Saying Hi and a Question

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by Daddy Daycare, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    Thought I'd introduce myself, I am a stay at home dad taking care of my 6 month old twin girls.
    We are in the great white north, well, Toronto really, not much white around at this time.
    I noticed there was a forum for dads but don't seem active so hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes.
    Anyways, being a stay at home dad is pretty cool but also pretty scarey.
    I'm getting to see my girls develop and change right before my eyes and I think I'm slowly converting them to daddy's girls. :)
    But, also I'm new to the consoling part. I still haven't figured out how to console one baby while the other one starts to act up.
    Actually, this whole being a dad part is pretty scarey. I can see raising one kid is difficult enough but two kids and with no prior knowledge is absolutely terrifying. :shok:

    So, my question is and I think this has probably been asked a million times is how do you keep 6 month old kids entertained?
    I do have toys, the exersaucer, and the playmat. I try to rotate them around but once they get fussy doing one thing they tend not to like doing anything else other then being held.
    If I hold one of my kids then the other one starts getting fussy and I gotta entertain her too but pretty hard when I'm trying to bounce the first kid.
    Also, some days I just feel exhausted and can't get the energy to interact with them non stop. I try to leave them to their toys but after 10 min they get fussy and want something more.

    Anyways, looking forward to sharing my experiences and hopefully getting some help and support along the way.
  2. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Welcome Daddy Daycare!
    So great that you are a stay at home dad! What lucky little girls to have you 24/7. It is wonderful to watch them grow and change every day, and believe it or not it only get better!

    you are not alone in the 'how do I entertain them' frustration at six months. Sounds like you are doing things right.. toys, exerciser, play mat are big helps. I found scheduling their independent play time around when they are least tired really helped me get some 'down time' (if you can call 10-20 minute down time :) ). For example, they often played happily in the morning or just after waking but rarely played independently in the afternoon or when naps were getting close.
    sometimes propping them in a more upright positions under their toys can provide a few minutes entertainment. they probably aren't sitting yet so you can use boppies to support them.

    You might try a baby carrier in the afternoon when they both want to be held. I like the ergo, but there is a big difference which one is comfortable for you so 'test drive' a few if you can.
    Also, change of scenery can make a big difference. can you bundle them up an take them out in the middle of the day when it is warmest? Even 10 minute walk might make a difference for you and for them.

    It is very likely what you are seeing is not just the desire to be entertained but also frustration. What are they doing? are they sitting yet? Frustration often comes just before some big developmental leap... rolling over, sitting, crawling, walking. Kind of takes the edge off of it to start anticipating what their next skill will be when they get fussy. Also, that means it is a stage and it will pass... until the next developmental jump :)
    Make sure they continue to have lots of tummy time.. everything must start from this position. My LOs seemed to fight tummy time around this time... again, try to schedule it for their least fussy times.. morning and just after waking.

    Glad you are here and joining in!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2016
  3. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Welcome! And of course you're welcome to post anywhere in the forums.. it just tends to be mostly moms but we do get the occasional Dad in here too.

    I think it's great you're at home with the babes, but boy do I know how exhausting it gets after a while. Their attention span is pretty short right now, and will get longer over time. I found getting them outside helped us a lot; a routine where we'd dart out between naps and they could have their afternoon nap in the car worked well for us. They liked seeing the sights and fresh air always seemed to calm them down. Baby play classes were hard for us because you only have so many hands, but see if you can find a local twin group that offers play times and then you'll be with other twin parents who are used to managing multiple kids at a time. If they're eating solids, I always had a huge variety of snacks to let them play with, and you can do things like turn on the music to bop around with them or show them something new. Any kind of stimulation is good at this age!

    The other major part of that is that sometimes the other twin just has to be upset for a while.. that is hard, but there's only so much you can do at once and sometimes it feels like triage. In those moments I suggest shutting yourself in a room, having a big strong drink of coffee and logging on here to yell, then going about your business ;)
  4. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    You've gotten great advice already. I just wanted to say that at 6 months old, babies aren't acting up. They're not willfully trying to be difficult, they just don't know how to express whatever they're feeling in any other way.

    And I can totally understand being overwhelmed. I've said for years (my girlies are 7 1/2), that I can't imagine having twins first. I had 3 children first, and even though the oldest was only 7, she was a great help and I had the experience of dealing with babies at all the stages, even if just one at a time. So my hat is off to you! It really sounds like you're being a great dad!

