Finding out you are expecting twins is an amazing blessing together with a feeling of being completely overwhelmed. Chances are you may know possibly one or maximum two other parents with Twins but no-one close enough that can make you feel prepared. Your reaction is not unusual – these are the initial, mixed feelings of all expecting parents of multiples, but we are here to help you every step of the way.
Preparation is unfortunately not optional, it’s essential. As a certified baby planner from the International Maternity and Parenting Institute – here are my 6 key points to keep in mind when preparing for your new arrivals.
Below article first appeared on the Quintessentially People Blog.
Pause & Take Deep Breaths
Close your eyes, take deep breaths and know you are not alone. A relaxed Mum will make for healthier babies. Then prioritize and focus on what’s most immediately important: educating yourself in key subjects such as breast & bottle feeding, sleeping, scheduling and baby equipment. Anything outside these areas isn’t as necessary to know initially. Anytime you start to feel overwhelmed take another 5 deep breaths.
Be As Prepared As You Can By 30 Weeks
Close to 50% of mothers expecting multiples are placed on some form of bedrest, often around this time. Try and make this your ‘Readiness Point’ and save yourself the stress of being stuck in bed worrying about untested pushchairs or still-to-be-selected nursery furniture. Enjoy the preparation time leading up to this cut-off week and go together with your partner to try it all – test our the buggies in store, play with the car seats and utilize the knowledgeable store staff for insider product tips. Most importantly attend your local Twins Class and educate yourself early on all the key areas you need to know so you don’t waste time worrying about the rest!
Don’t Buy Two Of Everything
It is a myth that twins can’t or won’t share. This is especially true when it comes to activity toys such as rockers, bouncers or anything electric. It’s much better to buy different types so that you can rotate the babies between them. This will also ensure you don’t give over space at home to two jumperoos that neither baby enjoys (and saves you a trip to the store to return them)! What’s important is buying individual pieces that help make life easier. Some of my favorites: a double feeding pillow, a buggy that fits your lifestyle (think tandem vs side-by-side), the Keekaroo peanut change table for easy-to-clean use. There are many well-designed products to consider. Just remember – it’s the quality not the quantity that matters.
Take Advice From Other “Multiples” Parents
There’s great comfort – and utility – hearing from mums that have been through it all. Parenting techniques evolve so recent experiences and techniques are useful. But the backbone to your twin learning can often come from older moms who have a wealth of amazing information and often act as our lighthouse. Join your local multiples playgroup and try to attend the dinners before and after the babies arrive. Surrounding yourself with a network of parents in the same situation will guarantee that you walk out with a sense of reassurance and a smile on your face!
Plan To Schedule Everything From The Moment The Babies Come Home
Keeping the twins on the same feeding, sleeping, activity schedule means you can plan your day effectively and not feel like you are running around 24/7 with no respite. You can organize your partner, family and friends to chip in and take turns feeding as you will know what time approximately the babies awake periods will be. If you’re considering a Maternity Nurse or Doula, they are generally wonderful teachers of the scheduling process and can help you manage the emotional instincts of instant response.
Book Your Post-Natal Support Pre-Delivery
Budget and preferences permitting, you could benefit immensely from the services of a Postpartum Doula, Maternity Nurse and/or a Lactation Consultant. Whichever you choose, ensure they have twin experience and can provide substantial references to confirm their expertise. For us this is non-negotiable for our parents; no twin experience = not worth pursuing. You must interview them as if they will be with you permanently to make sure your parenting styles are aligned. Especially in the first few weeks home, Mummies hormones will be readjusting so hiring this additional help will make your recovery smoother and most importantly provide a Teacher for you to learn from.
About the Author
Shannon O’Reilly-Fearn, CEO & Founder of Twin Love Concierge and also author of this article, created Twin Love Concierge from experiencing first-hand the dire need for parents of multiples to have access to parenting education and experts outside the world of singletons. With a team of renowned Multiples specialists from OB/GYNS, IBCLCs through to Nursery Designers and Party Planners, TLC has become the world’s premier service exclusively for Twins.
Setting roots in the UK and USA, the company has now expanded to 16 cities worldwide with accompanying online classes, and looks after hundreds of parents who are either expecting or new to Twins, Triplets and more. Alongside the business Shannon writes for several well-known parenting resources and is an advisor to baby brands for product and development in order to continue her mission to banish the myth that multiples are twice the work!