I used to think twins were extremely rare (but now I see them everywhere) and didn’t even consider that I would have twins so when I found out I was having twins I almost passed out.
I can still remember the sonographers words “have you been extra sick and tired… because you have two babies” As I looked at the screen and saw two tiny hearts beating I cried in joy and fear. My husband on the other hand shut down and in the words of the sonographer; looked like he needed a stiff drink. This was partially due to the synographers ‘joke’ of let me double check there isn’t any more hiding in there”
Finding out you are pregnant with multiples is magical but scary, so I decided this next post would consist of some tips to help expectant parents of twins and also reached out to some of the amazing Twin parents on Instagram to get some tips too.
It’s ok to feel petrified
I like to refer to the feeling as ‘Twin Shock’. You will probably doubt yourself and wonder how you will cope with two babies, how you will afford them etc. but as a wise person said to me when I was in ‘Twin Shock’ “you do what you need to do to get by” simple words but it’s true. My babies have never gone without anything they need and extras (as I got slightly obsessed with insta shops, so they have way more clothes then they need! Check out
Sometimes you will feel as though you aren’t coping and when those times come, ask yourself these questions.
- Are your babies fed?
- Are they warm?
- Are they safe?
- Are they loved?
If you answer yes to all these, then you are doing amazing. The risk of postnatal depression is higher with twins so remember to seek help if you feel like you are experiencing this. (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/multiples-postnatal-depression.aspx)
Don’t freak out at everything that could go wrong
Instead focus on what you can control and handle any surprises when they come. This great advice comes from twindadjoe.
When you are pregnant with multiples the pregnancy is deemed high risk, and if you are anything like me you probably read up on everything that could go wrong and may worry throughout your pregnancy. But as twindadjoe points out, why focus on things you can’t control. Try and be relaxed as it’s healthier for the babies and you.
This tip follows on nicely. Remember to relax and be calm. art_and_ginger believes staying calm will have the same effect on the babies; she advices to “relax until you need to take charge, the babies will see you calm and understand you know what to do to keep them safe”
This advice comes from Twinsagain; a mum that must be super organised as she has 3 singletons, twins and another set of twins on the way! I am amazed by this woman.
Like myself, Twinsagain was pretty organised by nature but has had to step up the game since becoming a mum to 5, soon to be 7!
Some of her organisation tips are:
- ensure outfits are ready the night before
- plan meals for the whole week and buy food shopping accordingly (as at times it can be hard to get out the house)
- Schedule jobs around babies nap times
Twinsagain says “being organised allows me to be flexible and have more time to play…. It’sby no means a rigid routine it’s simply ensuring I do particular things each day. For example if I were to miss one day of doing a load of washing I would be playing catch up for a week and have overflowing washing baskets” (I cannot imagine the amount of washing, as its bad enough with my Family of 4!)
Twin_momma_mullings found getting her twins into the same routine was beneficial. “Sleep together, eat together, play together. If they are out of sync especially when they are little it can feel constant and draining”
I experienced this as my babies were very out of sync in the early days and it felt like I never slept. So don’t worry if you don’t manage to sync the routines from the beginning. You’ll eventually get there, I found feeding one immediately after the other worked well for me. I am yet to master syncing the day time naps though!
Take a breather
This advice comes from The Dad Mom “it’s ok for them to cry for a few minutes if you need a second” and I second that. If you know your baby has been fed, has a clean nappy and is still screaming and you feel you are losing it, put them down somewhere safe (into their cot for instance) and have your moment. Mine is usually a cry on the bathroom floor and then pulling myself back together. Watch this video to hear about one of the The Dad Moms moments ‘The Dad Mulk’ when he went ‘Twinsane’
Buy in bulk
Having twins is more expensive than having a singleton as obviously you need double the nappies, wipes, food etc. So Twinsagain buys in bulk where possible this cuts cost and also ensures you always have the necessities at home Twinsagain says “it’s a lot harder to be able to nip to the shop when you have twins and more…so buying in bulk makes my life easier”
Read advice books before the birth
You won’t get much time to read once the twins arrive so I spent many evenings during my pregnancy reading blogs and books that offered advice. One of my favourite books was bought for me as a gift and I recommend it ‘Double Trouble: Twins and How to Survive Them, by Emma Mahony’
Don’t be afraid to leave the house
I was lucky enough to have my husband at home with me for 3 weeks after my babies were born and it was great always having his support and help. As the 3 weeks were coming to an end I started to feel anxious about how I would cope on my own. So the first time it was just me and the twins at home I decided to get us all dressed and go on a walk. This was about building my confidence in my ability to look after my babies on my own. I was determined not to become a hermit and stay at home all the time just because it was an easy option.
I don’t drive so as weeks passed I became braver and got the bus with them both, I even got the train to London with them to visit my mum. Since then I haven’t looked back, many people say they don’t know how I do it. But it’s all about confidence, it doesn’t come straight away but take little steps and soon you will be there. Always ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” My answer to this was them screaming in public. But this has rarely happened and when it has, I’ve coped and you can too.
It’s not as hard as you think
“It does get easier” says Emmapeopleswalker whose advice to expectant twin parents is that it’s not as scary as it seems. Like myself Emmapeopleswalker had her twins via c-section and was disappointed as thought she would be able to have a natural delivery. However she had a speedy recovery and was out at the local fun day with her twins 7 days later. Not everyone recovers so quickly but remember everything has a beginning and an ending so if you feel overcome with fear at first, know that this will pass and it will get easier. I say to everyone I meet, the thought of having twins was much scarier than the reality.
Cherish it all
I am sure this is a tip that every parent would give, the time goes by so quickly and through the sleepless nights and countless feeds and nappy changes please find time to cherish it. art_and_ginger advices “don’t wish for milestone to pass sooner…they will get there when they’re ready” I was guilty of this, always saying I can’t wait till they crawl and now that they are crawling I miss the days when they were tiny and would lay in my arms without trying to clamber off me to go on their own little adventures.
I hope these tips come in useful and thanks to the lovely parents who offered their tips for me to share in this post. There were much more but I would be writing all day if I included them all and I do have twins to look after remember 🙂