Trying to navigate being a new twin parent isn’t easy. You would think that it should be exactly the same as parenting one, but twice as much work, right?
The sad thing is, unless someone has actually been there, that’s exactly what people think, and exactly what they’ll tell you it’s like. Parenting is a whole different ball game when you’re dealing with two infants. Unless you get some advice from an expert (read: someone who’s been there, and was not too sleep-deprived to remember any of it), the first six months is going to feel very long.
You can read up on everything you can find on the internet, but there are a few tips and tricks that they’re not going to tell you.
These are those tips based on real-world experience from a twin father who’s spent his time in “the trenches.”
1. Keep them on a rigid feeding schedule.
What does this mean? It means you’ve gotta be tough the first few months, or you and your spouse will never get ANY sleep!
a. Always feed them both, even if they’re sleeping. If one wakes up, wake up the other.
b. Suggested time would be 8, 11, 2 and 5 – am and pm. The consistency makes things easier on everyone.
c. We used a Twin “Z” feeding pillow – it won the MVP award the first 6 months.
2. Track everything.
Use a chart on a clipboard (or your phone, if so inclined, but who really has time for that stuff with twins?) to track the pees, poops, baths and feeds. When sleep deprived or visiting the doctor, it helps – because you WILL forget. Subscribe to our newsletter to download a free copy of our scheduling chart that’s a lifesaver on visits to the pediatrician!
3. Consider using different brands of bottles.
Using different brands may or may not work, but at least different colors for each baby. This way there’s no confusion over whether you fed one or the other, or which kid that bottle belonged to. Also, when giving feeding instructions to anyone who doesn’t regularly feed the babies (or daycare), it makes it easier to explain to them. A label maker works, too, but again, consider how sleep deprivation will negatively affect your decision-making, plus labels come off.
4. Limit visitors.
That’s right…even family. Keep the visits short, like right at the one hour mark. We recommend feeding time. It gives you a break from feeding and doesn’t deprive the babies of sleep.
5. Buy stock in hand sanitizer.
Make sure you adopt the practice of using hand sanitizer, or hand washing with antibacterial soap. This goes for everyone who handles the baby – even you. Nobody needs to touch the baby’s hands, head or face. Don’t pay any attention when you get funny reactions from people. Remember…they’re not the ones who will have to care for a sick kid caused by their germs. The time goes quick, but not quick enough when your deprived of sleep, and your little bundles are sick.
Bonus tip: Set up a shared Gmail account with your co-parent, for the purposes of a mutually shared Google Drive account. Here you can create a shared spreadsheet with tabs for:
- tracking gifts received
- thank you notes sent
- birth announcement addresses
- pediatrician research
- baby room decoration ideas
- name ideas
- People to notify when baby is born via text with mobile numbers for each person
Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to surviving the first 180 days as a new twin parent.
Anything we forgot that people forgot to tell you? Let us know in the comments!
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