Monday, March 14, 2011

Our Best Tips And Advice For New Parents

My twins at 3 days old.
When I was pregnant I read a few books, went to a few classes and spoke to a few friends about what I would need to know when my twins were born. I didn't know anyone with twins, I didn't know anything about multiples clubs and I certainly didn't know about blogs where I could find information! In some respects, it's a miracle I knew anything!

One of my sisters-in-law is pregnant with twins right now and, although she is much more knowledgeable about babies in general than I was, I thought it would be helpful for her to get some of the sage advice from those who have gone before her. I asked the terrific parents in my multiples club (West LA Parents of Multiples) to send me their best tips and advice, the things they wished they had known and the things that they found the most helpful on their journey as new parents. I thought I would post the best of the best here.

Remember, this list isn't made up of my own personal advice, it is a list from numerous mothers of twins and triplets who have been in the trenches and who offered to pass on their wisdom. I believe that their advice is just as applicable to parents of singletons as to parents of multiples. Obviously, what works for some families may not work for yours. These are merely suggestions and you should feel free to check with your doctor if you have questions. After reading it, if you've got advice to add or questions to ask, please post in the comment section at the end! So, without further ado...

General Advice
My twins at about 10 days old.
Look how gigantic the 0-3 month
sized clothes are!
  1. Be easy on yourself and the expectations you have of what kind of parent you will be. All the things you are going to do as a parent (e.g. vaginal birth, breastfeeding, etc.) may not work out as you had expected, or may not be as wonderful as you had thought.
  2. Make sure your relationship with your partner is strong and that you communicate well. Don’t take stuff too personally.
  3. Relax. Stay Calm.
  4. Hire a night nurse, especially in the beginning and especially if you are on bed rest or are having a c-section.
  5. Spend some one-on-one time with each baby.
  6. Help: ask for it and accept it! I'm horrible at both but the times I have done either have been huge. I also posted a list on my fridge with directions for some things so that if someone visits and asks how they can help I can direct them to the list (i.e. Wash bottles, make formula, throw a load of baby laundry in the wash/dryer). My days are so filled with all of this that I rarely get a moment for myself.
  7. Consider getting help, especially if family who is helpful is not available and/or you are a first-time parent. We had post-partum doulas during the day and night for the first six weeks and now have a live-in nanny and some help at night.
  8. I do want to add very quickly, which I have shared to numerous parents in our club, is get out of the house with the babies and join a playgroup no matter what in those first few moths. I didn't and I regret it like you wouldn't believe to this day! I was scared, I was overwhelmed, I was exhausted and I was frazzled...but I could have had an incredible network of other parents experiencing the same things and may not have felt so alone. It would have no doubt been hard to do, but it would have been so good for my sanity and good for them.
  9. My first piece of advice and something I wish I had done sooner, is to join a multiples group. Start with this website NOMOTC to see what's available in your area. Ours has meetings once a month, but also had meetings once a month specifically for expectant parents of multiples. You'll meet other moms/parents-to-be as well as get advice from the "pros". It was also reassuring to meet moms whose kids were toddlers. I was always relieved to know we'd survive 3 or more years! Ha!! Plus, on the boards and emails that go back and forth I received great information/advice about products or pretty much anything! I still do and it's worth the $35-45 I pay per year! 
  10. Hell: we've heard from other parents of twins (and are living it right now) that the first 6 months are hell. I can attest to that, they were. We are finally in our 7th month and things are a little easier although there are still difficult times (I don’t think they understand sometimes when I am alone with them and tell them that “there are two babies and only one mommy”). We love these babies like you wouldn't believe (never knew this kind of love existed) but I am exhausted, have shed lots of tears and sometimes just look like a crazy person (and feel like one too)! But we know there's a light. It's hard to just get out of the house to go for a simple walk, at least alone, but sometimes I manage.
  11. At the two week mark they definitely "woke up" and oh my goodness were we unprepared for that! I don't want to burst anyone's halcyon newborn bubble but man, do I wish I'd been told.
  12. Unsolicited Advice (which is what I am also giving): I think every new mother gets this but what people don't understand is that advice from a singleton mother doesn't always mean much to a mother of multiples. I've had people insist that they know more just b/c they are a mother, but believe me when I say it's completely different being a mom to multiples! So take it with a grain of salt, but your best advice is going to come from other moms who've walked in your shoes! Having twins is a completely different experience than having one baby at a time. Actually, take this note from me with a grain of salt (speaking of unsolicited advice)!
  13. Attend Sue Darrison's class for raising twins [Sue is Based in Sherman Oaks, CA. You can find her contact info on my Clubs And Classes page]
  14. No TV or screen time until they are three or older. No juice, No juice, No juice. Feed them healthy foods as long as you can.
  15. Research a company that will help deal with all the hospital bills and insurance forms - I had 3 feet of insurance forms that would come in the mail constantly and it took me a year to finally get every bill paid (due to inevitable problems when there are some many bills going back and forth). It was completely overwhelming.
  16. To find out if they are cold: Feel their hands (it's a good proxy).
Pregnancy
8 months pregnant when I stupidly went to
Mammoth Mountain for the weekend.  See tip #2.
