Twins can mean twice as much love, twice as many moments and also, twice as much work. You know what they say. Some miracles come in pairs. But what they don’t tell you is what it takes for these miracles need to be nurtured. In time, your husband will resume his manic routine, leaving you to take on two tiny humans all by yourself. Still, we’re lucky that our familial fabric is so strong in India.
You may have your own parents or parents-in-law around after your twins’ birth. But regardless of how strong your support system is, remember that this is your story, and it’s important that you take the lead in caring for your babies. Nobody said it would be easy, but it’s certainly doable.
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That’s ludicrous. Babies don’t operate on schedules. Right? Right. But they will in time. Unlike with a singleton, whose cues you’ll pick up soon enough, newborn twins are a whole different ball game. It’s unlikely that your babies’ schedules will align from the very beginning, but it’s worth investing time in matching them up, because otherwise, you’ll burn yourself out eventually.
Remind yourself that aligning your twins’ schedules isn’t an overnight project. It will take time and it’s wise to be patient. Here are some measures you can take in working towards getting both your babies onto the same timetable.
Nursing one baby can be exhausting, let alone two. But the truth is, breastfeeding your twins concurrently can be less draining on your body than done separately. Using a twin nursing pillow can make tandem nursing easier and less exhausting.
Alternatively, if you find it challenging to nurse your babies together, resort to bottle feeding one twin pumped breast milk while the other latches onto your breast. Rotate the twins around as you go along through the day so that each one has a chance to feed directly.
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Setting your babies down for a nap at the same time can be a great way to match their sleep cycles. Of course, you may struggle with putting your little bundles to bed at the start. Some days, you may find that they sleep blissfully together when laid down on the bed, while on others, you may have to cradle one in your arms and swing the other in the cradle.
It’s likely that you favour co-sleeping with your babies like most other Indian parents. With twins, however, you may want to consider a different strategy, purely as an energy-saving measure. By training your twins to put themselves to sleep, you’ll have more time to yourself and your babies will learn to be less dependent on you. Until you train them though, you may want to mix up your babies’ bedtime routine.
You could try wheeling them around in a stroller, strapping them onto your body, rocking them in a cradle or swaddling them in their cots. It’s worth referencing where your twins have fallen asleep in the past so that you can use these locations as happy places in the future.
As your twins grow, you may find it increasingly hard to leave them behind with others when you venture out. A twin stroller is your answer. It can simplify walks to the local market, trips to the mall and nice evenings out with your husband. Unfortunately, Indian footpaths aren’t built for silky smooth stroller wheels, but your stroller will serve you well in expansive indoor spaces.
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If you feel that you need additional assistance in transitioning from hospital to home, consider opting for the Care@ Home programme on Cloudnine, where you will be assigned a specialised caregiver who will guide you through the nuances of caring for twins at home.
Raising twins can be tiring, but it can also be doubly rewarding. As the quote goes, “Twins will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.” Amen to that.