Twindecisive – Tackling the Math of Raising Twins

The moment you find out that you’re now expecting twins can be an overwhelming experience. Some people are ready for their family to double in size, others are not so lucky. There are a plethora of family situations – single mothers, parents with chronic illness, etc – that can add to the anxieties of raising two (occasionally needy) bundles of joy. It is manageable though, and raising twins can be incredibly rewarding as a parent. With that in mind, here are a few useful tips to help you along the way:

Stay Ahead of the Game

Parenting begins the moment you discover you are expecting. The beauty of modern medicine is that we can pinpoint pretty closely when a baby is going to come to term. Regular ultrasounds mean that we can track development closely. Take an evening to sit down and write out a plan, week by week, of the things that you need to get done. Keeping in mind the stages of pregnancy can help you predict how much you can get done, by telling you how your body may be affected during those times.

Life does not stop with the birth of twins, and they come with their own unique set of challenges. Getting around, feeding, sleeping, all typical activities for new parents, require a little more creative thinking when it comes to twins. There is a whole lot of equipment out there that can help with these, things like twin prams, that are designed specifically with twins in mind. Even something as simple as a U-shaped pillow to help with feeding can change your life.

Avoid buying things like larger cots. If one baby doesn’t like sleeping in the cot, then you’re better off having a regular one, plus a bassinet to help both children sleep well.

Find the Help That Works

Parents, especially new parents, often find themselves floundering when raising their first child. Parents of twins find this more so, and the experience can be akin to ice-skating uphill. For this reason, it is a good idea to seek help when and where you can. Naturally, each little family unit is different.

If there are two parents in the picture, you have the luxury of sharing the load a little. Single parents may have a harder time of it. However, reaching out to family, friends, and even community groups will hopefully ease the burden a little. There are hundreds of articles online with hints and tricks to make things a little easier.

If twins are not the first children to enter the family, then older siblings can be enlisted to help. Teaching brothers and sisters to swaddle, prepare food, or even do a little care on their caregiver(s) can ease the burden tremendously (tiny little head massages, anyone?). Bare in mind that this help can be unreliable, and sometimes you might need to pick up the slack when you least want to.

Give Yourself a Break

Okay, so this is a little bit tongue-in-cheek. You don’t get time for a break as a parent, not really. But when you start feeling like you’re failing, like you’re not doing enough and that your turning into your own parents, or that your kids are going to hate you and you can’t do anything right… Then, THEN you need to take a step back and give yourself a little credit.

You’re the caregiver for twins, and that’s amazing. You may be tired, sore, and stressed. You may be up to you elbows in dirty nappies, and the dishes might not be done yet, and you may be looking at another sleepless night because one of the little ones has developed a cough. But you’re doing it. Make sure you acknowledge what you have done, and what you continue to do.

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