It can be a little tricky to raise twins or triplets. But with time, you sure will figure out everything.
The following tips will help you manage your twins/triplets efficiently:
Maintain a common schedule for the children. If one wakes up from a nap, wake up the other. If one is hungry and wants to eat, feed the other child as well. Scheduling both the children together will keep you sane and help you get proper sleep as well.
It is important to learn to breastfeed both babies at the same time. If you are feeding on the bottles, it is easier to have two spots to seat them. Breastfeed or bottle-feed, prepare ahead of the feed (a breastfeeding pillow, bottles, burp cloths, pumped breastmilk or formula and a snack for yourself). After feeding, burp the babies one by one. By the time the second (or third) baby has been fed, burped, and changed, the first one's often hungry - and the cycle begins all over again. In the beginning, breastfeeding two babies at the same time can be difficult. It is best to consult a lactation nurse on the days when you are still in the hospital. A nurse will help you try different breastfeeding positions so by the time you are home with your kids, you can apply the one that suits you and your child the best. When one of the babies wakes up to be fed in the middle of the night, wake up the other one after you're done with the first baby. It's hard to wake a sleeping baby, but if you don't, you will be constantly tending to babies and not getting any sleep.
Bathe your babies turn by turn. If you have an infant chair, put one of your babies in the chair beside you while you bathe the other child. When you are done with one baby, switch the places. Bath seats are also available in the market; these seats make the bathing process easier.
In the early days of twin parenting, it is natural to mix up your babies. You can dab a dot of nail polish on one of your baby's toes or fingers to avoid confusion. You can tie a wristband to one of your babies. See what works the best for you.
More often than not, both of your babies will cry at the same time. It is difficult to find out what soothes your babies. What works for one might not work for the other. Figure out if cuddling, cradling, singing, caressing works for your babies or not.
Ask for help; it can be difficult but ask away. It will be for your own peace. Delegate your tasks to your spouse or your other family members. You can hire a caretaker as well for some time till you figure out how to go about twin parenting. Delegating your tasks will give you time to bond with your babies. Communication is the key; if you feel one parent is taking up more responsibilities, talk it out.
Baby proof your house in every possible way. Set up a changing station including diapers, wipes, and extra baby clothes. If you have a house with more levels, make sure to arrange changing stations, baby chairs at all levels. That way you can avoid running up and down the stairs every time one of the babies spits up or needs to be changed.
It might take you more time to bond with your babies compared to parents of singletons. Most of your time will be eaten up in fulfilling your babies' needs. But the more time you spend with your babies, the more you will know them and connect with them.
It's important to treat your babies as individuals so that they begin to see themselves that way too. Refer to them by their names rather than as "the twins," and as they get older, make sure they have their own clothes and special toys.
Plan quality time separately for your babies. Sit and talk to them, read a book, or play a game with your babies. The goal is to give each child life experiences that are fun and appropriate for them. Twins are very dependent upon each other in the early years. Spending some time apart will help them develop separate identities and help them understand their likes and dislikes.
Every child has different needs hence it is important to cater to their individual needs than being fair when raising twins. It is okay if you don't buy the same gifts or clothes for your twins or treat them in the same manner. Respecting the similarities and differences of each child fosters a real and healthy sense of self.
Possessions help children form a sense of identity. Some separate clothes, toys, books, blankets, etc. reinforce separateness and ownership. Each child needs some possessions that do not have to be shared. This can be achieved by giving each child a special cupboard or space on a shelf.
The comparison comes naturally to parents, knowingly or unknowingly. With twins, it becomes even more tempting to do so. Every child develops at their own pace hence it is best not to compare twins. Comparisons easily discourage a child or create a situation where (s)he feels less smart, capable, attractive or loved.
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