Meet Nicola Bailey, mum of three and the fabulous mum behind Instagram account, Baileyandthebabies. We love her upfront and real account of raising twin baby girls, Harper and Quinn and her four year old, Lucas. So what does a typical day look like for Nicola and how does she get through the day with her sanity intact? We find out…
“I have 9 month old twins and a four year old in tow, so it can be hard at times to stick to a good routine, on top of that, Harper has different needs to her twin sister due to her having Down syndrome and I need to make sure that these needs are addressed throughout the day. I am a routine person and I feel it helps me keep my stress levels down if I know what I am doing and when.
Over the last few weeks and months our routine with the girls has had to change and adapt to their ever growing needs. As Harper hit the six month mark all of her therapy sessions have kicked in so we have lots of things we need to fit in throughout the day to make sure she get to where she needs to be.
So my twin routine may not be the same as other twin mums as I know a lot of them like their twins to stick to the same routine, but this routine is what works for me and my family – we’re all different. So here is a quick run down of what we do in a day:
06:30am -The girls wake up, nappies are changed and they are taken downstairs, Lucas also wakes up at this time too. Once downstairs we make breakfast for the kids and a hot cup of tea for me and my husband.
07:00am breakfast is given to Lucas, and we feed the girls, normally porridge with mixed in fruits purée followed by toast.
07:30am – the girls are put in the living room for some playtime or in their own room, while I tend to have breakfast watching them while my husband get ready for the day.
08:00am My husband or I get Lucas ready for school while the girls continue to play
08:30am My husband takes Lucas to school and I feed the girls their morning milk (around 6oz)
09.00am Quinn goes down for her nap (Harper will on occasion) I then do Harper’s therapy session normally her physio stuff.
10:00am Quinn wakes up, I get the girls dressed for the day and pack any bags if we are going out.
10:45am head out or have playtime at home.
11:30am bottles of milk around 6oz along with some finger foods (rice cakes, carrot sticks)
12:00pm play time I try and include some sound therapy with both the girls so Quinns not left out
13:00pm Quinn goes down for her afternoon nap ( Harper will occasionally but she does not sleep much in the day)
14:00pm Harper’s afternoon therapy and fingers crossed Quinn is still asleep.
14:30pm Get the girls ready to go pick Lucas up from school
15:30pm Arrive home and give the girls a bottle (4oz each)
16:00pm Cook Lucas his tea and warm up the girl’s tea too
16:30pm Tea time for the kids
17:00pm Harper goes down for a nap and Quinn has play time and I do Lucas’ daily homework
17:30pm Bath time for Quinn (we bath Quinn daily as she loves the water and we bath Harper twice a week as she’s not a fan and can get really upset)
18:00pm Both girls have their bottle of milk 6oz and are then put down to bed
18:30pm start preparing mine and Todd’s evening meal, Todd will shower Lucas and put him to bed
19:00pm all kids are in bed meal time and it’s relax time for us.
10:00pm dream feed Quinn. Harper does not need dream feeding as she sleeps through without it now.
Nicola with Harper and Quinn
My advice for routine planning
I think when you start looking into a routine for you and your baby/babies my advice would be to look at lots of routines to see what you like and what you don’t like. Then when you are starting to plan make sure you look at what’s important to you. I found putting key thinks in place that your baby can recognise as a triggers, definitely helps. Babies like routine and patterns so I feel its important for them to have a trigger in place.
When we set our new routine we started at bed time, each night we would run the bath at 17:30 we used Love Boo Soft & Splashy Bubbles using the same product every night as the same smell is a trigger point, we would then take them out of the bath and have rain sounds playing in the room as it a nice relaxing noise which again is a trigger. While the rain is playing we used the Love Boo Kind & Calming Massage Oil I will gently massage the girls using techniques that I learnt in my local massage class I attended. (If you don’t have one in your area there are lots on online course available or youtube is always a good place for tips too). I will then spray the girls room with Love Boo Room & Pillow Spray, then feed them their milk and put them down in their cot .
I don’t rock them to sleep as I think it’s important that they learn to fall asleep on their own, so if they wake up again they can self soothe. Once you have your bedtime routine in place, you can then plan the rest of your day. When I put the girls down to nap I play the rain sounds again so stimulate that trigger of sleep but don’t use the products so they know the difference between nap time and bed time and so far this has worked for us. I think the key thing when you are making your routine it setting bed time and nap time in place and then everything else can work around that.
I started the girls in a routine from eight weeks old and by the time they were 14 weeks they pretty much slept through the night, if they started to wake in the night which they did when they hit 6 months and then 8 months I re-looked at the routine and changed it, added another meal in or a snack or moving nap times to make it work again and so far so good.
So there you have it. This is our routine and how we made it, we may adapt it where needed if Harper has an appointment but we like to stick to it where possible as it really helps the girls in terms of sleeping at night and let’s face it we all need a good night’s sleep!
I hope you get some good hints or tips from my routine but remember what works for one might not work for another, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get your child in the same routine do what works for you and your baby.”