    Oh and I'll second the baby wearing. It was a life saver! I had handmade asian baby carriers that let me tie one baby on my back and hold the other one in my arms. It takes a bit of practice to get them on your back by yourself, but once you've got it, it's a great help. Especially if you have meals to make or something else to do.
  5. monica77

    monica77 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to twinstuff, I hope you like it. Congratulations for your girls.

    You got great suggestions so far. Do you have Bumbo Seats or something similar? Around that age, my kids liked to sit in them and just sort through a bucket full of little toys, or just push buttons on their Laugh and Learn House - that was a great toy for them and they are still playing with it now - and they are 2 and 7 months. At 6 months they were fascinated to just sit in their seats and push buttons on it and listen to the songs. I think sitting up changed their view - as opposed to being in a bouncer or the floor, so they liked that a lot. You can also give them some plastic containers, put some small toys in them and close them, they will try to rattle them and it's different.

    Have fun with them, it goes fast!
  6. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Welcome! And great to have another Canadian on the board. There are a few of us kicking around. I'm in Calgary and I won't say anything about our weather because I'm not going to jinx it. ;)

    I don't have much to add but just wanted to add another shout out for the baby wearing! It's a life saver. If you're feeling really ambitious, you could learn how to wear both babies at the same time. Great for those times when everybody wants to be held but you still have to make dinner. ;)
  7. mommymauro

    mommymauro Well-Known Member

    i just want to say :wavey: . you have got some great advice already... i cant really add to it... my twins were #2 and #3 and i had their 10 year old brother helping me that first summer ... my husband jokes Oldest will be childless due this life curve ball thrown at us or be the best Dad ever (he is currently the best babysitter ever) ... i am always super impressed with those who had twins first... my memory of that "how to entertain two 6 month olds" is... it was over by the time i figured it out... just like most of their less than pleasant phases :)
  8. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    Thanks all for your advice. So far, today has been rough. Kids did not nap well and had to wake them up early (we try to get them to nap 2 hours a day from 9-11 and 1-3). Gaved tylenol to one of my kids as we're suspecting she's going to pop a tooth out any day now, although we've been saying that for 2 months.
    They ate well and played well for at least 30 min and then they acted up. I don't know how you ladies do it but it's times like these that I wish I went back to work. Anyways, got through it without losing my mind and now they're doing their 1-3 nap.
    I do have a Bjorn but if I put one kid in, I find it difficult to interact with the other kid. I did see online that there's a twin baby carrier but can't imagine carrying two babies on me. Both of them can sit up but if they lean too far one way they'll fall and can't get back up. They do play with their toys this way but I find there's not enough toys to keep them interested. However, they do like rattling sounds so I may try to make that toy in a box suggestion.
    I'm trying to incorporate going out in a stroller daily but last few days here has been chilly and wet. But the other problem is that my kids aren't exactly stroller friendly. They will fuss when we strap them in the stroller and if they're okay at that point then somewhere on my walk they'll fuss again. Then I look like the mean dad as everyone will stare at the guy with the wailing kids.
    Hmmmm, before I go any further, I should say my babies are angels. :)
    I think I'm painting a picture of my kids as these monsters but they're far from it. When they laugh it's like the greatest sound in the world.
    I'm just having a difficult time trying to make them happy and I guess I'm just frustrated that I can't do that.
  9. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Okay - so it's absolutely NOT your job to make your kids happy. Promise. It's your job to meet your children's needs. They're allowed to not be happy sometimes (at this age, sometimes is usually a lot of the time) just like everybody else. Practice expressing empathy/acknowledging their feelings out loud (even though they're only 6 months old) - "I know. You're upset because you're bored/fell over/can't reach that toy/are cutting a tooth/tired/etc. That's okay. I feel that way sometimes too." It feels silly at first but it's a) good practice because as they get older its a very helpful skill to have and b) it makes you slow down and think about what might be going on and realize that you aren't responsible for everything your child feels.

