If you’re a parent to twin toddlers, congratulations! You survived the baby years! You’re probably getting used to the fact that you have twins, and hopefully a bit more sleep. Unfortunately, parenting toddler twins is a whole new level of difficulty than newborn twins.
There’s a new level of frustration that parents with one toddler experience and that level is double for twin parents.
Don’t get me wrong, there is also twice as much joy, love, etc,, etc., etc…. toddler twins are just a lot of work and require a heck of a lot of mental strength.
I have a post called “8 Ways Toddler Twins Are Harder Than Newborns.” I get email after email from frustrated twin moms after reading that post.
Parents who feel like their kids are running their house. I get it. I feel like that many days at my house as well! But I know that as much as it sometimes FEELS as if my little twinnies are running the show, they actually aren’t.
So, I wanted to write a post to help the mamas who are struggling with their toddler twins behavior.
I’m not a perfect mom, and we have days of terrible behavior in our house, trust me! But I do have a few tips to share on parenting toddler twins.
*Post contains affiliate links.
Parenting Toddler Twins Without Losing Your Mind
There are certain aspects of parenting that are certainly easier with one child. That includes the toddler years!
I say that from the perspective of first having had a singleton, and now raising twins. Whether you have twin girls or twin boys, the toddler years can be challenging.
Solid Routine or Schedule
Having a solid and consistent routine is key. This doesn’t mean that you have to do the exact same thing every day. It simply means that your toddlers know what is expected of them and generally know what’s going to happen throughout the day.
If you don’t have much going on and aren’t sure how to establish a routine, set one based on your eating and sleeping schedule. Anchor your bed and nap times, meal times, and have playtime in between those.
What happens after dinner? Is it time to play or get ready for bed? Try to have the same routine every day. If they know that bedtime routine comes right after dinner, there is less of a chance that they’ll try to boycott bedtime.
Make Sure They Get Enough Sleep
Nobody functions well on too little sleep, especially toddlers. Make sure you are doing everything you can to get them to bed at a reasonable hour and down for a decent nap.
Our girls go to bed at 7:30 and their OK to Wake Clock (I HIGHLY recommend one if you don’t have it!) turns green at 8:00, which is when they’re allowed to get up. Their naptime is around 1:00-4:00.
What To Do If Your Toddler Twins Won’t Nap
What To Do If Your Toddler Twins Climb Out Of Their Cribs
Implement Independent Playtime
If you’re unsure what the concept is, read here about how to do independent playtime with twins.
Honestly, independent playtime saves my sanity most days.
My darling little twin toddlers just need a break from each other sometimes. They need the peace of not having to worry about someone taking their toys or getting in their space.
I need it, they need it, we all need it. It’s especially important on days where one twin is sick and the other is healthy.
On days that we skip independent playtime, I can tell a huge difference in their overall moods– they’re grumps!
Remember That You’re the Boss
Yes, you. You know what’s best for your child, and so you have the final say.
Oftentimes toddlers don’t like this and can throw a big freaking fit if they don’t get what they want.
Do not… I repeat, do not give in! I know it’s easier said than done when you have two little things screaming at you.
Let Them Throw a Fit
I know it’s not always possible or appropriate to let your children throw a fit.
You might have places to be, or be in a situation where it’s really not appropriate for them to be screaming and yelling.
I also don’t let my children throw a fit to the point of being out of control. I think that it can be very scary for toddlers to get so upset that they can’t control themselves.
When my children need my help to calm down, I always offer it. 100% of the time.
However, when it IS appropriate, for example, they’re tantruming because they aren’t getting what they want, place them in their crib or another safe space and let them scream and yell.
It’s important for them to learn that they can’t get whatever they want by screaming and yelling.
You can read more tips for how to handle tantrums with toddler twins <– in this post.
Tell Them the Rules
First, tell them the rules… and then tell them again.
Over and over and over. Are they throwing food on the ground during mealtime?
Calmly remove their food and tell them the rule.
“It’s against our rules to throw food on the ground.” When they get their food back, repeat the rule.
Next meal time… you got it, repeat the rule again. Now, just because they know the rules doesn’t mean they are going to magically follow them, which brings me to my next point…
Reinforce the Rules
This is my biggest parenting struggle with my toddler twins.
Reinforcing the rules takes everything out of me because there are TWO of them and they test me quite a bit.
It’s tempting to let them get away with things here and there and I have to remind myself that it’s easier to reinforce the rules with a 2-year-old than a 12-year-old.
Not only will standing strong make life easier on me, but it’s raising them to be respectful and responsible.
How to Reinforce the Rules??
My other biggest struggle with reinforcing the rules is that it often feels like it isn’t working. Sometimes they just don’t care about the consequence or discipline doesn’t seem to work.
Example: Josie takes a toy from Margo and runs in circles around her laughing, before leaping up onto the couch and throwing it behind.
(This happens multiple times a day, in case you were wondering.)
We get the toy, Josie gives it back to Margo, says sorry, we talk about how it isn’t kind to take things and it’s against the rules.
I tell her if she can’t play nicely, she will lose the privilege of playing with her sister and have to go play in her room by herself. It’s a perfectly logical consequence.
Literally a nanosecond later, Josie will repeat the same behavior.
