SAPS 104 – Is your family’s screen time under control?
Posted by: Kevin Mulryne
In this week’s episode
Is your family’s screen time under control? Sue is up in arms about the new survey that tells parents to worry less about children’s screen use
Don’t Stew Ask Sue: Should I let me son’s girlfriend stay over
Sue in Conversation with .. Lesley Berrington, Author of ‘Hattie’s Friends’ – wonderful books about disability – to listen to the full interview, please click on the link below:
Screen Time Resources
You can download my FREE Sue Atkins Appropriate Age and Stage Screen Time Checklist from my Resources Page
Lesley’s Books can be purchased individually for £5.99 each, or you can purchase the whole set for £21.50 and they are available with her other resources from her online shop
Connect with Lesley
Don’t Stew – Ask Sue Parenting Q & A
Dear Rosin – here is my advice for you:
Be prepared for parenting twins
Try to get your head around the possibility that your twins will arrive earlier than you expect and may spend some time in special care too. Looking after premature babies comes with its own challenges. Get some help lined up if you have older children or other responsibilities, so that you can focus on your babies whenever they arrive.
Once you and your babies are ready to get out and about, expect to be the centre of attention wherever you go. You’ll probably hear lots of the dreaded “double trouble” or “buy one, get one free” comments. Everyone thinks they are first to say it, too. Each trip is going to involve lots of stops. People find twins and triplets fascinating and they’ll probably want to peer into the pushchair.
Routines for twins
Routines will help, even though it’s not easy to begin with. Try keeping a daily diary for each baby. There are apps that can help with this. However tired you are, you’ll know when they last slept, were fed, and were changed.
Once you have a routine for meals, nap times and bedtimes, try to stick to it as best you can, even at weekends. You may have to be flexible when your babies are ill, or going through a growth spurt. You can get back into the routine once your babies have settled down again.
It’s entirely possible to breastfeed twins, though you may need support from your midwives and close family.
You may decide to exclusively breastfeed your twins initially, and then add a bottle-feed before bedtime. Some mums express milk if they decide to top up with a bottle-feed, as skipping a breastfeed can make your milk supply dip.
Feeding both babies at once does save time, but it can be tricky to begin with. You’ll soon figure out how breastfeeding works best for you and your babies.
Drink plenty of water, as breastfeeding makes you thirsty. Always have a drink to hand while feeding and try to have another between feeds. And remember to feed yourself! Keep meals simple and quick to prepare.
Another pair of hands
Accept you’re not a superhero and let go a bit. Your friends and family may worry that they’re interfering and don’t offer help. That doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to step in as soon as you ask for a hand. Learn to delegate some of the tasks to helpers.
Ask a friend or family member to do specific practical tasks for you, whether it’s cooking dinner, sorting out the laundry, or popping to the shops.
You and your partner may feel less overwhelmed if you divide up tasks, such as making up your twins’ feeds or sterilising the bottles. Or one friend may be happy to cook for you every visit, or watch the babies while you try to rest or have a shower.
You may manage for a few weeks on your own, but don’t be shy of asking for help once sleep deprivation kicks in.
Don’t get dressed!
Once you have twins, you won’t be able to do everything – or even anything in the early weeks!
Before your babies arrive, buy yourself some decent pyjamas that you can slouch in. For at least the first couple of weeks, don’t worry if you wear these all day. None of your visitors will notice, as they’ll be too busy cooing over your babies!
If you have to leave the house with your twins, and discover you’re still wearing your pyjamas, never mind.
If you’re lucky enough to get your babies to sleep at the same time, then take the opportunity to put your feet up.
The housework can wait. The twins won’t notice the washing up. But they will notice an exhausted, stressed and irritable parent!
Get out and about with your twins
It can take longer than you think to get ready, but it’s worth trying to get out every day. Even a short walk in the fresh air will do you all good. Wrap up your twins, pop them in the pram or pushchair and go.
Keep a packed changing bag by the door or in the pram, with nappies, wipes, snacks and a change of clothes for each baby. It may be easier to get out the door if you don’t have to gather up everything you’ll need.
Find out if there’s a local group in your area, run especially for families with twins or multiples. You’ll meet mums and dads who understand exactly what it’s like, and may be able to swap advice and survival tips. Twins clubs are also a top place to seek good hand-me-downs for your babies, from double buggies to nursing pillows, play pens, wellies and waterproofs.
Try out your local parent-and-baby or toddler group too. It’s a chance for some grown-up chat for you in a child-safe environment. Make the most of it while your twins are babies, as once they are mobile having a conversation gets more tricky.
Remind yourself that multiples are worth it
Watching your newborn twins while they sleep is amazing. Seeing them bond as they grow is magical. They’ll learn together, play together, and giggle together.
It’s hard work, but it’s so worthwhile. Twins may also be more independent than single babies because they’re used to having to wait for things and share attention.
Give it time
The first few months are the toughest. Everything, from feeding to simply leaving the house, can seem to take forever. You may be more tired than you ever imagined possible. But be reassured that it does get easier with time.
Try to sit back sometimes and just enjoy your babies. They’ll always be twins but they’re not little for long. It’s important to appreciate these wonderful early years.
Think about yourself
Caught up in the twins treadmill of feeding, changing, bathing, trying to get them to sleep, and yet more feeding? It’s easy to become so exhausted and baby-focused that you find yourself sinking lower and lower.
Even the smallest thing becomes overwhelming when you’re tired and stressed. Try to negotiate some time with your partner. You’re both adjusting to the changes to your family, and it’s vital to remember that you’re not just parents.
Most mums suffer from the baby blues a few days after the birth of their babies. This should disappear on its own, and a bit of rest and reassurance from family and friends will help.
Peer support is another great way to fend off a low mood. Keep talking to other mums of multiples and mums with more than one child. Chances are they’ve been there too. Sleep whenever you can, go easy on alcohol, eat plenty of fruit and veg and get some fresh air every day.
If your negative or anxious feelings persist a month after the birth, or are getting worse, it may be a sign of postnatal depression (PND). Look out for low mood and anxiety in both of you, as dads can get PND too.
Talk to your doctor or health visitor if you find yourself feeling:
- exhausted and lacking in motivation
- unable to find joy in little things
- guilty about not being able to do everything
If you need any additional advice, I am here to support you – please feel free to contact me
This is something that you should discuss with your son, this is about you and your relationship and is about your values, your rules and your house.
Here is one of my Quick Win Videos on this subject:
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