So you’ve read every pregnancy and newborn book, you’ve baby-proofed your entire house, and washed all the onesies you received at your baby shower in eco-friendly laundry detergent. But wait! There are some common mistakes new parents of multiples (and singletons, too) often make that you can avoid with just a little bit of forethought.
Many things are going to be very individual and based on your families needs and preferences. These are some of the things that you really don’t want to do, no matter your twins’ temperament or environment.
Stressing out with your infant twins? Let us help! Learn what to expect in the first year with twins, including tips, tricks, and advice from real twin parents who have been there. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our twin parent coaching services and Twiniversity shop!
Running out of supplies
Whatever you do, DON’T run out of your basic necessities in those early months with twins. It may take a while to figure out your system and really know when you need to refill your stockpile. You will get there. For now, err on the side of caution and always have a little more than you think you will need for the next few days. That’s really the only way you can be sure to avoid these kinds of mistakes new parents of twins make.
Keep in mind that your twins will go through everything from diapers to baby wash and everything in between in record time. You should plan for about 120 diapers a week for the first few weeks at home! That’s not an exaggeration!
This goes for your supplies, too. Make sure you have Tylenol for the headaches the double crying will likely cause, high protein snacks for when you just don’t have the time or energy to fix yourself something but need just a little something in your stomach until meal time, and don’t let your meds get lower than necessary. Refill and pick up prescriptions as soon as you can to avoid running out of a medicine at the worst possible time.
No one wants to be running out to the drug store in the middle of the night for diapers, formula, or baby Tylenol. Trust me, I’ve done the 2 AM walk into the nearest 24-hour Walgreens more than once. Learn from my mistakes and make sure you do everything in your power to keep your supplies stocked at all times.
Confusing the babies
When you first come home with two brand new babies you will be overwhelmed, exhausted, and likely a little unsure of how to manage without the comforting nursing staff at the hospital. Add in post-partum hormones and you can see how quickly things might become a little unclear.
Who did you just feed? Which twin had Tylenol at 3.30 AM? And how much did they get? Did twin A or twin B have a poopy diaper at 8.15 this morning?
It may seem easy to keep track of, but I assure you I have changed the same baby twice in my sleep-deprived stupor, and you probably will, too. Exhaustion plays tricks on you and sometimes it is important that you are able to recall exactly who ate what or had what diaper and how often when it comes to tracking both of your babies’ development or addressing any illnesses.
Lucky for you, we have a great way to do that with the Twiniversity Daily log. This sheet allows you to track feedings, diapers, medicine, and important notes for each baby. Get your FREE printable here. Trust us and use the daily log to avoid these mistakes new parents make with twins.
Mixing up your priorities
Now, more than ever, your priorities must be checked. You need to remember that it will be impossible to do it all with newborn twins. It is absolutely critical for your own health and well being that you fill your own cup first. Taking care of your babies and your immediate family should really be your only focus for the time being. you will know when the time is right to begin volunteering at your older kids’ school again or commit to attending a birthday party. Trust us, the time is NOT days, or even weeks after bringing your twins home from the hospital.
So, keeping your priorities in order will be imperative to your survival in these early weeks. Making dinner for your boss who is coming over to visit the babies is not a priority. Keeping your bathroom as clean as an operating room is not a priority. Catching up on old episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”…okay, that may have made my priority list. But you get the point.
Keep chores and errands in perspective and don’t worry about doing anything for anyone (except the babies, of course) for a while. Not much is expected from parents of newborns, so take advantage of everyone’s low expectations—this is your chance to use your Get Out Of Jail Free card!
Hesitating on help
This is a big one. Honestly, I was terrible at this. I was constantly smiling and saying “we’re fine” even though I was absolutely not fine. I was drowning in diapers and baby laundry. Don’t be like me. Learn from my mistakes.
When your fifth cousin calls to congratulate you on the birth of your babies and says, “Please let me know if you need anything,” don’t chime back, “I will, thanks so much for offering!” Instead, say, “You want to help, how wonderful! How’s Tuesday at 3?” Take advantage of help from family and friends who offer.
Not sure what help you even need at this point? Check out this baby help chore chart to track what needs to be done. You can hang it on the fridge and well-wishers can pick a chore or 2 while they visit.
Even more than that, when they come over, they don’t have to hold the babies the whole time. Let them get in their new baby snuggles and then empty the dishwasher or fold the laundry. Let them help out with older siblings, too! My aunt came to visit for a week after the birth and helped out by prepping meals, washing dishes, and of course, taking my older kiddos out and keeping them fed and safe when I was in survival mode. Family and friends will flock to help in the beginning, but after a few months, your home may feel like an Old West ghost town. So put ‘em to work while the shine is still on the apple!
Marriage mistakes new parents make
It can be so easy to neglect your marriage. You’re both completely exhausted and just trying to get through each day. Who has the time to check in with their partner after the day that wouldn’t end? This is one of those often overlooked mistakes new parents make when their twins are infants that can cost you down the road. Big time.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but now more than ever, you need to make the time. It’s so important to remember the person you brought these babies into the world with. Check in each night, even if only for a few minutes as you change from your daytime jammies to your night time jammies.
Once time allows (think a few months out), try to go on a date night, even if it’s just once a month they go to Grandma’s house for an hour and you share a quiet cup of coffee and talk about non-twin things. It really is necessary to keep your marriage going while raising newborn twins.
Need more support in your twin parent journey? Sign up today for a Twiniversity Membership! Connect with other parents of twins in a monthly Zoom twin club, build your twin parenting community in our private Facebook group, and expand your twin parent knowledge with our video learner library. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our twin parent coaching services and twin parent mentor program.
There are so many things twin parents face that singleton parents do not. The underlying theme in new twin parenting is exhaustion since you are awake twice as long at night and get half the downtime during the day. Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid some of the mistakes new parents make, maintain some sanity, and get at least a little more rest.
Are you looking for the best double stroller for twins? Not sure if you should go for a tandem stroller or a side-by-side stroller? And what about a Snap N’ Go? We’ve got all the details for you in our double stroller resource. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our expecting twins classes and the Twiniversity shop!