Parenting twins is an art by itself. It requires your energy, dedication, smartness, planning, multitasking, creativity and patience all in one pot. You will have to struggle more during the initial stages especially while caring for twin infants as they will be dependent on you for almost everything. In this post I will be sharing some basic tips for managing twin babies which will make your life much easier.
7 Essential Tips for Managing Twin Babies
Raising a child is becoming quite challenging in this fast swirling world. That too if you have to bring up two children of the same age, needless to say it is going to be a tough job.
When you bring them home after delivery or after a short or long stay at the NICU, you will be like
‘What am I going to do with these tiny kittens?
Will I ever be able to cater their needs and raise them as I have dreamed for so long?
OMG! What super power am I going to need?’
The answer is fairly simple – a mixture of some smartness, good planning, lot of energy and huge patience.
Here I will be penning down some fundamental tips for managing twin babies. These tips will be like your mantras. If you stick to them, you can reasonably overcome the difficulties attached to parenting twin infants. These ideas will be more appropriate for raising twin newborns who are under 6 months old.
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#1 Set up a routine
When you have two infants of the same age all you need is a routine in performing everything. Whether it is feeding them or putting them to sleep, changing nappies, administering medicines, giving bath or anything else in their world, the key is set up a routine.
Plan how your day will be. Schedule every task and if required even create a time table which will be helpful for your commencing days. Initially you might struggle to meet the plan but soon it will become your routine.
Here is a sample Schedule for managing your day with the little ones. You can create a planner like this according to your family routine and timings.(Free Printable to plan your daily routine is available at the end of this post)
Ufff !! Looks like a huge day! Isn’t it? The first few days will be very hectic even if you are caring for a single baby. You will have to feed the baby and change nappies more frequently, put them to sleep pretty often. As days pass by, the frequency of these tasks will considerably reduce.
And think how it will be to repeat these tasks for two infants, Oh my goodness!! It is definitely tiresome and you will need some dramatic energy to cope up with your twins and daily house hold chores. I also want to warn you not everything will happen as we plan with two newborns around you.
One or the other might fall sick or have a colic pain or simply wont sleep even after you try all the tricks for so long or just wont take the feed or make you clean the nappy for the umpteenth time and for god’s sake anything can go wrong and collapse all that you have planned.
But trust me, once you set up this routine which will be daring to start with, it will soon bring your pains down to some level. Still you will have ups and downs at times. Everyday is not going to be the same. So if this plan can work out at least for half the week, it will gain you some relief and rest.
Setting up a routine will make your life easy with twins as infants, toddlers and grown up kids. So even if you aren’t a planning type person, it is wise to schedule your day when you have twins. Just try it out on your own and see the results.
#2 Make them sleep together
It will be difficult and wouldn’t look possible to put the twins to Sleep together. There will be many hindrances.
- One will sleep and the other will not get sleep
- Though slept together one will wake up early
- Sounds of one baby will wake the other
- and more
To start with, it will be challenging for both you and the babies. But soon all of you will get used to this routine. Always keep their nap and sleep times together.
If one baby didn’t get sleep, try for some more time and put him also to sleep. Even if one baby wakes early, no issues let him. If one of them makes noise and disturbs the other don’t panic, let the other also wake up. By the next nap time or sleep time they will both fall asleep without much effort from you. Soon they will also learn to sleep with each others sounds not disturbing them.
But if you are going per the infants schedule, allowing them to sleep on their own time and not on the same schedule, no body can save you. You will have to baby sit all through the day with one or the other baby staying awake. This will put behind all your other chores which will pile up making you restless and end up with frustration, depression and every other negative mind set.
So bring the sleep routine for your twins right from the early stages. This will be your time and life saver.
#3 Feed them together
Make their feed times common from day one. If you cannot feed them together at the same time, at least make sure you feed one baby first and immediately feed the other. This will help you to get away with confusions like whom you fed when and who is hungry now and also help to set a sleep routine.
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Babies fed together will sleep together easily at the same time saving you an hour or so to keep up with the other tasks.
During the first six months you may be feeding the newborns with mother’s milk and formula. So for a particular feed time plan which baby is going to be mother fed and which one formula fed or whether both of them are going to be fed the same. It is all your choice and you can plan as per your preference.
You can even edit your daily time table(Free printable at the end of this post) and mention which baby has to be fed with what? Formula or Mother’s milk. It will save your time and avoid confusions. Setting up a feed time routine will eventually set up a sleep routine.
#4 Share the responsibilities
You can surely take care of your twins all by yourself but a little help will always keep you more energetic and boosted. So try to share your responsibilities. Don’t think that you should do each and everything for your baby on your own. Let your heart go and take the support of any other individual.
- First person who can support you in a great way is your partner. Share the responsibilities with your husband. Let him feed the infants or change the nappy or bathe the babies whenever it is possible. It will also help him to bond with the babies more fruitfully.
