While you welcome twins to your family, we welcome YOU to the family of parents of multiples! The team at Let Mommy Sleep has compiled a list of their best tricks and tips to make life with 2 newborns a little easier. We hope you enjoy Joining the Twin Family? Expert Tips Here!
Preparing for Twins: Our Favorite Registry Items
Most of the gear and items you need for twins will be the same as you’d need for a single baby…just doubled! But there are few things that will help make life easier specifically for multiples. We made a Baby Registry for Twins on Amazon with our favorite items and why we chose them.
Here are our Top 5:
- Preemie Size Diapers – The average birth weight for twins is 5.1 pounds. So even if they’re not born premature, the babies will likely spend a week or more in preemie diapers, sized for babies weighing 6 pounds or less. While you’re at it, stock up on size 1 and 2 diapers, because going through 16- 20 diapers a day will be the norm for a while. The babies will eat every 2-3 hours at a time…that’s also a new diaper every 2-3 hours.
- Double Bassinet – Your twins will need a safe place to sleep and play when the rest of the family is in the kitchen or living areas of the home. This double bassinet/changing table/play yard/storage area provides everything the babies need, and you can move it around the house or travel with it if needed.
- Graco SnugRide Carseats – Graco is consistently rated at the top of Consumer Reports best car seats. This is reason enough to buy them. But what makes them perfect for twin parents is that they click into the DuoGlider double stroller AND a second Graco car seat base. This means that if someone else is driving your babies around, they put the extra base in their car and you only need to click the carseats into the base. It’s a LOT less work for parents…and a lot less to carry!
- Combo Onesies – Caring for newborn twins is hard but it’s FUN too! Splurge on all the cute combination onesies you want.
- Smoothie Pouches for YOU – You might have meals in the freezer but don’t forget healthy, quick snacks that you can eat with one hand!
Expert Tips from Baby Nurses & Night Nannies
How do you get twins on the same sleep schedule?
Getting the babies on the same schedule is much easier than expecting parents realize. Simply offer the breast or bottle to both babies at the same time. It won’t be perfect at first; babies are used to feeding on-demand in the womb and are still adjusting to the big world after being born. When we feed twins at the same time, their bodies will be ready for sleep at the same time.
If your baby spent time in the NICU you probably noticed that most of those preemies were on the same schedule.
Bonus Tip: Get 2 potties when it’s time to potty train! Since your kids will most likely be eating the same foods and sleeping at the same time it makes sense that they’ll need to use the restroom at the same time!
What if Baby B starts to cry while I’m trying to feed Baby A?
Life with more than one baby or toddler means that there will be times when one is crying while you’re helping the other.
You can minimize these tough times by ensuring that feeding and nap times happen at the same time. Learn breastfeeding techniques and holds before the babies arrive but don’t worry too much because if you’re comfortable and the babies are safely getting milk, you’re doing it right. As La Leche League says, twins are babies—there are just two!
If you’re bottle feeding, using a feeding chair or firm pillow to give both babies their bottles will become second nature. (It’s okay to use these when supervising babies, but they are not safe for infant sleep).
Sometimes staggered feeding times are recommended, where each baby is fed individually. This makes sense- give each infant individual attention for calmer nursing and feeding sessions. We’ve found that in real life this doesn’t work as well as expected once the “sleepy newborn” stage has passed because hungry infants rarely sit quietly waiting for their sibling to be fed first. 🙂
It’s important to note that life with twins or multiple age young kids means that sometimes they will cry at the same time. And sometimes no matter how much planning you do, or how much support you have, it falls apart and the babies all need you -just you and not you holding their their sibling- at the same time. Give yourself grace during these times and simply do your best. We wish we had a step-by-step solution to this one, but sometimes the only answer is to just keep going.
What about sleeping? They’re used to being together so should twins sleep together?
The only safe sleep environment for babies up to age 1 is a flat, firm surface free of pillows, blankets, toys and anything else. The “anything else” in this case is their sibling! Our solution? A double bassinet like the one pictured above. Push the twins cribs close together so they are sleeping safely but can still hear, see and sense their sib.
Being close to each other is comforting to twins who spent their whole lives in close quarters up until birth, so by all means keep the babies together as much as they want during non-sleep times. Premature twins also help improve each other’s heart rates and breathing when they are close together.
Bonus Tip: Don’t worry about separating the twins in different rooms for sleep. They’ll easily sleep through each other’s fussing!
When the twins arrive, will I ever leave the house again?
Double Stroller – You absolutely will! Get that double stroller and don’t forget that the bottom of it is basically a shopping cart. Target, the grocery store, the mall…the world is yours! 🙂
Parents of Multiples Club – Join your local chapter of the Parents of Multiples before the babies arrive. These clubs are known for offering “been there, done that” expertise and fellowship. Once you’re getting out and about with your twins though, you’ll appreciate the opportunities for manageable outings and even adult get togethers. POM’s also usually have a wonderful list of babysitters with twins experience.
Sleep Support – Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t mention reaching out for overnight newborn care support. We are not meant to do any of this alone. Whether you need one night of respite or support over a longer period, we can help.
What are some fun activities to do with infant twins?
Playtime is double the fun with 2 babies! The siblings have built-in playmates and constant social interaction from an early age so even doing “nothing” is doing something. Just like with singletons, age appropriate activities will help the twins grown and learn.
Tummy time, sensory play, dancing, singing and playing with musical instruments are all wonderful ways to engage with your any baby. There are some specific toys that are great for twins and kids of similar ages to play with at the same time though:
- Large size play mats where the babies can practice tummy time or grab at toys are a great way for the twins to be independent, but also together.
- Double the amount of soft blocks in an enclosed play area are another way for infant twins to explore on their own, or engage in play together.
- At the playground, your babies that are old enough can always go back to back on the baby swing!
All of this built-in social stimulation and interaction between co-twins can even lead to earlier language development called cryptophasia.
Cryptophasia, also known as idioglossia refers to the phenomenon where sets of twins develop a private language that is incomprehensible to others. This twin language is usually seen in identical twins who have a strong bond and spend a significant amount of time together during their early development.
Cryptophasia emerges during the language acquisition phase, when twins are learning to communicate. They might create their own vocabulary, pronunciation and speaking patterns that are exclusive to them. This language can be a way for twins to enhance their own communication, or simply express shared experiences with each other.
While cryptophasia is a fascinating aspect of twin development, it’s generally a temporary phase. As twins grow older and interact more with the outside world, they’ll typically transition to the dominant language of their environment. True cryptophasia is relatively rare; it’s more likely that your babies will babble and converse with each other the same way they get their ideas across to you.
Remember that having twins is FUN! Here are some fun facts about fraternal and identical twins…
- You know how on New Year’s Day there’s usually a story of one twin being born in one year and the other born in the next year? This can be a normal part of delivery but can also be due to “delayed interval delivery,” when one fraternal twin is born prematurely while the other remains in the womb for a longer period of time.
- Identical twins do not have identical fingerprints. This is because fingerprints are not determined by DNA alone, but also by the environment in the womb.
- Pregnancies of fraternal twins appear to run in families, while identical twin pregnancies appear to happen spontaneously. There does seem to be a higher chance of identical twins when using fertility assistance.
What are your tips for expecting parents? Let us know on Facebook or Insta!