When I was pregnant with twins and
panicking researching how I was going to take care of twins alone, there was one thing that I found very irritating.
Almost every article I read from other twin moms talked about having help for the first year.
Night nannies. Grandparents coming over daily. House cleaners. Mothers helpers.
What the what?
Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with having help. If you have the financial means to hire help or family that’s willing to pitch in for days on end, that is fantastic.
But if you’re like me and don’t? I want you to know that it’s going to be OK. I got through it and so will you.
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How to Take Care of Infant Twins Without Help
I’m not going to sugar coat things and act like it will be easy. It will be really, REALLY freaking hard. But there are a few things you need to know that will make things a bit more manageable. Here we go!
Know That It’s OK If They Cry
No, I am not telling you to do cry it out with newborns.
I’m just saying that sometimes babies cry for no reason. Sometimes they cry and you can’t figure out the reason. Sometimes they cry because they’re overtired and need to be held.
You know what? As a twin mom, sometimes you literally cannot comfort both of your babies at the same time.
You do your best, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Sometimes they will both cry, at the same time and you will have to choose one to comfort.
Sometimes they will both cry and you’ll be busy making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your two-year-old, because, you know, he wants lunch.
Listening to babies cry is awful. As a mom, it will go right through you.
Both of my girls had moments when they were crying and I simply could not get to both of them. They are now 3 and completely happy and healthy.
Wake Them Up At the Same Time
The key to staying sane with newborn twins is getting them on the same schedule. It’s not as hard as it sounds.
If you want them to sleep at the same time, you have to wake them up at the same time.
Anchor your morning wake up times and wake them up at the same time every day.
You can read more about schedules and newborn twins through the following links:
Figure Out How You’re Going to Feed Them
Practice feeding them by yourself while you are in the hospital and before your husband goes back to work. Figure out what is going to work for you.
My goal was to tandem breastfeed and because my girls were 8-weeks premature, that didn’t work out for us. They didn’t have the strength to breastfeed even one at a time. I thought about coming back to breastfeeding when they were 3 or 4 months old, but by that point, we had a great routine in place and they were sleeping through the night, soI didn’t want to change anything.
Here are some ways you can feed them:
- Tandem breastfeed
- Breastfeed them right after each other
- Breastfeed one while giving the other a bottle on the couch
- Bottle feed them both in the TwinZ pillow or two bouncy chairs (this is the route we went and I usually pumped with a hands-free pumping bra while they were taking a bottle).
Here is more help on the topic of feeding:
Do whatever you can to simplify. If this means more screen time and fewer activities for older children, that is fine. It’s just a season.
If it means paper plates or more takeout, so be it.
It could mean disposable diapers even though you really wanted to try cloth.
This might mean simplifying Christmas decorations or not sending Christmas cards or skipping Birthday parties or the family vacation.
Realistically evaluate your life and decide what you can simplify. Just remind yourself that it is only a season. You can add these things back into your life once you are out of survival mode!
I know that this is about how to take care of the babies by yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t accept help.
Truthfully, this was hard for me. I’ve always been very independent and, *cough* possibly a little stubborn. I like to think I can do things on my own. There were times I ventured out to the grocery store, by myself, with my two-year-old and newborn twins, just to prove that I could do it.
Just because you can do it doesn’t mean that you should. I could have waited until my husband got home from work. But, I don’t like feeling like I can’t live my life and take care of my own children by myself! I don’t like asking for help.
If someone offers, accept the help. Accept the meals and people helping with older children, if you have them.
Research How You’re Going to Get Them to Sleep
It is incredibly difficult to function on little sleep. It is imperative for everyone’s sanity that you work on getting them to sleep. It might take awhile and a lot of work, but it is so worth it.
We followed the method from the book On Becoming Babywise and I highly recommend it. Not only did it help us establish a schedule, but we never had to do any sort of intense sleep training or cry it out.
More advice for sleep:
Prepare Things in Advance
When my girls were newborns, I would prep everything and anything I possibly could. I got them up to feed them an hour before Theo, who was 2, got up. They would be back down for a nap so while Theo was eating breakfast, I would pump and get his lunch made.
And finally, mamas, remember that it’s just a season. You got this!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all sorts of twin cuteness!