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When we find out we are pregnant, we are over the moon happy about it. We get our blood work to confirm it. Then it is time for that very first ultrasound. That’s it, this is the moment that you find out that there is not only one baby, but two! Yes, you have just found out that you are having twins! Double the fun, and double the love! It’s going to be a fun ride from here on out! You will be buying two of everything! If they are your first babies, there may be a bit of a learning curve there. We have 16 tips to make taking care of twins easier!
Do you know what the most wonderful thing about twins is, though? It is that they will always share an inseparable bond with each other throughout each other’s lives. Once you get through your pregnancy and delivery, you will be home at last with your two newest little bundles of joy. Everyone is going to want to see the newest little additions to your family! So you will probably have plenty of help when you need it! It’s going to be so much fun to watch your two little wee ones learn, develop and grow! Relish in it! Here are some tips!
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You are going to want to sync up your twin’s schedules as soon as you possibly can. Otherwise when twin one goes down for a nap, twin two will be waking up, ready to be fed. So, you will want to get that sorted out! Dr. Shelly Vaziri Flais is a pediatrician and a mom of twins, and is the author of the book Raising Twins. Here is what she has to say on the subject of synchronizing, “When one infant wakes up to feed, wake the other one up as well. This is the one time where the 'rule' about never waking a sleeping baby needs to be broken.” Getting yourself a twin nursing pillow would be a good idea to make feedings easier. Be sure to check with their personal pediatrician though, before starting feeding or sleep training, to make sure they are ready for it.
Since you are living not only one baby, but two, you are going to be running out of essential items at lighting fast speed. Diapers, wipes, formula (if you’re bottle feeding), bathing supplies, diaper rash cream, etc., Chances are, you are not going to want to run to the store every time you run out of one of those items. Ordering online and in bulk is going to be a way easier and cheaper (in the long run) option. This way the supplies will arrive right at your doorstep when you are going to need them the most. Plus, you can often choose when and how often you want them to arrive.
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Babies cry. It is their way of communicating to us that they are hungry, or need to be changed, or that something is wrong. Or perhaps they just want to be held. In the middle of the night when both babies are screaming, it can be hard to try to calm both at the same time. Plus, one may not take comfort in what the other one does. Twin one may prefer rocking in their swing, while twin two may need to be held. It is all about trial and error, and about finding what works best for each twin. They will be different, and this is only the beginning of it.
In those first few weeks, things are going to be hectic at home. When you purchase gender neutral clothing, it can make changings, which there will be a lot of, much easier. Not to mention that being a twin parent now, you are running on significantly less sleep and energy than you were before. You may not have the mental energy to pick out matching outfits every single day. By grabbing gender neutral clothing, especially onesies, you can just pull and outfit out of the closet for each twin in the morning. Of course, make sure you have extra pairs of clothes, especially if you are going out, because, well, spit happens.
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If you or your partner have the time to cook, make a double batch of the meal you are making. The method behind this is that you have one for dinner that night, and you freeze the other one. That way when you are having a particularly hectic day with the twins, you can just pop that frozen meal right in the oven. No muss, no fuss. All there is to do is set the table. If you can, do this with as many meals as possible. Speaking of eating, mom and dad have to remember through all the chaos to eat. It can be very easy to forget when there are two new babies in the house.
Parenting multiples can be hard, especially if you are a first time mom. Everyone is going to want to come over and see the babies anyway! Asking for some help will help free up some time for you to do other things. Maybe you have been wanting a shower, but just haven’t been able to hop in. Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, friends, and cousins are all there for you (the new parents) and the babies! So, relish that time and use it to your advantage. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If nobody is around, pick up the phone and give a call. We’re pretty sure that no one is going to turn down the opportunity to come over and play and take care of the babies!
The first few weeks are going to be trying, and frankly, sometimes you may not even have the energy to pop a pair of jeans and a blouse on in the morning. Grab yourself a pair or two of comfortable yoga pants, and some tee shirts. Remember, it’s about your comfort. Not what others think of you. You’ve got to do what makes you feel best. So, if your energy reserves are low, you will surely want an easy outfit to slip on in the morning. Leave your outfit in out on a chair or somewhere else in your bedroom where you can easily access it in the morning. That way you don’t have to dig through drawers to find it.
