Finding out you are expecting twins is a blessing and a shock rolled into one. Your initial reaction of ‘wow, we are having TWO babies’ will likely be followed quickly by ‘HOW are we going to do it?!’ You are not alone – these are the initial, confused feelings of ALL expecting parents of multiples.
Preparation is essential. As a mom to identical twin girls I’ve learned firsthand how important it is to be ready for twins. Unlike singletons you can’t just hope everything falls into place, because it doesn’t. Here are my five key points to keep in mind when preparing for your new babies –
• Be as prepared as you can by 28 weeks.
Close to 50% of Moms expecting multiples are placed on some form of bedrest and this is often around this time. Make this your cutoff point and save yourself the stress of being stuck in bed and unable to test strollers or pick out bedding. At the very least, make sure you have had your baby shower by then (if you are having one) and have done your maternity pictures!
• Don’t buy two of everything .
It is a myth that twins can’t or don’t share. This is especially true when it comes to activity toys such as rockers, bouncers or anything electric. Instead buy different types so that you can rotate the babies between each. This will also ensure you don’t give over space at home to two jumperoos that neither baby enjoys, and save you a trip to the store to return them!
• Take advice from other moms of twins.
You will find great comfort hearing from moms that have been through it, whether they’re new moms or more experienced. Parenting techniques evolve so recent experiences and techniques are useful. But the backbone to your twin learning may well come from older moms who are a wealth of amazing information and can act often act as our lighthouse.
• Chose a medical support team that has experience with multiples.
This applies in all areas from OB’s to pediatricians. Multiple births, twin development, even twin milestones can vary greatly from singletons so try and find experts that are experienced in this so you can feel 100% comfortable in their care.
• Plan to schedule everything from the moment the babies come home.
Keeping the twins on the same feeding, sleeping, activity schedule means you can plan your day effectively and not feel like you are running around 24/7 with no respite. You can organize your partner, family and friends to chip in and take turns feeding as you will know what time the babies awake periods will be.