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 you’re caring for two babies at the same time, it’s tough to do it alone. There’s two of them, and you’ve only got two hands. Before you bring your babies home, think about what kind of help you’ll want.
Don’t be afraid to ASK for help. This is no time to play the martyr and try to shoulder the burden on your own. Almost everyone is thrilled to be helping during this special time of your life, so keep a list of those that offer assistance, and take them up on it.
Twins will not be the first parenting experience for some of us. Numerous families already have one or more children before the arrival of their twins. Definitely something to think about when bringing twins home from the hospital.
Give some thought to how you’ll live in your home as you care for the babies. Many families find it helpful to set up staging areas throughout the house, rather than staying exclusively in the nursery. For example, if your home is multi-level, you may want to establish a place for the babies to sleep on each floor, as well as a changing station, so that you don’t spend all day running up and down the stairs.
I also recommend creating a diaper changing “basket” or “bucket” (or maybe 2 or 3 for upstairs/downstairs, etc.). This is basically any container that can be easily transported around the house. It should include everything you need to change a diaper, like powder, diaper rash ointment, wipes and, of course, diapers. Some moms find it handy to include hand sanitizer, a fresh set of clothing, and even your cell phone. Anything you use regularly throughout the day should be under consideration, as this is a simple way to stay organized while caring for your newborn twins at home. It will keep you from having to run to the nursery every time someone needs a diaper change…which will be ALL the time!
You hear this a lot when you’re expecting twins, and it really is true. If you have people willing to help in any way, accept it! Just be diplomatic about designating each chore. It may be easier for one person to pick up things from the store and for another to help with cooking the meals, doing laundry, etc.
One of the first things you should do after bringing twins home from the hospital is get them on a reasonable schedule. If your babies had a stay in the NICU they may already be on an efficient feeding and sleeping plan. Either way, most parents of twins agree, life will be much easier if you can regulate feeding and sleeping times. Having a notebook or dry-erase board is a practical way to keep tract of each twins feedings, nap times, diaper changes and even when medication (if any) was taken. This will not only help you keep things straight and give you some time for yourself, but is beneficial to anyone you have lending a helping hand. It gets confusing having twins!
Be sure that all newborn clothing, blankets, burp cloths, etc. have been freshly washed and put away or stored where they will be easy to access. Remember, you will have two babies coming home, so the more fresh clothing you have the more time you will have before you have to do the laundry.
But babies also grow quickly, and they may move up to a larger size diaper sooner than you think. Keep plenty of diapers on hand, but don’t overbuy. Don’t forget about diaper disposal. A diaper container with odor control will keep your home smelling pleasant, but many families find it just as convenient to throw out dirty diapers in plastic bags.
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
Now, we’re not talking decorating a nursery or buying furniture and supplies here. That stuff should be addressed in the early half of twin pregnancy ( see our guide). What you need to be thinking about is having the house in good working order for a nice transition from the hospital to home. The day has arrived and twins will be coming home soon, so let’s get started!
Speaking of your home, is it ready for babies? Along with those new babies, there is a lot of baby equipment that you’ll need to take care of them. However, you don’t necessarily need all of it right away, and you don’t necessarily need double of everything simply because you have twins. There are lots of things that they can share, or use in stages. Take some time to research before you run out and double up on every purchase.
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Highchairs can wait. Your babies won’t be able to sit up in them for several months yet, and they take up a lot of space. In the early days, depending on whether you elect to breastfeed or bottle feed the babies, you may only need a comfortable chair. Check out these tips for feeding two babies at the same time to help determine what you’ll need.
This scenario will happen for many parents of twins, especially parents of preemies. One twin will be discharged from the hospital while the other has to remain. Not ideal, to say the least, but a possibility. In most situations you will have a bit of lead time to prepare, as doctors can usually give a ball park estimation on when a baby will be ready to leave the hospital.
One of the truest things I ever heard a new mom of twins say was, “I don’t need as much help with my babies as I do with the house, errands, and cooking”. Keep in mind, you’ll get on your feet eventually and won’t be needing as much support as you acclimate to life with twins. There are even those of us who have, indeed, survived without the extra help…It is possible!
Be specific in your requests for help. Need meals prepared? Errands run? Child care for older siblings? Pet care? Or someone to hold one baby while you feed the other one? Say so, according to what works best for your family. In some families, professional help from a lactation consultant, night nurse, or cleaning service is preferable to well-meaning but misguided loved ones.
Other than eating and sleeping, your babies will do a lot of peeing and pooping in the early days. And you’ll spend a lot of time changing diapers. Whether you elect to use cloth or disposable diapers, you’ll need to stock up on diapers and supplies. It can be tricky to judge your babies’ size. If they’re born early, they may spend many months in preemie or infant sizes.
