It is the way others view them as well as how they view themselves though, that you should think about. People already tend to see twins as a unit, so the matching clothing just reinforces this. You also want your twins to feel like they have their own identity even though they are being raised with someone who looks exactly like them. When they are old enough to decide for themselves they might still choose to dress the same, but it will be their own decision.
If color-coded clothing is too complicated, try some other quick color clue. Some parents paint a toenail with nail polish as an identifier while others use hospital bracelets or jewelry. Just be sure that any accessories you use are safe for babies or children, with no toxic materials or small parts that could present a choking hazard.
Some parents utilize color coding. They consistently dress each twin in a designated color. For boy/girl twins, the color combination of choice may be blue/pink; for two girls, perhaps purple and pink, and for two boys, blue and green. You can have fun with it. One parent of boy twins named Nick and Patrick used red and green. Nick wears red for St. Nick and Patrick wears green for St. Patrick. This system is invaluable for helping others tell twins apart, especially in daycare or school situations. It is also helpful to use a color coding system when you take photographs of your twins. Looking back, you’ll always know who is who.
Perhaps that is why this fear resonates with parents. Recognizing and knowing your child is a deep-rooted, primal instinct. To not recognize your child, even if the form of a temporary amnesia like mixing up twins, would be to admit a failure at that basic parenting trait.
All in all, raising identical twins will be an experience personal to each family who has them. Embracing both their similarities as well as their individual traits, giving them equal love and attention, and using your parental instincts will surely help you along this unique journey.
The problem with color-coded clothing is that the system can be burdensome to maintain. It requires parents to shop more carefully and only purchase items that meet the color code. It also requires diligence in keeping up with laundry so that everyone has access to wardrobe options in their color.
From the start, many parents fear they will get their babies mixed up or not be able to tell them apart. A valid concern, but once you have spent some time with your twins you will see how quickly you will be able to recognize their subtle differences. This can be in personality, looks or both. I have never met a parent of identical twins that couldn’t tell them apart, myself included. But, here’s our article on telling twins apart, just in case!What about clothing? This is a biggie with some parents when it comes to raising identical twins. Will you dress them the same or different? Generally speaking, dressing your identical twins the same when they are very young can be cute and fun and offer great photo opportunities. But most parents would probably agree that continuing to do so into the school years is not the best idea. For one, it could be terribly hard for teachers to tell them apart.
Lastly, let’s talk about all of those silly twin questions you will get from strangers. Identical twins sure have a way of drawing attention! When you’re out and about with them it will likely become commonplace for total strangers to stop and ask you if they are twins, if they are identical, if they are “natural”, and so on. Although these questions can grow pretty annoying very fast, keep in mind that most of the public does not completely understand the identical twin phenomenon. It is their intrigue that keeps them asking. It wouldn’t hurt to have some answers ready for quick responses that won’t keep you held up all day.
Identical twins can have separate sacs as well as placentas during pregnancy. And, fraternal twins can sometimes have their placentas fused together during pregnancy which makes them appear as one at birth. Sound confusing? It can be. The most reliable way to determine if your twins are identical or fraternal is with twin zygosity testing. It’s a simple DNA test that can be done from home with lab results within a couple of weeks. Now that you have found that you will, indeed, be raising identical twins it’s time to talk about some of the distinctive aspects of parenting them…
Even identical twins have some physical characteristics that aren’t exactly alike. In fact, environmental circumstances can produce identical twins that don’t really look alike at all. Twins with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), for example, may have a size disparity. Labor and delivery may produce infants with different head shapes. And even identical twins have differences in their epigenome, chemical modifications within a person’s genetic material. Birthmarks, moles, and freckles also differ among individuals. As you get to know your twins, you’ll identify physical clues that will help you distinguish between them.
