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Have you just discovered that you’ll be having twins? Whilst this news can be exciting, you may also be having feelings of anxiety, especially if these are your first children. Most people find one infant a handful – how will you cope with two? Whilst it certainly has its challenges, there are many measures that you can take to make looking after twins easier. Here are just five ways to cope with the double trouble of twins.
Create a routine
Structuring your day out is important when looking after twins, otherwise, you may never get anything done. A bedtime routine is particularly needed – often one twin will want to sleep but the other will keep that twin up. You need to pull out all the stops to ensure that both twins are ready for sleep when bedtime comes around. Give them a bath, sing some lullabies, dim the lights and feed them as much as you can – create a routine that works for you.
Learn to nurse them at the same time
Learning to double-feed can help to save time and increase your chances of getting them both to sleep at night. This will take a bit of practice at first, but you’ll soon develop the knack. You make nursing more comfortable by buying nursing pillows – there is specialist twin nursing pillow available. Alternatively, a partner may be able to help you using a bottle (if you’re breastfeeding, you can use a pump to prepare some milk beforehand in a bottle for your partner to use).
Make use of shared equipment
Looking after twins doesn’t have to be double the cost. A double stroller will help make going out more convenient and will be much cheaper than two individual strollers – you can compare models at sites like Parenting Pod. Your two infants may also be able to share a cot, to begin with, saving you money and bedroom space. There are even twin baby carriers and twin bouncers. Take advantage of these specialist pieces of equipment – you can find these products online.
Speak to other parents of twins
It can be difficult having twins if you don’t know anyone else that has been through the same situation. Many people may have advice on looking after a baby, but not all of this may be relevant for looking after twins and you may feel more isolated than the average mother. About 1 in 67 pregnancies are multiple births – whilst it’s a lot rarer than single birth, there are lots of mothers with twins out there. There are lots of online groups out there such as Mothers of Multiples that could be worth joining for advice and support. Getting to know other parents of twins could help you to share tips and tricks and feel less alone when raising your two little ones.
Ask for help
Every new mother should ask for help, but this is especially the case with twins. Having multiple children can leave you even more sleep deprived – you may go nights without any sleep in the first couple weeks if one twin is always awake when the other is asleep. Double the work may also leave you feeling twice as exhausted. Having someone babysit them could be essential for helping you to get a nap and recharge your batteries. If you’ve got a partner, it could be great for help for them to take a few weeks off on leave to help with the first few months. You may also have friends and family members who you can rely upon for babysitting. If there’s no-one nearby, there are always babysitting services out there that you can turn to (many of these only accept infants older than 6 weeks, so bear this in mind). Don’t be too proud to ask for help – your health could be at stake if you’re not getting enough sleep. Things will get easier once you’ve developed a routine and your twins both sleep through the night, but in the first few weeks, you’ll need the assistance.
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What tips would you add to this list?