This article, entitled "Managing Multiples: Advice for the first two years," comes from Annie Payne, MomsEveryday blogger from Western Colorado.
“Well, there’s one of the babies.”
That is how the ultrasound tech told me I was having twins. The possibility of twins didn’t even cross my mind. Especially since my brother and his wife just delivered twin sons a few weeks earlier. It seemed unlikely for lightening to strike twice in our family. When I called to tell my parents, they didn’t believe me, not until I cried,
“I really am having twins!”
All doubt subsided when they came see me a few days before I gave birth and saw that I looked twelve months pregnant!
It was a really blessing to follow in my brother’s footsteps and learn how he and his wife managed the first two years of parenting twins. Here’s some advice from a couple of families who have been-there- done-that:
Routine, routine, routine
First and foremost, this is the best advice. Set a schedule for you and your babies. Do the same thing every day at the same time. Babies seem to thrive better when routine is a part of their day. This will also help you keep your sanity, even if having a schedule wasn’t something that you did before you were a mom. Most likely, those multiples of yours were a big surprise. Don’t let your day-to-day life be a surprise, too. Everyone will feel less stress if your days have some predictability.
Pick the right stroller
My brother picked the double stroller where the babies sit one behind the other. I picked the stroller where the babies sit side-by-side. Theirs proved to be better. Maneuvering a long stroller, as opposed to a wide one, through the aisles and racks, while shopping, is a lot easier. I let my twin vanity get in the way. I wanted the world to see both of my beautiful babies at the same time. It was a mistake. Don’t be vain like me.
Skip matching outfits
This is especially good advice if you have identical twins, like mine. In the beginning I dressed one baby in red and the other baby in blue. This helped to tell them apart until I became really familiar with them. I know it’s tempting to put them in identical outfits, but years after the fact, when I look at their pictures, I can’t tell who’s who. So skip the matching outfits or label your pictures really well.
It’s so easy to think that just because they are twins, they are the same. Each baby will be his or her own person and will need to be parented in a different way. One will need more cuddles; the other might not like to be rocked before bed. One will like peas, the other would rather throw them. Try not to take a one-size-fits-all attitude with parenting. It will more supportive to their happiness and well-being to parent them as the individuals they are and not as a matching set.
The baby era was many moons ago for my brother and I and our spouses. It all seems like a sleepless blur at this point. We still keep schedules, but definitely DO NOT dress them in matching outfits.