A year ago, we were just coming to terms with what life with twins and a toddler would be like. Now, we’re a lot more relaxed, rested, and enjoying the trials and tribulations.
I look back at the year, and I am amazed at all that I’ve learned about myself and my kids. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. And I’ve learned that there is still so much I don’t know.
So, in honor of my sons’ birthday, I will share with you some of my knowledge about having twins.
1. You don’t need TWO of everything. We didn’t even use two cribs until the boys were about four months old (that’s when they started rolling all over each other and keeping their sibling awake!). You do need two car seats, but that’s about it.
2. A double stroller is a MUST. It’s great for those times when you have three kids and only two arms!
3. Don’t bother registering for stuff. Just ask for diapers! And more diapers! And more diapers! And wipes, don’t forget wipes! And food. Ask people to bring you meals… During those early days, we may have starved if it weren’t for some wonderful family and friends.
3. Matching outfits are only cute to the people who give them. Once one baby barfs on his, he has to be changed, and then the kids don’t match anymore. One baby always seems to grow faster than the other, too, so while one baby is swimming in his outfit, the other is squeezed in to his. These kids are individuals. I like to treat them that way even when I dress them.
4. That doesn’t mean they don’t share clothes. If it’s clean and it fits, it gets worn. The two items of clothing we never seem to have enough of: pajamas and socks.
5. Sign up for all of the programs for parents of multiples. This took a little time, but all of the freebies were a huge help to us.
5. To all the parents of new multiples: It will get better. The first month REALLY kicks your butt, but it does get better. The key is to be as organized as humanly possible. And always have your diaper bag packed… you never know when you need to rush out the door.
6. The one good thing about having one kid and then twins is that you already have some parenting perspective. The bad thing about having one kid and twins is that you already have some parenting perspective. Let go of preconceived notions: these are new people!
7. Prepare for “twin swarm,” especially when they are little. “Twin Swarm” is the affectionate term my husband coined for all the well-meaning strangers who approach us when we’re out with the kids to ask us all kinds of questions, ranging from “Are those twins? Did you have them naturally? Were you on fertility drugs? Are you breastfeeding? How old Are they?” And then there are many comments, ranging from “so-and-so has a twin”. to “My, you have your hands full.” Twin Swarm will cause you unnecessary delays as you answer the same ridiculous questions to complete strangers while your toddler tries to tear apart a store shelf display. Our best strategy… divide and conquer… Split up the kids with each parent, and most people won’t even notice they’re twins!
8. Get the babies to sleep through the night as soon as possible. It can be done! I highly recommend Elizabeth Pantley’s book “The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night.” All three of my kids sleep like logs unless the night light burns out!
9. Know that if your toddler sits on the babies, they’ll survive.
10. Remember to laugh. They’re only little once, and they really are FUN! There is nothing like hearing two babies giggle!
So Happy Birthday, Boys! Have FUN!