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The Incredible Task of Caring for Twins

Caring for twins can seem overwhelming, but with the right tools, it is quite manageable without causing Mom unneeded stress.

Nothing is more wonderful than the day you get to bring your new baby home. For parents of multiples, it is also a scary occasion because there is more than one little person who needs constant care.

IDENTICAL VS. FRATERNAL

While there are so many variations of twins, the most common forms are fraternal and identical. Identical twins occur when one egg is fertilized by one sperm and then splits, thus creating two identical babies. Both of these babies will have the same DNA, same blood type, and will be the same sex.

​Identical twins

occur when one egg is fertilized by one sperm and then splits, thus creating two identical babies. Both of these babies will have the same DNA, same blood type, and will be the same sex.

Fraternal twins

occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperm. These babies will be as different from each other as any other sibling pair.

HOW TO TELL IDENTICAL TWINS APART

twin babies sitting on a couch

nhs.uk

Sleep-deprived mothers of multiples are terrified that they may feed one baby twice while the other remains hungry. Babies have an inbuilt alarm system called screaming and crying so this is very unlikely. It doesn’t make you a bad mommy if you can’t tell your identical twins apart.

Simply put on different colored bracelets or paint one nail a different color.

THINGS YOU MAY NEED

Caring for twins means you will need an arsenal of supplies! Here are a few items that will make Mom’s life a little easier.

1. Diapers and wipes in bulk

Whether you plan to use cloth diapers or disposable ones, you will need to keep your supply stocked. Something as minor as running out of diapers and wipes can be a major stress on Mom. There are several places that one can get a subscription and have diapers and wipes delivered when needed.

2. Two cribs/Co-sleepers

If you’re using a crib, it is fine to let twins share a crib for the first few months. Remember, babies grow quick, and you will need the second crib when the babies start wanting their own space. Having the second crib will allow you to have a safe sleeping space for both babies.

If you’re co-sleeping and using a co-sleeping baby bed, like the Snuggle Me Organic Co-sleeping Baby Bed, you’ll definitely need to buy two.

If you plan to bed-share, make sure to following safe co-sleeping practices for bed-sharing.

3. High chairs

High chairs make caring for twins a little easier by freeing up Mom’s hands during meal times. If you get a chair that can recline slightly, it can also be used to bottle feed your babies. It will allow for Mom to stand holding both bottles for both babies thus making the feedings a little easier if both are fussy and hungry.

4. Playpens

best baby playards

Toddler in a playpen

Playpens are an essential baby tool when having twins. They are portable and will allow Mom to move them around as needed. In the early months when the twins are newborns playpens are a great help.

If Mom had a C-Section, then this will allow her to lay the babies down in whatever room she is in as opposed to placing them in their cribs. These are also great to have for traveling.

THE BASICS

Having a newborn is a busy time for most new parents. Having twins doubles the work, stress, and everything else! 

Time management is one of the keys to parenting twins. Here are a few of the basics of having twins.

1. Synchronizing schedules

One thing that most parents of twins know is that getting both babies on the same schedule is a must. It takes a little time, but once Mom has a schedule in place, everyone is happier. A tip is to try to stick to the same routine for the first little bit. Keep in mind that babies’ schedules are never ironclad.

If one baby is snoozing off let them sleep and if one is crying because they are hungry don’t hold out until their sibling is ready for a meal. Remember that all babies are different; one twin may be unpredictable while the other may be laid back and easy going. It may not always be possible to sync them.

babies sleeping side by side

regulakeller.com

2. Feeding

Feedings can be a little stressful for new twin moms. If you choose to breastfeed it is possible to feed both babies at once. Sometimes this does not go as planned, so it is a good idea to keep some bottles and pump milk just in case tandem feedings do not work out.

Regardless of how you choose to feed your babies, a good tip is to try to feed them at the same time. Keeping a consistent schedule will prevent headaches in the future. Of course, not everything can be scheduled out so don't stress too much over this.

3. Bath time

Bathing your newborns are pretty standard. It is safer and easier to bathe the babies one at a time until they can both sit and hold themselves up. Once you get into a steady bath routine, everything will be an assembly line of tasks.

Once the babies can bathe together the process is truly more fun than work.

4. Changing woes

cloth diapering on a budget

Baby with cute cloth diaper

Parents of twins feel like diaper changes never end. Usually when you change one baby the other needs changing very shortly after. It seems like a never-ending cycle. Just stock up on your changing supplies.

5. Playtime

Caring for twins can be a lot of work and stressful at times. Having said that, every stressful moment is worth it. Especially when you can lay both babies on a blanket and watch them interact and play with each other. No one loves like twins, and it is a wonderful sight!

Enjoy these times with your babies.

6. Soothing

All babies have times when the crying is never ending, and twin parents get this in double. The easiest way to soothe your babies is to get an extra pair of hands to help. If this isn’t possible try, letting them comfort each other by putting them side by side in a bassinet.

If you manage to calm one while the other is still screaming, take the screamer to another room and let the calm baby be peaceful in the crib. Sometimes you won’t know why the baby’s crying despite your best efforts. The best you can do is comfort her and cuddle her, rock and soothe and sing, and remind yourself that this season of babyhood will be over soon.

7. Self-care

post-baby body

Mamma Relaxing in the park

One thing that most new moms forget is to take care of themselves. It is okay if you are feeling stressed to put the babies in a safe place, like their cribs, and take a short breather for yourself. You are more than just a mom so try to find time for yourself too.

Getting into a routine is essential with twins. It sets the standard, and the babies seem to be happier with a safe, predictable routine. The schedule you set up will take shape as your baby grows.

You may even get to the point where you can shower and get dressed while they are napping in the morning. Caring for twins is a lot of work but it is all worth it, and you will surely miss the newborn phase once they gain more independence.

Sources:

www.twin-pregnancy-and-beyond.com

http://www.parents.com/baby/twins/caring/twin-newborns-essential-items-to-buy-in-bulk/

Leah

Founder at LetuKenya
Leah was born and raised in Kenya. She has a degree in psychology and divides her time between article writing, blogging and creating original African pieces. She provides her writing services independently and can be found odesk. When she isn’t hunched over a computer, she’s out being inspired by nature.

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