10 Survival Tips for the Mom of Newborn Twins
If you are reading this, you are a new mom of twins or expecting them sometime VERY soon! So first, Congratulations!!!! Carrying around twins for months is NOT an easy task and it takes a lot out of you! Physically your body is being pushed to its limits, your emotions are most like out of control and your mentally exhausted from overthinking every little thing you might need in preparation or have brought them home and are now like what am even doing, I have TWO babies!!!! There is so much going on in those first few weeks and months of bringing your babies home. Which is why I created this list of things that helped me and things I wish had done differently during those first few months of twin mommying!
Since I know you have very little ability to focus on reading much right now. I have kept this as short and sweet as possible, so you can get info quickly without having to read through a TON of my experiences. I will be sharing more of those stories soon!
#1 YOU DON’T HAVE TO BREASTFEED AT EVERY FEEDING!
This is hard to hear if you are someone who, like myself was planning to only breastfeed. But here are the facts you are making milk for TWO kids, not one. You might be- scratch that- you are exhausted and possibly might not have an adequate supply to feed both all of the time - and THAT IS OKAY! The worst experience for me was when I had my c section at 32 weeks and was waiting for my supply to kick in, so I had to use donor milk. I felt like an ultimate failure! But after I realized how truly blessed I was that there were other moms willing to help out in these situations. The NICU helped to supply our babies until I had enough, which only took a few days anyways!
During our NICU stay I had to alternate with the formula on and off on days where I was just not making enough as they started to grow and need more to meet their daily intakes. Once we were home, it turned out I had to continue doing this. It was hard emotionally at times, but at the end of the day you want your baby to be fed, growing and healthy! So, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it all yourself. You are still an incredible momma for everything you do for those little ones!
#2 HAVE EXTRA BREAST PUMPING PARTS
Life saver!!!!! If you have babies in the NICU and are pumping there and at home you definetly want to have extra sets for traveling. And if you need to wash one but then need to pump again you always have a set clean and ready to go! Another tip, be sure you get one of those hands-free pumping bras!! It is the best invention EVER!
#3 JOIN A LOCAL TWIN MOM GROUP
This is another life saver. If you are pregnant, you can start to look and join one now!! In these local groups you get to know other twin moms and trust me when I say you will want to have this support! I don’t know how I would have made it through some of the situations I encountered if I didn’t have this extra emotional support. In addition to meeting other moms to make you feel less alone, there are also events for moms (alone) and with kids and meals sent to your home during those first couple of months! Most do swaps where you can get anything from clothing to car seats for free! People often sell larger items for a lot less money too. We got our amazing City Select Double Stroller from our twin group for SUPER cheap! You can look for a local twin group right here: http://www.multiplesofamerica.org/find-a-club/
#4 AMAZON PRIME IS YOUR LIFE LINE
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, I HIGHLY recommend you sign up! You will not want to pack those babies up every time you run out of something. Amazon packages were coming to our house almost daily for the first month we brought those boys home! If you are not using a subscription-based diaper service, like Honest. You can do it on Amazon! It is so worth it, you can save 20% on diapers and with all of those other things you need like wipes and Diaper Genie refills (if you don’t have one, I highly recommend looking into one!) you can get an additional 15% off! All of those things really add up fast, so you want to be able to save wherever you can!
#5 KEEP A NOTEBOOK NEAR BY
One of the best ways to stay organized with your babes is to write everything down. We had a notebook where we wrote down who got fed and how much they had (if being bottle fed). This applies more to those with preemie babies and trying to get a certain amount of food in daily. We even recorded when they pooped for first couple of months to report to the doctor. Again, you might not have to keep such a list, but it does help to have some things written down. I was so forgetful and spaced out that having the reminders, especially when switching off with my husband or mom made it easier for us to all know what was going on. You can also keep reminders of what you need, doctor notes and anything else you might need remembering for all in one place!
#6 GET ON A ROUTINE & LEARN TO REST
This is probably one of the harder things to do. It takes a few weeks and then it changes again. But once we got one down it made life so much easier. I can’t even remember everything that we did, because baby brain, but we did a lot of shifts. I was up with them, then my husband would take a turn. We would do feedings at specific times and gave each other time alone so we could unwind.
It is hard to “sleep when they sleep.” Even though everyone will tell you to do that, and looking back I wish I had tried harder, but honestly my body was on such a high alert with everything and by the time I sat still long enough one or both would be up. So, I suggest taking shifts when you can with your husband or if you are lucky enough to have some extra outside help and rest when you get an hour or so for yourself. Throw in that laundry that you won’t stop thinking about if you try to relax and then take a shower, watch tv or if you can, sleep!
#7 JUST NOD WHEN PEOPLE TRY TO GIVE YOU ADVICE
Everyone is going to have something to say! Especially when you are out with your twins, people are like magnets to asking questions to giving unsolicited advice. Literally, EVERYONE will have a comment about what to do and what not to do You are spaced out and tired and the last thing you want is someone dishing out all of this shit to you. Just nod, accept their comments, as not to be rude, but ignore what does not sit right for you. ONLY YOU know what is right for you and your family. It is HARD, and you know your babies best. Do what feels good to you and forget about the comments.
#8 USE A GENTLE HAND SOAP AND MOISTURIZER
This might sound silly to be on this list, but you will never have washed your hands as much as you do when you first bring those babies home! You will be washing bottles, breast pumping parts and changing diapers non-stop. Your hands are going to dry out fast so be sure to use stuff that won’t irritate your hands. I say this because I had really been eczema breakouts after my pregnancy, specifically on my hands, and the washing made them cracked and a mess. The last thing you want is to have blistered, peeling or cracked hands when you need them for well, holding your two infants all day! Trust me when I say it gets super frustrating.
#9 INFANT BOOKS HELP TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
Yes, I know, you can google basically everything! But I didn’t want to do that all of the time, and you can find some really shitty things online as well. So, I suggest getting a good book to keep around for looking up things like what does the color of this poop mean and is my baby actually starting to teethe already!? The best book I found is What to Expect, The First Year, though not twin related it will answer a lot of the questions you will have. If you are more likely to look online here are some HIGHLY recommended websites that can help!
#10 REMEMBER THAT THE FIRST THREE MONTHS ARE BY FAR THE HARDEST
Umm, okay, yea so having two kids at the same time is hard most of the time. And if you have more than one child in addition to your twins, I send you much love, because it sure is not easy. BUT if you are a first-time mom, I can tell you that after having those babies home for three months things calm down. You have started to get in a routine, you know your babies really well and which cries mean what, you start feeling like you can actually do this!! There are challenges that come along at every stage. My boys have just turned two and we are in a whole new place of trying to get them to listen and not have tantrums over literally everything. So, yes, at every stage you will have ups and downs! But nothing is more exhausting than those first few months which are filled with constant sleep deprivation! Eventually it starts to even out and I promise you - YOU WILL START TO SLEEP AGAIN!