  1. Bed rest: it's so common in mothers carrying multiples so just keep it in the back of your mind. I had a plan for when I was going to do certain things which was way earlier than most people. But it was for just in case. Not everyone goes on bedrest, just keep it in mind, though. Also, I was 10 weeks early, but I hear of so many people who make it a lot closer to 40 weeks. One thing I was kind of sad about, which is weird to some, is that I gave birth before my shower. I wish it had been a little earlier so that I could have been there while pregnant. Some people may not care, but I kind of did.
  2. Don't travel somewhere at high elevation when you're far along in your pregnancy. It is hard enough to breathe with all of your organs squashed up to make room for two babies in your uterus. Don't add to the stress your body is already under by deciding to go on a snowy mountain get-away with your husband and end up in the hospital like me! 
  3. See a perinatologist in addition to regular OB. They are specialists in fetal development, and her OB may not have the latest ultrasound equipment. This is especially important if they are identical twins, as there are more issues (twin-twin transfusion, for example).
  4. One thing I did that I feel SAVED me was getting everything ready for babies room, packing my hospital bag, and getting all necessary supplies for early days by my 28th week. I would say this is the BEST piece of advice I can give. I did this only because I am crazy early for everything in my life and like to be prepared. As it turned out, I had a completely UNEXPECTED emergency c-section at 31 weeks (there was NO indication before that day that I was going to deliver early at all...I was rushed into the hospital and my babies were out 2 hrs later as one of my placentas separated and my daughter's heartrate plummeted). I don't mean to be negative, but with twins I think it is best to be prepared early as you never know.
  5. Eat well. A nutritionist might be covered by insurance, so a visit or two would probably be just a copay. If you do go, it would be helpful to log your intake for a few days to get a baseline—don’t cheat and suddenly eat healthy. It needs to be an honest assessment
  6. Learn infant CPR now. We did not get a chance because of the bed rest and now I’m paranoid about what will happen if the babies stop breathing.
  7. Rock Stars: you and your babies will become this quickly! I can't go anywhere with our kids without always being stopped. It's nice, but sometimes hard b/c you're just trying to get in and out of some place before it's time to feed or one/both has a meltdown. Generally, when I take each out separately no one will even notice us, which can be a nice change of pace. I took them both out together on Sunday and I couldn't tell you the number of people that spoke to me or asked if they were twins. The one nice thing is that other parents of twins will also stop you and offer encouragement. I got this much needed encouragement one afternoon when I was having a really difficult day after a couple of days of being cooped up in the house b/c of rain. The parents were so nice and had twin girls who were 6 -- so once again I was reminded that we will survive this first year and may even survive the first 6 years! 
Labor, Delivery and Immediately After
My "twinjas" - a few hours old.
  1. Don’t get bent out of shape over delivery method. Whatever is best for your babies is what you’ll do in the end, anyway. My wife was not hell-bent on a v-birth, but was open to it if the babies were properly positioned, but then she went on bed rest, so never went to any birthing classes; it worked out anyway that our son was in such an odd position that it would have been a very difficult push.
  2. Research NICU's in terms of what is most family friendly if you have to be there for weeks or months.
  3. Take the pain meds if you have a c-section. Also use an abdominal support after birth - the hospital will probably give you one. They help a ton!
  4. Before going to the hospital, go out and buy those inexpensive maxi pads. Soak them in a moderate amount of water and then freeze them. After birth, these will provide some soothing relief to your privates!
  5. Circumcisions suck.
  6. TAKE EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING the nurses at the hospital will give you. You can never get too much. I didn't have to buy diapers for a whole month for my babies when they came home from the hospital as the nurses gave us so many.
  7. Also, if you end up using Emfamil formula, call them and tell them you had multiples. They will send one free case of formula. I didn't even need to provide evidence. Pampers will also send coupons to moms of multiples so you should call them as well.
Feeding (Breast, Bottle, etc.)
Giving my boobs a break
  1. Hands-free pumping! I had to start pumping because my babies were preemies and I was very sick (due to pre-eclampsia). It was really hard and I didn't know about hands free for a week or so and it made a huge difference. Also, if in this situation, buy a lot of extra pump pieces so you don't have to wash the pump parts in the middle of the night and just use the steam sterilizer bag once a day.
  2. Give pumped breastmilk fresh whenever possible rather than freezing – it lasts a week in the fridge and if you freeze it, it KILLS the immunity of the milk (the nutritional aspects are still great).
  3. Buy a deep freeze - my frozen supply of breast milk went bad, so I had to throw a lot of it out
  4. TRY to enjoy night feedings when you are with the little ones - I miss those days despite the exhaustion - there is something very special about the bonding that happens at night if you can focus in on the moment and really bask in it.
  5. Get breastfeeding help early and often if you need it, so very key, I thought breastfeeding just happened!
  6. Breast feeding is HARD... if it will help your sanity, stop earlier.
  7. Don’t get bent out of shape on breastfeeding. You’ll get engorgement whenever you get it, and if you don’t, then there’s a few things you can try, but stressing out will not help. Our OB’s motto was always, “give them what you have, and then give them what they need,” which requires a fair degree of acceptance to whatever the situation is.
  8. Feedings, etc: keep a chart of when you feed each, how much they ate, what their diaper looked like, etc. You're going to be sleep-deprived and time and everything else are going to run together. The hospital will give you one. Many sites have fancy ones you can buy. Or make your own. 
