Did you just find out you’re gonna be a mom of two? You might be wondering how to look after newborn twins. Having two babies at the same time is challenging but also rewarding.
On a positive note, your babies will always have a playmate and someone they can rely on.
Yet, you’ll also have to get ready to welcome your bundles of joy into the world. Caring for two newborns can get exhausting. So, if you want to steer clear from the nasty postpartum depression, have a look at these 9 expert tips to looking after newborn twins.
1. SYNC THEIR SCHEDULES
Newborn babies have to be nursed every 2-3 hours, and it can take up to an hour for a baby to fill her tummy. When you have twins, this can easily translate into you having to nurse your babies non-stop for 24 hours. That’s why establishing a routine and synchronizing the schedules of your newborns is essential.
Midwives and postpartum doulas usually try to synchronize the schedules of the newborns from their first moments of life. Just try to stick to the hospital routine and feed both babies at the same time.
This means that if one baby wakes up looking for food, you’ll have to gently wake the other twin and feed them together.
Certainly, sticking to a precise routine is not always possible but more often than not, this practice will save you a couple of hours of sleep alongside your babies.
2. DON’T DOUBLE ON EVERYTHING
Having twins doesn’t mean you have to duplicate the whole shopping list. There are many things that can be shared, from the crib in the first months to the changing table, baby gyms, bath tub, and even toys.
On the other hand, there are some things that have to be bought in duplicate. For example the baby car seat. You’ll also need plenty of diapers, baby tissues, wipes, and lotions.
My advice is to try and save as much money as possible by cutting off costs on things that can be shared. Most twins grow up learning to play with the same toys and have no problems in sharing their clothes.
3. INVEST IN A DOUBLE STROLLER
One object that needs a double capacity is the stroller. There are dozens of models to consider, from compact city strollers and tandems to side-by-side options.
In the first months, a tandem stroller might help you navigate through the city with ease. But if your babies are competitive in nature, you might have to switch to a side-by-side stroller as they grow up. To cut off costs, a great idea is to invest in a side-by-side stroller from the start.
4. BREASTFEED YOUR NEWBORN TWINS
Having twins doesn’t mean you have to give up on breastfeeding. Experts even suggest that breastfeeding your newborn twins can save you up to 300 hours and over a thousand bucks as opposed to bottle feeding. This because bottle feeding requires additional time to wash and sterilize bottles, prepare formula, or pump your milk.
Since you should sync your babies’ schedules anyway, it’s good practice to breastfeed both of them at the same time. There are many breastfeeding cushions designed for the purpose.
Alternatively, you can still pump your milk and have the dad feed one baby from the bottle while you nurse the other.
5. INVOLVE THEIR DAD
Feeding the babies isn’t the only role of the dad. Looking after newborn twins means much more. Involve the dad in changing diapers and bathing the babies. Ask your partner to hold a baby while you’re dressing the other or have him sing lullabies for the twins.
And every now and then, don’t be afraid to take a nap while he’s watching the babies.
6. ASK FOR HELP
Apart from involving the dad, ask your relatives and friends for help as often as you can. If your sister or best friend is visiting, ask them to help you do the dishes or mop the floor. Ask the grandparents to spend an afternoon with the twins while you’re enjoying some time out with your partner.
Looking after newborn twins can easily get exhausting, and extreme fatigue can lead to postpartum depression. So, don’t feel bad for asking for help.
7. DEDICATE TIME TO EACH TWIN
A mistake many parents of twins make is treating their kids as a single entity. To avoid this, start to dedicate time to each baby from the earliest days. In the first trimester, time alone with one baby at a time can mean having the dad looking after one twin while you’re caring for another.
When the babies start to grow, ask the grandparents to spend an afternoon with a twin while you go out with the other.
This will help your babies develop individual personalities and will minimize conflicts later in life, especially if your kids are competitive.
Another thing to do from an early stage is to treat each twin according to their personality and preferences. In this way, it will be easier to make each baby feel unique when they’ll begin to develop their personalities later in life.
8. DON’T FEEL BAD FOR HAVING PREFERENCES
Most moms who have more than one kid can confirm that love is different. This doesn’t mean you’ll love one baby more than the other. Yet, having preferences is normal and you don’t have to feel bad for it.
This can happen for various reasons. For instance, one twin could be a lot fussier than the other. Or you might just like better the personality of one baby.
Later in life, it might also happen to switch preference depending on circumstances. And that’s fine too. Just do your best to treat both babies, in the same way, to avoid developing a competitive feeling between them.
9. RESERVE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Last but foremost important, don’t forget to reserve some time for yourself. Newborn twins require a lot of attention and looking after them accounts for most of your time. But canceling yourself just because you’re a mom can lead to depression.
Try to find at least half an hour each day to enjoy a favorite activity that has nothing to do with the babies. Try to share some romantic moments with your partner. Leave the babies with their dad and go shopping by yourself.
The world won’t stop spinning because you’re not watching the newborns 24/7. But this can improve your whole experience as a mom of newborn twins.