are not a crappy mom and if Adam loses some weight while home this first week, it's not a reflection on your or your mothering skills. It's just an adjustment.

Secondly, eventually your child WILL eat and WILL gain weight. He's not going to waste away when he has parents who care as much as you two do, and an eager nanny, grandmas, aunts and uncles. Being that he's a preemie, you will probably have to wake him to eat, but once he starts gaining and growing, it's wise to NEVER WAKE a SLEEPING BABY! Often if they've just had a quick cat nap they won't go back to sleep, but they are still tired, which makes for a grumpy baby and a tired and frustrated mom. (I know.)

A routine will probably help AFTER your little ones are about 2 - 3 months old. I'd say closer to 3 months or maybe even 4 months for your two since they are preemies. It will take you that long to start to pick up what their internal clocks are doing and learn their cues. Unlike everyone says, *I* couldn't discern my babies cries until they were at least 4 months old, so imagine what a lousy mom *I* thought I was. Even then it wasn't that I could pick out my babies cry as much as I knew what her/his basic routines were and knew he/she was probably tired, hungry or wet (the poops I could smell, no need to "understand" the cry for that one).

And mylicon drops didn't work for my gassy/colicky baby, but Gripe Water worked WONDERS. I SWEAR by that stuff. We got ours at a specialty children's store in town. The one we got was called "Baby Bliss Gripe Water" and I wish I would have found it 2 months earlier with the first/colicky one. My #2 didn't need it as much, but we did use it on occasion with him too.

I'm so thrilled that you have your babies there with you and that you are going to get to experience all the joys and struggles and frustrations of parenthood. It's the most difficult, amazing and wonderful thing I've ever done! I'm glad I was one of the lucky ones to overcome infertility/autoimmune issues in pregnancy and have not only one but two children. I wish everyone could have the same good fortune.

Here is my input:

Although my daugther was born at 38 weeks, she was smaller then your babies (2.6 kg) and at first the ped told me not to let her sleep more than 5 hours without eating. When she reached 3 kg we stopped waking her up altogether (at about 10 weeks I guess).
So I say if they want to sleep longer than 3 hours let them.

As for the winds, I breastfed and pumped and she did get less windy when drinking directly from the boob. However, even with the bottle, it was a learning process for both of us and a few weeks after she was born it was much easier.

As you said, these first weeks are hectic but they will pass. Hang in there and congratulations once again.

Hello,
First time commenter :)
I don't have time to read the past 80-some comments, so forgive me if I repeat anything. My babies were always very particular about the temperature of their bottles. After about 10 minutes or so of feeding, the bottle may start to get cold and they sometimes refuse to eat it. A quick warm up (either by running it under hot water or 3-4 seconds in the mircrowave) and then your set to go! Worth a try.

It will all work out and I think you are doing a great job!

Winds = gas?

Is the gas causing him pain or not sleeping?

You could give him gas drops. Might help with the bloating.

Laying the babies across your lap helps get the gas out too, and they seem to love it for some reason.

Oh Tertia, you are doing GREAT. Stop fretting.

I have three (albeit nursed full term singletons) and have fed them all on demand, especially in the beginning. They have all fallen into routines/schedules with no problems and yours will to, when they're ready. When they are newborns, particularly preemies, it is TOO EARY to put them on a schedule. They just won't do it.

One question - are you using the same bottles that the nurses were? Same formula? Same temperature? Somtimes obvious solutions are elusive with exhaustion. ;)

One thing I would suggest (slightly off topic and as an investment for the future, so to speak) is picking a "bedtime" every night, say 7-8, and putting them into pajamas to begin to establish a nighttime routine. I never did that with my first - he wore pjs during the day and clothes at night sometimes - whatever worked. I found that my daughters fell into a nice bedtime routine much more quickly because they had an established bedtime (the same as Riley's) from the very beginning.

Anyway, RELAX. You're doing great. The water takes about 6 weeks to warm, but then it's really quite lovely. Really.

Regarding winds: I never once successfully burped my child.

Ever.

I don't think the Husband did, either.

And she's four now and a fairly good, grand-scale burper herself.

Congratulations!