  9. For food-related questions, check out the Wholesome Baby Food website (a great resource).
Sleep
5 months old - sleep training begins!
  1. Set up a bedtime routine even when they are waking every three hours. Then when they are physically ready to sleep through the night, the routine will already be in place. We did bath, bottle, bed.
  2. Put them down awake from the start!!!!!
  3. Sleep train your kids as soon as possible. I know many don't believe in the "cry it out" method, but we did that and it took about 5 days with every night getting shorter and shorter. My kids are olympic sleepers and have been since 4 months and they still are at 4 years.
  4. Transitional object – More commonly called a lovey or blankie. this is an important aid for falling asleep and self-soothing. To develop an attachment to the “object,” keep it with you and your baby all the time until baby begins to finger, rub on face, clutch, etc. It especially helps to hold it between you and baby when you hold them, so it has your scent. Once they’ve attached, just give it to them for sleep. Now they have a special way to self soothe that makes getting into their bed pleasurable. It’s a good idea to have multiples on hand. It is typically a small (size of a cloth diaper) blanket or cloth, unstuffed animal, etc.
  5. Follow a strict schedule at all times for feeding and naps - don't let social engagements interfere with the schedule. Work your life around the schedule.
  6. Sleep when your babies sleep. It's so hard to do when you're used to being a productive member of society, but the more rested you are the better your milk production, the better your mood, the better your relationship with your family. Sleep.
  7. Sleepy Planet rules!
Gear And Products:
Tummy Time!
  1. One of the best pieces of advice that I was given is "learn how to use your car seats before you have the babies". I asked my husband to do it and then I gave birth early. We had quite a miserable time trying to figure out how to adjust the straps (had to call a friend). Maybe it's just me (or my car seats), but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be!
  2. What do I wish I had done differently? Well, the main thing I can think of is that I wish I had not insisted on all of my equipment (i.e. high chairs, etc) be brand new. That's what I've loved about this club is getting hand me downs a lot cheaper than buying them brand new, especially since you use a lot of this stuff for such short time period.
  3. Register for things that you need further down the road. I was so focused on what I needed immediately, that I didn't think of future needs. Big mistake!
  4. Decide in advance what remedies you'd like to use for colic, fevers, gas or other ailments and have it on hand. There is nothing worse than your child being feverish or in pain from gas and having to take the time to run to the store to get anything that will help. Better to have it on hand and use the product that you want rather than the only thing the all night drugstore has on the shelf. Make no mistake, most of the time you will need some remedy at 11pm not the convenient 3pm.
  5. Motherlove nipple salve. The absolute best product ever. You can use it on your nipples, but you can also use it on the babies. If they get a little scratch or pimple or something you can put it on and the boo-boo heals up pretty quickly. It's not petroleum based, so I feel safe putting it on their face. 
  6. I should have signed up for Amazon Mom a lot sooner.
  7. Playtex Diaper Genie II. This diaper pail is very good at reducing odors; my husband has said to me about 100 times: "Who gave us this? This is great!"
  8. When you need a gate, this is a nice one: North States 3 in 1 Metal Superyard Curve Gate, Bronze Sold by: Amazon.com
  9. Ergo Baby (Or anything that will help you and your spouse wear your babies comfortably).
  10. Humidifier Air-O-Swiss AOS 7144 Ultrasonic is a nice one, but any humidifier in colder weather during cold season, will help. Use filtered water (Brita), which will help reduce mineral buildup.
  11. For safety gear, my favorite place to shop is One Step Ahead
  12. When they start eating solids, get a waterproof bib like the Bumpkins superbib. I wish I had known about these sooner.
  13. You don’t need two of everything—we have one bouncer and one swing. You don’t need two cribs right away either, but probably will within 3-4 months.
  14. Miracle Blankets for swaddling. They are the only way I was able to keep my babies arms in. They broke out of all other swaddles. They can be found online on the Miracle Blanket website. Love them! 
  15. Breathable bumpers. They are safer than the big cushy bumpers and are made in many colors now. Babies R us sells them. Also, they are inexpensive. An added bonus. 
  16. Small fan to keep in the room. There is new research that says circulating air helps to reduce SIDS. I learned this at Sue Darrison's twin pregnancy preparedness night.
  17. I was just told by a friend of mine (with twins) to get the summer infant pan and tilt cameraApparently, you can pan from crib to crib easily, up and down etc. You can also add another camera if you want two panning cameras.
  18. Make sure to get mattress pads that go over the mattress and also the one over the fitted sheet. That way, when there is a spill, drool, etc., you don't have to wash the fitted sheet.
  19. Get the summer infant piddle pad for the car seat so you don't have to clean the entire car seat when there is an overflow of poopy.
  20. A good activity mat is the best investment. My boys now use ours to pull up on 1 year later!
  21. Set up 2 changing stations within the house. Especially if you have two floors.
Other Posts To Check Out:
Wow! Are you still with me? I know, it's an enormous list. But honestly, I found that there was so much more to having my twins than I ever would have expected. I wasn't one of those people who had a ton of baby experience or a bunch of friends with children before I gave birth to my own. I hope that for those of you who are in the same shoes, this list serves as a place to check in and find some real answers. For those of you reading whose children are past the newborn stage, I'd love if you would add your own best tips and advice in the comment section. I am sure there are a lot of people reading this that would be so grateful for anything you have to share!

