Tips on Managing Twin Newborns
Pregnancy prepares the mind for the coming of a newborn, but even so, there never is being ready enough. Whether you are a first time parent or just becoming a parent to a new set, the experience is likely to be different from that of others. Here are details on how to cater to the needs of your Twin Newborns upon coming home.
After a long period of anticipation and the uncertainty of carrying multiples, the kids are here and you are finally home. This means you are away from the doctors and now have to step up to not only caring for the newborns but yourself too. These responsibilities, are more often than not overwhelming. Luckily, with proper planning and an appropriate support system, you will easily get through it. Below are some guidelines on where to start when you have twin newborns.
1. Take a Break from Everything Else
Getting home is an affirmation that you made it thus far. However, it also means that the all-round care you were receiving at the hospital is no longer available. You now have a home and kids to take care of on your own.
While it may be tempting to get other things done, this is not the time for that. At this point, concentrate on the kids and yourself. It is not time to clean the house or host guests. Instead, your focus should be on getting enough rest and bonding with the newborns. Take as much time as you need away from everything else until you are comfortably settled in.
2. Get Help
Child birth is overwhelming. As a mum, your body is still recovering yet you also have those two angels to take care off. Your ability to fulfill these responsibilities depends highly on your physical and mental well-being. With the sudden changes, post-partum depression could also be lurking around.
Fortunately, most of the time there will be people willing to offer you help in the first days. Plan according to available help from your partner, family and friends. While at it, draw a line between people offering help and visiting. Do not agree to entertain guests until you are in a position to. Be courageous enough to ask visitors to leave if their presence does not offer relief but pressure.
Where there is no voluntary help, do not shy away from asking for it. Reach out to your social circle when you are feeling overwhelmed. Go for people that will listen to your most immediate needs and who are reliable.
In case you are staining beyond the chores and the babies, opt for professional help. A postpartum doula can help with infant care support including soothing, diapering and bathing. When there is no one to help with the babies, a baby nurse can come in to take care of them in those first days so you can get by all right and get a break during the first few exhausting weeks.
3. Synchronize their Schedule
Managing twins is all about planning and schedules. When having one newborn, it is easy to adjust yourself to do things according to their schedules. With Twin Newborns, failing to fall through with a given schedule means that you barely get a break from taking care of them. You will likely get stuck to an ugly cycle where you tend to the needs of one just a little before the other one needs demands the same. To avoid this, synchronize their activities so they follow a similar pattern in doing things. While this may not happen immediately, you will get them into the same routine eventually.
Track their sleep time, diaper change and feeding to aid in keeping their activities consistent. Start by nursing them at the same time. Use a nursing pillow to give them support and latch them on each side. Where tandem nursing is not plausible, alternate between single nursing and bottle feeding each baby at a time. If you opt for bottle feeding, offer them the bottles at the same time.
When they are fed at the same time, it also becomes easier to change them at the same time, thus sticking to a routine which makes things easier. The idea here is to ensure that they both feed at the same time. There are moments where you might be required to wake a sleeping baby to get them in sync while feeding.
When the Twin Newborns are awake, it is time for the parents to bond with them. On the other hand, sleep time gives their caretakers a chance to take a breather. This is especially essential for those moments you have no help at hand. Keep the newborns’ sleep and nap time at the same time. At the beginning, you can try different methods like swaddling them in the cot, placing them in bassinets or wearing them in a carrier. The aim is to first get them asleep and then transfer them to a crib.
Once they are a little older, talk to your pediatrician on sleep training. The process allows you to put them to bed when it is time to sleep and they can fall asleep on their own. Once you are successful in this, you can relax knowing that they will nap on their own and that you don’t need to rock or nurse them to sleep.
4. Organize the Essentials
Babies require a lot of supplies to keep them comfortable. While it is easy handling a singleton from a central point, the same may be quite taxing with two babies. There are some places within the house where you will spend most of the time with the babies. Once you have established these areas, organize the essentials so they are always within reach. This could mean keeping diapers, wipes, burp cloths and have changing stations where you spend time most with your newborns.
Having this kind of arrangement saves you from moving from one place to another or going up and down the stairs.
5. Learn to Alternate Arm Time
This is especially crucial when handling the Twin Newborns on your own. Settle down in an area where it is possible to lay one of the baby down while holding the other one. This can be on the floor in your nursery, a mat in their play area or infant sit. Practice alternating holding each baby for a while so they both get enough arm time independently. This will also let you learn how to handle them when they get fussy.
6. Bring other Family Members Onboard
The first few days after bringing your multiples home are incredibly overwhelming. It can feel like you cannot cope especially if you are first time parents. Work with those around you to establish what works best. When the dad is on paternity leave, make use of the time to lay down your expectations and work through establishing a routine together. When you do this, the expectations on tasks and schedules regarding the twins will remain the same regardless of who is handling them. If there are other family members around, let them know that you are all part of a team.
7. Trust Your Parenting Abilities
While it may feel like you have no clue about how to care for your infants, you really do. After spending months on preparing your mind and home for them, you already know what and how you want to treat them. While not everything you have read or heard from other people may work, nothing is cast on stone. Keep trying new ideas and opt for what you are comfortable with.
Learn on the go and when not certain ask. Create a network of both family and professionals that are willing to guide you when you feel lost. Trust your mommy instincts, stay healthy and you and the babies will all be on track to living a fulfilling life together with the rest of the family.
Without a doubt, the first few days after you bring your twins home will be hectic, challenging and exhausting. However, you will soon identify patterns and recognize what works. Once you fall into a routine, stick to it. It will all be worthwhile and you will have mastered the art of caring for your twins within no time. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins and stay happy.