11 Must-Know Parenting Tricks for Raising Twins
Think ahead: Buy car seats, strollers, cribs and bassinets much in advance. Also, buy diapers, baby blankets and other bed linen in good quantity. Keep a few diaper sizes ready and some blankets too. Keep your pantry full of snacks and cooked meals. Be prepared not to be able to go shopping for weeks together, so stock up until you can actually find some time to go out and shop.
If you need help, ask family and friends for it: If you don’t have anyone in the family that can help out regularly, consider hired help. You can’t be available to your babies all the time without resting for a bit. This means asking others to help with changing nappies, cooking, babysitting and running errands for you. And if your house looks and feels neglected, don’t bother about it. If family can’t help, enlist the help of friends and neighbors, especially in the first three months.
Keep a full survival kit near you at all times: Keep a basket near your bed filled with snacks, water, a book to record their feeds and reactions and a phone, and other necessities. Another kit could contain water, diapers, clothes, talc and extra wipes.
Set a routine: Create a routine to manage your twins. Soon after birth, babies just eat and sleep, so coordinate these activities well. So, if one wakes up because he’s hungry, you need to get to work on the other one and feed him. If you don’t do this, you’ll be awake all night and day. It’s important that you feed the babies and rock them to sleep at the same time. Sync their schedules and feed them together and let them go to bed at the same time. If one of them wakes before the other, wake up the other twin so that they are in harmony and you get the desired break.
Don’t stress yourself out: Instead of getting unduly stressed out, go easy on yourself and worry about the kind of parent you’re going to be. Just take things as they come and move on from day to day, doing all you need to for your babies.
Treat each child as an individual: People always find twins fascinating and look for any differences in their faces, walk, gestures, etc. The attention they get from the public, or family and friends can at times be disconcerting and present its own set of problems. Try to work out how you intend to respond to such behavior so that your children’s individuality is not at stake. For instance, you might have heard this a hundred times, “Oh, with twins, you’ve got a handful.” Perhaps, you don’t like your twins to be addressed so, but by their names. This gives them a chance to register their names mentally so that they can respond to you when you use them. Besides, touchy parents don’t normally like any kind of negative comments regarding their babies. They would instead want them to know just how important they are to their parents and greater family. If you begin to use each baby’s name, others could follow as there would be a definite difference between them that brings out each one’s individuality.
One-on-one time: Though you’re sure to be with both your babies all the time, you need to take out some time each day and spend it with one kid at a time. This way, each one gets your individual attention and recognizes you as their mother.
Spend time out of the house on your own: You may be just a little tired or drained out completely, but it still pays to leave home for an hour or so and take a walk or chat with friends for a while. The change of scene could lift your spirits and be nice to be in other company.
Buy second hand and accept hand me downs: Raising twins means a big expense for you, so it would help if you could get some hand me downs or secondhand clothes or strollers, cribs or bassinets. You may not be able to color coordinate your babies’ room with what people give you, but so what? At this point, you need to fulfill your immediate needs. So, don’t think of those minor things when you’ve got two little devils to look after.Instead, keep an eye out for discount sales or things sold in sets of twos or threes.
Set them on a routine: You can’t keep moving from baby to baby and giving them what they want. You’ll be a wreck in no time. The smart thing to do is to introduce an eating and a sleeping schedule. You need to get them to eat and sleep at the same time or you won’t get any sleep or food yourself. You have to be in perfect health all the time so that you’re there for them whenever they need you. As they grow older, let them rest a while during the day, even if they don’t want to while you get your 40 winks.
Let them cry a little:For mothers of twins, it’s never easy to give each baby her 100% attention all the time. After all, you’re one, whereas they are two. Of course, they’re too small to realize that you can work with just one of them at a time, so the other will have to wait. In their first year, it might be difficult for them to tell you what they want, and will perhaps cry while you figure out what they want. This means you get to listen to their crying and pleading more than usual because you might take just a little longer to disconnect with one baby and move on to the other. As time goes on, you’ll realize that it’s alright for one of them to cry while the other is served.
With these few tips, perhaps you will find it less strenuous to go through the first year raising your twins. But once they are infants and grow just a little more, you can begin getting back to your old lifestyle.