During month seven, I have seen the most change in the boys. They have begun moving and exploring the house in a new way that they have not done up until now. If you want to know what it was like raising twins from 6 to 7 months, check out this previous blog post. In this post, I’ll share our Montessori rhythms with 7-month-old twins.
Our Daily Rhythms
We took a family trip up to the cabin for 4 days right when the boys turned 7 months old. There were some hard nights when we were there, so it was good to get home and back into our daily rhythm. The first two nights went well but the second two were some of the worst we have had. They were awake for hours in the middle of the night. I think the combination of not having their floor beds and just being in a new space tipped them over the edge.
At this point, the days still feel unpredictable in terms of when they will wake up, how long they will nap, and overall contentment in the day. There have been some clear rhythms that have seemed to solidify but it doesn’t seem set in stone by any means. That is one way that we follow the children and find a rhythm that meets their needs.
Still, at 7 months, the boys were waking up 2 to 3 times a night. I would go into their bed to nurse them to get them back to sleep. Quite frankly I was not enjoying being out of bed 4 to 6 times a night. We decided to do some light sleep training at around 7.5 months. I knew they were capable of putting themselves down to sleep because they would do that for nap times, and for going to bed at night. We just had to work on falling back asleep if they woke up in the middle of the night.
Sleep Training with Twins
We used an adapted Ferber method to sleep train. I would go in to check in on the boys and let them know we were there, but let them know that it was time to go back to sleep. I would observe them on the monitor and see what they were doing. I’d give them a few minutes to try to get back to sleep on their own and then go in and check on them, and continue to check on them at various time increments. I would pat their bottom and tell them I loved them and that it was time to go back to bed. If they had moved off of their floor bed, I would put them back on their bed.
To my surprise, when one baby woke up, the other one didn’t (usually). I was really nervous about that. After a few nights of this, they were able to fall back asleep much quicker. By 8 months they have been sleeping through the night.
For the first 2 weeks, I scheduled night feedings. I would go in at 10:30 pm and 3:30 am and initiate a dream feed. The reason for this was to help them learn that when they wake up in the night, then we go back to sleep, not always eat. I still wasn’t comfortable having them go all night long without nursing, it just seemed too much all at once. So I initiated these dream feeds, which was a good transition period.
I dropped the 10:30 pm dream feed after the first week, and over the course of the next week, I weaned off the 3:30 am feed. It seemed to be a smooth transition, and they definitely enjoy their morning milk now more than ever! They wake up by 6 am most days.
Naps with 7-month-old twins
They are taking 2-3 naps a day. It varies depending on how long the naps are and how close to bedtime we are. Their wake window is 2.5 to 3 hours. Again, we follow more of a rhythm rather than a schedule. Nap schedules are still by no means super consistent. I watch the clock, but even more than that I observe what the boys are showing me in terms of signs of sleepiness. Bedtime is sometime between 6:30 and 8 pm.
The boys nurse about 6 to 8 times a day. They sit down with us for dinner and eat solid food. Sometimes I will do an additional time of solid food.
We have been introducing lots of new foods through the baby-led weaning approach. This approach to starting solid foods with babies has aligned so well with Montessori. It gives the child the opportunity to self-feed. I am noticing they are getting better at getting food into their mouth rather than just on the floor.
They have been loving holding and gnawing on a steamed broccoli floret, as well as peeled cucumber spears. Organic plain whole milk yogurt has been a hit. They enjoy it mixed with a little bit of creamy peanut butter. Their favorite little “treat” are their peanut and almond butter puffs from Puffworks.
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Milestones and Movement
The boys have started leaving rooms in the house to go exploring. They will come to find me in the kitchen if they hear me working. Board books have been a new and exciting thing for them to hold and turn the pages of.
They have figured out how to get to objects and places. One is army crawling but in a more unique way. He will lead into it with his head. It almost looked like he was face-planting, he got better at it, and by the end of the 7th month was army crawling very efficiently. The other will use his front arms to pull himself forward and kicks off with one of his feet.
I’ll be curious to see when they do the traditional cross-crawl movement. I am just trusting their bodies and their development to do what it needs to do.
They are climbing on things. I adapted our coffee table by taking the legs off because they kept bumping their head on the scalloped edge. This has been so great for them to climb on and over.
Favorite Montessori Toys at 7-months
They have been enjoying this small brass bell, something I had in my classroom. They just love it and will play with it for long periods of time. Other favorites have been: a wooden car, silicone stacking cups, balls, books, and the spinning drum.
The biggest challenge I face is just the demand of two babies. They often need the same thing at the same time, like eating. So there are often tears and winning while we all get ready and in place to feed or get changed. Quite honestly, there are two of them and one of me, and it can be challenging to meet both of their needs at the same time while home alone with them. But we do it and have fun along the way!