I started taking care of twins when I was 15 years old. I think I’ve cared for 5-6 sets of twins long term and now I’m expecting my own (what what?!). Twins are a piece of cake IF you’re prepared so lemme let you in on my secrets for staying sane as a mom of multiples (including twosies).
First, I’ve had this book about “juggling twins” and I have to advise all moms of twins to AVOID reading this book if you’re at all antsy about your fate as a twin mom. This book will definitely scare you into thinking your life as you know it is over and that’s just not the case. It was very overdramatic regarding the little things like space, sleep, toys, clothes, and even outings with twins. Don’t listen to the nonsense; you’ll be fine. In fact, I totally think twins are easier than two kids of different ages.
Hear me out:
Twins have the same schedule, same bedtime, bathtime, feeding time and will always go to the same school and likely the same afterschool activities.
Twins wear the same size clothes and diapers and drink from the same size bottles.
Twins play together and entertain one another because they’re at the same age and developmental level.
They have the same carseat type, same bed, same potty, same stroller (with no extra adaptors).
That being said, it does take SERIOUS organization to be a mom to twins ESPECIALLY birth to three. After that, you should only need a planner, a few organization apps, and a family calendar. But, for the baby stages:
1) Utilize RIGHT and LEFT
Whether your twins are identical or fraternal, you will inevitably forget who ate what, who you changed, who spit up, who napped the longest, etc unless you take advantage of the photographic memory we all have. Think about it, when you’re trying to remember something, even if you’re sleep deprived, you try to picture it in your head right? Well, if you keep the same twin on the right or always on the left at all times, then when you’re trying to remember which twin did what, all you have to do is picture it and you’ll know it was the baby on the right/left which means it was ______________.
For example, I worked with IDENTICAL twin girls once overnight. Charlotte was always in the crib on the right, the bouncer on the right, the swing on the right. If, and when, she needed medicine, I always put it in the bottle on the right because I knew that would be the bottle I gave her since she was always on the right. Trust me, this is GENIOUS!
2) Hit up the Container Store
Raise your hand if you carry your diaper bag everywhere? If that’s the case, you likely don’t have twins. It can be damn near impossible to keep up with a diaper bag, a purse, and two babies. My suggestion is to put the necessities in your purse (2 diapers and a travel pack of wipes and an emergency bottle). The rest stays in a three tiered container in the trunk of your car. You have twins, therefore I KNOW you have an SUV. If not, run don’t walk directly to the dealership and buy one.
In this 3 tiered container you have:
Top: lifetime supply of diapers, wipes, creams, powders, wet bags, and a changing mat. You change babies in the trunk when you’re out and about because you can NOT change two babies on a wobbly changing table at a store.
Middle: emergency bottles, formula (even if you’re nursing, just have some on hand), pacifiers, snacks, motrin, neosporin, bandaids, bibs, sunscreen, and whatever else MacGyver would have needed to save the world.
Bottom: 2-3 changes of clothes including hats, extra socks, and hoodies or jackets. Even if you live somewhere hot, you’ll find yourself at an ice cold restaurant with two screeming babies because they’re freezing their tushies off and you won’t be prepared. That would suck.
Double this in your partner’s car AND grandma’s car (or your sitter’s car) for bonus points.
3) Start a filing system AND journal for both INDIVIDUALLY
Twins will likely get called, “Hey you!” most of their lives whether they’re identical or fraternal, unless they’re boy girl, but you as the mama can do your part to establish sense of self and individuality as much as possible. So, my suggestion to you is to get two pocket filing folders, 2 journals, and 2 photo albums/scrapbooks.
Pocket Folders: these are those accordian folders you can get at an office supply store. Label the front with each baby’s name and/or photo and then label the pockets with things such as medical records, birth certificate, vaccinations, report cards, awards, annual photos, etc. Store each child’s info in these because eventually they’ll have separate lives and you won’t want to rummage through one big folder to find who was allergic to what and who got the failing reports in pre-K reading, etc. You’ll want each records accessible and individualized.
Journals: This is mainly for the baby stage, but this will help you keep track of each person’s sleeping, feeding, and pooping patterns, and communicate with other caregivers whether that’s your spouse, friends, family, or hired help.
Photo Albums: They’ll each want to flip through their own album and their own scrapbook to see photos of themselves and over time you’ll forget which one it was that covered themselves in maple syrup at breakfast or which one you caught playing in the toilet. If they’re identical, start scrapping early and make an effort to keep up as they grow.
Having twins is a HUGE blessing! I’ve always been fascinated my twins and I’d rather not think of them as a “handful”, but rather as “hell yeah, double the fun!”
Stay gold Ponyboy,