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Mothering Multiples: 5 Tricks for telling twins apart

My husband, Nebert and I knew we wanted children (someday), but it wasn’t until the dream became our reality: my husband and I were pregnant with multiples. We were just entering the second trimester when we started our googling journey and purchased magazines on  tips for telling twins apart in vain. What a hell! No one was offering solutions for mothering multiples, especially exclusive breastfeeding and weaning twins apart.

Immediately after your twins come home, you are thrown into a roller coaster at a thousand miles per hour. Two babies to feed, change diapers, and care for. It’s a confusing time for parents to have identical twin babies in their care. For the first few days, you may be at a loss to telling your newborn twins apart.

Did I feed Angie, or was it, Jessie?” This question will run in your mind more times than you can remember to count. Exhaustion and backaches, on the other hand, will not be helping the situation.

Nebert and I had an easier time telling our twins apart. Matt and Abby are boy-girl twins who, for the most part, did not send us into the insanity of figuring out who is who. However, we too have our share of experiences finding a consistent nursing schedule, trying to remember who was hungry last, handled Nipple confusion… and…Oh my! We have a whole novel on mothering multiples, so keep reading our blogs to learn more.

Still, when babies are dressed, and all swaddled up, it can be pretty hard to tell them apart. When it happened, a quick peek under the diapers helped us out. For you and other parents to identical twins, telling your newborn twins apart for the first time might not be easy.

Not to worry though, these tips will come in handy when trying to identify your newborn twins.

Telling Twins Apart : How can you tell your identical twins apart without second-guessing yourself?

1) Paint your twins’ big toe

Don’t want to deal with twin bracelets? Simply paint the big toe of each twin a different color. Go light on the baby toes as one layer is more than enough. You could paint the fingernails, but hands spend a lot of time in your baby’s mouth. 

Piggy Paint nail polish is non-toxic, water-based, and a safe polish to use on your baby’s toenails. 

2) Newborn identical twin bracelets

Once the hospital Id bracelets come off, you need to devise a new plan. A different color bracelet or one with their names will simplify matters. The bracelets you choose should be non-toxic and the right fit for your babies. (Too tight could affect the blood flow while too loose will come off.)

3) Use color and pattern codes

While color-coded clothes need more work when choosing outfits, organizing closets, and shopping, they are a better way of telling your twins apart in the first few weeks. You could dress twin A in pastel colors and twin B in cool colors.

Patterns are also another way to identify your newborn twins easily. One twin can dress in flower-themed outfits while the other dresses in animal-themed outfits. As a parent, here is where your creativity is allowed to roam free, as long as your twins are comfortable in what they wear.

4) Their personality will give you a boost

Yes, even a two-month-old baby does have a different personality from their twin. From how they act, the way they lift their fingers, to how they interact with you, your baby’s individuality is a simple way to tell them apart. 

Look for the small cues as you breastfeed, change, and spend one on one time with them. 

5) Check for physical traits and helpful birthmarks.

While twins almost look like an exact copy of the other, there are often a couple of physical traits unique to them as individuals. The more they grow older, the better you will be able to identify your twins. 

As time goes by, you can tell your twins apart by how they smile, birthmarks, their voice, weight, height, and an instinct that every parent develops after some time.

What if I mix up my identical twins?

Mixing up one’s twins has happened to more parents than most care to let on. If you spent the last two weeks trying to develop a sleep schedule or learning how to tandem feed, it’s easy for confusion to creep in unnoticed. 

The good thing is that mix-ups are all part of the parenting process. In due time, you will need no nail polish or a different color to tell them apart. The traits in their appearance and personality will make you a pro at telling who is who.

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