Thanks for reading!
-Gina
The Twin Coach

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Lisa Sunbury said...

Wow!This is a terrific collection of wisdom from those that "have been there, done that." What a great resource for new parents (or parents to be) of twins. I will share!

Dana said...

Whoosh! That's A LOT of helpful information.
Here's the single biggest piece of advice I'd give: DON'T BE SCARED.
Everything will work out. With patience and time (and family who can help you do the laundry!)
I think I would have made myself insane and scared myself into hiding in the closet and never coming out if I paid any attention to the books. When my twins were born, my oldest had just turned 2 so I felt relatively comfortable with babies but I don't think the details of raising twins are that different than having one, just the workload. Obviously, it's over-the-top intense.
We moved to a new city and state, left my precious network of neighbors and friends behind, when our twins were just five weeks old. We couldn't afford night doulas or even daytime help. But we made it through. To the person reading this who thinks they need to hire an army to help them, if you can do that, DO IT!, you'll love the help. But to those who can't, you'll make it. You really will!

Anonymous said...

Gina,

Thank you so much for taking the time (which seems like it must have been a LOT) to make such a comprehensive list. What a great resource for new parents to have access to!

After looking it over, I'm not sure there's much of anything I would add -- at least nothing I can think of at present. And the only thing I can think of that I personally *wouldn't* put on such a list is the sleep training bit -- but I still respect your inclusion of it as something that you think will be helpful, and there will be many parents who will indeed find it so.

Stellar post, and what a thoughtful and compassionate gift you've given to your readers.

Thanks again, Gina.

Be well,
Nathan M

Stefanie said...

Love this! I am just in the middle of doing this as a post myself. I actually didn't read all of your points, because I want to finish my post, then go back and see if we talked about the same things. Thank you for sharing though, I don't think there is nearly enough infomration out there for mothers of multiples and I swear there are more moms with multiples than just singletons!! You would think!!! ;P

Rockstarmomlv

Ana Campos-Day said...

