The Question of the Week over at Multiples...and More is "Are you a strict scheduler?"
Yep. Absolutely. No question about it. I think when you have 2 or more children you have to be...or chaos will reign supreme in your household. It keeps all of us sane and allows Ben and Daniel to understand the day and what's going to happen next. Here are some more detailed questions they posed:
How old are your kids now? Have you always followed a rigid schedule?
Ben and Daniel are 28 months old. And no, we haven't always followed a rigid schedule. Since they arrived 10 weeks early, they spent the first 8 weeks of their lives in the NICU. So when we brought them home, they were on a pretty strict 3-hour feeding schedule. For the first month or so, we didn't really follow any schedule but always woke the other baby if a baby woke up to eat. There wasn't any real schedule but they were on the same one.
As time went on, we realized that we were ALWAYS waking Ben. Especially at night and this just didn't seem fair. So at that point, we went off a schedule completely. Each baby was able to determine their own schedule. And this worked fine til they were about 6 months adjusted age.
At this point, we worked and worked on a schedule and after a few weeks finally found one. They were ready for it and so were we. We've been on a strict schedule ever since.
Do you think that your schedule is conducive to healthy sleep patterns in your kids?
It is now. But I truly believe that a strict schedule when they're newborns is not. That's why we had to let Ben sleep and not wake him just because his brother was awake.
We now have great sleepers (and have for a long time now).
Do people give you a lot of flack for being a strict scheduler? How do you respond?
Oh yes. Especially parents to just 1 baby. They really don't get it. I just reply that because we have 2, we have to be more scheduled so that we can all get through the day with our sanity in tact. Luckily, most of my mommy friends have twins so they get it.
Has your routine become more relaxed as your kids have gotten older?
It's probably a bit more relaxed now that they have just 1 nap. When they were on 2 naps, we had to be pretty strict. But I'd say we're still pretty strict.
How do you kids react when they are completely off their schedules- and how do you get them back on track?
My kids are RARELY off their schedules. There was one day before Christmas when we were at my Mom's and I thought they could handle not having a nap. Boy was I wrong. Daniel was OK but Ben had a complete meltdown. We basically had to put him in the car so he could sleep and take him home.
What's our schedule like?
6am - 6:30am - we start to hear noises from their room
7am - Daddy gets them up. They hang out with Daddy and have their milk.
7:30am - Breakfast with Mommy
9am - noon - Usually an outing somewhere - not necessarily for 3 hours but if we're doing something that day, this is when we do it.
Noon - Lunch
12:45 - Naptime
3:15pm - Wake from nap. Have milk and a snack
5:15pm - Supper
5:45pm - Into jammies
6:15pm - Bedtime!