20 fingers, 20 toes, twice the cries and twice the love! So you’re having twins and are pulling out your hair trying to decide what to expect!
Sassy Plum asked our favorite twin moms for advice on preparing for 2 babies. Here are some common questions.
Question: Do I really need 2 of everything?
Answer: Absolutely not! You only need two of certain items like car seats, bouncies, cribs, and carriers. You will also need a double supply of diapers, wipes, bibs, socks, hats and blankets. You can get away with one diaper bag, one double stroller, one video monitor and one playard (with multiple bassinet options). Click here for a full list of items.
Question: How will I manage 2 babies at the same time?
Answer: You will become an expert at multitasking! Or at least better than you ever knew possible. You will feel like you have 8 arms. You will use ALL of your senses at the same time to restore order in your household. In no time you will expertly snap a onsie with one hand while soothing a pouting face with the other. At first you may feel sloppy, discombobulated, or like you just can’t seem to get it together, but believe me when I say you will get much faster at handling the tasks. Soon it will be a smooth process and you will almost feel like you have life figured out! (Almost…lol)
Question: Should I get the twins on the same eating and sleeping schedules?
Answer: You have a couple options. You can get them on the same schedule for napping, eating, and playing, or you can stagger the schedules. There are pros and cons to each. If you prefer to have them on the same schedule, you must find a way to handle them at the same time so they can move on to the next activity together. It just takes a bit of coordination and synchronization. If they are on the same schedule and sleep close together, the close contact may help them sleep better, similar to how they were in your womb. The upside to this is that you may actually get to rest, clean or cook dinner (imagine that) when they are both asleep at the same time. Just kidding, there will be no time to cook. So just order in! But seriously, you may have more luck getting identical twins on the same schedule than fraternal twins, who can be drastically different in every way imaginable.
If you stagger the schedules, you can have more individual time with each baby. So as one sleeps, you can feed or cuddle the other. The downside to staggered schedules is that you may find it harder to get in a routine and may find very little downtime, as one of the babies always needs your attention.
Question: How do I get a good routine going?
Answer: There’s a lot to do, but don’t overthink it. Figure out a routine that gives the babies what they need, yourself a moment to think, and all of you some fresh air. Seeing as how many moms have a hard time getting out of the door, consider night prepping. At the end of the night-prep the diaper bag for the next day to minimize scrambling and fumbling at the last minute. Lay out outfits, line up necessities, make mental checklists. The first few weeks will be crazy, but try to ease into a schedule as time goes on. You may feel better and more in control when there is routine and order to your day. When you feel up to it, aim for at least one activity each day so that you always have a goal to work towards. Whether it’s going for a walk, window-shopping at a mall, or stopping by to visit a relative, getting out house each day can quickly help you to establish a morning and afternoon routine. Even a walk to the park will feel purposeful and have you thinking, “I made it!” Establishing a routine helps you to plan a productive day and conquer anxieties about getting out with your babies (fingers crossed!)
Question: How do I breastfeed feed 2 babies?
Answer: You can breastfeed two babies at one time! Talk to a lactation consultant before leaving the hospital for hands-on support. You may decide to breastfeed on demand, on a schedule, by pumping, or some combination of the above until you get into a good groove. Whichever way you choose, you may feel like you are engaging in an all-day feeding marathon! It does feel like that at first but you will get used to it and learn your body. There are several twin breastfeeding positions you can do if you decide to feed them together. If you prefer to feed them separately, this is a great time to work on individual bonding. Check out other tips for breastfeeding twins.
Question: How do I bathe 2 babies at the same time?
Answer: Bathing two babies is absolutely doable! If you want to bathe them at the same time, a spouse or partner can give you an extra hand. If you are alone, you have several options. Do their baths back to back so that one baby is never left unattended in the water. Plan ahead so that all your supplies are nearby and you can make a quick switch. Or you can bathe one during the day and the other at night. If you choose not to give your babies daily baths, you can bathe them on alternating days. Click here for more bathing tips.
Question: Will I always treat them the same?
Answer: To outsiders, it may seem as though twins are identical in every way possible and that they are basically clones of each other. This is not necessarily true! Their differences may be obvious to you, so much so that you may not even think they look alike at all! And this is good in a way, because it will allow you to hone in on their differences and celebrate them as individuals. They will also have different personalities and may require different approaches to how you interact with them. They may love dressing alike as children, but as they age they will learn to appreciate their differences and will want to be seen as individuals. Identify their different strengths and empower them as individuals early.
You may want to treat them the same when it comes to toys or other items they may compete for as they get older. One way around mixing everything up now may be to get different colors, like different colored bibs, or different colored onsies for each baby.
Question: How do I give them individual attention:
Answer: It is important that they get individual attention, be it during snuggles, play, or even babbly conversation. Interacting with each baby as an individual is important for their self-esteem and helps them to feel special. Many outsiders have the urge to merge twins into one unit because they are so doubly adorable! But as the parent, you must remember to pour into them separately. Alone time with each baby may be limited at first. But as you learn how to multitask all the duties at hand, you’ll get the hang of it and know when to sneak it in. Be creative! While one is enjoying tummy-time, you can have individual snuggles with the other. And then switch them around! You can alternate time between yourself and your significant other to spend alone time with both babies. And as stated before, you can also stagger schedules a bit to spend time with one while the other is doing another activity.
Question: How will I ever figure this out?
Answer: First off, relax. You. Will. Survive! At first it may seem overwhelming and scary but you will have it figured out in no time. In more realistic terms, you will just adjust to the chaos and multitasking so that it is your new normal. You will be in survival mode and won’t have much time to asses everything you are doing right or wrong. Just keep going and make it through each day. The schedule won’t be perfect, and you may feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day. Your house may be messy and you will feel that someone always needs you! But messy and chaotic is okay because you will be caring for two perfectly loved babies that aren’t handing out grades! Double the love, double the kisses. You’re in for an amazing adventure!
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