    As for what other people think of you with your wailing babies, don't worry about that - it's most likely empathy! We've all been there. Usually the only people judging don't have kids of their own yet. ;)

    Also, baby Bjorns are generally not spectacularly comfortable for babies (or parents for that matter). Do some research into wraps, soft structured carriers (Ergo, Beco, Boba), mei tei style carriers, or ring slings. Much more useful and versatile. You can also do back carries with all of them which leaves your arms and chest free for playing with/cuddling baby #2.

    Last, but not least, I doubt there's one parent on this board who hasn't wished they were at work some days instead. ;)
    4 people like this.
  10. mommymauro

    mommymauro Well-Known Member

    both my dudes had colic :80: ... and i just put each baby in my two Bjorns (getting them both in was a trick only performed by Houdini) but i did it... so it is possible (and i had nursing boobs getting in the way... sorry if that is TMI for you :blush: )

    For what it is worth... you are not painting them in a bad light... we have ALL been there and know exactly where you are coming from... i am SURE they are beautiful angels
  11. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My thoughts are much the same as others.

    1. Outside. They are at a great age to shop with, too, you can wear one and put the other in the cart. Target was a frequent destination for us around then.
    2. 6 months is a good time to 'play' with solids- so I found finger foods were fun for mine at that time.
    3. You are doing the best you can. Most of us have felt like work would be simpler/easier/less stressful. But you get a routine/used to the reality that with 2 babies and 1 parent triage is necessary. I would talk to my babies, too and say "Sorry- you are a twin and your brother needs me".
    4. A play group with your multiples club would probably do wonders for you. Being home is isolating and you need to realize in the flesh you aren't alone.
    5. Play ideas: Put on some music and be silly for them. Peek-a-boo. Google finger plays for little rhymes and stories to do.
  12. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    My mantra was, "There's only 1 mama and in our house, we share." That worked pretty well to help me keep cool when it seemed like everytime I was helping one the other was unhappy.
  13. efaith

    efaith Well-Known Member

    Don't want you to get overwhelmed with opinions here - nevertheless I am going to add mine to the mix!!!

    First babies are hard, two at once must be really tough. I remember 6 months being a really difficult age, mine were just starting to get mobile and would tire very quickly, within about half an hour of being up they'd be needing a rest. I had bouncinettes I could sit them in which would buy me some more time as it would allow them a new view while preventing them form tiring themselves out from rolling and wriggling. Also the older siblings helped but that's not an option for you!! I didn't have a set routine for naps at that stage but just went by their cues, if they were grizzly they either needed a feed or a sleep. Sometimes I'd just have to put them in bed and leave them to it so I could get stuff done, or leave one in the hope she would fall asleep while I rocked and cuddled the other. It's a tricky age though, in a month or so it will be heaps easier. We're at 9 months now and it is heaps of fun, they spend all their awake hours exploring random stuff on the floor and squealing with delight. Hang in there!!
    I would suggest trying to imagine you had older kids to take care of too, you wouldn't be so available to entertain and answer all the grizzles and cries, but younger siblings, even twin younger siblings get on just fine without the effort from parents to entertain so much. I am a firm believer in leaving kids alone to explore as much as possible. Also I disagree with the need for tummy time, it's tiring and frustrating for kids to be placed in this position and they develop the right muscles in their own time or by being held upright. The more stimulation and physical challenges you force on them while they are awake makes them more tired and therefore more grizzly and 'difficult'. Sounds like you are putting lots of pressure on yourself to provide their entertainment and you really don't have to. Relax!! Also who cares if you are the dad pushing the crying baby - I'm sure I had a local reputation of incompetence at that stage!!!
  14. rayceryin12

    rayceryin12 Well-Known Member

    You've gotten great advice! It does get better!! Welcome!
  15. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    Thanks again for everyones advice.

    cheezewhiz24 - I'm scared to go to the mall with my kids. They get fussy when they sit in the stroller too long and I guess I hate to be the one with the crying baby in line. I do feed solids to them but they're not yet proficient enough for finger food. It's all puree food right now. I try to be silly to them but it's really hard to maintain that energy all day every day.

    efaith - I am definitely looking forward to the day they learn to crawl. When they learned to sit up it did bring a whole new world to them and they were able to play with toys and interact a bit more with their surroundings. When they learn to crawl I can definitely see them going to town in my house and I'm hoping that means more freedom for me. The funny thing is, my one child is itching to crawl but the other is content to just lie there. If you put her on her tummy she'll scream at you and give you what she thinks about tummy time.

