Taking care of twins requires double the effort. And that you have to do within your limited resources like time, physical abilities and people to help.
No doubt these ‘responsibilities X 2’ are overwhelming for the parents. But once you fulfill them, the satisfaction you get is also two times more. Isn’t it? Just a bit of planning and tips will help you pass the test.
Tips to care take of twins
Here are some useful tips to look after the twins and have some relaxation too:
- Get your twin babies on the same napping and feeding schedule. This will ensure that you are not feeding and putting a baby to sleep all day. Dr. Shelly Flais, the author of the book Raising Twins and a pediatrician herself, suggests that “when one twin wakes up to feed, wake the other baby too”. This might mean going against the rule of not waking up a sleeping baby, but is practical.
Use a twin feeding pillow so that you can feed both your babies at the same time. Once they are in sync, managing them will become easier. However, consult your pediatrician before starting any sleep and feed training to ascertain that the babies are ready for it.
- Make a note of the twins’ schedule. For a couple of days, write down their routines as it will help you get the babies on the same schedule. Keep a track of the number of feedings, their sleep duration, and the number of diapers they are consuming. If you have difficulty feeding both your babies together, choose to breastfeed one and bottle feed the other by expressing your breastmilk into the bottle.
- Experiment with different ways to put the twins to sleep. Putting two babies to sleep at one time can be a Herculean task. Here are some ways you may try:
- Take them around in a stroller
- Wear one baby in a carrier and the other in a swing
- Swaddle them in cribs
- Place them in bassinets
- Lay them on a floor blanket
You may also make a note of the places where your twins fall asleep easily, and try the above methods at those places.
- Invest in a double stroller or twin carrier bag. It will be difficult for you to carry your babies constantly and at the same time. Therefore, buy a double stroller for your evening walks or other leisurely activities. You may also use the double stroller for carrying all the supplies that the twins need.
- Ask for help. You require helping hands. Ask your family members, friends and neighbors to help you in taking care of the babies. You can also have your parents move in for the first few months to help you. If you do not have these means, hire nannies or babysitters to help you manage the two infants.
- Join a twin moms’ group. You can join some local or online clubs formoms of twins. These groups help parents connect with each other and share experiences, tips, and techniques. Joining these groups will also keep you socially engaged and offer you time and opportunity to relax with people who are in a similar situation.
[ Read: How Much Milk Does Your Baby Need ]
- Shop baby supplies online. Having twin babies means running out of baby supplies at a lightning speed. Therefore, you may buy your daily essentials like wipes, diapers, creams, etc., online. Buying online will give you better deals and help you keep a count on how long the stock lasts. It also saves time in going to a store and standing in the queue to pay the check.
- Purchasing two of every item is not required. One of the most common mistakes new parents of twins do is buying two of each thing. While you will have to buy two of essential things like high-chairs, car seats, strollers, cribs etc., you don’t have to do it for things such as toys, books, creams or talcum powders. This will save you money in the long run.
- Go for neutral gender clothes. If your twins are a boy and girl, you don’t have to buy them all the clothes based on their gender. You may want to dress up your princess in frocks occasionally, but for the daily and regular wear, you may go for unisex clothes so that you can interchange them.
- Don’t separate the twins once they are old enough to sleep all through the night. You may think of having them sleep in different rooms so that if one is awake the other doesn’t wake up from the crying. However, if you let them sleep in the same room they will get used to each other’s cries and noise, making them sleep through regardless of the noise. However, check what suits your babies’ preferences, and plan accordingly.
- Set apart some time as your me-time. No matter how well you plan your tasks, you are bound to feel exhausted by the end of the day. You need some time for yourself to relax and bounce back. Or else you will end up getting overwhelmed with the chores you’re doing every day. Therefore, take a break from your chores and do what you enjoy the most – watch TV, relax in a hot bath or read a book. This will keep you motivated, happy and healthy while parenting your twins.
- Do chores alternatively. Talk to your husband and work out on the time shifts for attending the babies. You can do it together or separately, whatever works for your family. Your husband can take the babies out for a stroll, buy the groceries or do laundry. You both can opt for separate me-times to relax and not get overworked.
- Plan ahead. Before taking the babies to bath, keep the towels, diapers, and clothes laid out. Keep another bag packed with all these essentials plus some water and snacks that you can use while going out with the twins. You can simply pick the bag up and leave, thus saving time in packing every time you go out.
[ Read: How And When To Use A Nipple Shield ]
- Use alternatives like a travel cot or twin baby carriers to put your babies in them while you are doing other chores. You can hold one of your twins in the arms while resting the other in the cot, or place both the babies together while you finish your tasks.
- Bathe the twin babies at the same time. Either take help from someone or buy two bathing seats suitable for infants to bathe them together. You will end up saving time and energy while finishing up most of your baby care.
- Use freezer food. Cooking for the family while caring for two infants is a lot of work. Prepare freezer food that you can simply reheat just before supper. You may also cook crockpot recipes. You won’t have to stand near the stove but simply toss the ingredients, and eat prepared meals hours later.
Follow these tips and your day becomes more organized and a tad easier. Next, we cover a few more questions that new parents of twins often ask us.
Frequently asked questions
1. I’m finding it difficult to cope with my twins. Is this normal?
Yes, it’s absolutely normal to find yourself in this situation. You are likely to worry about several things – if you are feeding both the babies well, paying equal attention to them, doing anything wrong in bringing them up, etc. This is why it is necessary to seek help from friends, family or professionals to make your day manageable.
2. How should I plan my maternity leave?
Plan your maternity leave depending on what suits your family. You may schedule it in such a way that your husband can take his paternity leave after your leave ends. This way you can make sure that there is at least one of you with the babies until they complete their first year.
If you have sorted out help for childcare then you can prepare yourself to go to work. However, if your maternity leave cannot be extended and you cannot think of going to work, talk to your employer. They may be able to offer you extended leave, work-from-home or part-time. You may also consider taking a break from work for some time.
Raising twins may mean twice the amount of sleep-deprived nights and stress, but it is also double the blessings and joy for you and your family. Make the most of this parenting time by taking slow and steady steps. Always seek help when you need. If you are feeling extremely stressed out, talk to a physician.
[ Read: Newborn Feeding Schedule ]
Do you have any tips to share with us on how to take care of twins? Let us know in the comments section below.
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