4th Trimester, Postpartum
Tips for Surviving The First Few Months With Twins
The beginning may be hectic, but life with twins can be pretty great.
The first three months are hard for every new mom, not only due to the lack of sleep, but also because you’re deep in uncharted waters, struggling for air as you care for a life other than your own. And, in my case, as a new mom of twins (boys), my husband and I were caring for two babies – double the diapers, double the time spent feeding, double the clothes — the list goes on.
Often it felt like the movie Groundhog Day. Every day the same old thing. Little sleep, lack of adult interaction, and the constant repetition of feeding, burping, and changing my boys. You hear it all the time –sleep when they sleep. But, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a mom who has actually slept when their baby slept. I definitely did not.
So as my boys approach their first birthday, I can finally come up for air and look back on those first few months of navigating life with twins. The good news is you will get through it! And, as an added bonus, people will consider you a rock star as you navigate the crazy world of being a parent of multiples. Here are some tips that may help along the way:
- Embrace the NICU Since multiple have great odds of needing to be in the NICU (mine were there for nine days), you’ll most likely be spending some time there after delivery. This can seem scary! However, the nurses and doctors can teach you wonders about parenting – from changing diapers to assisting with breastfeeding. Soak up what you can from them. Once you go home, you’ll be more than ready to tackle parenting on your own.
- Keep the Babies on the Same Schedule Babies at this age are rarely on a consistently timed schedule but with two babies to tend to, I found it imperative to feed them at the same time. If one was ready to eat, the other one ate too-even if they were deep in slumber. Otherwise, the short time you could have in between feedings will be gone in an instant.
- Get Help! Easy to say right? But I’ll let you in on a little secret…life with more than one baby is no joke. We were able to budget to have a night nurse 3 days a week. Knowing we had a few nights off from night duty each week gave my husband and I a chance to rejuvenate.
- Reach Out to Other Parents of Multiples Find other moms and dads who are parents of multiples in your area. For me, the moms in the Windy City Twins group on Facebook has been a lifesaver. There is a support and comradery among this community that is second to none.
- Be Social Meet your girlfriends for brunch, go out to dinner with friends, even let your husband attend a concert. You may be tired but you won’t regret the time away and you may even feel “normal” again too.
- Take Walks with Your Babies Since I live in a cold weather climate and it was winter when my boys were newborns, if the air temperature was 20 degrees or warmer, we went outside. It was challenging the first time to get out the door but it gets easier! Not only do you get fresh air but it also gives you a moment to clear your head and even get in some exercise too.
- Dress The Babies in “Real” Clothes I put outfits on the boys daily knowing I may be the only one seeing them dressed that day. Even if you don’t leave the house, you’ll feel like you did something productive for the day.
- Try To Enjoy Pumping While I didn’t breastfeed, I was able to exclusively provide my babies with breastmilk for the first 3 months of their lives. My rigorous schedule included feeding one baby, then the other, then pumping, with only a short break in between. As much as I hated pumping, I’d try to make the most of being attached to the pump. Putting a positive spin on it, I’d say it was a chance to have some quiet time even if the breast pump was as noisy as a train.
- Eat a Lot of Cookies…Preferably Ones That Are Homemade You just had twins for god sake! You deserve it!