17 February 2006

Tips for parents of twins

Irène Nam, prolific mama blogger (Momster, Blogging Baby) and mother of twins, has a bunch of great ideas for other parents of multiples:

When you have twins, you eventually realize that raising two babies is very different than raising one so you toss books that praise the Ferber method and endless bonding with newborn and depend on hacks from other parents of multiples!

My favorite book about twins parenthood is "The Art of Parenting Twins" by Patricia Maxwell Malmstrom and Janet Poland. There is this whole chapter called "Debunking myths about twins - the truth behind the fiction." The book also offers very practical tips and advice. My all-time favorite tips to parents of twins are:

  • Put colored nail polish on one of the baby's toenails and his own medication to keep track of who is who and whose is whose.
  • Put a safety pin on your bra and transfer it from one strap to the other so that you can remember which baby you nursed on which breast last.
  • What I also did was dress one of my sons with clothes with stripes only. Now, 4 years later I am able to tell who is who on the pictures!

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One of the tips that saved me was SCHEDULE THEM TOGETHER. That means naptime, bedtime and feeding all happen at the same time for both. Don't even try to have seperate schedules for them.

People frequently ask if you end up having to hold them at the same time. They don't know you weren't born with ten arms...however, a gadget that helped was a cotton sling--two of them. I bought two New Native baby slings and wore them crisscrossed across me to hold both at the same time. We even went for walks that way. It was really nice and comfortable, at least until they got too heavy for them (which didn't happen until they hit eight months or so I think). It's great for those times when your husband isn't around to help.

Ditto on the two slings. Different kinds work for different people, so check around and try them if you can. I made an 'asian baby carrier' so I could back-carry one while I front carried the other, though I also used it a lot for front-carrying while pushing a shopping cart (less issue with 'tipping out' while reaching for items on the lower shelves, at least once they were older), or stroller.

My best tip: Do what works. For us, immediate sequential feeds at night (feed one, feed the other) and tandem feeding as much as possible during the day (both at once) was best most of the time. But nobody can get ours to nap at the same time! Not even the daycare could.

Oh, and try this blog for support for breastfeeding twins...

http://www.allthis.typepad.com/

I wish I knew about the safety pin on the bra trick when I was breastfeeding my twin boys. I was forever trying to remember who nursed on which breast last! Thanks for the hack.

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