The Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for Twins
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I was invited to chat on BBC Hereford and Worcester about a lovely story about a new Mum who discovered that she was having triplets !
Caring for one newborn is overwhelming enough, but add twins or triplets and it can be easily feel like a tsunami!
Make sure you have all the essentials. To run a smooth household, make sure you have the following before your babies arrive:
- Nappies supplies. Decide are you going green or disposable. Each baby will go through about 8 to 12 nappies per day. In just 60 days, you could go through 1,440 nappies. Stock up now on whatever you decide to go with.
- Car seats. Each baby needs a car seat. Also account for any other caregivers who may be regularly driving your little ones around. It may be easiest for them to have their own car seats.
- Cots or Moses baskets. Decide where you would like your babies to sleep—in your room, in a room together or each in their own room—and provide each with either a cot or Moses basket of their own.
- Sheets and swaddling blankets. Accidents happen, and it’s always best to have at least two of everything for each baby in case something gets dirty.
- In the beginning, onesies are the easiest clothing to deal with. Make sure each baby has about at least 6 onesies so you’re not constantly having to do the washing.
- Burp cloths. Babies often burp or have reflux and it can get messy. Have enough cloths handy for after-feeding burps. Each baby should have about 6 burping cloths.
- Each baby should have at least three bottles and three teats. This will make it easier so you can prepare them ahead of time.
- Breast pump if you’re breastfeeding. You will need to take a break, and pumped milk will allow you to do so.
- Formula if you’re not breastfeeding. Stock up on enough formula for two weeks for each baby. You never want to run out of food especially in the night!
These things will get you through the first few months. Down the road you will also need to get things like highchairs and solid foods, but you can worry about that a bit later.
Check out my New Baby Video Series on Youtube where I cover ALL aspects of looking after your newborn
- Prepare yourself for breastfeeding. If you decide you want to breastfeed your babies, find a health visitor to show you how to hold your babies, give you tips for getting them on the same schedule and discuss milk supply. The lactation consultant will become a valuable resource in those first few months.
- Be realistic about sleep. While the goal is to eventually get the babies on the same sleep schedule, understand it may not happen right away. It may take a month or more to get onto a routine, but it will happen. Be flexible …. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen according to the books!
- Make time to enjoy your babies. Between feeding, changing and rocking your babies, you may forget one important thing: bonding. The newborn stage, while exhausting, is a beautiful and really important time. You don’t want it to pass you by. Make sure you and your partner are spending enough time cuddling, kissing and playing with your newest family members – skin to skin is wonderful for bonding for both of you.
- Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. You are outnumbered. If you need a friend or family member to give you a break so you can shower, take a nap or have a bath don’t feel bad! If you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of your babies to the best of your ability. Make time for you.
- Join a Twin or Triplet Group for support and friendship