“Congratulations, you’re having twins!” While twins are great news, you might also be panicking. Extra nappies, extra feeds, two slippery bodies to manage at bath time – how on earth will you cope with two babies?! While having twins is hard work it’s also incredibly rewarding, and you’ll soon work out routines and methods to help make life easier.
Here are a few tips on caring for twins to start you off.
1. Sleep when your babies sleep
Every new mum is advised to sleep when their baby sleeps and with twins this makes even more sense, especially if your twins are not in the same sleep pattern! Grab every moment you can to rest – see tips 6 and 7 for more help in this area. You might also find it helps if you put your twins to sleep in the same crib or cot – this can help establish a regular routine for both of them, and twins who sleep together often sleep better as they help each other to settle.
2. Nurse your babies together
It might sounds difficult to do, but whether your babies are breastfed, bottle fed or a combination, feeding them at the same time gives you more time for rest and can help put your babies on the same sleep and feed schedules. Cushions can help you arrange both babies at the breast, or bouncy chairs and headrests make bottle feeding two at once much easier.
3. Routine is everything!
Try to get your babies into a routine as soon as possible – and preferably the same routine together, no more than 30 minutes apart! This will help the babies get into a good settling routine.
4. Keep records
You’ll have so much going on that it will be difficult to keep track of which baby last had their nappy changed, or needs some medicine, or turned down a feed. Keeping brief but detailed records makes it easier to manage everything.
5. Bath time tips
Bathing two babies at once can be very difficult, and dangerous too while they’re small. If you can, always get help at bath time – you can hold a baby each, or one person can entertain one baby while the other is bathed. If that’s not possible, consider bathing your babies alternately – they may only get a wash every other day but you can still get into a routine that way.
6. Let things go!
We’re talking housework here … For the first few months at least, don’t worry about the housework. Taking care of your babies and getting some rest yourself is far more important!
7. Ask for – and accept – help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and be specific about what kind of help you need. Everyone loves twins and you will be inundated with people wanting to hold the babies – but if you’d really rather your family and friends were doing some washing, or cooking you the odd meal, then ask them!
8. Invest in the right equipment
Equipment for twins can be very expensive, but the right carrier, cot or pushchair can make your life a lot easier.
9. Join twin support groups
Only another parent of twins can understand what you’re going through, so look for twin clubs either online or locally and become a member. They’re a great way to make new friends and get advice and support.
10. Acknowledge your twins’ individuality – and accept their differences!
Your twins might look similar – or identical even – but remember they are individuals with their own personalities. Dressing them the same can be fun but as they get older be prepared for them to assert their individuality!