Well, you’ll need a place for the babies to sleep. That may be a crib, or it may be something more temporary until the babies are ready to sleep in their cribs. Some families use bassinettes, portable cribs such as the Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard with Twins Bassinet (compare prices), Moses baskets, swings, or infant seats. Eventually, you will likely want to have cribs for the babies, just to ensure that they sleep as safely and comfortably as possible (because when they sleep soundly, you’ll sleep soundly too!)
Your babies may not come home together. If one has more serious medical complications after birth, the other baby may be ready to leave the hospital alone. This seems traumatic, but in some ways, it can actually be an easier adjustment.
Caring for one baby at a time for a few days can give you a chance to catch your breath.Childproofing your home can wait. Your babies won’t be moving and grooving through the rooms of your home for a few months.
But don’t wait until it’s too late. You know the old saying, “Better safe than sorry.” Once your babies arrive, you’re busy! Time is scarce, so make a commitment to implement child safety measures before the babies are born, or else in the first few months.
If your babies are born prematurely or with special needs, you may be grappling with medical issues in addition to the normal demands of infant care. Work closely with your medical caregivers to learn the proper procedures for feeding, administering medication, or monitoring breathing.
Many twin babies are smaller than their singleton counterparts. Don’t be surprised if all those cute little infant outfits that you received as gifts don’t fit right away, even if they’re sized for newborns.
Some twins, even if they’re born at the average 36- or 37-week timeframe, are small at birth and may need preemie-sized clothing for a few weeks or months until they grow and catch up.
Work toward a schedule. The right schedule is whatever works for you and your babies, but most parents agree that it’s easier to keep both babies on the same schedule so that they eat and sleep at the same time.
There’s one thing — well, really two things — that you simply must have in order to get those babies home. If you’re bringing your baby twins home in an automobile, you’ll need car seats approved for infants that meet the safety standards of your state. To be specific, you’ll need one for each baby, and it’s recommended that you buy these products new, to ensure that they have not been compromised by improper use or damaged in a previous accident.
This may be the last thing on your mind, but thinking ahead in the food department will save a lot of hassle when hunger strikes. Frozen foods from the grocery store are particularly handy. Otherwise, think about making easy-to-freeze homemade foods, like lasagna and casseroles that can be stored for heating later. Crock pot recipes that require minimal prep time are also something to consider. Having fresh bread and cold cuts on hand for sandwiches is a simple idea too. Just make a list of the things you and your family like and stock up ahead of time. Don’t forget the baby formula!
Tips on Bringing Twins Home From the Hospital Prepare Layette And Baby Supplies
School age children will need to have transportation and extra curricular activities worked out. Younger children will likely be curious and needy of your attention. Setting aside special time for older siblings (whether it be with you or another family member) is a must. You should organize any transportation as well as set up family and/or friends for outings with older children. Remember, they will need their own time to adjust to the newest additions. The less impact on their usual schedules the better.
You’re going to need a adequate plan in place for taking care of one twin at home while still having time to visit the other in the NICU. Some parents simply trade off and there’s not much to worry about. For others, there may be much more to contend with like, distance from hospital to home, dealing with older siblings, work schedules, breastfeeding and so on. If you know you will need help with a situation like this, be sure to have an alternate plan just in case.
Bringing twins home from the hospital is something you can and should prepare for. It may seem daunting, especially to first time parents. But, with a little extra organization and forethought you’ll have one (or should I say two) less things to worry about.
Finally, here are some things to consider as you bring your baby twins home from the hospital.
They also need to be properly installed in your vehicle. This is not a process to undertake under pressure, with your babies waiting in the elements while you fiddle with the seat belts in the car. If possible, spend some time installing the car seats — according to manufacturer specifications — before it’s time to bring the babies home.
The day has finally arrived! Your twins are here and you’re ready to welcome them into your home and family. During the long months of pregnancy, it may have felt like this moment would never come. A twin or multiple pregnancy can be fraught with anxiety and worries about everything from financial strain to medical complications to telling your twins apart. Your pregnancy may have been cut short by preterm labor. Or your twins’ homecoming may have been delayed by days or weeks if they required a stay in the hospital or NICU to catch up and overcome problems from an early birth.
Hopefully, you’re able to read this article with time to spare and can take heed and implement some of the issues addressed here. If not, that’s okay, too. Take a deep breath and know that it will all be okay. You may need a bit more help from others, but you’ll adjust to life with twins just fine.
You can even have the seats checked by a specialist to be sure they’re properly installed. Many local fire departments and sheriff’s offices offer this service. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to find a specialist close to your home.
Try to leave the house as clean and orderly as possible before you go to the hospital. This does not mean do the vacuuming while you’re having contractions! Just do the best you can to have things neat and tidy before the time comes. Get the laundry done, buy groceries, stock the bathroom, take the rubbish out,etc. The less you have to think about doing around the house the more time you’ll have to adjust and get to know your newborn twins.