Finding out you’re pregnant with twins can be exciting yet terrifying. On the one hand, you’re getting to have potentially all the children you want in one pregnancy. On the other, the thought of having two babies to look after when one is hard enough, is a very daunting prospect.
If you’re expecting twins or you’re currently struggling to stay sane with your little ones, here you’ll find some awesome sanity saving tips. With a little preparation and know-how, you’ll soon find it easier to juggle the demands of your new, larger family.
Tip #1 – Preparation Is Vital
If your little bundles of joy haven’t arrived yet, the good news is there’s a lot of preparation work you can do right now that’s going to help make your life a million times easier.
Firstly, it helps to get ahead by purchasing the right baby equipment. A great tip to save money is to look out for “twin discounts”. Many stores provide a discount if you buy two of the same product so this can save you a small fortune if you’re a first-time parent and don’t have anything from previous pregnancies.
Once you have your equipment, you’re going to want to start organizing the home. It’s not just the nursery you’ll want to focus on here. Making sure you have a changing station on each level of the home if there’s more than one level, is a great tip. Ensure each is fully equipped with everything you’re going to need in one easy to reach place.
The next thing you’re going to want to do is find a good pediatrician. It also helps to have numbers for emergency contacts and it’s a great time to put together a list of potential babysitters, because let’s face it – you’re going to need all the help you can get!
The more preparation you can do, the easier your life will be when you bring your twins home.
Tip #2 – Sign Up For Help
Whether you’re expecting twins or you’re already being driven mad by your new additions to the family, it’s helpful to sign up to support groups or online forums. Connecting with other parents who know exactly what you’re going through is going to provide a lot of comfort and also invaluable advice! This is exactly why we started our own forum, which you can check out by clicking here.
Interacting with parents who are facing the same struggles will also help to prevent the isolation many new parents experience. Multiples Of America is an excellent source to turn to and the site will be able to point you in the direction of any local group in your area.
Tip #3 – Breast Is Best
By far one of the toughest challenges of having twin babies is the feeding frenzy that ultimately ensues. As soon as you’ve fed, burped and changed one baby, it’s time to feed the other. It’s a cycle which seems to be never ending and it can really start to drive you insane. If you’re looking for the easiest method some experts suggest breastfeeding. That way, you can feed both babies at the same time.
Now, it’s worth noting a lot of twins are born prematurely and premature babies can have more trouble latching onto the breast. So, breastfeeding might not be a viable option for you. Even if it is, breastfeeding two babies at the same time can be extremely difficult to begin with. You’re going to want to try out various feeding positions before you find the best one for you and your little ones.
It’s a good idea to purchase a U-shaped pillow which fits snugly around your waist. This will help to keep both babies in position at the breast.
Tip #4 – Have A Strict Sleeping Schedule
This is going to be the most difficult tip to follow as getting one baby into a sleep schedule is hard enough, never mind two! However, if you’re strict and have a set schedule as soon as possible, it’s going to really help save your energy!
It might sound obvious, but always put both babies to sleep at the same time. Then, if one of them wakes up for a feed during the night, be sure to wake your other baby too. If you don’t, chances are you’ll just get back into bed and your other bundle of joy is going to cry out for a feed.
In terms of where they should sleep, for the first few months it should be fine to let your little ones sleep next to each other in the same crib. However, it’s a good idea to seek advice from your pediatrician before doing so. If on the other hand, you plan on letting them sleep in a bassinet in your room, they will need one each. Just ensure they can still see each other. After all, they’ve just spent nine months together in your womb so they’re used to the comfort of having someone there with them.
Tip #5 – Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
When you’ve got twins, it’s difficult to find enough time to catch your breath. So, bonding and ensuring you’re giving each baby enough attention can be extremely difficult. Many parents are worried that they haven’t yet developed a proper bond with their twin babies, but the truth is it takes a little longer.
The more you get to know each of your little ones, the deeper the bond will become. In the first few weeks it’s difficult to find the time to give each baby a lot of one-on-one attention so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel instantly bonded to your babies.
It’s also important not to feel guilty. It’s natural to worry that you’re not giving one twin the same level of attention, especially if one is fussier than the other. However, you need to remember that there’s just one of you. You’re not super-human and there’s only so much you can do. So, occasionally one baby is going to be left crying while you’re taking care of the other. It’s tough, but it’s normal.
Overall, raising twins is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but it also comes with a lot of joyful moments. As they grow, you’ll start to see their individual personalities shine through. Experiencing the bond between them is also a magical thing. So, when you feel like you’re about to have a meltdown, remember this is temporary. It does get easier and if you follow the tips above it will help ease some of the stress.
Have you got any of your own great sanity-saving tips for raising twins? Share them below!