Common Questions About Twins: Part 1.
Common Questions About Twins: Part 1.
My twins are 18 months and 6 days old.
Pregnant with twins? Have twins now? You may be very surprised at how many questions you may have about what to expect on your wild journey from conception to the beyond. Pull up a chair and stay awhile.
#1) How do you do it?
You will hear this all of the time after you have had your babies and are strolling them around. Before they come you may wonder this for yourself. You know the old saying, ‘God doesn’t give you more then you can handle?’ It’s surprisingly true. You don’t really have all the time in the world once your twins arrive to think about how you will do it anymore. You will just find yourself doing it and will adapt your life around the two new little ones God has given you.
It’s of course very easy for you to wonder how you will do something you’ve never done before. It’s also easy for others to question it when they haven’t been there and done it for themselves. Don’t worry.. you will do it and will do it well. Nobody gets a built in crash course for raising twins. We all figure things out along the way and do what we need to do, when we need to do it. It will start coming naturally before you know it.
#2) Should I feed the babies one at a time or together?
Those first couple of months most especially, your babies will be eating around the clock. Your arms and back muscles will be sore and you will then see why feeding twins together is so very important and way more easy. Not just for your back but for keeping them on the same schedule as well. VERY important and you will thank me for this.
I did spend some time doing one baby and then the other thereafter, to be able to hold them each. I learned this was painful and the best thing to do despite my desire to cuddle with my newborns was to put them both in boppy pillows and feed them together. Cuddle at another time of day because feedings can take 20,30, even upwards of an hour each at first!
Does this interfere with the bonding process? No it does not. You just stare into the eyes of your baby and bond with each while you feed them, just as you would if you were holding them. Your arms and back will thank you for this. Those boppy pillows in the first months of life are invaluable. Be sure to have two if not more for other floors of your home, though they are pretty easy to carry, so 2 will do you fine if you don’t mind moving them.
Put a folded up baby blanket in the center of each so the babies are comfortable and don’t slip in and slouch uncomfortably while very small or they will not fit properly as newborns. Just a tidbit for ya. Talk to your babies, make eye contact, though you may notice in the beginning they will be asleep even while you feed them a nice chunk of the time. Enjoy these tender moments. I wish they lasted longer.
#3) Can I breastfeed twins?
YUP. It’s done all the time. It may not be a simple task, but who ever said life was easy? They make fabulous twin breastfeeding pillows which are a must have to save your muscles and simultaneously feed both babies at once. Quite a practical purchase. Again, keep that schedule going whether breast or bottle.
Sometimes the body has a hard time producing enough milk for two. Don’t feel bad if you need to supplement with formula, or stop breastfeeding altogether. Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial to your babies. If you can’t breastfeed at all, don’t feel guilty. The formula on the market today is very nutrient rich. It’s the closest you can get to breast milk. Things do happen so never feel badly or like you are a failure if you can’t breastfeed, or need to stop breastfeeding your baby twins. They’ll be just fine.
Click HERE to read more about breastfeeding twins.
#4) Will my babies sleep in the same room? Should they sleep together? Will I need two cribs?
All very common questions. About sleeping together, you may find it works out in the early weeks and months and then stops working out as the twins get older, more vocal, and more mobile. Some twins do not want to be separated and need each other for a good nights sleep while others wake each other up and need their own space. It’s impossible to tell until your twins get here and start growing how things will all pan out, but do try it, especially in the beginning.
Our girls shared an arm’s reach co-sleeper. They did really well in that for a couple of months and then before 3 months we put one in the crib and one in the co-sleeper. Then they were waking each other by being in the same room and we needed to move one twin yet again. Some won’t wake each other so this is very personal to your twins and cannot be predicted.
How many cribs will you need? Eventually, two. I say in the beginning if money is tight you don’t need to have two cribs up and ready ASAP, but do plan on it for the not so distant future. After they outgrow their co-sleeper or bassinets they will need to move into a crib. I was tempted to buy one of those fancy, expensive twin cribs…BOY am I ever glad I did not. Since they had to be separated anyhow it would have been a big loss. Two regular cribs is best.
You can use an inexpensive crib divider if they need to be separated during the early days and months. These can be easily found in stores and online, and will turn one crib into two, at least for awhile. Shop sales and look for coupons or coupon codes when buying big merchandise such as cribs. I got two great Da Vinci cribs for less then the price of one last time by shopping smart. Do your homework.
#5) How will I tell my twins apart?
If you have boy/girl twins this will be obviously very easy . If you are having identical twins, as newborns especially, it may be hard to tell them apart at first. Eventually, a parent gets to see differences in each child’s behavior and appearance that helps them to decipher one twin from the other.
During the tough time, take a dab of colored nail polish and paint the big toe of one of your twins. Remember the identity of the colored toe nail twin and unless it chips off all at once you should be good. In time, multiple moms have no problem telling their twins apart when other people still do.
#6) Milestones and twins. Will they reach them later then singletons? Will they have delays because they are multiples?
I can’t tell you how often people have been shocked that my twins were walking while they still looked and were so small, and doing all they were doing at such young ages. Case in point, just like a single baby can, there can be delays, and there may NOT be delays. It isn’t directed at them being twins it’s more directed at prematurity that is more common in twins, but not guaranteed. This can not be predicted nor should a twin mom to be worry about it.
Twins seem to be expected to reach milestones later because they are expected to be premature by so many. Term twins, or close to term twins have the same ability to reach milestones and thrive as any other baby has. Even prematurity doesn’t guarantee delays either. It’s truly an individual thing, but try not to compare your twins or you’ll go batty. They will reach different milestones at different times and this is totally normal.
