Practical Advice for Newborn Twins

Updated on August 04, 2008
M.S. asks from Milwaukee, WI
18 answers

My husband and I are delivering twins in about 2 weeks, one boy & one girl. We're blessed to have a 9 y o daughter, so we're not new to the baby scene. However, I'd greatly appreciate any practical advice moms (or dads) have for twins. One of my greatest concerns is getting both babies on the same schedule--please tell me it's possible! Thank you!

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L.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

I have boy/girl 2 year old twins and they are very much on the same schedule. We were blessed that this was easy from the start. In the beginning there were times that we did wake one or the other to feed or change them because the other was up but they seemed ready when we did wake them.

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J.H.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi- congratulations. We were fortunate to have twins first, and a single birth after that, so the "twin" part just seemed part of parenting for us. (Our single birth was a walk in the park). I never was able to master nursing both at the same time, which I think is critical for getting them on the same schedule. Lots of Moms do it, though, so give it a try. Otherwise, if you pump, your super-supportive husband can feed one while you feed the other, at least at night. You should definitely sleep when the sleep, even during the day. Don't worry about a dirty kitchen or laundry- if you can enlist friends or neighbors to help out at first, that would be great. Once they start to walk, everything is so much easier, and I promise you will look back on it all fondly. Twins are a real blessing. Good luck.

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J.D.

answers from Madison on

As mother to 2 sets of twins you are going to want both on the same schedule! My 1st set I messed it up and they got on 2 different schedules, But my 2nd set I did things differently and it worked out much better. First, if you are using formula, I would use powder formula, because you can fill up bottles with water and leave them on the counter. This way they are room temp. and all you have to do is add the formula. That way I only had to grab a bottle add the formula and go.Then you can wash all the bottles (or even your 9 year old can) and set them up for the next round. I almost always got both babies at the same time. Changed them and then feed them. Well, I could not feed them at the same time, so I made sure one was in the bouncy seat or the swing ( hint do not turn on swing if you are trying to keep them up) and talk to both of them while I feed one and then switched to the other one. You might feel guilty about waking one up when the first one gets up, but don't. Your sleep is more important. I highly suggest getting someone (your mom, his mom, a friend) to come help you. My mother came to stay with me 3-4 days a week (while my husband worked) for the first 2 months. I know you think that you and your husband can handle it,but make sure you have a back up, even if it is for an hour a week. That was such a big help. Also do not be afraid to have your daughter help out. She can do more than you think. With my 2nd set I had a 9 yr old, 2 7yr olds and a 2 yr old. They all helped me out even if it was just little things. Once I got over the guilt of waking up the other baby that wasn't up, I got both on the same schedule. They will be 3 in September and they are still on the same schedule. I did have to deal with alot of crying the first 2 weeks, both did not like getting woken up,but it was worth it. After the first 2 weeks were over I also started to plan a schedule for them. I always got them up when the old children got up for school. That way I had an extra pair of hands in the morning and I did not have to worry about the old kid waking them up. I also made sure the twins were up when they got home from school. Again then they were so excited to see them and they wanted to hold them, I got extra time to wash bottles or wash clothes. I hope this helps. I learned from my mistakes with my first set. Never be afraid to ask for help! Plain and simple- make sure they are awake at the same time, and you will get them on the same schedule. Be patient with yourself, nothing in life is worth it without a little struggle! J.

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M.T.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi
I have 10 month old twins...and am happy to tell you that it is very possible to get them on the same schedule. There is not too much you can do at the beginning, other than do your best to feed them at basically the same time. This means that when one wakes up in the night to eat, you wake the other one to eat as well. I found the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child to be extremely beneficial. It teaches you how to "sleep train". We used this book word for word and it worked for us--our twins were sleeping through the night consistently(9-6) at 12 weeks and are still on two solid naps a day. The twins will conform to what you want them to do, it just takes planning and diligence on your part. Best wishes--twins are SO FUN!!

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D.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your twins. What an exciting time. My twin boys are 18 and heading off to college this month. I worried about meeting their needs when they were born. I also had a 5 year old and 22 month old, both boys. In the very beginning, I enjoyed being able to nurse one at a time. it was easier to arrange. But when they were both hungry at the same time, I could nurse them together. It is a little foggy thinking back to the early years, but I think they were both basically on the same schedule, unless one wasn't feeling well. then they needed more nursing and cuddling. I brought them to bed with me to feed at night, or i wouldn't have gotten much sleep. Try to rest when they rest. a little hard with another child too. but she will understand when they are small. They are only little for such a short time, enjoy them, they grow up so quick. Good luck. I always love to talk about twins!

