Updated May 31, 2022~ Parents of multiples are often overwhelmed, overtired and overdosed on advice. We hope to answer our twin FAQ’s here in Tips and Tricks with Twins!
Will I ever sleep again?
How do you get twins on the same sleep schedule?
Feeding is the anchor to a baby’s schedule. When we talk about “getting babies on a schedule” however, what we are really saying is that we’re following baby’s natural growth cycle and cues. When baby is just born their feeding may be on demand, since that’s what they did in the womb. Then the feeding cycle will naturally stretch to 2 hours, then 3 and then eventually 4 hours. When we feed twins at the same time, it follows that their bodies will be ready for sleep at the same time.
There is no magic to this; it is just a matter of always offering milk/formula at the same time until after a few days the babies hungry times will synch. (It is much easier than it sounds).
On a side note, parents of twins who have been on the same schedule for years will tell you that potty training is so challenging because toddlers usually have to use the potty at the same time! Makes sense since they are eating and sleeping at the same time!
So what do you do when you just started to feed one baby and the twin sibling is crying from hunger?
It’s inevitable that 1 baby will cry while you’re tending to the other. That is life with multiples or more than 1 child. The best way to minimize these situations though is to just get used to feeding both babies at the same time. For bottle feeding, this means using 2 Boppy pillows and offering the twins’ bottles at the same time. For nursing moms, setting yourself up on a cozy bed and both babies to tandem nurse is the answer. Nursing while babies lay “football style” allows your hands to be free. This way you can burp each baby while the other is nursing. It takes practice but you can do it!
Should twins share crib?
We know that the only safe sleeping environment for newborns and babies is a flat, firm surface away from pillows, blankets and other items. So the answer is no, twins should not share a crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that: “The safety and benefits of co-bedding for twins and higher-order multiples have not been established. It is prudent to provide separate sleep surfaces and avoid co-bedding…”
To help multiples feel comforted, let them stay close to each other during awake times. There are studies which show that premature twins help each other improve heart rate and breathing, so being close can be beneficial! And of course it makes sense that this closeness is comforting to siblings who have spent 9 months in the womb together! Just make sure you’re always keeping an eye on the babies to ensure their safety and be sure they have their own safe sleep environment.
What should I do to make sure I can tell my identical twins apart?!
Your newborns will be given hospital hats with an “A” and “B” on them and to tell who’s who but the babies will grow out of those hats very soon! You can opt to paint one of the sibling’s toenails, dress them only in their own “assigned” colors or use a non toxic marker on one of their hands to be sure they don’t get mixed up!
Tips and Tricks with Twins
What is the 1 must-have baby product for parents of multiples?
A baby Bjorn or other baby carrier that allows one twin to be worn is an absolute must for parents of multiples. Being held by a parent means security for baby and ensures 2 free hands. There are also twin slings and baby carriers for advanced baby carrying!
Do you have any other insider Tips and Tricks with Twins to offer parents of twin babies?
Stock up on Diapers, Wipes and Essentials…NOW – Stock the nursery with diapers of all sizes. Having the next size diaper at the ready instead of waiting til the babies grow out of them makes one less emergency trip to the store and minimize messes. An average newborn feeds a minimum of 10 times per 24 hour period. That means a minimum of 20 diaper changes a day for your twins!
That’s about 1,500 diapers just in the first 3 months of life. Say it out loud. One thousand. Five hundred. Diapers.
Type out the top 20 grocery items your family uses all the time. When a neighbor or relative asks how they can help, give them the list, have them check the house for whatever is needed and then go and get it.
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