If you are one the lucky ones who becomes a mother or father of twins, you will no doubt find yourself wondering what it will be like to care for TWO newborn babies at the same time.
You might feel that you are more nervous than others or that the “task” ahead seems impossible. Don’t fear… having twins is in fact NOT double the work… what it is, is a little more work than you would have with one baby, a LOT more planning and DOUBLE THE JOY!
The ‘Two for One’ Bonus
When Kim and I were told that we were expecting twins, we couldn’t have been more excited. Okay, we were stunned at first, obviously, but as we had gone through IVF treatment and it had taken it’s toll on me especially, it felt like we had just won the lottery with a fantastic ‘two for one’ bonus deal for all the hard times we’d been through.
Being pregnant with twins is hard for some and a breeze for others… but that’s the case also for women expecting one baby, of course. Twin pregnancy was fine for me for the most part – I went through the nausea stage in my 3rd month and it was awful but it lasted only a month and then I was completely fine and loving pregnancy until about the 7th month, at which stage I was as big as a house and things got more and more uncomfortable. The last 2-4 weeks were horrendous, I couldn’t really do much of anything and I was very uncomfortable but in the grand scheme of things that time is unimportant and I have never really looked back on my pregnancy with anything other than love goggles because of course now I know what came from it at the end!
Plan and do everything simultaneously
I had quite a hard time after the caesarean and for a good few months I couldn’t move much. The procedure had gone slightly wrong – luckily only for me, the kids were perfectly fine – and for this reason, I did not produce any milk for the babies and from day one they were bottle fed. So in the first couple of months the babies had to eat every three or so hours, 30 or so minutes after that they would normally need a clean diaper and then they would sleep until we did it all over again.
Now, the key to it all in our case, was that they would do everything at the same time… no exceptions! I very quickly realized that if one woke up and was hungry and I only fed that one, half way into that baby’s bottle, the other would wake up and need their bottle and then I wouldn’t be able to leave the one who was feeding already… that just led to unhappy babies and a stressful situation. So we had to do everything simultaneously for it to work.
After a 4 or 5 days at home of trial and error, I decided it was time to ‘synchronize baby body clocks’. So when one woke up and wanted a bottle, I made two bottles and woke the other one up even if he or she was sleeping like… well, like a baby. My mum was there at the time and thought it was a bit harsh to wake a sleeping child but as it happened, in a matter of only days, their body clocks were completely synchronized and when one woke up, the other one would too within only minutes.
That was my trick… and in fact one I stuck to until the kids were nearly 4, as I found it made our lives easier and a lot less stressful. They ate together, went to bed at the same time, woke up at the same time and did most things together… then and now. Their lives were full of routines, something I believe made them happy, well rested and well rounded kids.
Raising twins is not double the work, it’s just a lot more planning and then DOUBLE THE JOY.