The first year with twins is probably one of the hardest times for first time twin moms. For one, two precious infants are placed in your hands and they are entrusting you with their lives. Yet there are so many things you have to learn, so much you have heard but are yet to filter and many uncertainties that come with raising twins. Still, surviving the first year with twins will be easier with these top 15 tips.
- 1) Finance and budgeting for twins.
- 2) Stay organized
- 3) Have your go-to baby products.
- 4) Prepare the baby food in batches.
- 5) Get your babies on the same schedules and routines.
- 6) Keep a log.
- 7) Bathing twins.
- 8) How to stimulate milk supply
- 9) Stay hydrated and nourished
- 10) Have mini-goals.
- 11) Nap and nighttime sleeping strategies.
- 12) Realign your expectations.
- 13) Get as much help as you can.
- 14) Trust Your Mommy instincts.
- 15.) You will make mistakes, embrace them.
1) Finance and budgeting for twins.
The first years can get expensive with all the essentials and necessities that twins will require. To navigate this;
Assess your Health insurance coverage.
To what extent will it cover the birth and upkeep of your new family addition? Are there any benefits which will be beneficial for you and your twins, what options are available? All this evaluation will help you understand where you stand financially and give you a sense of direction.
Avoid two of everything when shopping for twins.
One of the advantages of having twins is that you don’t have to buy two of everything. Babies in their first year can share the changing table, toys, clothes, and feeding equipment. This will not only save money but it will also make cleaning way easier.
Look out for yard sales and second-hand items.
As long as everything is up to standard, yard sales and second hand items may provide you with most of the twin gear you would have bought at expensive costs in stores.
Take advantage of twin discount plans and coupons
Most manufactures are always offering coupons and free giveaways to newbie parents which you can take advantage of. Play spaces, daycares, and parks may also have discounts for twin parents which works well for you.
2) Stay organized
If you are not organized, this is the best time to start. It is easier to spend a few minutes folding onesies than spending hours while looking for this particular onesie you wanted your twins to wear. Start small, set aside a day in a week when you have help coming over and organize the baby things in places of quick retrieval. You can use baskets and diaper boxes to store small sized items and label them. Organization will not only save you time but also allow adequate storage space for the twin nursery.
3) Have your go-to baby products.
More often than not, you will be forced to ask your spouse, family, and friends to go shopping for twin gear and items while you nurse your twins or put them to sleep. Having definite baby products listed down will help them buy what you prefer instead of getting phone calls every few minutes asking what diaper brand they should buy or which oils you prefer.
4) Prepare the baby food in batches.
You can choose a weekend when your babies are napping to prepare, cook and freeze food to last them through the week or month. It may take a few hours to get everything ready but it will make the week a little bit easy going. Preparing baby food on demand is not only exhausting for you but also frustrating for the baby’s tummy as their feeding schedule may be altered.
You can opt to puree the family’s leftovers meals as this will get your babies used to different flavors and tastes. Making your baby food is economical and you are sure of what your babies are eating while ensuring that all their nutritional requirements are met.
5) Get your babies on the same schedules and routines.
One routine for both your twins will come in handy. You can have the same sleep, bath, and feeding times as well as nap times. Most parents will prefer to wake one baby when the other feeds so that they have more time in their hands for extra hours of sleep. Babies love routines. It prepares their mind for the next activity that they should be doing. Sleep training twins can be used to help babies who do not sleep through the night learn how to sleep all through.
6) Keep a log.
It may seem like you do not need it but with how fast time flies and how fast your twins hit those milestones, a log will make you more grounded and knowledgeable on how far in terms of developing your babies are.
Logs can be used to keep track of your twins;
- Sleep-wake routines.
- Feeding and bowel movements
- Development milestones.
- Weight after pediatric visits.
7) Bathing twins.
Newborn twins do not require a bath until one to two weeks to allow for the umbilical cord stump to fall off as Healthy Children recommends. A sponge bath should suffice at this time as newborns do not sweat or get dirty as much. But as they grow and get playful, a bath is needed regularly. Bathing two babies at the same time is challenging especially when you want to keep them in the same routine. Including a bath partner will ease the process.
