Bonus Blog: Food vs Sleep

Sitting here, feeding my babies, I find myself thinking. Its easy, now that I can feed both the boys at the same time, to spend a little time thinking. Or staring into space. Or gazing longingly at the two slices of toast that I started eating and haven’t been able to finish because these two come first.


As you’d expect, the nights vary almost as much as the days. Some nights they sleep for a good four hours and then drop right off after a snack. Other nights, they scream for hours and hours and are utterly inconsolable until they drop off, quite abruptly leaving the bedroom in a weird, eerie silence.

Visiting midwives assure me that this is normal and I’ve now been signed off as a result; left in the capable hands of my health visitor.

Despite this, normal as it may be, it does mean that when daylight rolls around again, I really do have to make a choice. Do I eat to keep my strength up or do I sleep to try to keep a hold on some measure of my sanity? It really has come down to that. Food or sleep. Both are valuable, both are desperately wanted, but I only really have time for one or the other.

-_- So what do I do?

No, seriously, what do I do? I’m looking for opinions and/or ideas from you guys? For those of you who have been through this madness yourselves, how did you make that decision yourselves? Or did you step away from breastfeeding and move onto bottles, just so you could get a rest? I’d love to know. πŸ™‚

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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8 Responses to Bonus Blog: Food vs Sleep

  1. Sarah Paine says:

    in the small amount of downtime you have, make a load of “finger” food – make bread rolls stuffed with somethng highly fattening (gotta keep the energy up). keep in fridge until needed.

    Learn to do everything one handed. You’ll be amazed how ambidextrous having kids makes you.

    Express breast milk if you can, into bottles, so Dave can take a turn too – it’s good bonding experience. This won’t work all the time though – although Alexander was happy to take a bottle, Rowan flatly refused to, and would go hungry if not offered boobie. You CAN do both – Alexander was both bottle and breastfed, which was a big relief when I had to have the op on my ankle when he was about 6 months old as I had to stop breastfeeding then (painkillers not being a good thing to feed baby on!).

    Sleep is good. Food is also very good – and probably more needed than sleep especially while breastfeeding – how do you think your body produces the milk? Sustenance!

    It does get easier, I promise. Although I only have experience of singletons, so I cannot know everything you’re dealing with!

    Get Dave to research (or perhaps you can in one of your online moments) local multiple birth support groups – all 3 sets of twin mothers I know and the triplet mum (yes, Sutton appears to attract a lot of multiple birth families) found them invaluable. You can talk to people who know a lot more about what you’re dealing with, and who perhaps are a little further on in the process than you…


    • My worry with the bottle is that they won’t go back to the breast. I know some babies can do both, but these two are sooooo fussy! I’m also having a bit of trouble expressing right now – I think my boobs are tired! – so hopefully when I get the double pump on Monday we’ll see a bit of a change on that score. It would be wonderful to know I can express and feed from a bottle if needed.
      At the moment, rather than a bottle we’re using a cup (its like listening to someone slurp soup!), which is a little trick we picked up at the hospital.
      So far so good to give sore nipples a rest, but its not really practical when out and about. Eventually we’re going to end up using bottles.


  2. 4amWriter says:

    Eat! I didn’t eat, and ultimately stopped producing enough milk for my first-born. For a long time I didn’t realize that her incessant crying was not because she was a difficult baby but because she was hungry. It was a horrible discovery when I finally went to the doctor and found she was becoming malnourished.

    I love the above reply in terms of having high-fat finger foods readily available. Great idea. Can you buy drinkable yogurt? That would be easy to eat while you’re tending to your babies. Pre-sliced cold cuts and cheese rolled together, granola straight out of the box, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches–that’s a great one because it’s quick, cheap, and complex carbohydrates.

    With that being said, you can get sleep too. You just need to seriously spend a little time preparing for several days (kind of like packing for a camping trip). If you get a whole bunch of shopping done in one trip that can provide you with several days’ worth of food, then you can take the first naptime of your babies and make the food for yourself for easy access. Once you have that food ready and waiting, then you’ll be able to grab something quick when you have a free minute. You will be doing a lot of grazing throughout the day. Gone are the three square meals a day, I’m afraid, at least for the first few months.

    Sleep when they’re sleeping, if you’re a napper. I was never a napper, so my advice to you didn’t work for me. But some people are nappers. If you are like me, then at least rest with your feet up and read a book, or watch some television, at least for 20 minutes–just to regain some of your strength and energy. Again if you’re like me and can’t rest because you have laundry and dishes piling up, then split rest/chores equally during the expected length of the naptime. 10 minutes for a chore/10 minutes rest. If your babies are on different schedules, then snuggle with one while the other one is napping. Snuggling is bound to be restful–much like writing.

    Good luck, Ileandra. Keep us posted on the progress πŸ™‚


    • I never used to be a napper but I am now!
      The problem is with the weather so nice and various odds and sods piling up that need to be sorted (registering the birth, finalising the middle names, sorting bills) I want to be up and doing them. I think that idea of splitting rest with chores is going to work well for me.
      So far today I’ve filled in a bunch of forms and been able to sit quietly while breastfeeding. Restful, even if I’m not sleeping.

      Oh and that’s definitely the word; ‘grazing.’ Watermelon, apples and McCoys crisps at the moment. Nom nom nom!


  3. cheryl says:

    Buy some nutritional milkshakes/drinks packed with the necessities (its called Resource or Glucerna here…). There’s a few varieties (choc milk, vanilla or strawbwrry flavour) and they’re usually at pharmacies or stores like Walmart/Costco. They’ll give you all the nutrients you need in just a glass. Then you can fall asleep in no time :). Maybe when theyre sleeping make yourself little baggies of finger foods for a few days, prepare small, nutrient packed meals for yourself in advance (or get tour partner to) so its easily accessable and quick to eat so you can do both.


    • Never thought of milkshake drinks, hon. That’s actually a pretty good idea. At least way I know I’m getting some nutrients down my neck. I may have to look into that.
      Oh and Dave’s mother brought us a whole load of cooked meals that are sitting in the freezer. Bless her. We’re all set on the food front, thankfully.
      I must thank the powers that be for Tescos who deliver (on time!).


  4. Kana Tyler says:

    The only way I hung onto any semblance of sanity (though people who know me might question even that, LOL) was by nursing in bed, lying down–and I could actually doze off while he ate. When I was really lucky, HE’d fall asleep too, and I’d get a REAL nap–but even the snatched-bits of sleep here and there made a difference. He pretty much slept with me for the first four months–at which point his sleep-schedule was more settled, and I moved him into his own bed in his own room. I realize you have additional logistical challenges with TWO lovelies, but perhaps it’s a thought… πŸ™‚


    • I’m already looking forward to the point that the boys can go into their own room. They’re so loud when they’re sleeping; snorting, farting, snuffling, sighing, screaming (occasionally… its really weird!). Having a bit of distance between us and then will really help.
      Oh and I tried nursing lying down. It was wonderful until I realised that I was so tired I wasn’t doing a very good job of maintaining a good position. o.O I think, when they’re a bit older (and bigger) that technique is going to be invaluable, though for now, its the traditional sit up and head-nod dance for me.


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