- Second, Check if you can have any of your close relatives with you for initial few months to support you in this new journey. It can be your parents, in-laws or any other relative or friend. Make sure they can stay with you for quite sometime until you get used to taking care of the newborns all alone.
- Third, If you don’t have anyone to help you side to side, try to appoint a maid who can help you with your house hold chores all through the day, so that you can concentrate only on the infants.
- Fourth, If in case you have to return to work early, then there is a big head ache for you. You should look for a good care taker for your babies who is going to fill your absence. The care taker can be your relative or friend or an appointed maid. But whoever it may be make sure you hand over your tiny infants in the right hands. This will give you peace both at work and at home.
When you have twins, it is wise to share the responsibilities with someone. Make your family also understand it. If you have to do each and everything for your infants all through the day in addition to other chores then I alert you in prior, sooner or later you will end up exhausted, feeling depressed, suppressed and will lose your inner peace. This will totally change the person who you are today. So take the needed support and raise your babies happily.
#5 Differentiate only the essentials
So you have two newborns, you will have to buy everything double. Is it really necessary? Think twice before buying anything in twos. There are certain things which you can commonly use for both the babies and save money and space.
- If your twins are boys then they can readily use their clothes interchangeably as long as you wash and keep them clean. But you can differentiate their inner garments. Same for girl twins.
- You can differentiate and keep their bottle nipples separate but bottles can be swapped as long as you keep them sterilized before each use.
- Right from the early days, teach them to share the toys and avoid buying two same toys of same color. As days run by, this will bite your pocket adversely.
Many say the disadvantage of having twins is that you have to buy everything double. But there is also a hidden advantage. You can share many things which are common for them as they are of same age and avoid buying doubles.
It is all in your hand and how you bring them up from their younger age. Teach which things need to be unique for each of them and which can be shared. This will also develop a good attitude in them and make their bond stronger.
#6 Isolate them during sickness
When one baby falls sick, try to isolate the sick baby from the other twin. Try to keep the sick baby in a different room and treat separately. As the babies are fed, made to sleep and play together they tend to catch up infections from one another very easily. In many cases, when one twin falls sick the other twin naturally falls sick in another day or two in-spite of all the techniques we adapt to avoid an infection.
So separating them during sickness can avoid the other baby from falling sick to some percent but not always. But it is worth a try.
#7 Maintain a notebook to track their activities
This will be a life saver for you. Track the everyday activities of twins in a notebook or maintain a journal. Create a table for each twin every day and note down the details. Though we plan and schedule a routine still things can go beyond our hand and become as much clumsy. In such scenarios we naturally tend to mix up things while taking care of two newborns.
So tracking the feed timings, feed quantity, bowel movements and timings, nappy change timings, medicines and their quantities and administered timings, noting the temperature when they fall sick for each baby for every day will be really helpful during the first year. This is because each of the above factor can vary for each of your twin. Like,
- Their feed timings and quantity may be different, based upon which you have to plan the next feed.
- The doctors might have prescribed different medicines for them with different quantity and timing.
- You will have to keep track of their bowel movements and at times wonder who pooped and who didn’t.
- You might get confused to whom you changed the nappy and when.
- Or if both were running temperature you may get confused who was running high temperature and whether you gave medicine and when.
Wipe away all these doubts with a simple tracker which you can use daily. Here is a activity tracker table to note down the details of each twin. (Free Printable for tracking the every day activities of your twins, is available at the end of this post)
*The values illustrated in the above tables are for sample purpose only
This table might look silly. But once you start using it, you will feel very relaxed as you need not worry about remembering everything about your infants all the time. You can create new trackers for any other activities too as per your needs.
Theses trackers will also serve as a memory and you could read these notebooks after years and wonder how you coped up with all these.
Hope these tips were useful to you and will help you to bring up happy twin babies! Happy twin parenting!
“Two cute little faces with matching grins, nothing could be any sweeter than having twins!”
If you liked this post, feel free to share it with other moms who are expecting or having twin babies. Also, If you are a mother of twins and have valuable ideas about managing twin babies please do share them in the comments.
#1 Print this SAMPLE EVERYDAY SCHEDULE to get started with your Twin Infants
#2 Plan your day with your twin infants with this simple EVERYDAY SCHEDULE/PLANNER
#3 Track your twins activities with this EVERYDAY ACTIVITY TRACKER FOR TWIN INFANTS
Includes Feed Tracker, Bowel movements and Nappy change tracker, Medicine tracker and Body temperature tracker
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Image credits : Main image by donnierayjones via Foter.com / CC BY ; Set up a Routine by Seattle Municipal Archives via Foter.com / CC BY ; Make them Sleep together by donnierayjones via Foter.com / CC BY ; Feed them together by rubix1138 via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA ; Share the Responsibilities by Lars Plougmann via Foter.com / CC BY-SA ; Isolate during Sickness by Christina Spicuzza via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA ; Track their activities by nist6dh via Foter.com / CC BY-SA ;
Note : Added text to the original images used in this post.