Having twins never once crossed my mind. Okay, well I had a small moment of being envious when an acquaintance was pregnant with twins when Zadey was little. But, I never once thought that I would be the mother of twins. Now, with almost 2 year old twins in the house, it is much more than I could have possibly imagined. It’s greater than the most wonderful thing you can image. It’s an adventure that is full of love, laughter, crying, and a whole heck of a lot of diapers.
And there isn’t a single thing that I would change.
During my pregnancy, I had no idea what to expect. My imagination drifted to a wide variety of circumstances, situations, and the logistics of handling two at the same time. And, for all my dreaming, once they were here there were so many things that I just had not thought about. Because it really is one of those situations that you can’t know about until you’re dealing with it.
I wish I had a go-to twin mom. I wish I had someone to talk to, all the time, about my thoughts, ideas, and the crazy images running through my head. But, I didn’t.
So, for all the moms (and dads) expecting twins, here’s some of my tips to help you prepare for the big day!
Plan for Early
More times than not, twins will come earlier than you expect. And unlike a singleton pregnancy, twins are full term at 36 weeks, instead of 38. Expect ahead of time (but, hope for different) that you will not make it to your due date and start preparing the nursery, your hospital bag, and baby shower at least 1 month earlier than you would if you were having a singleton.
To that, I would also suggest preparing and freezing meals ahead of time. You’ll appreciate this on nights you’re too tired to throw a meal together and when your babies come home from the hospital.
Invest In A Recliner
You will thank me later, I promise. From trying to find a moment of rest at the end of your pregnancy to getting comfortable to feed two at the same time, you will fall in love with your recliner. Even today I still find having a recliner to be the most useful piece of furniture in my house. And, during pregnancy when I couldn’t sleep, it was the only spot where I could find rest.
Less Is More
This is a topic that I could really expand on (and will), but you need to know that you don’t need two of every single item. It is just not necessary, at least, not until you know what your babies will like. Before my boys were born I knew that bouncy seats would be important and I adored my infant to toddler rockers. However, I wasn’t sure how they would take to a swing and happily only had one at my house, given to me by my sister-in-law. The minute they decided they hated the swing, it went. Every baby is different and you could easily waste a lot of money and space on baby gear your duo just doesn’t like. Work with essentials, at first, and get more as needed once they arrive.
But, Spend on What You’ll Really Need
There are a few items that if I was doing it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend on the first time around. For example, the right diaper bag! I went through many of them and nothing has been better or more useful than my Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared.
You will also need two cribs. Get them so you can get to work on a schedule right away when everyone is home.
Twins are a moving circus and everyone loves to see a matching duo. So when the special people in your life offer help, take it. Extra hands are invaluable in the first few weeks, especially if you have had a c-section.
Most, but certainly not all, twins are just little things. So even though you will, at some point, need those newborn clothes, consider picking up a few preemie items.
I had a single bag of preemie diapers and preemie going home outfits. Though there were backups in newborn size, if I needed them, I was happy I thought ahead. Not only did I need them, but the day we brought them home from the hospital Joanne had to run out and pick up some preemie onesies. I wish I had had more ahead of time. Just, keep receipts. If you don’t need the preemie stuff, take it back for your money or exchange for the right size. No harm, no foul.
Read, Then Read More
Invest in all the twin knowledge you can! There is so much fun and interesting things to learn about twins, take some time now read about it. School yourself on the science of twins so you can educate all the strangers that will ask “do twins run in your family?” Be sure to also join twin forums so that you have twin mom advice, when you need it.
Prepare Your Inner Smartass
Okay, it won’t be a requirement, but you might give yourself a giggle later. Taking twins out in public is like being in a walking sideshow. Trips to the grocery store will now take three times longer than they used to and, while you’re there, you will be asked some of the dumbest questions…
Q: Are they twins?
A: No, I found that one outside and thought taking him home was a good idea. Yes, Captain Obvious, they are twins!
Q: Are they natural?
A: What children aren’t natural?
Q: Are they identical? (When being asked about boy/girl twins…)
A: Well, this one has a vagina and that one has a penis, so no, I don’t think they are identical.
Research Schedules & Routines
Your sanity will thank you later. There are a wide variety of parenting styles, scheduling, and routines. And even if you’re already a parent, you’re not parenting twins. It really does change everything. A parent who only has one baby at a time would never dream of waking a sleeping baby, but most parents of multiples find it a necessity.
If your twins spend some time in the hospital, you’ll appreciate the schedule they’re placed on in the NICU and you may very well find this schedule easy to keep once they’re home. On the flip side, if they come home straight from the hospital with you, be prepared to get on a schedule so that everyone gets some rest and keeps their sanity!
Accept That You Won’t Be Prepared
I’m sorry, but it’s true. You will never fully be prepared to have twins. You will always have questions, concerns, and those will change just as quickly as your twins do. There are times when you will feel like you have everything under control and other times when you know you have nothing under control. It happens to all of us. Be ready to go with the flow. If you’re controlling and impatient, your twins will quickly change that for you.
Take Time to Breathe
You think one baby grows quickly? Just wait until you’re in the whirlwind of two! Take a minute out to enjoy them. Hold them, smell them, rock them, cuddle and snuggle. That first year will fly by and it’ll all be a haze. Take lots of pictures and video to remember it all. Enjoy every moment you can. The dishes, the laundry, all the housework, I promise… it can wait. You won’t want to miss this!
Are You Parenting Multiples?
Okay, parents of multiples. What would you add to the list? What advice would you give parents who are expecting twins?