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Navigating First Year with Twins: Advice from Experienced Twin Parents





Navigating First Year with Twins: Advice from Experienced Twin Parents

Congratulations on your ‘Double Delight’ and welcome to TwinsTribe!

Having twins is a true blessing, but do not blame yourself if you are anxious and unsure about the journey. We have all been there! The first year with twins can be overwhelming, but with some research, preparation, and right advice it can get much easier and enjoyable!

Here we are listing some tips and advice based on our experience as twin parents to help you through this journey:

In This Article

    1. Hope for the best, plan for the worst

    We are eternal optimists – and we spent the entire pregnancy confident of completing the gestation period and having a smooth delivery experience. However, we prepared as if we could be welcoming our babies any day. By start of third trimester, my hospital bag was ready and packed, shopping list ticked off, and babies’ wardrobe organized with washed clothes – we were all set for the arrival of the twins. My simple point is plan ahead, be prepared for the worst – after all, luck favours the prepared!

    2. Do not vie for perfection

    As parents we want to give the best to our children – but there are so many choices to be made – breast milk vs formula, disposable vs cloth diapering, co-sleeping vs bassinets . The good news is being a twin parent makes your choices simpler sometimes – we just can’t get everything perfect! For the first week after bringing babies home, I tried to keep them on 80% breast feed . Thankfully on my next visit, my pediatrician suggested me to go easy and focus on ensuring they are well-fed rather than just breast-fed. For diapering, we chose convenience and went for disposables to keep our sanity! And with two babies, co-sleeping was just not a sustainable option for us. So take it easy, make choices that suit your context, and embrace the imperfections.

    3. Build your support system

    It takes a village to raise a child…Twin Parents need two! The support system becomes twice as important in this case. We were blessed to have support from the grandparents, who took turns and ensured that we were covered at least 90% of the times in the initial few years. Luckily, most of the Indian grandparents are more than happy to support at this stage. If you are one of the blessed ones to have this option, our suggestion would be to be upfront in asking for support and plan their visits / involvement to provide you maximum duration coverage. Also, we built an army of helping hands at home – from live-in nannies, to full-time cook, and we had backups, and backups for backups. It just ensured that as a mother I could focus on the important stuff – breastfeeding and spending quality time with my babies. My involvement in rest of the things were optional – I would change the diaper, give a bath, or cook – only IF I WANTED TO. We built overcapacity, intentionally, so that we did not have to cringe when one of the helps needed a break. We let them in our private space (like putting their beds within our bedroom), so we could have the privilege of some personal time – like watching a movie or a quiet dinner after the kids slept off.

    4. Maintain a sharable activity log

    Twins’ parents face a unique challenge – the task of remembering who did what. Which baby drank milk last? Did Baby2 poop today? Are both the babies getting fair share of breast milk? Has it been too long since last diaper change?

    In the initial months, when babies may drink milk even 10 times a day, need diaper change every 2-3 hours (sometimes 2-3 diaper change in an hour 😊) – keeping a track and single source of information across caregivers can be extremely challenging. Most twin parents use some form of log keeping – a board, a diary, phone notes, to keep track and also share / handover information across caregivers.

    5. Invest on right tools

    There are many tools which can unlock significant efficiencies for twin parents. I must mention three of my favourites –

      1. a twin feeding pillow that allows tandem breast or bottle feeding

      1. an electric double breast pump – save time and delinks mom’s schedule with kids feeding schedule. (do not forget to check the trick to go handsfree!)

    1. ergonomic baby carriers – give yourself the freedom to move around, finish your chores, or go for a walk while your babies stay close to you. Also, comes in super handy during your trips – it can go in places where stroller cannot – beaches, treks, etc.
    Navigating First Year with Twins: Advice from Experienced Twin Parents

    6. Appreciate their individuality

    Twin babies also have different personalities. Even though they grow together, under same environment, their personalities can be poles apart. Appreciate the differences – don’t compare them with each other or other babies. Celebrate their individual milestones and modify your parenting style and choices to suit each babies’ unique personality

    7. Most importantly, take care of your own happiness

    It's easy to forget about your own needs when you're focused on taking care of your babies. Allow yourself to take breaks, let your support system chip in to help you get your me-time. Find a way to slowly get back to things you love – a fitness regime, a hobby, or some social time. After all, happy parents groom happy babies.

    Last but not the least, CHOOSE YOUR OWN PATH. Every person and family have different context and preferences. Be aware of the choices, but do what suits you the best.

    And while there will be highs and lows, do not forget to enjoy this rollercoaster ride with your Double Delight!

    Got a question or great advice? We would love to hear from you! Drop in your comments

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