Having twins is a special joy, but also a BIG job that can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Taking care of twins can be much more physically demanding and emotionally stressful than having just one child. So here are some quick tips to help make caring for two little humans a little less intimidating:
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
“Getting Set,” or being prepared and planning ahead, is something that will make your life with twins go a lot more smoothly. Being prepared is especially important with twins, because many twins are born prematurely.
• Start your childbirth classes early;
• Stock up with plenty of supplies (diapers, wipes, etc) to minimize the need to pack the babies up and take them to the store;
• Ask for help and enlist all the “extra hands” you can get during your pregnancy; you’ll need them during those first few months!
• Make arrangements and divide duties between partners/parents early, so you’re ready when they decide to make their entrance;
• Connect with other parents who have twins; [ersonal experiences and helpful ideas are invaluable. (Multiples of America is a great organization to get in contact with for more information and resources — and try our New Mom’s Coffee!)
• Most parents find it helpful to keep twins on the same feeding schedule when they’re small; it’s ok to wake one baby up to feed them both at or near the same time, this cuts down on feeding times and maximizes your sleep as a parent.
Double-Trouble: What Should Parents of Twins Try to Avoid?
Children are constantly trying to learn who they are and what makes them unique. This can be difficult for twins, because they are so often being compared to their twin brother or sister.
• Refrain from creating competition between them, or from regularly comparing them to one another.
• Talk with family and teachers to decide on the best time to separate twins once they’re in school; depending on your family needs, consider letting each child try different activities so they each develop his/her own individuality;
• Avoid dressing them alike;
• Avoid referring to them as “the twins” as much as possible; using their names as you would with 2 children of different ages helps them learn who they are and develop their own identity;
• Make sure each child has alone time with you; this will help them learn they are important as individuals.
Sara Weaver is a PA Student from Slippery Rock University who spent a rotation with us at Kids Plus.