With some guidance, parenting twins doesn’t have to be double the trouble. Find a compilation of the most useful tips for raising twins below.
#1 The Good Ole Fashioned Twin Swap
From The Parent Trap to The Shining, you have probably become accustomed to seeing twins portrayed as so strikingly similar that it’s either humorous or even a little bit spooky. Regardless of the genre, the one thing that popular media has gotten right (for once) is that it truly can be difficult to distinguish your twins.
One mother of multiples remarked that she and her husband “dabbed a dot of pink nail polish on Claire’s big toe in case we got confused.”
So, no one is judging you if you get them mixed up. Skip the guessing game of who’s who and find a method to keep the two straight!
#2 Stick to the Schedule
Now that you know which child is which, you can take accurate notes. The most frequently gifted piece of advice from parents of multiples is to try to establish a schedule.
From the schedule established in the hospital, you have a concrete foundation for a routine. Jot down information on their:
- Sleeping schedule
- Eating schedule
- Diet (what and how much each consumed)
- Bowel movements
Mother of Ala and Andrew, Malissa Fry, summed it up nicely, saying, “A mother of quads told me before I had my twins that a newborn twins routine and schedule will help keep your sanity. A singleton baby off schedule will drive you insane, but twins off schedule will put you into a mental hospital.”
Thus, routine is your lifesaver.
#3 Two for One
In accordance with your attempt to implement a schedule, you’ll find every task simpler by doing everything for your twins at the same time—everything:
You really will be eating, sleeping, and breathing the twin parenting lifestyle. By noticing patterns, you can begin to discover what works best for your children. You’ll want them to suckle and sleep in sync—trust veteran parents of multiples. Resultantly, you’ll have a somewhat consistent schedule to live your own life and also guide potential helpers.
Learn more about How to Establish a Newborn Twins Routine!
#4 Same but Different
Despite the emphasis placed on streamlining baby duties by keeping the two on the same itinerary, it’s a worthy reminder that they are two distinctly different human beings. While on certain occasions they may have the same responses, your twins can have different needs and preferences.
For example, if you’re attempting to feed them simultaneously, one might not be hungry. No matter how hard you might try, there’s no way to force your baby to play along. So, don’t. Again, if one baby is ready to sleep through the night and the other isn’t, then there’s nothing wrong with placing them in separate rooms.
You’ll have to adjust to their differences, as well as when time passes and their needs evolve accordingly. Remember:
- Each baby has their own personality and demands.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things to find out what works.
- Know your kids independently from their twinship.
- Consider separate possessions to help individualize twin identity.
- Avoid comparing your twins (beware sibling rivalry).
Perhaps most importantly, be patient and flexible throughout this process. You’ll do yourself a favor if you can keep a level-head while adjusting to your beautiful (but different!) twins.
#5 Dual Capacity
Being on the move, and movement, in general, can be a bit more complicated when you toss in two very independent variables. It’s not as simple as desiring a pint of ice cream and making a quick trip to your local grocery store anymore. But you can make your life more mobile by carrying both of them!
An investment in quality twin carriers can remove restrictions on your movements. Whether you take both with you or share the load with another individual, it can simplify errands inside and outside the house.
Strap your babies in and settle in for new outdoor ventures!
#6 Buy One, Get One Free
Tiny little humans are obviously costly expenditures. And you get to multiply that cost by two! Implement a handful of suggestions to make everything more affordable:
- Try not to spend too much on baby clothes that they’ll outgrow quickly.
- Purchase baby items second-hand or use hand-me-downs.
- Buy in bulk, especially diapers and formula.
Make sure you’re adequately equipped for your twins’ arrival and don’t waste a dime with a Newborn Twins Checklist. You may have heard of Cheaper by the Dozen, but that’ll strictly be a reference for eggs and not kids. Twins will do for right now, thank you very much.
#7 Double Duty
There isn’t a national twin-parent award ceremony, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. It’ll make you a better parent for it, not worse.
Establish a baby-task system with your partner to evenly share the workload. Whether it’s by the baby or alternating specific duties, collaborating with your partner can ease the stress and also maximize efficiency. You’ll both get more sleep and participation in this trying yet rewarding time in your lives!
For single parents, having family, close friends, or hired help can be instrumental in adjusting to this wonderful life-changing event.
Additionally, consult your nurses and pediatrician. They’re there to help you and will ensure that you’re not only caring for newborn twins properly, but yourself, too (don’t forget the importance of this)!
#8 Build a Community
A great source of support is fellow parents of multiples. No one else will understand what you experience more than those who have also gone through the same thing.
Through message boards or groups, you can find a wealth of knowledge and resources. Lessen your homework load because you can consult countless others who have conducted their own research, read their own how-to articles, and can tell you what was bogus or proved to be a utility.
Moreover, the parents of multiples community can provide:
- Chances to find friends that can relate
- A source of second-hand baby items
- Potential twin playmates
- Baby break-time with adults
Stephanie B., a member of Charlotte Mothers of Multiples, proclaimed, “I have really benefited from the support of all of my new friends in the club. I couldn't have made it through that first year without being able to talk to other CMOMs about 'twin' issues."
#9 Paging Your Partner
Children can inevitably grab the spotlight and reorient your priorities, seemingly more so with multiples. However, try to remain connected to your partner, or even just relationships outside of your bond with your children.
Communicate any difficulties you’re experiencing—with the twins or between the two of you, to ensure you maintain your emotional intimacy. Not only will this ground you among all the rapid changes, but your relationship will be better for it. If you’re in this together, then make each other a priority, too.
A strong and healthy relationship will also act as a model for your children and teach them what a loving connection looks like.
#10 Take Five...or Maybe Ten
Your daily task list is certainly more extensive than that of a singleton’s parent. It’s no joke. And neither is your well-being. Sometimes, you deserve a time-out too.
So, how to help parents of twins?
- To make time for yourself, just as you would for your children or partner.
- Having a nap, night out, or Netflix session will do you some good.
- A less stressed and balanced individual will make for a better parent.
- Do your best, but know that not everything is under your control.
- Try with all your might to prioritize your mental and physical health in tandem with your twins!
Commemorate the Chaos
While it may seem like a whirlwind of bleary-eyed nights and the worst kind of surprises to ever be found in a diaper, time will indeed fly by!
Snap all the pictures you can and compare the size of your finger to their tiny toes before it’s over. Because the last thing to leave you with is that the light at the end of the tunnel arrives sooner than you might expect, and it’s the most beautiful thing you’ll ever experience.
After about six months in, you’ll be a pro, ready to hand the baton of advice to the next set of parents expecting twins. If you need a few more tips on raising twins to feel prepared, go over a detailed guide on How to Prepare When Expecting Twins. We wish you the most love and good luck in this incredible new era!
- Bright Horizons. Parenting Tips for Raising Twins. https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/parenting-twins
- Today’s Parent. Real Life Parenting Hacks for Raising Twin Babies. https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/newborn-care/real-life-parenting-hacks-for-raising-twins/
- WebMD. 9 Parents of Twins Share Their Best Advice. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/parents-of-twins-share-their-best-advice