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L.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi, M.!
I have beautiful 4 year old twin boys, and I can still vividly remember the last few weeks before having them, all the questions that run screaming through your head. Really, everything will be fine. Feed them at the same time when they come home, put them down at the same time for naps, and they will get on the same schedule pretty quickly. I found that having them sleep in the same crib for the first few months works really well, they are already used to sleeping next to eachother, I think it makes it easier. For feeding, I wasn't able to breastfeed, so if you are, I have no suggestions in that area. But when I bottle fed, especially the morning bottle when they were starving, I would put them in bouncy seats on either side of me and feed them at the exact same time. It did cut into the cuddling while feeding time that I had with my first child, but I just made up for it afterwards or in other ways. :)
You will have some tough times if/when they hit growth spurts at different times, as obviously one will be eating more than the other. But, for the most part, just make sure from day one that you feed them either at the same time, or one right after another, and a big thing that I did with these two that I didn't do with my first is when I would lay them down, I would try to make sure they were still sort of awake, that they way learned from the get go how to put themselves to sleep.
I hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, feel free to email me any time! Good luck and congratulations!

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C.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

I am a Postpartum doula and work with a lot of Mom's with twins, mostly overnight. The most important part is to take care of yourself and remember to eat and get as much sleep as you can. Like everyone else said wake both at the same time or feed one and then wake the other so they are eating one after the other. Also get help, lots of help. It can be a friend who comes in for an hour a day, a Mom, a sister or a doula but you will need help for the first 3 months at least part of every day and also overnight so you can get some rest. Best of luck. I love it when twins first realize that there is another baby just like them in the room and break out in a big smile.

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M.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

I don't know if you're planning to breastfeed or not, but if you are, I highly recommend the EZ-2-Nurse Twins nursing pillow (awful name; great product). I found mine at a Mothers of Multiples sale, but they're also available online at http://www.doubleblessings.com/ for $50 (pricey, but worth it; do see if you can find one used somewhere, though).

The other piece of advice I have is to join your local Mothers of Multiples club. Other MOMs who have been through the twins (or more!) experience can be an invaluable resource. If nothing else, the sales are a cheap way to get some of those pricey necessities for cheap! :)

Best of luck, and congratulations!

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J.L.

answers from Milwaukee on

M.,
First of all, congratulations! Having b/g twins has been so exciting for us. I breast fed, and the only way that I could handle feeding both kids at the same time was with the use of the boppy. (That turned out to be a God-send...) I found that being able to feed them at the same time kept them on a close schedule. My kiddos stayed a couple of days in the NICU, and the nurses asked if we wanted their schedules the same or an hour apart...obviously we defaulted to the same...
Good luck to you!
J.

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B.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

M.
First of all- congratulations.
It is indeed a special event.
My biggest advice- roll with it- you have to. Try to stick with a schedule when possible for your own sanity and they will eventually cooperate too as they grow.
Remember on the tough days- each day will get easier.

Join a twins club. I have a great one if you're in the Central to Western suburbs of Mpls. It meets in Golden Valley one monday a month and has superb support groups and sales for items!!

It's called multiple connections but email me for more info.

Blessings to you all
B. J
[email protected]____.com

wellness coach, med. prof. and mom of almost 7 yo frat. twin girls

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S.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

Congratulations on your upcoming twins. How exciting!!

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J.C.

answers from Omaha on

Congratulations! My twin girls are almost 16 months old now. Get as much rest as you can right now. Your next few months will be tiring, but very rewarding. It is definitely easy to get them on the same schedule. I was never a fan of waking one of them up, but luckily they usually ate at about the same time. I used the bottle for my girls. I would also fill them up with water and add the formula as needed. It was quick and easy, but then my oldest got acid reflux and spit up quite a bit, so we had to stop the 'shake and go' method and had to pre-make bottles and put them in the fridge. We tried using 1 crib because everyone told us that is what the girls would like best. It worked for a few months, but we eventually had to get a second crib because my oldest likes to wander. She kept ending up with her feet at her sister's head. It gets much easier the older they get. I look back at times and quite honestly can't remember how we ever made it through those first few months. Take as much help as you can get. If someone offers to keep them for the night or even just a few hours, let them. Take a nap and rest or go out for dinner with your hubby. My Mom has been wonderful about taking them at least 1 night a month (and more now that they can make Gramma feel bad for leaving them). Exersaucers and bouncy seats are lifesavers and when they get old enough get the the 'Sing along stage'. It is worth listening to the music because it will entertain them for hours. Good luck and again-Congratulations!