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It is essential to your health to get outside and to feel the warm sunshine on your face. You’ve got to get that Vitamin D! It is also good for the twins, too. Taking daily walks helps set up a routine for all of you. Have little bags packed with things like a diaper, wipes, and an extra outfit for each twin. You can grab these and toss them in the bottom of the stroller when you are ready to go. It can just be a quick jaunt around the block, just to get some fresh air. As time goes on, you may want to walk farther.
Joining a group of parents that are going through the same thing as you are can be invaluable. You can swap all kinds of stories and maybe even get some tips on parenting twins. There are groups like Multiples of America or Tamba, if you are in the United Kingdom, that can help you find a local chapter near you. Being able to make friends who know exactly what you are going through can be a great resource. You will be able to turn to them if you need advice with the twins. The meetings can be a great place to just let it all out, too. The stress, your tiredness, midnight feedings, you can let it all out in a group.
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This old adage is true, even for new parents of one newborn. But it is 100% absolutely true. When the babies are awake they are going to need your attention and focus. This will also happen during the nights, as well. So, when your sweet little ones are finally fast asleep, take the opportunity for yourself to get in bed as well! Close your eyes and get that rest while you can! Remember, you have the baby monitor right next to you, so you’re able to hear when they wake up. But, you need your rest to be able to take care of your littles, too.
When it is time for the babies to get a bath, you are going to need some help from your partner. Have your partner play with and occupy one baby while you are bathing the other one. But first, before you do anything else and begin bath time, sort everything out. Put out both hooded towels, both washcloths, ointment, lotion, diapers and wipes. This way when bathtime is over, you aren’t scrambling to get everything to put on the baby. Then you can switch off to baby number two! Then maybe perhaps you can start a bedtime routine of reading to them after bathtime. Routine is totally key when it comes to parenting twins!
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With two new babies in the house, it can be hard to keep track of where we left our shoes! But when it comes to the twins, within the first few weeks, tracking their activities can be vital. You will be able to notice patterns, if any occur. You should track things like sleep, bowel movements, their feeding habits, how much they eat, if they are taking medicine, how much and when they have taken it last, etc. Information like this can be so helpful to your children’s pediatrician. You will also be able to notice if one twin is eating more than the other or developing quicker than the other. Then you can bring your tracker with you to the doctor’s office and discuss it with them. They will definitely appreciate that you took the time to do this.
Grocery shopping can quickly become hectic when you have two little ones in tow. So many grocery stores these days offer up options like curbside pickup. All you have to do is order your groceries online, and drive to the store and a customer service associate will load them into your car for you. Another great option is services like Shipt and Instacart. You can quickly and easily browse through items and choose what you need. In some places, you can get your groceries delivered to you in as little as one hour. Many services like this are popping up across the country and becoming more readily available. It’s worth checking out to see if your area has a similar program!
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If you are always around both of your little ones, you will never get a chance to know them as individuals. If and when you are able to, schedule some one-on-one time with each twin. This will give you a chance to bond with each one of them, separately. Not only that, you will also be able to get a sense of their personality and what makes them unique as a little person. This will also help you in the future when scheduling play dates! You will get a feeling of what their personalities and what their likes and dislikes are.
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You are going to be amazed at how fast the twins grow! It seems like they go from newborn to six months in no time flat. If you have any family or friends that are willing to give you clothes for the babies, accept them. Even if they aren’t the right size for the babies just yet, they will grow into them. Clothes can get expensive, and by accepting the gift of others giving you their gently used baby clothes, you can save some money! That is definitely a win-win situation! Then, when you are done with them, you can donate them or give them to another mom who may be in need of some baby clothing!
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Motherhood isn’t a competition. You do things at your own pace. Remember that these are your precious little babies, and you do things your way, not anybody else's. You are doing the very best that you can after carrying and giving birth to these beautiful children. At the end of the day, that is all your little ones could ever ask for. You are a wonderful mom, remember and hold onto that when the days get crazy. These wonderful twins of yours are growing up with a mom that loves and cherishes them. In the end, that is all that really matters.