You take charge of one baby while your partner takes charge of the other. Bath time is one way of establishing one on one time with your babies and getting to know them individually, learning their cues and their personality. You can alternate who baths which baby so that both parents get ample one on one time with both twins.
8) How to stimulate milk supply
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of a baby’s life due to the numerous health benefits to twins and the mother. Mothers do not need to worry about the supply of milk because science has proved that the more you breastfeed the more you produce enough for both twins.
Here are 3 Mayo Clinic recommended strategies to boost milk supply.
Start right after birth
Breastfeeding immediately after birth will enable mothers to establish an adequate milk supply. Colostrum, which is present in the first breast milk has antibodies which will help in fighting infections and bacteria that may affect infants
Use hospital grade double electric breast pumps to stimulate production in lesser time.
Every baby has a different method of latching and suckling. Alternate every one day to stimulate milk production and ensure that they are both fed as required.
9) Stay hydrated and nourished
Breastfeeding moms need more calories to provide adequate nutrients for both mother and child. (Additional 450-500 kcal) as CDC recommends. Set up an appointment with a lactation consultant to help you understand the portions and proper diet during breastfeeding. Alternatively, choose my plate plan will give you a personalized nutritional guide on the food to take while breastfeeding.
Include whole grains, lots of fruits and vitamins, and proteins in your diet. Iron rich food will be necessary for replenishing your blood cells while calcium will be beneficial for yours and your babies’ strong bones and teeth development.
10) Have mini-goals.
Most of us wish that there was a code to crack all our goals in the shortest time possible at no cost. But that is nonexistent, an alternative that actually works is breaking those huge goals into these mini-goals which are workable. You can have mini goals on anything from sleep training twins, mastering tandem nursing, getting more organized, having the same schedule.
Aim for short term mini- goals, say for a month or two and include your spouse and other family members. They will be quicker to achieve and will help you stay grounded compared to long term goals that you can lose track of.
11) Nap and nighttime sleeping strategies.
Newborns will not fall into a sleep through the night type of sleep but they will get the hang of it as the months go by. Parents can choose to take shifts so as to allow adequate sleep
- A mini-refrigerator and a bottle warmer in the babies’ room will save you the energy of running into the kitchen every now and then to retrieve the feeding necessities.
- Invest in a swing and bouncy chairs. Babies love to play and explore. The pleasure of bouncing or swinging to and fro will leave them drowsy and yearning for some sleep.
- A white noise machine with calming noise may ease your baby to sleep. Put it at the recommended distance away from the crib with the right volume up.
12) Realign your expectations.
Having and raising twins may not be all you had expected. It may be harder but it will also bring greater joy than you had imagined. Your expectations may be shattered or go beyond what you had in mind. When things don’t go as you had planned or expected, change your perspective and look at the brighter side of things.
13) Get as much help as you can.
Don’t shy away from the help given especially in the first few months. At one point, help from friends and family will reduce because they think that you have figured out how to deal as a first time twin mum.
A good nanny who is well trained will help care for the babies and allow more time and rest for you. Where budget allows, have a Cleaners Company come over and do house cleaning and laundry. Help will also allow you to find more time to build on other relationships and take care of yourself.
14) Trust Your Mommy instincts.
With all the information, advice and knowledge on twins out there, mothers may be at crossroads for what is best for their baby. Which sleep training strategy should I use, which position suits my babies best, how should I potty train when they are older or what should you buy?
All this is important but no one knows your babies’ as much as you do. Your Mommy instincts will help you solve all these questions and choose the best for your baby. Overall, do not discredit the advice given by experts and other mothers who have been there.
15.) You will make mistakes, embrace them.
Like Paul Bear Bryant said, when you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: Admit it, learn from it and don’t repeat it.
Mistakes will be inevitable in the first year of raising twins. There’s so much you don’t know, you are only starting to know your babies and what will suit them best. You will make mistakes when it comes to feeding, their schedules and so much more. But this is only the beginning. The present day mistakes will be lessons for tomorrow.