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L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi M.,
I have b/g twins who are 4 1/2. I agree that getting them on the same schedule is paramount! What we did was make sure that they both ate at the same time, even if it ment waking one up. From there the scheudles seemed to fall in line. I did breast feed at the same time so that was a great benefit. I would be happy to talk more...just email me! [email protected]____.com

Congratulations!!

L.

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C.B.

answers from Des Moines on

Mother of twin 7yr old boys. Yes, it is possible to get them on same schedule and found it to be a lot easier to have them on the same schedule. Otherwise you feed and change one sleep 1//2 hour time to feed and change other and never get more than an hour of sleep or anything done. Go with your gut feelings you will know what to do. good luck. P.s.you will have more of a challenge once they start walking(one runs one way and the other the opposite lol.) So don't worry so much about schedules and feel free to email me anytime. [email protected]____.com

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L.S.

answers from Des Moines on

hi there! I'm a mom of 4 month old twins (they were born 7 weeks early). It is possible to get them on the same schedule for the most part!!! Ever since our girls came home from the hospital, we would feed them both at the same time (or one right after the other in some cases). If one was ready to eat and the other was still sleeping, we woke the sleeper up to eat too! It's worked very well for us. I mostly breastfeed - supplement with bottles b/c of low weight gains. I tandem feed the girls almost every time. I highly recommend this if you want to breastfeed. I use an EZ2nurse pillow, which is a lifesaver!
I will say, twins are ALOT of work at first, and can be pretty overwhelming. But, it's totally worth it, and I promise, it does get better!
Feel free to ask me any more questions if you'd like! Hope my random advice helps a bit, and congratulations on your twins!

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S.P.

answers from Milwaukee on

M....congratulations!! Our b/g twins are 6 months old and we (like the others that responded) have them on the same schedule. I nursed exclusively for 4 months...the first few weeks I nursed one and then the other, until I could master nursing them together. (if you plan to nurse, you will definitely want to do it in tandem and there is a great "boppy" style pillow, but it is made for twins...it is called the EZ 2 Nurse pillow).
The other thing I would recommend is that you have your husband help with one of the feedings at night. Definitely get a good pump (if you are nursing)to help with that ;)
Enjoy, and good luck!!! :D

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L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Congratulations M.! As the others have said, it is possible to have two babies on a schedule and have it work out really well. It will help keep you sane. :) I am the mom of triplets (two boys and a girl) who are now 3 years old, and we have a 7-year-old daughter too. The triplets were 6+ weeks early and the nurses in the NICU started them on a schedule and we kept it up after they came home (at two weeks old). They ate every three hours as newborns, round the clock. I learned how to feed all three at once by myself (bottle fed), and still gave them the attention they needed and deserved. At night, they usually woke up within minutes of each other to eat, but if they didn't, I'd wake the others up after the first one woke up so that they'd stay on the same schedule. They napped at the same time (still do actually), and at times it took them longer to fall asleep because they were in the same room, but they would fall asleep eventually and it allowed me to spend time with my older daughter and to wash bottles, do laundry, etc.
Good luck - you'll do great!

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S.L.

answers from Des Moines on

I have 2 1/2 year old boy girl twins,and when they were newborns it was not much worse than having one baby. You can try to get them on the same schedule, but inevitably there will be times when both babies are screaming. My husband and I took turns with the twins each night. At first we both got up everytime, and that didn't work, so I would sleep for 3 hours, and then my husband would sleep for three hours. When the twins were a few weeks old, my husband and I would alternate nights. It was tough when it was my night, but it was heaven when I had a night of uninterrupted sleep. My best advice is enjoy this time! In the blink of an eye, they will be psychotic 2 year olds getting into everything.

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