Now it took us a while to sort the 10pm feed, probably two weeks. We had been keeping the babies in the lounge before taking them to bed with us at night, so they were in the cot in the lounge until after the 10pm feed. We decided to do this so we could eat tea, watch television and deal with the boys next to us rather than keep running up and down the stairs. This was the most unsettled time for the boys, and often we would start milks early, say 9.15pm. It took us a while to realise that actually the boys didn’t want to be in the lounge, lights on, listening to 24 and Jack Bauer’s latest mission. At night time, SCBU generally had been quiet, relaxed and dark. So we decided that they would start the bed time routine – a bath, clean baby-gro, before going to bed in the cot in our room. We would then do the 10pm feed in our room.
We would spread the boys out on our bed, lying on pillows, and give them their bottles two at a time, rotating depending on who is the hungriest. We would never leave the babies unattended on our bed.
(The babies are more like 10 weeks old in the above photo, but I don’t seem to have one from the earlier days, but it still gives an idea of the feeding set up).
The 2am feed involved both of us getting whoever woke first and another, even if sleeping. As soon as the first baby stirred, my husband would head off to the kitchen to prepare milks (and set up the steriliser again for the 6am feed).
We would change nappies at this time, either before milk, if we wanted the baby to wake, or after if the baby had woken hungry. Changing the nappy before milk will wake a baby who was happy sleeping so he will be alert for his milk, however, often another nappy change was required post-feed. The other approach of changing the baby after milk meant usually only one nappy change, but more often than not a new outfit as the baby would be sick a little. We often had the scenario where one baby would need a post milk change but not because he had been sick, but his loving brother had deposited some on him.
We would feed all three babies at this feed, even if this meant waking one or two. We needed to keep them together in their routine. At times we would have all three howling for milk, and we would deal with the loudest first, and try a few ounces each if all were desperate. Sometimes it was a frantic feed, but it was normally a relaxed process, each with a baby, then whoever finished first went for the third. It was often a game over which baby we had first as depending on how fast they were depended on whether you got the third – at times I would pretend that my chosen baby was taking a while to get its wind up, so I would sneakily miss out on the third, thus being able to go back to sleep 20 minutes earlier. Bad wife.
We had some special moments during those feeds which I can honestly say I look back on fondly. They started taking about an hour and a half but over the weeks we managed to do these in an hour, as the boys got faster at taking milk, and we moved up the teat sizes quickly. We would record films or programmes to watch during the feeds as we had a television in our room. It just made it more pleasant and memorable.
Breast feeding a singleton can be a lonely experience. Your partner does not need to wake or may even be in another room. Feeding more than one baby is a two person job and it really was a wonderful experience that myself and my husband got to share together with our babies.
The boys would then settle again until the 6am feed, which we could usually get done and dusted before toddler boy awoke at 7am. If we had’t quite completed the feed, one of us would finish it off, and transfer the babies downstairs to their cot in the lounge, whilst the other would deal with toddler boys demands.