Even as an experienced parent, you may not know what to expect when you bring home newborn twins. Although the journey is challenging, you will learn tactics to help you overcome any difficulties you face.
When raising twins alone, you may encounter challenges like sleeplessness, emotional instability, and financial constraints that can lead to depression. You may also lack sufficient time to take care of yourself. Even as an experienced parent, you may not know what to expect when you bring home newborn twins. Although the journey is challenging, you will learn tactics to help you overcome any difficulties you face.
What you should know about twins
Twins stick together from the time they are embryos to when they become fully-developed fetuses, to birth. This constant togetherness helps them develop bonds that last their entire lifetime. It also helps them build support, comfort, and a unique understanding of each other's experiences.
Although twins are fond of each other and may have a lot in common, you should appreciate the fact that each is a separate individual. As they grow, you may see them disagree and show sibling rivalry because they are different. Handle each child as who they are, and don't get shocked if they develop entirely different interests.
Preparing for twins before delivery
If you're pregnant with twins and getting ready to raise them alone, shop early for their clothes and equipment. Most baby shops offer discounts for twins, an ideal opportunity you can grab. Also, remember to organize the nursery and set up a changing station.
A portable crib will also be helpful so that you have a safe station to leave one baby when bathing or changing the other. Finding a pediatrician beforehand will also save you unnecessary trouble if you encounter issues that require a doctor's input.
When expecting twins or multiples, you may be put on bed rest when about 30 weeks pregnant. To save yourself the stress of worrying about dirty bedding and a skipped baby shower, get ready way before you're 30 weeks pregnant. Packing your hospital bag earlier can help ease the worries and struggles you experience during pregnancy, because you know you are prepared for any outcome.
Tips for parenting twins single-handedly
In a study involving 296 mothers, 49% talked about inadequate sleep, 18% financial constraints, 39% emotional drain, 22% troubled marital relationships, and 43% lack of time to focus on other kids. As the twins grew, the troubles reduced steadily, save for the emotional exhaustion. Of these mothers, only 15% left their babies under their relatives' care during the day.
To raise twins alone and maintain sanity, you should:
- Ask for help. It's advisable to reach out to friends and relatives for help when raising twins. You'll be surprised to realize that people enjoy invitations to cuddle, feed or play with kids. Identify reliable people in your circles and leave them with the twins as you take a break.
- Develop routines. Incorporating a baby sleep schedule when the child is around 4 to 6 weeks helps them develop their circadian rhythm. This innate biological clock helps them distinguish day from night. Your routine could also incorporate feeding, bathing, cool music, and dim lighting.
- Feed them simultaneously. You can bottle or breastfeed your twins simultaneously by using comfy prop-up pillows. Feeding while cuddling them will help you take care of them altogether. Ensure you consume sufficient amounts of fluids if you choose to breastfeed your twins.
- Link up with other parents raising twins single-handedly. When single parents of twins connect, they can share hands-on experience and knowledge, which can benefit one another. You can check out groups of mothers of twins to join.
- Avoid comparing them. Your twins may have different developmental milestones, and that's okay. As kids grow, they become pretty sensitive and internalize what you say around them. A comparison may make one child feel less loved, less intelligent, and even incapable.
What items can twins share?
If you're wondering what you should double up in your shopping, below are items they can share:
- Breast pump
- Nursing pillows
- Baby monitor
- Playing mat
- Changing table
Items that each child should have:
- Car seat
- Baby carrier
- Crib (may also be shared)
What to know about feeding twins
Feeding twins alone can be challenging, especially if one or both aren't into feeding. Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, learn to feed both babies at the same time. If both babies are sleeping and one wakes up, feed them, and once they are done, wake up the other to feed as well.
It may be hard to wake a sleeping baby, but you'll be continuously feeding them if you don't, and you will not get enough sleep. The initial months may be challenging, but it gets better with time as the children grow.
Parenting twins can be taxing, but it is double joy and blessings. It's a wonderful experience for all parents. With a planned schedule, you will be surprised how gracefully things will flow.
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
ADC Fetal and Neonatal Edition: "Breastfeeding twins and high multiples."
Applied Nursing Research: "Strategies Used by Parents of Twins to Obtain Sleep."
Archives of Women's Mental Health: "Raising multiples: mental health of mothers and fathers in early parenthood."?
BEHAVIOR GENETICS: "Using twins to Better Understand Sibling Relationships."
Cochrane Library: "Bed rest with and without hospitalization in multiple pregnancy for improving perinatal outcomes."
Dawood A., and Dawood N.: "Individualism and Identical Twins: A Unique Perspective on Individuality, Baylor University Press, 2018."
Endocrine Reviews: "Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Disruption: Causes, Metabolic, Consequences, and Countermeasures."
Nature and Science of Sleep: "Infant Sleep and its relation with cognition and growth: a narrative review."
NPR: "Pssst: Parenting Twins Can Be Depressing."
Twins research and human genetics: "Comparison of motor development between twins and singletons in Japan: a population-based study."
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