Yes, the twins have finally turned one! That was precisely what I said after we sang their birthday song during their birthday party held in the Mainland Tropical Fish Farm.
While I savoured every moment I spent with them since babyhood is merely a year long, I subconsciously longed for their independence. Some of my family members often encourage me to hang on by saying “Just endure for another two years. You can put them in childcare after that.”
Some of you may be surprised by my thoughts. But indeed, I reminded myself regularly to enjoy their babyhood, be present and mindful of their needs and developments, and yet at the same time, I continued to say to myself that my ordeal will be over soon. If there was just one baby, it would have been a lot easier.
I have 2 personal friends with triplets and they survive. There is another amazing mother with triplets and she blogs on The Crafty Academic. She is also doing a very good job taking care of 4 children by herself. All these women have inspired me to persist on.
Mobility and Play
The last post I wrote on their development was when they turned 8 months old. They have grown a lot since then. Within a short period of 4 months, they have not only mastered crawling, but they are also walking and learning to run!
I took out their walkers when they were 9 months old for them to explore walking. 3 months later, they ditched the walkers and moved on to ‘driving’ the fire engine.
We hung out at the playground often too, at least once a week, save for the 3 weeks as they were unwell and still unwell now. It seems that these 2 fellas are more daring than their elder siblings, and have decided to take on some acrobatic challenges on a steep slide that is apparently not age-appropriate for them! Hello dudes, steady yourselves first!
It is also amazing that they have started to imitate our behaviour at such a tender age of 1. These days, we encourage them to put their toys into their toy boxes by demonstrating how we do it. And they follow suit! Amused and impressed by their capability, we started showing them and giving them the opportunities to use a comb on themselves, bring their diapers to the room, talk on the phone and even do a headstand. They were equally amused when they saw me upside down and attempted the same pose thereafter.
Food-wise, we give them porridge most of the time, and we add in nutritious ingredients such as broccoli, spinach, pumpkins, fish, meat, etc. But I can tell that they have no more interest in the food anymore. They want the savoury stuff that we are eating. Now that they have turned one, I can add more variety to their menus, such as pasta, grilled salmon on whipped potatoes and potato gratin! I have not started eggs yet as #2 was mildly allergic to eggs when she was one.. So I will wait a little while more. There is no rush here.
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Feeding 2 babies mean our hands can’t stop because they can’t wait. They will protest if they need to queue for their turn. I often respond with a “Wait! You have to learn to wait and take turns.” Not as if they understand, I probably have to repeat this for a few more months before they have an inkling of what I am saying.
I am a victim of my success. As mentioned before, I had a short breastfeeding journey for #1 and was so proud of myself when I succeeded feeding #2 for 8 whole months.
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I didn’t expect to continue feeding the twins even after they turn one. #3 ditched the bottle when she was 3 months old and latched exclusively instead. Fortunately, #4 was flexible enough to continue with the bottle and latch for comfort. Perhaps because there was no end to my maternity leave, there was no external pressure to force me to train #3 to take the bottle again.
But I am getting tired of these endless feedings. It is not only taxing on me, feeding #3 so many times a day gives me less time to spend time with the elder ones. I am well aware that she is latching for comfort at times. #4 is doing the same to me recently. So when I am pressed for time, I would place one baby in the baby carrier to facilitate latching while spending time with #1 and #2. The other baby, if crying too, would be taken care by my helper, but sorry, with no milk or with the bottle, whether she likes it or not.
My sister-in-law recently bought the twins a 360 miracle cup. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have read how relieved I felt when #3 started using the sippy cup. I think this is a game changer. #3 will gradually need me less, and it will get better for me, bit by bit.
I am a total failure when it comes to sleep-training. I didn’t train any of my babies to sleep through the night. #1 and #2 needed their night feeds until they turned 3 or 4 years old, #3 and #4 are still waking up several times every night. We just can’t bear to let the babies cry their eyes out in the middle of the night. In fact, we prefer to meet their needs and pacify them almost immediately, unless they are just whimpering. We don’t want the other baby to be woken up by her sibling’s crying. The last thing we want in the middle of the night is handling 2 crying babies. I have never asked parents of multiple babies before, on how they successfully sleep-train 2 or more babies sleeping in the same room. Maybe I should ask them soon.
It seems that twins are socially more developed than singletons, at least for my babies. They interact a lot more with each other, but they fight frequently too. We have many toys, but they are always going for the same ones. They babble to each other and play peek-a-boo with each other. Once, I brought #3 somewhere with lots of toys and lots of kids, and she was keen to play with the other children. I didn’t see the same behaviour in #1 and #2 when they were that young.
One thing that bothers me a lot more as compared to their elder siblings is that they fall sick much more frequently. The doctor prescribed medicine requiring the nebuliser since they were 3 months old. It all started with #4, and after that, the whooping cough would revisit every 2 months.
And by the way, the babies have fallen sick 3 weeks ago and had yet to recover to date. With fever, flu and cough, they were congested and had difficulty sleeping well every night. And that it is why I wrote only one post a week recently. I spent all my waking hours at night looking after 2 unwell and whiny babies, spraying saline into their nostril, sucking out the mucus and slathering on essential oils many times a night. We went to the paediatrician, and he gave antibiotics. #3’s fever went away, but her cough and flu remain.
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According to the nurses in the clinic, childhood bronchitis is becoming very common over the past 5 years, so severe that the nebuliser ran out of stock in the clinic occasionally.
Items in the pictures in case you ask
So that’s about it. Typing this post with a fuzzy brain in the middle of the night as usual.
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