Taking care of a newborn baby is not an easy task. Now, what if you have twins? It’s double the joy and double the responsibility. Taking care of twin babies need not be very challenging if you are aware of the demands and plan a little. Are twins difficult to raise? With a few helpful tips for twins, a baby boy or girl can be managed with ease.
Not everyone has the luxury of a nanny or a live-in-maid or family to take care of or help in caring for their twin newborn babies. So how to take care of twin babies? Here are a few tips:
The schedule is your new best friend. Maintain a schedule for everything. Be it the feeds, the naps or even the bath time. Ensure you have a schedule in place and follow it as much as possible. This will not only have you “prepared” for what is next but will also allow you to figure out just a few minutes of break for yourself. If you just go with the flow you may get lost in it very soon.
Be it breastfeeding, formula or a combination of both do it simultaneously. Yes, breastfeeding two babies at a time may seem like a crazy idea at first but imagine this – You breastfeed one baby for about 30 minutes, put the baby down for your partner to burp, change, put down for a nap, etc. You feed the next baby for half an hour. So that is a minimum of one hour gone in feeding the babies.
In the first week with newborn twins, you don’t have to worry about a bath. You can just wipe them down with some lukewarm water and a washcloth. Once you get back home and want to give both of them it in turns. Finish bathing and drying one baby and then move on to the next.
Once the twins are a little older and can sit up, you can put them both in a bathtub and bathe them at the same time. If you prefer to give them a bath in the morning and once again in the night before bedtime, rethink it. You can consider bathing them once and just wiping them clean the next time.
Initially, your babies will sleep most days. Once they start spending more time awake, their sleep cycles will change. As mentioned earlier, stick to a schedule. Do not change their bedtime or nap times.
Once they are a little older, you may consider sleep training the twins. However, it is a personal choice. Both types of parents exist – those who sleep train and those who don’t. So collect all the information and choose what suits the best for you and your family.
Many parents love to dress up their twins in matching outfits. You may want to reconsider this, at least until you and the immediate family members can tell the babies apart – at all times, day or night. Imagine you change baby A’s diaper and move on to baby B after fetching something, only to realize you have baby A again. Similar confusions can happen with bath time, burps, etc. Once you can tell them apart, you can match their outfits and buy two of everything.
When babies are up all night or are going through regular baby issues like sleep regressions, exhaustion and colic, they can cry for hours. Get all the help you can. Ask your family and friends to visit and give you a break at least for a few minutes.
It may seem tempting to do it all on your own and get all the credit but it can create havoc with your physical and mental health. So don’t hesitate to reach out to your people and get support.
Invest in baby carriers and rockers. Wearing your babies when they are crying or unable to sleep will allow you to carry on with the rest of your work. Similarly, if you use a baby rocker or a cradle, someone can rock the babies to sleep when you carry on with your work. You can even consider investing in baby monitors and white noise machines.
Parenting is a shared responsibility. Both you and your partner need to discuss and share responsibilities so that one need not worry about some work being undone. For example – one can take responsibility for the laundry (small babies have too many small clothing items to wash) while one can take charge of washing the bottles or pump parts, etc. This way both partners are parenting together and will prevent each other from parental burnout.
Maintain separate medical files and records for the babies. Though it may be easier to carry just one file, you may mix up the papers or prescriptions. Always maintain 2 files in 2 different colours and mark them clearly with the babies’ names.
It is never easy with a newborn. Baby twins’ newborn care is harder. Instead of striving for perfection and meeting all expectations, take a step back and enjoy this phase. When you relax and enjoy parenting, taking care of twin babies can be less stressful.
Parenting is not easy, especially when you have two tiny beings depending on you for everything. However, raising twins need not be a stressful journey. With sufficient help, support and planning, baby twins’ newborn care can be exciting and joyful.
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