When you compare and over think, you worry. Remember, it’s the same as having singletons you just didn’t have two at the same stage and phase at once like you do now, which makes it far easier to compare. You may have had other children and can remember easily that Jim walked at 11 months while Bethany walked at 15. There will be differences so do expect them, and don’t assume anything is wrong because of them. When truly worried or in doubt, of course contact your pediatrician.
#7) Will I need to have a c-section?
Is it a little bit more likely with twins? Yes it is, but it’s also not guaranteed. Many women, such as myself, have birthed twins vaginally with much success. If you don’t feel like your wishes are being heard and your doctor is pushing for an automatic c section just because you are having twins, find another doctor.
I can’t tell you how important it is to have a doctor you believe in and just LOVE, with real bedside manner. It makes your pregnancy experience either a good one or a stressful one. You want to be able to confide in, trust, and ask all the questions you want to this person as you will have many of them, so select carefully right from the get go.
Some women opt for sections or the numbers would be higher in favor of vaginal births, but slightly over 1/2 of all women who have twins will have them vaginally. The odds will depend on a few things:
A) Your past births.
Your doctor may or may not be willing to do a vbac with twins.
B) Distress or health related issues.
Certainly, if one baby is in distress they will need to be taken for their own protection..quickly. If you develop a life threatening issue and the babies need to be taken of course for your health and the babies, that will always superseded your birth plan.
If baby A is not head down, (breech or transverse), odds are pretty much against a vaginal birth as far as everything I know about the subject which is quite a lot.
If baby A’s head is down but baby B goes breech like with my twins, you will have to talk to your doctor about your wishes and options. This is not an impossible situation, but different doctors play by different rules so ask in advance. Don’t be surprised later. With twins you always want to prepare yourself mentally for the possibility of a c-section, just in case.
Click HERE to read more about birth plans and vaginal vs. csection.
#8) How will I handle twins? One is hard enough.
Another one that has a simple answer. ..you just will. You do what you got to do and it requires very little thought after your twins are here. Things that will make life easier for you are as follows:
A) Convertible car seats with a snap and go for the early months,
B) A terrific light-weight double stroller.
C) Two bottle warmers to warm two bops at one time.
I LOVE the Avent IQ personally. A little pricey, but I can’t tell you what a lifesaver they were. I’d set them at the exact same time and it was quick, which means less time for screaming babies, more time for back to bed.
D) A nice, roomy, quality diaper bag, for all the essentials. Don’t skimp here. You will thank me for this later.
E) Packing diaper bags for all day or overnight trips the night before.
F) Getting two outfits ready to go the night before or the morning of. Not last minute.
G) Keeping a little board in your room or kitchen where you can write down who drank what at what time and when you changed their diapers.
It’s easy to forget who you fed when, how much they ate, and other important details especially with twins. You may get them mixed up during the night especially, when you are groggy. It’s good at least for the first months of life to keep everything organized on a board. They even have electronic gadgets for this now, though not a necessity.
H) Give yourself extra time..ALWAYS.
You will adapt to this new routine soon enough, but for awhile you will find it odd how you are late to everything when you never used to be. Twins take double the time to get dressed and ready, into their car seats, and out the door. Always add on some time and you will start making it on time for your obligations. Trust me, it is NOT as bad as you might predict.
You WILL manage, because you will have these two beautiful babies to cuddle and love and you will just again automatically adapt to everything in time. Not as much time as you might expect either. Twins make their place in your family quite quickly. God makes them so darned cute for a reason. Who can’t love them?
#9) What kind of vehicle will I need for twins?
I did a lengthy article on vehicles for twins last month. In short it depends on how many kids you have. If you just have twins you can manage with a car or smaller SUV, but if you have more kids, are planning on having more kids, or just want to put some convenience into your hectic life, I say can the minivan drama and become a minivan mama. You can get that convertible when the twins turn 18 .
On a minivan you can get automatic doors that slide open, aisles to walk down so no one gets wet in the rain, yourself included, bucket seats. No more can’t open the car door to get twins in and out. They are awesome.
If you want to read about my top minivan picks and more about vehicles for multiples click HERE.
#10) What can I expect from other people?
Expect there will be a lot of questions, often very stupid ones, and some pretty silly comments. Some people will share their own twin tales, sister, brother, cousins, anyone they know with twins. Heck, they might even be a twin themselves. You will need to allow some extra time to run your errands as people are fascinated with multiples, especially when they are small. Forgive people because they know not what they say.
You may get tired of hearing the same things over and over, but know that people only are interested in your twins because it’s such a special thing, and you have been double blessed..enjoy it. Just don’t think you’ll be zipping in and out of stores really fast for awhile. I find it incredible how if I take one baby out..NADA, take out two, the whole world is at you. It’s really like being a mini celebrity.
I have said this before and it’s important. If you are pregnant, don’t let other people scare you. I had gotten some awful comments and felt very alone and afraid because of them. The reality was far better then the hell I envisioned thanks to people like these and websites with negative stuff on them, hence why I started Twinpossible to begin with. Hang in there and know you have a friend right here if you need one, and that you will love those babies at 1st glance. Nothing is impossible. You can do this. If I can..you surely can to!
Click HERE to read my humorous blurbs about frequently heard comments and questions. Joking purposes only.
Whelp, thanks for joining me for common questions about twins part 1. Another part will be coming before you know it with more random questions and answers for twin moms to be and current twin mommies.
Until then..from my living room to yours, this is Shelly signing off.