    Well, today is finally over. Kids were a handful today. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be nice so I'll be able to take the kids out for a walk. I'll try to read over some of the advices again to see what else I can do to entertain my kids. Hopefully, they'll be more manageable, it is friday after all. :)
    1 person likes this.
  16. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Welcome to TS dad!! The ladies have given you some fabulous advice! I want to re-iterate what missbossy (aka Rachel) said. You absolutely do not have to entertain your angels all day long! A little fussing is okay, and sometimes is essential. Sometimes they just need to "fuss it out" as my mom use to say. If you are busy say...doing dishes or cooking lunch (which should make you an angel in your wife/significant other's eyes), and they are fussing, don't go running. Talk to them. In a calm soothing voice let them know you hear them, you understand they are upset, and you'll be there in just a moment to help them out. And let them fuss for a bit. Eventually they learn #1 that you won't come running to their beck and call all day long. And #2 that they are actually just FINE! And they'll continue to be FINE until you get there ;) It's an essential part of growing up and learning independence.

    Up until now they've felt like they are an extension of you. Right about now they are figuring out that "Hey, I'm a separate entity from mom and dad! This is a little frightening!" So when you aren't right there, they get a little scared and probably overwhelmed. But soon they'll learn that this independence thing is pretty darn cool, and the insistent fussing during the day will settle down :)

    I know it's so hard to realize, especially with your first children. This time of their life feels like FOREVER. But I promise you, just as you figure out this stage, they'll move onto the next stage. And it all will pass by so very fast. When they are turning 1 you'll look back and wonder how the last 365 days have flown by so fast! ;)
  17. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    I gotta say, it's hard to not react when they fuss. When I don't tend to them when they fuss, it slowly turns to a cry and that cry becomes a wail. Then I feel like a jerk cause I made them cry. I guess I thought to be the "perfect" dad you need to always make your kids happy. It's going to be tough to reprogram myself not to jump when they call. But you are right, my kids are still fine and still laugh at my crazy antics even after they just cried.
  18. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    I third this^^
    Obviously if they are frantic comfort is necessary, but a little fussing is normal and healthy. If you know their basic needs are taken care of give them a little time to figure it out. The first time my fussing baby just stopped and started playing it was like a light bulb went off. So, when you hear the fussing start, STOP.. think, are they hurting? hungry? stuck in some awful position? NO.. then wait give them a little time to see if they are ramping up or will calm down alone.

    Also, the triage idea really helped me. I am one person, I can only do what i can do. It is okay that you can't be two places a one time. Decide which one needs you the most in that moment, or which one you can sooth the fastest and do that.. and make up your mind to be okay with that. No baby ever died (or was even scarred) by crying.
    Don't underestimate what a few calming words can do.. it may not quiet the crying but they know you are there.
    This is a hard age. You are doing a good job. You are enough.
  19. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    Great advice so far and I apologize if I'm repeating something that's already been said. Put on some music. It doesn't have to be kid music either. They are 6 months old - they won't know or care what Ludacris just said. :lol: Music is great for a couple reasons: it can help take the edge off the fussing (I find this especially helpful since I often am having to actively stop myself from attending to them the moment they start fussing/crying), it can provide a welcome distraction for the kids, it's good for them to hear music as kids, and you can see them do some funny things, especially as they get older. My youngest sways around and one family friend says she looks like she's channeling Stevie Wonder!

    And as for always making your kids happy, it's good to practice giving them what they need (such as the chance to learn to entertain themselves) not necessarily what they want.

    The last thing I want to say is that this is totally a phase. A hard phase but a phase nonetheless. Before you know it, they'll be zipping around the house and won't be nearly as interested in what daddy is doing as what's in the trash can tonight. :crazy:
  20. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Oh it's crazy hard not to jump up when they are upset, I totally get that! ;) I also know I had to let my twins fuss a lot more than a first time parent, because I had 2 older children who had needs too. So if I was helping my 7 yr old with homework, and all the twins needs were met, they had no choice but to fuss a bit until i could get there. Maybe I was comforting my 2.5 yr old (who had a hard time adjusting to these two new needy beings in her space). The twins could fuss until i could deal with my daughter. And i realized very fast that.....they were actually fine to fuss a bit, and that the fussing decreased as they got older. Please don't feel like a jerk!!!! Babies cry. It's their mechanism for everything. It's how they tell you they are hungry, dirty, tired, wet, uncomfortable, hot, cold....and pretty much everything else! It's the only way they can convey to you that something is definitely not awesome in their little world. But generally there's a difference between fussing, and crying, and your daddy ears will quickly learn which cry is frantic, and which one is just downright ticked off that you aren't jumping up and running over! ;)

