There are many aspects of being a new parent of twins and a lot of things are quite different than with our singleton. Emotionally, it’s a whole new ball game, as everything is doubled—it feels brand new all over again, even though I’ve already had a child.
It’s also physically very different, as there are two babies hungry, two crying, two that are dependent and need everything at the same time. I’ve always processed more through my heart than my head—something my wonderful husband can attest to—but I’ve definitely been learning that it’s something I strive for a lot more. How can I do this not only effectively, but also efficiently? For both the babies and myself?
I’m not sure about you but I’ve read many of these ‘5 things to do for ___’ lists and I have learned, especially since having twins, that these can be quite beneficial. I realized there are a few things I wished I could recommend to all the other new mothers of multiples out there. Here is my list of 5 things that have made my new, wild life with two babies much more efficient.
1. A double stroller – A family member of mine recommended this to me as she had twins before me. Her words were, “You need to spend the money. It will be the only thing that gets you out of the house.” I am forever thankful that I listened to that advice. It truly was worth the investment and we found ours used, which helped save quite a bit of money. It really is the only reason we get out of the house and still do some of the fun or all-day things that we did before having twins. It makes outings and even trips to the grocery store one major step simpler.
2. A twin nursing pillow – tried a couple of fancy, deluxe versions but the one that worked really well for me was just a simple one. I had to feed both my babies in the football hold and this allowed me to lay them that way while keeping them high enough that I only had to hold their heads in the right position. This way I could feed them both at the same time when needed as well. It was spacious enough for both of them and soft and comfortable, it worked great. Not having to worry about taking turns with them made for quicker feedings in general and gave me some peace of mind around nursing.
3. A backpack-style diaper bag – This was, and still is, instrumental in helping me get around! It frees up my hands—two babies, two hands needed (really four, but what can you do…) and a backpack diaper bag made that possible. We really appreciated the side pocket for wipes that make it accessible without even having to unzip the pocket. The easy access was one of my favorite features as I find wipes are what I use the most out of all of my baby things.
4. Two swings – Originally I thought we would only need one. That one baby could be held or in a bouncy chair, but I learned quickly otherwise. Of course, not all babies are the same, but my twins happened to only fall asleep in the swings for the first month. Then they had stuffy noses for the next TWO MONTHS. The only way they even slept at night was in those swings. I was so thankful that I had two or I would have been sleeping upright in a chair while holding a baby for a very long time. It’s also good for when your hands are needed with the toddler but babies just want to be rocked. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive, they just need to move and be safe. (Twiniversity Tip: Start with one swing and buy a second later if you really need it!)
5. A double electric breast pump – If you are breastfeeding, I found this handy at all times, but especially at night. It’s so much quicker than pumping manually, one breast at a time. Along with my hands-free pumping bra, I can get my pumping done quickly and easily without waking me up too much, and have no problem getting back to sleep. Anything to get me more sleep was a real plus. Also, I just have to sit there, almost no work involved! I’ve even used it in my vehicle (not while driving of course). Side-note: whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, a ton of extra bottles is always helpful.
And last, but not least…
6. A sense of humor – it is the only way to handle the lack of sleep, the busy life, the puke, and the poop! Memes are good for me, but find what makes you laugh—you got this, Mama!
So there you have it, my addition to all the other lists out there. I’m so thankful for the advice and tips I have received from other twin moms and dads. It has certainly made us aware that while there are many ways to do the same thing, there is always a more efficient way. The more efficient you can be, the more time you can spend just playing with, holding, and getting to know your babies. That is the best part.
Stephanie Peters is a happy, tired 27-year-old wife & mom to a 3-year-old girl and 1-year-old fraternal boy/girl twins. She lives for her family, honesty, and relatable memes. She loves nachos, singing, and striking things off lists (i.e. shower?). She’s a procrastinator and an extrovert (who also just wants to be alone & watch Netflix). Keep up with her thoughts & film photos on her blog or Instagram.
Got twins? Us too! The Twiniversity Podcast with Natalie Diaz is created by parents of twins FOR parents of twins, from expecting times through the teenage years and everything in between. This podcast is all about parenting twins, offering plenty of tips, parenting hacks, and of course, humor. Just know that we are laughing WITH you every step of the way.
Are you looking to connect with an experienced parent of multiples who has been in your shoes? Do you want to feel supported, guided, and heard as a new parent of multiples*?
Or, do you love offering advice and tips to new parents of multiples*? Would you love to support, guide and listen to a soon-to-be or new parent the way you wish someone was there for you?
If you said, “YES!” to any of those questions, then the Twiniversity Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Program is perfect for YOU!
We are looking for parents of multiples from around the globe who want to be matched up with a parent mentor, or who want to BE a parent mentor. We’ll be matching up moms with moms and dads with dads from all over the world to get personal support in this crazy life of multiples parenting!! All you have to do is complete a simple application form and we’ll do the matchmaking! And the best part? The program is totally FREE! There are no fees to take part in this program.
Ready to sign up? Visit the Twiniversity Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Page to learn how to apply!
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.