As a mother of twins, I can attest that any helpful hints would have been welcomed when I had my twins. However, I don’t think I even had time to read anything. Hopefully, this will be helpful to you. I do know that not all things work for everyone so take what you want and discard what doesn’t work. I just know that this is how I survived five children under the age of 6 with twin newborns. It was no easy feat and am I ever grateful that I am on the other side of it now. Here are a few of my twin baby survival tips:
1. Get help! I did not and I paid the consequences with complete exhaustion and postpartum depression. If you have family in town, let them help you. If they aren’t helpful or not close by, hire help. Postpartum doulas can be a wonderful help. If you can’t afford help, make some new friends that like to hold babies. I even paid people to take my older children to preschool. The bottom line is you can’t do it by yourself and stay sane especially if you have other children already.
2. Breastfeed as much as you can, exclusively if possible. I know that this does not work for everyone, but I have seen it work for twin moms, and I was able to exclusively breastfeed my twins. I have often gone into to help a mom with multiples and for some reason, they have already decided to bottle feed without even trying breastfeeding, or they try breastfeeding and get frustrated and just switch to bottles. The problem with this is that bottles and formula prep and cleaning and pumping can take so much time. If you do have a milk supply issue or a baby with breastfeeding difficulty, I recommend getting help from a lactation consultant. It could turn things around and be so worth your time and expense.
3. Sleep when your babies sleep. You need sleep to function. So many times as soon as the babies fall asleep moms will try to get things done. Remember you need time to rest and heal.
4. Feed both babies at the same time if possible. If one baby woke up, I would wake up the other baby and did my best to keep them on the same schedule.
5. Write down special memories and take family videos. You won’t remember much. I, unfortunately, did not do this much and have very little recollection of the few years after their birth. Luckily we do have some video during that time period. It was a very chaotic time, but still, fun to watch.
6. Crock pot!!!! I can’t emphasize this enough. The crock pot is the solution to meal problems for most moms. I am telling you that there is nothing that can help you more than the ability to put food into a crock pot when it is convenient for you and forget about it until dinner.
7. Bathe children at night put them into their clean clothes for the next day. I know it seems silly, but when you have 5 children under the age of 6 this is what saved me. I had my husband’s help to get them bathed after dinner and then into the clothes for the next day they went. Then the next morning everyone was already ready to go. It saved on laundry and having to purchase pajamas.
8. Baby wearing is probably a must! When I had my twins baby wearing was not the big thing it is now and so I did not use it. I see the huge benefit it is when I go in and help moms. It is especially helpful with twins. When using a baby carrier, babies are often calmer and moms are able to get more done. There are so many options on the market to consider.
9. Figure out some way to get out and have time for you. This is something else that I was not good and I paid the consequences. Go to a La Leche League Breastfeeding support group www.lllusa.org, or go to lunch with a friend, or go shopping with a sister. Always have something to look forward to.
10. Show appreciation to your spouse when they are helpful. It is nearly impossible to do this alone. Take advantage of the helpful dads of this generation and encourage him to help even more by being appreciative and acknowledging when he is helpful. If he is not noticing where he can help, kindly let him know what he can do to help. Most people will respond so much better if we ask kindly for help.
Hang in there! There is an end to the chaos that twin babies bring. It will all just be a blur someday, so do your best to enjoy what you can now. I hope some of these twin baby survival tips will make your time with babies more bearable and enjoyable. Now that all mine are in school full time I love coming and helping twin mamas. Feel free to contact me if you are in need of support.
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