Your babies are almost here. Are you ready Dad? Even if you don’t feel emotionally and mentally ready, you can still prepare physically for your babies’ arrival. As you prepare what you can control, you’ll feel more at ease and have peace of mind as you welcome your twins into the world.
Here are ten things you need to get ready before your twins arrive.
1. Assemble baby gear
Twins don’t need double of everything but they do still need lots of baby gear. Dad, make sure you’ve got the nursery all set for your babies’ arrival. This includes crib assembly. Don’t leave that to the last minute because it always takes longer than you think it will.
2. Plan paternity time
Talk to your boss about taking time off when the babies arrive. You’ll need some flexibility at work to help accommodate newborns at home, a wife recovering from delivery, and sleepless nights.
3. Recruit helpers
Get help. Seriously. Talk to everyone you know and convince them to come stay with you to help with the babies. Recruit family members, friends, coworkers, folks from church, neighbors, babysitters, etc. The more helping hands you have the better. No, not all at the same time!
Recruit helpers for as much time as they will give: an evening, overnight, a week, a month, for as long as you think you might need it. Remember, it’s always easier to cancel an offer to help than it is to need help and not have it.
Schedule your helpers on the calendar so you have continuous coverage as long as possible.
4. Plan daily schedule of twin care
Talk to your spouse about who will be caring for the babies and when you’ll be on duty. With twins and multiples, you can’t just pass all the care off to mom. Dad, you need to be involved as much as possible.
5. Tour the hospital
Twins and multiples tend to be born early. As such they might have an extended stay in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Go take a tour of the hospital where you’ll be delivering and also visit the NICU so you know what might happen with your babies.
6. Plan how you’ll support Mom at delivery
Decide well ahead of time how you want these babies delivered. C-section or vaginal birth? Hospital or birthing center? Make sure you talk through your wishes with your doctor and medical staff so they can plan for it.
7.Sort out your finances
Money can get real tight, really quickly with twins. Take a look at your current budget and reevaluate what is truly necessary from that which is optional. You’ll need extra cash to pay for baby expenses or offset lost income from either you or your partner staying home.
8. Support mom through pregnancy
The most important thing you can do during the pregnancy is to support your wife. She is working overtime to nurture and grow those babies. Your job is to help her do that. How? Letting her rest as you pick up the jobs, chores, errands, and tasks that she used to do before the pregnancy.
9.Find out what you’ll be experiencing
Raising twins or multiples is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Talk to your fellow fathers of twins, read a book for dads of twins, join a local parents of multiples group and hear from dads that have been there and done that.
Sleep is hard to come by during the first several months with infants. This is especially true with twins and multiples. You can’t assume you’ll sleep when they sleep or that you’ll get a much sleep overnight. When you are home, you’re on duty (day or night). So sleep while you can during the pregnancy because it won’t last forever.
Joe Rawlinson is the father of four children, two boys and identical twin girls. He is the author of two books for fathers of twins, “Dad’s Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare for Your Twins” and “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.” Joe also makes unique t-shirts for parents of twins at the Twin T-Shirt Company. You can find more tips and tricks for preparing for and raising your twins at dadsguidetotwins.com.
Are you a new twin parent? Check out Natalie Diaz’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year”, available in stores now!
The rate of twin births has risen 79 percent over the last three decades, and continues to increase. A mom of fraternal twins and a national guru on having two, Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the twin-trenches.
What to Do When You’re Having Two is the definitive how-to guide to parenting twins, covering how to make a Birth Plan checklist, sticking to one sleep schedule, managing double-duty breastfeeding, stocking up on all the necessary gear, building one-on-one relationships with each child, and more.
Accessible and informative, What to Do When You’re Having Two is the must-have manual for all parents of twins.
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