My babies were born 14 weeks prematurely and were in the hospital a long time. However, they were all around the 5 lb mark when they came home and were on 3 hour feeds in the hospital. They said it was fine to let them feed on demand and that they actually had just done a study in the NICU where one group was fed every 3 hours and the others on demand (sometimes at 6 hours a pop) and the on demand had better weight gain over all. It'll take them a little bit to adjust but I think you'll be okay.

2 of mine came home on a feeding tube so we did the ev. 3 hours for a few days and then just went to on demand with a bottle and it worked out fine. You definitely won't be a bad mom for trying it out! I think it speaks quite highly of you to be so concerned and to elicit help when needed.

And if they lose weight then maybe you can go back but it's not all that terrible. Anna lost weight the first week or two after coming home but then it turned around and she has gained steadily ever since. She is still small but she started at 1.11 lb so she's doing great!

You're doing a great job Tertia!!! And BTW, the sleep thing may never come! My 3 are 16 mos now and still don't sleep!!!

Hi Tertia,

I'm a fond reader of your blog. I've been so happy to read all the wonderful things that have come about for you, and the new things you're getting to experience.

Just thought I'd give my two cents on some of your questions. I haven't read through all the comments, so apologies if I am repetitive!

My theory about on demand was always this: if they wake up hungry, they will make more of an effort to eat all they can. I'm sure our doc told us that their little stomachs are no bigger than their fist. The air conditioning should help - if the heat wave is sapping your energy, it's very likely impacting them as well. With one of my babies, I found the most important thing was to get him to relax so he could burp; he would get uncomfortable and cry, plus not eat. I would sit him up and rub his back, either from the bottom up or in small circles. It was relaxing to him, and the burps just seem to bubble to the top!

Wishing you lots of luck. Love that you are just in heaven with the babies home. Hang in there, girl. It sounds to me like you are doing GREAT!

tertia, i assure you that you're not doing a crap job. this is the same way every first-time mother i've ever met, read, or talked with has felt, and it's definitely the same way i felt. kate has a head start on adam as far as becoming accustomed to life at home. and the nurses are professional burpers and feeders, too, so don't compare yourself unfavorably to them. you're moving closer to perfection every time you feed adam--you all have to get used to each other's styles.

Going through same thing with my twins born 1/13. Both small but at 37 w. Pediatrician and lactation consultants all said feed no more than 2.5 to 3 hrs apart AND then whenever they ask for it because they're not gaining wt fast enough (HORRORS!!).

Am renting a scale from a lactation center so we can weigh every day to see if they're gaining one ounce/day. Perhaps you can do similar.

Good luck and I am TOTALLY with you on the 1.5 hour feed sessions.

Gas drops, gripe water, whatever you call it in S.A. Simethecone is the generic name.

They will gain weight, although Adam may start off slower. Just keep up what you're doing - I wouldn't let him go more than 3 hours between feeds at this point though.

Perhaps an ice cube to his foot will help wake him up a bit?

The standard recomendation for premies is to wake them up every 3 hours, but there's another course of action that I didn't know about when I had mine. Apparently, now there's a push to feed on demand even with premies. The theory in that is that waking them up to eat just makes them more tired. So let them sleep and feed when they wake up.

I tried that when my girls were a bit older and found it worked much better. Once they were about 5 or 6 weeks old, we stopped scheduling feeding entirely and just fed them when they showed signs of hunger. I never went back to a feeding schedule. Over time, I found they created their own type of schedule. We never forced them into one. We followed their leads and they formed their own.

Everyone has given you so much advice, I'll just hold off on any more.

You poor thing! It's so hard in the first couple of weeks to get everything down, isn't it? YOu always feel like you're catching up, always behind, and you never get a chance to just enjoy the moment. Some terrible thought is always creeping up on you- I missed this, why can't I do that, is this ok? And it's definitly double with twins. I know cause I had a set about 6 years ago.

Like yours, mine were in the NICU and had lots of little "issues" that made them different than caring for your typical newborn. It was hard and I certainly wasn't a super- baby- burper, nor was I absolutley fantastic at anything. Just getting through the day was about all I could do. Then, I got through the night.

My girls are 6 years years old now and are none worse for wear. I just loved them and loved them, and although I didn't get everything right, they turned out well (so far:)

Your babies will,too, Tertia. It's ok to feel completely overwhelmed and up to your eyeballs in gripe water, nappies, and milk. And you are not alone. Only complete liars will tell you that they never had moments (or even months) like this!

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