I then explain that since she isn’t being kind and is antagonizing her sister (OK, I don’t use this word with her!) that she has to go upstairs to her room.
I then have to carry her kicking and screaming upstairs because she wants to stay with her sister. After she comes out of her room, she will most likely repeat the same behavior.
I want to pull my hair out because it feels like nothing I’m doing is working.
Mamas, this is normal.
I know this is developmentally appropriate for toddlers.
They push the boundaries because they want to know what they can get away with.
They are checking to see if we really mean what we say. Josie wants to know if she can take toys from her sister once she’s served her time in her room.
Just because you don’t see immediate results doesn’t mean that something isn’t working.
It takes time (like months to years) and consistency, but it WILL WORK.
Acknowledge Their Feelings
Being a toddler is hard. There are so many rules to follow and they aren’t yet able to manage their emotions. Sometimes all they need is to be heard and have their feelings validated. I mean, this isn’t going to stop bad behavior, but it’s a step.
Keep Your Words Positive
Fake it ’till you make it! There will be moments when your toddler twins drive you crazy but you have to do your best to keep your words and attitude positive. Our children pick up on everything.
Here are my tips for staying calm as a mom.
Parenting Toddler Twins: Keep on Keeping On!
Just keep at it. There will be both good days and bad days. I truly believe that if you remain consistent with parenting, you can have order and prevent your toddler twins from running your house!
I hope this post gives you some ideas to think about and doesn’t make you feel judged in any way. You are doing a wonderful job parenting your toddler twins… just don’t let them run your house!
Please let me know if I can encourage or support you in any way through this journey of toddler twindom.
And don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram <3
Thursday 2nd of February 2023
Hi I came across this to research for learning what to do and read this. It's very interesting to me. I have twin boys and it's been hard due to I became a single mom but not at all by choice. My twins father made the choice to pull some unexpected things and walk. There's more to it but don't want to explain cuz it's a lot that forced me to become a single mom and I really didn't want to but I'm ok with it. My twins can be a handful and super crazy and wanted to meet mom's or dad's of twins. And just need a lot of advice help and guidance to survive all of each years with my boys. I love them to much to do what their dad did and I don't have a heart to walk away. I work, and come home and twins r in a routine daily but still having a lot of hard times to get me thro it all. I just need advice and help and a lot of guidance to better myself and better my twins so they don't become their dad. It's a long story that's didn't turn out so good but got out of it safely and just trying to get by without losing my mind. I have met a lot of twins where I work and most of all the twins or triplet adults I met so far never had to be raised by one parent. Please I need advice to help me get this all better my twins boys mean the world to me. And yes even during the pregnancy and until my twins were 3 months old I was with their dad until twins turned 3 months old and I became a single mom but not by choice and since they were 3 weeks old and got released from the NICU cuz they were a month in a half early and both natural no c section at all I did get thro the baby yearby myself even before and after their father and I were together and then split up. And yes my son's r both huge huge cuddle bugs. And now only problem I'm having is twins climb out of their cribs and I can't afford toddler beds cuz that's what they need. At daycare they have a cot toddler size bed that my twins nap on at daycare. And now time to get toddler beds cuz they do amazing at daycare with nap time and our schedule is the same every day but when work schedules me later in the day it's a lot more harder to stay on schedule cuz they r both so used to waking up getting ready for daycare and me work. And easy in mornings to get twins ready in 10 minutes 5 minutes or less per child. Butt clean pants socks shoes shirt then jacket and found it's a super easy fast way to get them ready for daycare and that part I love the most now my twins r trying to dress themselves when we get home and I have to cook dinner. Can't have frozen meals or crock pot meals all the time and found my twins actually will let me cook a meal any kind of meal cuz they both eat it like crazy and they both kno they can't do the cooking part yet but they both like to watch and baking they love to help all the time no matter what I bake and same with cooking. I found getting them their to watch actually helps me cook without having to stop in middle of cooking I get them interested but my twins have been this way since I brought them both home 3 weeks later of birth and in NICU. And yes there's so much cuddling watching movies and play time together I just need advice on how to get thro it all when it becomes overwhelming. I'm in the process of having to have to move and I really need advice on how to get my twins thro it since place I'm in we have been here since before I found out I was carrying them thro pregnancy and birth and now thier both 2 years old. And yes u see my twins I have so many people asking if their twins only cuz they look nothing alike at all and my oldest son was born with brown hair blue eyes and my youngest son was born with white hair and I kid u not his hair fully white all over and under black light looked like he was blonde and his hair has turned a toe head blonde with blue eyes. My son's got blue eyes from mommy their dad has grey eyes and so far since their birth their eyes started off dark grey all the way to this day baby blue and in the sun kid u not sea glass memorizing walk into something blue eyes on all 3 of us me and my sons. And our eyes change from blue to super light blue. I need advice how to get them to stop fighting and no I don't have anyone to help separate them to have their own space and break from each other and only break I get is when I'm at work and boys in daycare but it's not much of a break and if one of my twins get sick a day later the other one sick and before ya kno I end up sick and it gets worse on me cuz I don't sleep or get rest or nothing but honestly I'm used to it 5 kids later. And one of my son's only sleeps for 4 to 5 hours before he's ready to start his day not fun at all lol.