Seeing Double: Surviving the First Year with Twins

Whether twins run in your family or not, finding out that you are expecting more than one baby can be quite the shock! It can be nearly impossible to imagine what the rest of your pregnancy will look like, let alone what comes after.

While having twins is double the work at any age, the first year after bringing them home is a time of intense adjustment and work for everyone.

Here are just a few ways you can make your life a bit easier when you are caring for infant twins.

Expect to get a lot of advice that just won’t work for two.

If you get offered a piece of advice starts with, “I didn’t have twins, but…” take it with a grain of salt.

People mean well and often want to share what worked for them. However, parenting twins is an entirely different experience. Sometimes, you’ll have to make choices that don’t make sense to others who haven’t been in your shoes!

Finding other parents of multiples can help you feel less alone.

Determine if your current lifestyle can accommodate twins.

Can your vehicle safely accommodate two new car seats? (This is especially something to look into if you also have older children in car seats as well.)

Will your living space continue to work for you once you have two busy toddlers in the mix?

Will you even be making any money by the time you pay twice for daycare, or should one parent consider staying home for a while?

Make sure to discuss all these questions ahead of time if possible!

You thankfully won’t need doubles of everything.

Aside from items such as car seats, cribs, and diapers, twins can pretty much share most items during the first year. If you don’t mind washing dishes or doing laundry a little more often, you can probably get away with just a few extra bottles and some extra onesies, instead of fully purchasing two sets of everything. The same goes for toys, play mats, and other non-essential items.

RELATED: 3 Things to Keep in Mind if You Want to Cloth Diapers

Line up more help than you think you’ll need.

If someone offers to help, let them. If no one offers to help, ask! Even if you prefer to do all the baby care during the newborn days, you can ask for meals to be brought, older kids to be taken out for special big-kid dates, or pets to be walked and fed. If at all possible, line up several months of help.

Having twins comes with its difficulties but try to remember that many other parents have done it too. You’ll find your rhythm, learn your babies, and one day the whole first year will be a distant memory.

That being said… take lots of pictures! Twin parents often don’t even remember much of the first year of their babies’ life because it goes by in such a blur. If you have twins and are struggling in the first year, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a big job and you are doing wonderfully!

Bethany Robin

Bethany has been blogging about the struggles, pitfalls, and just plain insanity of parenting as a millennial since her oldest was born in 2015. She's also worked extensively as a doula and has four children of her own, including toddler twins.

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