I refer to General Advice no. 16. I was instructed not to go for hands and feet in order to check if the baby is cold. In other words, extremities are not the best way to go. I was instructed to try the belly instead.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list. I have to say I disagree with the sleep training. After careful consideration and research, I decided not to do CIO. My twins are two years old now and great sleepers, the sleep training and crying-it-out isn't necessary. I also had no support system and my husband had two jobs so I was pretty much on my own and I found it easiest to follow the attachment parenting principles. It's hard, but not impossible.

cribs for twins said...

What a great resource for new parents of twins. great list! thank you.

Lisa Devereaux said...

Great list. My twins girls are now 3 and I miss the babies. I should have taken more photos of the pregnancy and birth but I was so busy in the moment I forgot! i had pre-eclamsia and quite sick in the end but love meeting other multiple mums and dads and sharing our stories.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - you lost me at sleep train as soon as possible. I have a 4 year old. We never sleep trained. We won't sleep train our newborn twins either. I have mom of multiples friends who cosleep and/or bedshare and breastfeed and prob get more sleep than many moms of singletons. It doesn't have to be a war zone. Best of luck to all!

Gina Osher said...

I appreciate those of you who commented about attachment parenting & co-sleeping being possible with twins. As I said, other than the comment about not traveling to high elevations, none of the above tips are my own. They are gathered from the mothers who belong to my multiples club (almost 500 families) and NOT ONE person shared that co-sleeping was the way to go.

As I said in my intro, not everything in this list will fit everyone. Personally, we did a modified sleep training period. It was not in the least a "war zone" and it actually suited our children very well. Often people who don't sleep train have a very negative view of what it is but have never actually experienced it. Sometimes it is absolutely NOT suited to your children's temperaments & if it isn't easy, I say don't do it! Given what I know now, perhaps I would have changed things slightly. But I have always said that no amount of shaming or blaming will ever get anyone to change their minds about their parenting methods. Instead, reach out and share WHY co-sleeping works with multiples, give tips, give support to those who don't think it will work or are afraid to try.

I don't think this extremely valuable list is worth dismissing because you don't believe in sleep training. Take what works for you & leave what doesn't...as with any parenting philosophy.

Thanks, as always, for all your comments. I do appreciate them.
- Gina (The Twin Coach)

Anonymous said...

Hi Gina,
Thank you for this article.
I just found out yesterday that I'm having twins. These babies are numbers 8 & 9.
I really like the idea of sleep training them, as I know I'm going to need all the sleep I can get.
Can you describe to me how you did sleep training? I typically have a baby in bed with me for about 8-10 months, I think. I don't think it'll be possible with twins. We hardly have room on the bed with one babe.
At what age do you recommend to begin sleep training? How long did you let them CIO for?
Thanks!

Gina Osher said...

Hi Anonymous. WOW...9 kids! Amazing! And congratulations on the latest additions. :) As for sleep training (or sleep learning as I prefer to call it these days), we used sleepy planet's method www.sleepyplanet.com Their basic premise is you put them down sleepy, but awake & if they cry you come in after 5 minutes & let them know you hear them, love them etc. but it's time for bed. If they still cry you wait 10 minutes before returning the next time. Repeat the comforting with your voice. Then leave for 15 minutes.

Our kids were about 5 months old when we started (I believe they recommend children being 5 months/15 lbs to expect them to developmentally be able to sleep through the night without a feed). We never experienced our children crying for more than 15 minutes. Really. Of course, those 15 minutes felt like 15 hours. I won't say it was easy to do this...especially if you are used to co-sleeping.

However, within 3 nights there was no fussing. Naps took a little longer. It might have been a week. But there was still very little crying. And my children most definitely do not have attachment issues or any sense of not being attuned to. The good sleep actually made for much less cranky babes.

I have had clients whose children would cry for over an hour and vomit etc. I don't agree with sleepy planet's theory that you just clean up the mess & put them back to bed without major interaction. That seems totally irresponsible to me. To me, if your child has a temperament where they scream & cry for extended periods even though you are absolutely being consistent with your method so as not to confuse them, then you have to approach sleep learning a different way.

I have heard some who love The No Cry Sleep Solution. I don't know this book personally, but you could look into it if Sleepy Planet doesn't work for you. For us, for our kids, it worked really well...even as they got older & had various sleep challenges.

Also, I varied SP's plan slightly in that when the children would cry for us I would go in right away and let them know that I hear them (as opposed to waiting 5 minutes to return right from the get go).

