C.W. asks from Torrance, CA on February 16, 2011
Twins - Torrance,CA
Since these are my first babies, i wanted to know if any of you other moms with multiples out there could tell me the things you LOVE about raising twins and the things you did not so much love about raising twins!
Thanks in advance!
E.C. answers from San Francisco on February 16, 2011
My twins are 9YO and there are a lot of things I love and appreciate. The first couple years were physically exhausting but once their same-age singleton peers' parents started having second kids, I began to really appreciate the benefits of caring for two kids who were at the same developmental stage (I could just picture my tired self trying to feed the preschooler's food to the newborn or something like that). And as they got older, I appreciated that I wouldn't have to deal with teething or potty training again, and appreciate that I could drop them both off at the same school at the same time and not feel as pulled in different directions as parents with different-age siblings.
Other things that I think are cool about twins - while I don't think twins are predisposed to being more patient or better at sharing than singletons, I think that the fact that they have no choice but to share their parents' attention from the beginning means that they often learn it faster than singletons, just like children growing up in bilingual households will pick up a second language faster - it's a matter of daily practice. Also I think that, for my girls at least, having a twin is a bit of a buffer against peer pressure - for example, both of them like classical music and opera, and I think that the fact that they know at least one other 9YO (their sister) who likes classical music and opera makes them feel more comfortable and confident about enjoying something that few of their peers listen to.
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G.B. answers from Houston on February 17, 2011
My twins are now 4. Don't assume that they will automatically go to the NICU. I followed the advice of the book "What to expect if you're expecting twins". The authors run a twin clinic of sorts and claim that the people that follow their recommendations keep their twins in longer. There were things about high protein diets and taking 2 prenatal vitamins. My doctor did not think any of that was necessary but I kept my twins in 'til 37 weeks and probably could have gone longer but my doc scheduled a c-section 'cuz he was going out of town and feared I may give birth while he was gone.
After they were born, I started a strict schedule. They would eat, and then I kept them awake for 2 hours and then down for a 1 hour nap. This lasted all day until about 10 pm. They were then allowed to sleep as long as they liked. The theory behind this is that they would be so tired from the day that they would sleep longer at night. It worked! They slept all night by 6 weeks. Of course, I got nothing done during the day but the joy of sleep was a reward in itself! With my first (single) child, we did not get any sleep for 6 months!!! I have told many about this schedule but no one ever tries it, but it worked for me.
Expect a lot of people coming up to you in stores to talk about your babies. Some will even ask if they were "natural" or from drugs. People are nosy. Depending on the mood, it can be kind of annoying.
Sorry about the rambling! Just enjoy the twins! I always feel like I'm in some special club because of them. It is really awesome!
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J.D. answers from Los Angeles on February 19, 2011
I have 4 year old twins...two boys. The best thing about twins is that they always have someone to play with. The worst thing about twins is that they alwasy have someone to FIGHT with! Haha...maybe it's the age, but they are really getting "territorial" with each other, and i have to get 2 of EVERYTHING!! But there is such an amazing bond between them and you will see it with yours too! Sometimes my husband and I will each take one of the boys to go run errands or do something and when we get home and the boys see each other, they light up and run to hug their brother! So cute~
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S.S. answers from Dallas on February 16, 2011
I have four month old identical twin boys. My favorites are trying to find features that make it easier to tell them apart. E has a round face and lighter skin tone and one swirl in his hear on the top of his head. C has two and a longer face; darker skin. C's big ton nail on the right foot grows a little funny. Their cries are a little different. Picking up on their different personalities. C is very laid back and sometimes intense. E is very outgoing and likes to babble more. Double the smiling faces and laughter. Feeling proud when people look at you in awe knowing what a task you have ahead and welcoming it with open arms.
My least favorite was the NICU stay, the heart and apnea monitors that seem like they will never go away. Two teething babies and non existant sleep until recently. Double the stinky diapers. I think they tell each other when they are going poo so that they can tag team me. Double the laundry even though their clothes are so small.
I am so excited for more to come. Enjoy your bundles!
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S.G. answers from Los Angeles on February 17, 2011
I second everything elaine had to say. My identical twin girls will be 13 tomorrow! The first bit of advice I have is enjoy the time they are in nicu if that happens. It's terrifying for a new parent, but it's the only sleep you're gonna get for the first year. Seriously. Second, even though feeding on demand parenting is most popular these days... put your twins on a feeding schedule. Or let the hungry twin set the schedule, if you don't you'll be like I was, up all day and up all night, with my shirt off 24/7! I literally didn't sleep for more than 30 minutes at a stretch for the first 3 months! My poor husband would fall asleep on the toilet at work! If someone wakes up hungry, get the other one up too because if you don't she'll wake up just as you are finally drifting into sleep. Another thing that would have helped me.... we had one twin with what we thought was colic who cried non stop from birth.... turns out she had a dairy allergy that was causing her a tremendous amount of pain. It wasn't diagnosed until we found blood in her diaper. As soon as we took the dairy out of her diet, the crying stopped and there was sleep in our house!! Don't let uncontrollable crying go without a little investigation, you'll never get back all that lost sleep! As soon as they're old enough to hold their own bottle, put finger foods in their mouths it's a huge relief! and it just gets easier and easier with age. My girls have always had tons of friends because they are experienced at taking turns, compromise, sharing. They're always welcome at other's homes because there is no drama. They often comment on how selfish their "only children" friends are.
I dressed my twins matchy matchy when they were babies, couldn't resist! but when I look back at baby pics, I seriously have no idea which one is which. I could always tell the live babies apart, but the camera just doesn't capture those subtle nuances, so label your photos or dress them different.
It's an exciting journey! There is nothing like having twins!
A.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 17, 2011
I don't have twins but if I were you, I would consider getting a postpartum doula. Especially if there's any suspicion that you will be lacking in help after babies are born. A postpartum doula will be able to help you with issues with breastfeeding, getting more rest, organizing things so you can figure out how to do everything (without all the hassle of inexperience!). You'll never regret getting a postpartum doula.