The Ultimate New Twin Mom Survival Guide: 12 Tips from Two Twin Moms
When I was pregnant with my twins and busy organizing cute little matching outfits in the closet to prepare for their arrival, my time would have been better spent interviewing another twin mom about survival tactics for when my babies were eventually out in the wild. I should have buckled up, because I was about to star in my own episode of Naked and Afraid: The Twins Edition!
When I gave birth to my boy/girl twins in October 2017, I didn’t lean on many twin moms to help me navigate this crazy experience. To be honest, as a pediatric nurse practitioner with my doctorate, I was naïve enough to think I could figure it all out on my own. After all, my name was Mrs. I Don’t Like Asking For Help. But truly, not even a decade of pediatric experience could have prepared me for this. If you’re reading this, then you’re already crushing it at the twin mom game! You’re one step ahead of where I was when I was in your shoes a couple of years ago.
To help you prepare for and anticipate some of the hurdles that come with having twins, I (Michelle from Twinsidescoop) have teamed up with a fellow twin mom blogger, Carly from A Modern Mom Blog, to create the juicy meat for twin mom survival. We’ve each shared our top 6 survival tips for getting through this chaotic, yet fun (and fulfilling!) ride of being a new mom of multiples. Keep reading to find out what each of us had to say!
Michelle’s Tips (@twinsidescoop)
1. Take ALL of the help you can get. Don’t turn it down!
My dad once told me when I was a kid that “the best helping hand is the one at the end of your own arm.” While I agree with that in other areas of life, it doesn’t apply when you’ve just given birth to twins. ;) Take all of the help you can get – whether it’s letting someone pick up your groceries, run an errand, babysit for an hour so you can get a nap, or feed one of your babies for you. Just say YES!
2. Consider a night nanny for the first few months.
This was probably one of the smartest things my husband and I did. We had a night nanny 4 nights a week for the first few months. It was so important and crucial to our ability to stay sane and somewhat rested. In order to be the best versions of ourselves, we desperately needed (and valued) that down time. It can be quite an investment--but if that’s an option for you, GO FOR IT. Click here to read about how our night nanny saved our lives.
3. Keep a schedule for everything in that first year—and keep the twins on the SAME feeding and sleeping schedule.
Being the Type A person that I am, I may have gone overboard and written EVERYTHING down for the first 7 months. But it was nice to be able to anticipate the kids’ needs and it helped me feel organized in a world that was feeling rather chaotic at the time. I was able to better plan out my days and to be totally honest, my babies have always slept and eaten better when they’re kept to a routine. Plus, there’s nothing better than having the twins eat at the same time and sleep at the same time – so you might be able to get a little break in there somewhere, too! Click here for our twin feeding schedule for the first 6 months and here for how we sleep trained our twins at the same time in only TWO nights!
4. Make a concerted effort to have regular date nights.
Don’t forget to enjoy life with your spouse/partner. It can be easy to put yourselves to the side, but you don’t want twin parenthood to swallow you whole. Keep that pep in your relationship’s step and plan a date night here and there. Sometimes just having that special night to look forward to will keep you going!
5. Don’t let that mom guilt get you.
Whether it’s because you formula-fed instead of breastfed or whether it’s because you are a working mom instead of a stay-at-home mom, sometimes that mom guilt can creep in. Don’t let it! It’s nobody’s place to judge. As long as your children are happy and healthy and you are doing what’s best for you and your family, you are doing an awesome job! And if you’re having a hard day and just need to feel more normal, feel free to read here about the 9 raw times I personally felt mom guilt.
6. Follow another mom blogger on social media with twins a few months older than yours so you can anticipate the next phases and ask questions.
This is a big one! I love seeing what kids a little older than mine are getting into; this keeps me ahead of the game. And sometimes it’s just nice to hear from other moms that have been through it that you WILL survive this!
Carly’s Tips (@a_modern_mom)
1. Learn to double feed.
When my twins were six weeks old, I taught them how to double feed while being held. I’d hold one baby on my legs, while the other one was in my arms. It took a few days for the three of us to master the double feed, but once we did it made our days so much easier! Read details about how I taught them to double feed here. As the twins got older we learned other double feeding positions that allowed me to double feed them while holding them from six weeks old until they weaned off bottles. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding learning to double feed will make life with twins much easier.
2. Establish a daily routine and stick to it.
Keeping both babies on the same schedule is important. Caring for two babies is hard enough! Make it easier by keeping both babies on relatively the same schedule. We established a daily sleep/eat schedule for the twins on day one and stuck to it. See our newborn daily routine here.
3. Sleep train.
Healthy sleep habits are important for the whole family. We designed a gentle sleep training plan from the advice of 3 baby books, tips from our pediatrician, and a pediatric psychiatrist. It got our twins sleeping through the night by 14 weeks old, which was a complete game changer for our family. It allowed us to enjoy the baby phase without being exhausted.
4. Be hands free.
It’s much easier to care for two babies or keep two toddlers safe when your hands are free. I avoid lugging around a diaper bag or unnecessary baby gear as much as possible. Backpack diaper bags a must have for twin moms! I’m also a huge fan of using the TwinGo baby carrier for outings.
5. Focus on the entire family.
I want nothing more than a happy home for my children to grow up in. Two babies joining a family at one time is a big transition. However, it’s important to remember that all members of the family are equally important. My older son and husband still need my love and support, just as much as they did before the twins joined the family. I’ve worked hard to balance my time and energy between all members of the family and to help my oldest son bond with the twins as he transitions from only child to big brother. This way everyone feels important and included.
6. Safety first.
Keeping two toddlers safe is tough, really tough! The moment I take my eyes off one of the twins they will be climbing or jumping off something. Safety should always be the first priority, especially as the babies become more mobile. I have no problem declining activities or events that I don’t think I can do safely with two toddlers. For example, mommy and me days at the pool are not an option for us. There’s no way I can keep twin toddlers safe at the pool without my husband. When my friends suggest activities that I don’t think I can do safely with two babies, I’ll suggest a safer option like a park day or politely decline the invitation to join.
Hopefully this list of tips helps some new twin mamas out there! When you’re in the thick of it all, just remember that you’re not alone. Lean on this twin mom community! You won’t be a perfect mom (none of us are!) and you won’t know it all (none of us do!), but you WILL know how to love your babies. You’ve got this!