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Raising a single baby is no easy feat and it’s even hard to imagine having to raise twins. Whether you’re a new mum or a mum of four, the news of having two hearts beating inside your womb typically fills you with joy and excitement. Indeed, it’s such a blessing to carry twins. However, double the fun and love also means twice the amount of headaches.
Expect to face a lot of challenges during your first year of parenting twins. Your world will revolve around feeding, burping, calming down, and putting them to sleep. There is really no shortcut when it comes to raising kids. Fortunately, preparation and education can help you understand how to take care of your twin babies.
Curious? Nurture Parenting, the baby sleep consultants in Sydney, presents these 11 essential things and tips you need to know when parenting twins.
11 Essential Tips on Parenting Twins
1. Establish a Schedule
It’s important to be on a schedule with your twins because it’s difficult enough to raise a single baby. You should create and develop a daily routine to help every family member function at their optimal ability. Get your babies to sleep on the same schedule and you’ll have enough time to take care of other things. You should also feed them at the same time. By doing this, your twin babies will learn to adapt to the routine you have established.
2. Be Resourceful
Make your life easier by researching creative ways on how to take care of your baby better. You can actually breastfeed twins at the same time by using pillows specifically designed to prop a baby. You can also simultaneously bottle feed twins by lying them next to you. However, you might find it hard to burp two babies together as this should take place naturally right after the feeding time.
Tip: If you are having difficulties breastfeeding two babies at the same time, try breastfeeding one while you bottle-feed the other.
3. Remember Individuality
As a mum of twins, it’s easy to think of your twins as one. However, you should treat each twin as a distinct individual. By doing this, you can help your babies become aware of their own individuality which eventually leads to them developing a unique identity.
If you ever come across differences, respect and embrace it. You should establish different expectations when it comes to each baby’s abilities and interests. Call each twin by their respective names and avoid referring to them as a group. Ultimately, you can support and help them grow as individuals.
4. Plan Separate Quality Time
You should consider the separate attention that your babies need. It’s important to plan for quality alone time with each twin. Try activities such as simply sitting and talking or sharing a book. For fun, you can also play a game or go outdoors. You should give each twin life experiences that are appropriate for them.
And although twins have a tendency to be very dependent upon each other, you should give them time apart in order to develop distinct identities. It also gives them essential one-on-one time with parents which overall encourages independent decision-making.
5. Avoid Making Comparisons
Always remember that development is not a race, but a journey. You should avoid comparing each twin to one another as comparisons can easily discourage your child. Instead, encourage and embrace their own differences. Help them hone their own strengths and weaknesses and as a result, you can minimize competition and comparisons.
6. Buy Two of Everything
Having twins means you have to buy two of almost everything as they need it at the exact time.
You often invest on one crib at the beginning but you eventually need to switch to two cribs when your twins begin to roll, bump into one another, and wake each other up. Things, such as double-strollers and two car seats, are absolute musts for newborn twins. To guide you, here are the items your twins can share and items that needs to be two.
Babies Can Share:
- activity mat
- baby bathtub
- baby monitor
- breast pump
- changing table
- nursing pillow
- portable crib
Each Baby Needs:
- car seat
- diaper bag
- front carrier
- high chair
- infant seat
7. Expect People to Meddle
Expect other people, such as your parents and in-laws, to criticize your ways on raising your twins. They will give you all sorts of advice and tell you how to properly do things. But as long as you’re not harming your twins, you should stick to your own methods and accept the fact that you cannot please everybody. However, it’s also good to listen to your relatives once in a while, especially if you’re facing difficulties in raising your twins.
8. Keep Things Easy
As a mum of twins, it’s your goal to make your babies happy. However, this often takes a toll on your own happiness when you don’t meet your own expectations.
Motherhood can be overwhelming but don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep things easy and take time off as necessary. You should do activities that make you feel refreshed and good. For instance, participate in a yoga class or go to painting workshop where you can express yourself. Ultimately, accept that you don’t have to be a perfect mum and doing your best for your twin babies is enough.
9. Have Time for Your Partner
Make it a point to have enough alone time with your partner as raising twins can often take a toll on your relationship. By doing this, you can show your kids what a great relationship should look like and teach them how to treat other people well. Overall, you are setting a good example that your children can follow when they grow up.
Did you know? According to a study supported by the Twin and Multiple Births Association, parents of twins are more likely to be separated or divorced.
10. Ask for Help
Parenting twins are harder than raising a single baby. So if you’re facing difficulties, don’t hesitate to ask for parenting help. You should reach out to your family or friends for support especially when your baby’s well-being is on the line.
You can also ask baby sleep experts for assistance if you’re having a hard time getting your twin babies to sleep. They have experience with other countless families so they are well-educated on tried-and-tested techniques that will improve your little one’s sleeping patterns.
11. Embrace the Changes in Your Life
Expect your life to change the moment you give birth to your twins. You should be ready for the challenges you will face when it comes to your work-life balance and other important aspects of your life. It’s important to embrace all these changes so you can minimize both the emotional and physical stress that comes with parenting twins.
Twins are significantly harder to raise. That’s why it’s important to know these essential parenting tips in order for you to be guided on how to properly take care of your twins. Ultimately, you can make you and your babies’ lives better and easier.
Nurture Parenting, a company in Australia that offers a holistic approach to baby sleep through The Nurture Sleep Program that is designed to take babies from sleepless to slumber.
Nurture Parenting is recognised as Australia’s baby sleep expert. Headed by Karen Faulkner, a Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant, the company offers The Nurture Sleep Program that helps babies and children on sleep training. This is a tried and tested approach that has already transformed the lives of families through its exclusive baby sleep methods that help baby self-settle and promote blissful sleep.