I recently shared what a 24 hour period is like for us right now with 4 week old twins. What I didn’t get into is how Mr. H and I are choosing to divide up baby duties overnight.
The first few nights at home with the twins were rough. The babies were up non-stop, Mr. H and I were exhausted, and we alternated between stumbling around in exhaustion to bickering with one another in frustration. It wasn’t good! Finally, we hatched a plan that would help us each get a long stretch of sleep.
Around 6/6:30pm we start getting all of the kids ready for bed. We’ve found it’s easiest to divide and conquer: one of us will focus on getting Miss H ready for bed (potty, teeth, tub, pajamas, stories, bed) while the other will focus on the twins (pajamas, bottles, swaddles, and into rock-n-plays).
After prepping a pitcher of formula and filling some bottles for overnight, along with any other kitchen clean up that’s needed, I get ready for bed. My goal is to be in bed and asleep by 8pm. From that point, this is what we do (this is an example schedule if things are perfect):
8pm: I go to sleep
10/11pm: Mr. H manages the feeding when the babies wake up
12/1am: I wake up and manage the feeding and then pump
3am: I wake up and manage the feeding; I’m too tired to pump after this feeding
5/6am: Mr. H wakes up and manages the feeding
6:45am: I wake up and start getting Miss H up and ready for the day while Mr. H is with the babies (usually finishing up the feeding and getting them back to sleep)
7:30am: Mr. H takes Miss H to daycare and I take over with the babies!
So, basically, I get to sleep from 8pm-midnight/1am which is a good 4-5 hours of straight sleep and then I catch a little bit of sleep in between the middle of the night feedings. If Mr. H goes to sleep after the evening feeding around 11pm, he is likely to get 6-7 hours of straight sleep. It works out pretty well because neither one of us feels like we’re getting cheated out of some continuous sleep. The downside is that with an 8pm bedtime I don’t get any time to get things done in the evening, as the kids all go to bed around 7/7:30pm.
Is it a perfect plan for managing twins overnight? I have no clue. But it seems to be working for us. And we’re very lucky that for the most part the babies go back to sleep with relative ease after feedings. They really love sleeping in their Rock-n-Plays which is helpful right now!
How do you tackle sharing night duty between you and your significant other?