I hope this is helpful and good luck with your pregnancy! Let me know if you have other questions.
- Gina (The Twin Coach)

Anonymous said...

Had my preemie twins and two year old at the MD's once, they were running so late it got to be feeding time. I learned that if you sit on the floor, keeping both girls in the carseat carrier you can feed them both with bottles while your two year old sits on you lap and plays with your iphone. Then remove one at a time to burp. You do what you must to survive! Also used a backpack instead of a diaper bag so I could be more hands free, no bag sliding off my shoulder every time I set a carrier down.

Lise said...

I would encourage parents to try to sleep train their babies and not instantly refuse the idea. All 6 of my children (including 15 month old twins) have been great sleepers in their OWN beds. And I NEVER let them "cry it out". Sleep training is the process of helping them self soothe, disassociate eating with sleeping, and giving them the opportunity to fall asleep on their own. There is in ground in between co-sleeping and cry it out. We loved "The Baby Whisperer" book. We need another list of words of wisdom from parents of twins from ages 1-3.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 children ages 1 and 4 and I am due with twins. We planned and expected ONE baby. Just ONE last baby and then my husband was getting a vasectomy. To be honest, two children of separate ages is tough and a handful at times. But we really wanted to have one last one and were willing to accept the challenge. One baby on top of 2 other children was going to be a handful and hard work. Now two older children and TWINS is feeling like it's going to be the straw that broke the camel's back. This is going to be chaos, madness and absolutely far more than I know I am going to be able to handle. But I already love them, and I know I will love them. I am going to be and do my best. I just hope I can handle it. We have limited money because we are on one income, and we have zero family and all of our friends are busy with their own families and jobs and can't offer any help. My husband is working 6 days a week 9 1/2 hours a day. So it will be just me, doing it all alone. I wonder how I am going to get through this. I am going to have to, what choice do I have? Life will get easier when all of the children get older, and I graduate from school and get back to work. It will not be hard forever, I know that. And I guess what is not going to kill me, is only going to make me stronger, right? Ugh, I sure hope so.

Dr. Julia Crone said...

IMPORTANT. Great webside. But I am psychologist and neuroscientist and mother and I am afraid to say: The "cry it out" method is a NO GO. It may seem easier for the parents but research has PROVEN that it is psychological torture and very bad for the emotional stability of the children in later life. Besides, when babies cry the first reaction of a mother is to be responsive immediately and take the baby in her arms. Why should we work against our instincts? Check this out http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201112/dangers-crying-it-out
I have worked in Europe where this method is only recommended for very problematic family situations and not before the child is one year of age.

Unknown said...

Hi Gina,
I really enjoyed your thoughts on twin birthdays, so sent you a comment and then started reading some of your other articles. You have some fantastic information that I would love to share with some other families. As a mom of four children (triplets plus a daughter 19 months older than them), I can relate to many of the topics. As mentioned in a previous comment on the birthday article, I am also the newsletter editor for the Twins, Triplets & More Association of Calgary (TTMAC) and would love permission to reprint some of your blog articles in future newsletters to share with other families with multiples. I would include appropriate credit back to you and a link to your blog. Please let me know if you would grant permission to reprint. Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you. Lori

Gina Osher said...

Hi Lori, I wrote back to you in response to your other comment, but thank you for such kind comments. I am so glad you find the blog helpful! And yes, please feel free to share with TTMAC. You can email me at gina@thetwincoach.com with questions any time!
- Gina

Jillian said...

Thanks for sharing such an informative and helpful posts. I've a newborn and I can really see how some of your advices really work. This is except for 1 thing - the 'cry it out' trick. I tried it but it didn't work for me. I'm not sure if I'm among the few odd ones out or it is a trick that works only 50-50 of the time.

Gina Osher said...

Hi Jillian, congratulations on your baby! You know, I think "cry it out" is most helpful for babies with certain temperaments. It's also something that I've come to believe has to be modified (sometimes greatly) to fit both temperaments and family situations. In no way do I think simply leaving a child to cry, on and on, teaches them anything except "my caregivers won't help when I'm in distress".

For us, Sleepy Planet's methods (with slight variation) worked very well. For other friends and clients, it was not the right fit. Don't beat yourself up. There are other ways to help your child learn to sleep on his/her own. I've heard wonderful things about Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution. Perhaps that's worth checking into. You don't mention any details about why it didn't work for you, so I can't be of much other help. However, I do with you and your baby good sleep soon.

Best,
Gina (The Twin Coach)

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