Plan ahead. Have the car seats, crib or bassinets, strollers and basic gear ready well in advance Stock up on a few diaper sizes, have basics like onesies receiving blankets cleaned and ready. Stock your freezer/ pantry with prepared meals and easy fix snacks. Continue this one babies are born. My babies were nursed and bottled fed. We would mix up formula in batches and stock fridge for a days worth of formula so I could grab whenever I needed it. Lay everything before a walk/trip and before I removed a kid from nap/ exersaucer.
Ask for help. Avoid being supermom who does it all. Don’t be afraid to ask others for food, diaper changes, diaper drop offs, babysitting swaps to help you get by. And do not worry that the house is not clean or laundry is folded.
Have survival kits handy. When my twins were babies, I had a bucket/basket near me at all times (while nursing/feeding/or if they fell asleep on me) with water, snacks, notebook to record feedings (although now there are apps for that), magazines, remote, telephone, waterproof pad, wipes. Car/stroller survival kit included water, food, extra wipes, diapers, clothes, baby powder (for the beach), cooler for snacks (in the summer). And as they got older: I added socks, pull-ups and books and portable activities like drawing tablets.
Accept donations / buy secondhand. With extra expense of twins (no hand me downs between siblings) and the need to corral multiples, more equipment is needed. Although I would have liked things to coordinate or select my favorite patterns, I soon did not care. We bought one exersauce and ended up with 3 loaners (2 for upstairs and 2 down) so I could shower, go to the bathroom, etc. We borrowed baby gates, and continue to buy clothes and toys form yard sales /thrift shops.
Get a break – Mornings were hardest for me when my twins were babies – not a morning person. My husband delivered breakfast in bed to me so I could linger in bed to feed my babies and then get up. What do you need most? Have family, friends, sitter watch kids for moms night out, date night out, or time to yourself.
Sleep and Feed babies at same time. Work towards merging their schedule. Feed them at the same time (nurse simultaneously or one after the other or bottle prop if bottle feeding) and then nap them at the same time. If one wakes up early, wake the other one up to keep them in sync and give you a break.
Get a good stroller. Your stroller is your chance to be out and mobile with kids. Find one that works for your lifestyle. Buy or borrow a simple umbrella stroller. When twins start to walk and want to roam – helpful to have one child buckled in, allowing the other to walk, push stroller and get your attention. Then switch.
Get out of the house daily. Although daunting or monumental, a walk around the block, trip to the library or grocery store will often put a fussy baby in a new mood. The change of scenery can be stimulating and refreshing for all of you. My favorite place to go with my twins when they were starting to walk was the Children’s Museum around 4/4:30. We would stay for half an hour but it was so quiet then and helped me through the toughest time of day.
Build Your Support System. Knowing you have friends, family or other people to help hold the babies, drop off meals, clean the house, watch the kids is extremely important. Early on important to join a multiples group or connect with other moms of multiples so you can share information, tips, etc.
Use a Grocery Delivery Service. Stop n Shop will deliver your groceries including diapers, wipes and milk to your kitchen. Coupons often available for free delivery and although some items may be more expensive than the grocery store – you can plan ahead, shop smarter and avoid impulse purchases. Read about other grocery delivery options here.
TWIN / MULTIPLE RESOURCES
GROUPS / ORGANIZATIONS
- Prenatal Class at Women and Infants: Marvelous Multiples (Childbirth for twins & triplets). Helpful to get to know the hospital and what you can expect during the pregnancy including possible complications and care for babies.
- Attleboro Taunton Area Mothers of Twins Clubs (www.orgsites.com/ma/atmotc/index.html)
- Blackstone Valley Mother of Twins Club (www.meetup.com/BVMOTC/)
- National Organization of Mothers of Twins Club (www.nomotc.org)
- Everything You Need to Know to Have a Healthy Twin Pregnancy by Gila Leiter and Rachel Kranz
- Raising Twins: From Pregnancy to Preschool by Shelly Vaziri Flais MD FAAP
- When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, 3rd Edition by Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein
- The Everything Twins, Triplets, And More Book… by Pamela Fierro
- Twins Magazine (www.twinsmagazine.com)
- What to Expect (www.whattoexpect.com/groups/browse/all)
- March of Dimes (www.marchofdimes.com)
- Kidshealth (kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/parenting_multiples.html)
- American Pregnancy Association (www.americanpregnancy.org/multiples)
- Multiple Birth Families (www.multiplebirthsfamilies.com)
- Twinsource (thetwinsource.com)
- blog: Band Back Together (www.bandbacktogether.com/multiple-pregnancy-resources)
Contact companies for discounts / coupons while you are pregnant. Many diaper, formula and other baby related companies will provide you with free samples or discount coupons. Always ask before you buy to see if they have a “multiples” discount.
- Babies ‘R’ Us Multiple Birth Discount: Babies”R”Us defines a multiple birth as parents with two or more babies the same age. They offer customers 10% off two or more of the same items purchased in the same order (e.g. two cribs, two bedding sets, two strollers, etc.). Ask store details, some limitations apply.