38 weeks + 5 days. It is a couple of years ago…but it was a great pregnancy. The nurse said before C-section that it was a very impressive belly even
For families of dizygotic (fraternal) twins the worry is generally unfounded. Dizygotic twins develop from two separate egg/sperm combinations and are no more similar than any two siblings born at separate times. However, don’t discount the strength of family resemblance. Fraternal twins can still look very similar, just as siblings can. With distinctive features—eye color, hair color, facial features, body size, or head shape—fraternal twins are usually pretty easy to tell apart. For boy/girl twins, that only requires a quick check of the diaper area to confirm.
On the other hand, monozygotic twins aren’t called identical twins without reason. Forming from a single zygote (sperm/egg combination) that splits into two, the two individuals share the same genetic makeup. They can have remarkably similar physical characteristics.
So, how do you know they’re identical in the first place? Your first clues will be if they are of the same sex and blood type, and also if they look similar. If you had what is known as a “Mono-Mono” twin pregnancy, well then you already know that your children are identical without a doubt. But for some of us, it’s just not that clear.
Surviving Twins – Tips and tricks for the first few months from an M.D. and Mom of twins. Great twin baby advice for new parents.
When raising identical twins, you will likely been keenly aware of the bond that starts to develop between them. It is said that the bond between twins is a strong one, especially with identicals. But, don’t get discouraged if your twins don’t start out this way. It may take time for your twins to discover that they have a built-in play mate. They are certainly aware of each other from birth, but taking the next step of interacting, playing and enjoying each other’s company can take time in some cases. Just because they’re identical twins does not necessarily mean they will be the best of friends from the start. Identical twins often times have the same mannerisms, preferences, disabilities, and illnesses. The extent of this will vary, of course, but it is something to be aware of. If you find that both of your children want to play football, join the chess club, learn ballet, etc., let them. Don’t feel you need to establish their individuality yourself by making them choose separate activities. Some identical twin studies have shown that these preferences are built-in. And, heaven forbid, you find you have one twin with an illness such as cancer or the like. Pay close attention and ask questions, as this could possibly be an early warning for the other twin.
Parents of multiples have many worries before their babies arrive—how to care for both babies at the same time, how to get enough sleep, how to pay for everything. Telling twins apart is actually one fear that can be taken off the list. Most parents find that mixing up their babies is the least of their concerns. After only a few hours or days at most, they are distinguishable as individuals. Even if they look alike, parents just know the difference.
Mirror image twins have reverse asymmetric features, almost like two individuals looking in a mirror. For example, they may have a hair whorl or cowlick that swirls in opposite directions. They may have birthmarks on opposite sides of their body. Minor physical characteristics such as these can serve as clues to help tell individuals apart. Once you have determined a distinguishing physical feature, you can utilize it when trying to tell your twins apart. When others inquire how you do it, you can let them in on the secret.
Many expectant parents of twins worry about how they will tell their twins apart. They feel concern that they will mix up the babies and won’t know who is who. Sleep deprivation and the chaotic demands of caring for multiple infants exacerbate the fear.
However, mistakes do happen. It is true that exhaustion characterizes the first year of parenting twins, and being overtired does cloud judgment. It is important that you keep track of who is who, especially if you are administering medications, monitoring feedings, or tracking developmental milestones. If you are an expectant parent of twins and are worried about telling them apart, there are some steps you can take to prevent a mix-up. Employing these strategies will ensure that mixing up your twins results merely in hilarious hijinks and not any serious consequences.
Finding out you are having twins is almost always a total shock. Finding out you will be raising identical twins, well, now you really have something to think about. Thoughts about telling them apart, fostering individuality, reactions from the public, etc. are just some of the things that may be circling through your mind. And although you’re not alone, there’s not the plethora of information on this type of parenting compared with singletons or even other types of twins. Not that raising identical twins needs to be rocket science, but it is a rather rare situation which will have some unique challenges.
However, a person’s identity is more than just what they look like. Personality, expression, communication, emotions—all of these traits vary among individuals. And while DNA controls many characteristics, even monozygotic multiples that look exactly alike are unique individuals who will quickly differentiate themselves to their parents. As they become familiar with their infants, parents will quickly grow to recognize and appreciate each child’s unique imprint. Likewise, those that know and love the multiples will learn to distinguish them also.