    And, I just want to say this honestly and not trying to upset you, but there is NO "perfect" parent. ;) Parenting is HARD! And it never comes with an instruction manual. You have to do the best you can for your children and yourself, but I promise you it will never be perfect. There will be nights you will look back on the day that has passed and think "Wow, I did awesome today!" And there's going to be nights where you look back and think "Holy cow....what an epic fail today was." But somewhere in there you'll realize that you kinda do rock at this parent thing. You'll learn to cruise during the great times and roll on past the rotten times. You kids will still smile and adore you and you'll still smile and adore them even if it's a rotten day. If you cover their, shelter, clothes....and most importantly LOVE....the rest just falls right into place ;) I hope that made sense to you, it's late and I've had a very long (and trying) couple of days with my fearsome foursome ;) I'm pretty much ready for wine o'clock, and a long hot bath! ;)

    Stick around with us here, voice your questions or concerns when you need or want to, and we'll help get you through those "epic fail" days, and celebrate your days of "awesomeness" :babyflips: :babyflips:
    1 person likes this.
  21. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    What everyone else said. You had a tough day, and the full time parenting gig is a tough one! You'll get into a routine, and like Dani said, this phase will pass... they all do! That is my biggest learning from those early days. It feels like it is never going to end and before you know it you're on to the next thing.

    As for being out in public, don't be worried if they cry in line. Most people are quite sympathetic and might even help you out! And like anything, the more you do something the more you will get into a routine with it. Start with quick trips to get 2-3 grocery items, and eventually go longer to places with play areas and such. You'll do just great!
  22. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    This has been great. You guys really helped me see things in a different light. Today I'm going to try a new approach when my kids fuss. I won't rush over right away and will try and talk to them. Don't know how long this new approach will last but I'll give it a shot. I guess my kids have been wired from day one that if they fuss or cry they'll get what they want and I keep reinforcing that behaviour. Probably won't be easy but hopefully everyday they get used to an extra second of me not being there right away and eventually learn to play on their own when daddy's busy.
    2 people like this.
  23. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Also remember that any "new" thing you introduce takes a few days or even weeks for them to get. That goes for sleep or any kind of new routine, so try not to be too frustrated when things seem to get temporarily worse instead of better.
    1 person likes this.
  24. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    As Jen said, they aren't going to like a new, improved, tough Daddy. But they will be ok. :)
  25. Daddy Daycare

    Daddy Daycare Member

    So far so good. Today, I had lunch while the girls were up. I normally don't do this since they tend to get fussy when I'm not playing with them. It wasn't a elaborate lunch, just some left over pizza that I threw in the oven but when it was ready, I pulled myself away and ate my pizza. I was still in view of the girls so they new I was there and one of them started to fuss. I explained to her that I was eating and I would play with her once I was done. She was still fussing but didn't cry or scream. The other one was happily bouncing in her exersaucer and didn't seem to mind I was eating and not playing.
    When I was done I did go back to them and played with them and they were fine.
    I was surprised how ok they seemed when I "ignored" them. I mean, she was still fussing but she went about playing with her toys.
    Anyways, this one was "easy" but if they did fuss a lot more or started crying then I think I could be in trouble. :drown:
  26. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I'm not a Dr and don't play one on TV, but research shows that babies NEED tummy time. It does so much for them and not just developing muscles (which research says lowers SIDS once they start to roll). It plays a very specific part in brain development. It doesn't have to be hours and hours, but a couple minutes at a time on a regular basis is a start and you can build from there. Here's from an articleI just read, "We have seen first-hand what the lack of tummy time can mean for a baby: developmental, cognitive, and organizational skills delays, eye-tracking problems, and behavioral issues, to name just some complications." Of course it doesn't mean it will, just like George Burns smoked til he was 100 without getting cancer. I don't want to start an argument, I just wanted to point this out.
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