Mothers of multiples, if they didn’t have them before, have to develop shrewd multi-tasking skills. Multiple kids will turn you into a multi-tasking mama. Here are a number of tricks that can help you be productive and try to have some time for yourself.
Life in General
Grind your coffee the night before and set up your machine so you just have to press a button in the morning!
If you are going shopping it may be easier to try one in a sling and carry the other, or one in a baby bjorn and the other in an umbrella stroller. You could also try putting one in the bjorn and carrying the other in the car seat (works well until they get heavier).
Set things out in birth order (ie. left to right, oldest to youngest). If their cribs, high chairs, cups and clothes are placed this way it is easier for other people to help.
If your babies are fed differently (ie. cow milk based or soy based formula), you could try putting an elastic band on one of the bottles, so you won’t get them mixed up.
Save yourself! Get a bouncy chair or baby swing. Babies love them and often fall asleep in them, giving you some time to get things accomplished around the house.
Are those towels actually dirty? If towels are just damp (after one bath, for example), just put them in the dryer and save yourself a wash.
Try as soon as you can to get your babies on a schedule and try not to vary it – bathe, feed, change and put them down for naps at the same time. They will know what to expect and start to crave routine, and you’ll notice that they will start to self sooth when it comes time for bed. It’s hard at first but you’ll be so glad you did, especially when it means you can have the evenings to yourself!
Steam all fruits and veggies, then puree and freeze them in ice cube trays. Once frozen put the cubes into large ziplock bags and store in the freezer. When needed, just grab what you need and defrost or put in the microwave. This is much more economical than bottled food.
Prepare all food for the next day and organize it in the fridge by meal so you will have breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all ready to go each morning.
Food mills take all the work out of preparing food, no peeling or coring necessary! Just cut the fruit or vegetables, simmer until soft and put them through the mill.
Make your own pancakes and waffles in multiple batches, freeze them and when it’s time, just pop them in the toaster.
When your babies start eating finger food, try a slicer/corer – it saves lots of time.
Try bathing your babies in a plastic laundry basket in the tub, which will keep them upright and close enough together to wash them both.
Put all of the things you use for bathing your babies in your baby bath (such as soap, facecloths, thermometer, toys and shampoo) so you can just grab it when you need it, and everything you need will be there which allows for safe multi-tasking.
Sort clothes into large ziplock bags when doing laundry, using a ziplock per outfit (onesie, pants, shirt, underwear and socks). Put them away in the drawers like this and just grab one bag each for dressing, or to throw in your diaper bag if you are going out. This idea works well for winter days when you need to find mitts, hats etc. If they are stashed in a bag, it makes things much easier.
Sterilize and cool water, portion what you need in sterilized bottled, and have on hand so all you have to do is add formula when you need too. It’s very helpful for when you need to go out; there are always bottles to use right away which can be really handy for multi-tasking. Take pre-portioned formula with you and add when you need it.
If you can learn how to tandem breastfeed or tandem bottle feed it will save you tons of time and open up over two hours for you to be doing other things rather than feeding your babies on rotation. It’s better to tandem feed because then you don’t have to try to soothe one baby whilst feeding the other – which can be very difficult unless you can rock one in a bouncy chair or one of them is blessed with more patience than the other. If you have them on the same schedule, they will probably wake at the same time but if not you should wake the other and save getting up in the next twenty minutes when they will eventually wake anyway. That said, some moms find it easier to stagger the schedule so that one can wait to be feed whilst you feed the hungriest one first.
Make sure you have your pump equipment sterilized so it’s ready when you need it (maybe your dreams will come true and they’ll sleep through the night, making pumping inevitable). Use breastmilk storage bags too; they are already sterile, they have the volume marked clearing on the sides, a place to indicate what date it was taken, and take much less space in your freezer.
With these tips, you can become a multi-tasking mama in no time. What tasks do you struggle to fit into your day?