24 June, 2013

ON BABIES CLOSE IN AGE AND BLANKET TIME

I am often asked for some of my best tips on having twins, or children close in age. Over the next month or so I will share some things Peter and I have found helpful with having three children born in 13 months. 

We don't claim to be "Babywisers", attachment-parenters, baby-led-weaners, etc. What we do tends to be a laid-back, jumbled mix of a bunch of things we've found to work for our own family, and a lot of them are concepts we have talked about and established privately. We would say that has been the best method for us. 




For starters, here is an exercise that we used from time to time to keep the peace, and it especially proves helpful when nursing a baby in the early weeks. 

I like this approach to keeping your child safely contained far more than simply tossing them in a pack 'n play or buckling them into the high chair. This teaches obedience and contentment and will quickly become reliable with proper consistency.

Blanket time.
Blanket time involves your child and a small blanket (the size of a receiving blanket or slightly bigger) and only several toys. Sit your child on the blanket and leave them, setting a timer so you don't lose track of time and exasperate the child. Begin with 3-5 minutes, next 8, then 10. Eventually they should be able to sit contently on the blanket through an entire nursing session or meal prep, even unattended.

This is a great lesson in contentment and obedience. If the child gets off the blanket, promptly place them back on. If they continue to get off the blanket, we deal with this as disobedience since they were told to stay on the blanket. 


Make breastfeeding time with your baby important. It was a special bonding time with your firstborn, and the second-born should be no different. 

In the first week or two after our help was gone, when I was on my own and Sebastian and Katharina were still unsure of the change, we used a variation of blanket time:


Our twins would spend time in their cribs with several books and I would nurse Philippa in their bedroom. I would use this time to both talk to Philippa, and also to explain to Sebastian and Katharina about how they used to have this special time too. They were curious and fascinated, and the "containment" was only needed for a short time. They quickly became comfortable with feeding time, and now play with each other or have quiet time with books while I am occupied.

3 comments:

  1. I used something like this when I had my second baby and his sister was 18 months old. I put a gate up in her room and left the door open while I nursed or took a shower and talked to her. It took only a short time for her to amuse herself, safe in the knowledge that I was there and coming back for her.
    You are doing such a good job, Mom!

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  2. So excited for the rest of these tips! While I don't have 3 one and under, two 18 months a part will be a bit of a (wonderful!) challenge too. Gonna jump on this blanket time wagon full force! ;)

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  3. I've read about blanket time before and it seems like a fantastic idea. I'm looking forward to the rest of your "jumbled mix" of advice to tuck away for the not so distant future :)

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