Twin Mama: Survive The First Six Months
As featured on Nurturing Mums
Welcome to the world of raising twins. As soon as you find out you are expecting two bundles of joy, cue the obligatory comments: ‘Oooh double trouble’, ‘You’ll have your hands full’, ‘How will you ever cope?’ ‘You ARE getting help, aren’t you?’. The list goes on. Well, now that our baby twins are finally here, I would like to share some of the tips and tricks that have helped us to survive six months of twin life.
1. The best piece of advice that I was given before our twins’ arrival was to get them on the same feeding schedule. So from day 1, if one baby was hungry, we would also feed our other baby too. You would not believe how quickly they got into routine and consequently learnt to wake up at the same time for a feed. Which leads me perfectly on to my second tip…
2. Watch lots of Youtube videos on how to feed twins at the same time. You learn so much by watching others. We invested in two feeding pillows from TK Maxx and still use them now to prop up the babies so that we can feed them simultaneously.
3. Coffee will be consumed as if it was an essential food group. I’m not going to lie, at the beginning the sleep deprivation is horrendous. I drink coffee as if it was as essential as oxygen.
4. Be kind to yourself. Getting dressed during the newborn haze seems like mission impossible, let alone showering or brushing your teeth. So celebrate the little wins as they happen. Although these little tasks may seem trivia to everyone else, you will know that if there is a day where you have managed to brush your hair and change your underwear, you deserve a high-five!
5. It is a myth that you will need double of everything. Of course it goes without saying that you will need two car seats, a ridiculous amount of nappies, a double pram etc. However, there will be a lot of items that you can share between your two babies, for example a play gym, toys, a Jumperoo, clothing, but to name a few. And remember, there is always Amazon Prime if you find there are some items you are desperate for one your babies are here!
6. Learn how to assemble your car seats / pram / breast pump / steriliser before your babies arrive. Once you are surrounded by two tiny sleep thieves, you will not have the brain capacity to read an instruction manual, let alone actually work out how to use these items.
7. Buy gender neutral clothing so that either baby can wear any outfit. The babies lived in white baby sleep suits for a good few weeks at the start. They grow out of them so quickly and stain them with baby sick and poo that it seems pointless spending real money on them.
8. If you are breastfeeding, try and alternate with expressing too so that someone can help you feed your babies. Even if it is so that you have enough time to sleep for an hour, you will not believe how wonderful you will feel afterwards.
9. Better still, if you and your partner can take it in shifts to feed your babies throughout the night , this will literally help you to survive the first few weeks. I honestly don’t know how I would have got through those early days if Pete wasn’t there. I would express or top up with formula so that either one of us could take it in turns to feed the babies during the night. After surviving on 2 hours of disrupted sleep at the beginning, it’s incredible how amazing you feel after getting 3 hours of solid sleep.
10. Witching hour is hard. Have a few tricks up your sleeve to survive this crazy period. I found when both babies were crying at the same time I would try anything: rocking both babies on me at the same time, taking them into the bathroom to hear the bath water running, sitting them in the kitchen to listen the extractor fan, taking them out for a walk, wear one baby in a wrap and rock the other baby in their bouncer chair, placing them in front of the washing machine to watch it whirl around. You will quickly get very good at finding things to distract them.
11. Take your time getting used to going out with your babies. It takes at least 4 hours to prepare leaving the house so once you are actually out and about you’re so exhausted you just want to head back home. Also, plan where the nearest baby changing and toilet facilities are. You don’t want to be stuck needing the loo and not being able to find a cubicle that is big enough for your double pram! NCT have a fantastic app which shows you various baby changing facilities in your local area.
12. Try to put your babies down to sleep at the same time so that they get used to hearing each other’s noises. Our babies are now so used to going to sleep together that if one of them wakes up crying, the other baby will continue to sleep!
13. Some days will seem easier than others. On the days that are tough, just remember, you grew TWO humans! You are caring for TWO babies! You are doing a FANTASTIC job!
Are you a twin mama? Do you have any tips or advice that helped you to survive the first six months of having your little babies?
Love, The Foxfairies x