Acclimating to life with a newborn can be overwhelming; adjusting to life with two new bundles? It may seem unimaginable. But not only is it do-able, but also it’s downright adorable. Double the smiles, giggles and coos help overshadow the initially daunting task of a twofold workload. Still nervous? These tried-and-true tips will help you get through the newborn stage with twins.

twinsinhospitalcribPhoto: Dale Goodwin via Flickr

1. Plan Ahead for Meals

Keeping your energy up is paramount (especially if you’re breastfeeding!), but it’s difficult when you forget to eat (oops!). Before your babies arrive, be sure to stock your freezer with healthy meals. Ask a friend or relative to start a meal train for you so that you don’t even need to think about menu planning when you first arrive home from the hospital (if you’re new to your area, check out the next tip: this club will deliver meals for you!).

Photo: Russel Harrison Photography via Flickr

2. Sign Up for Support

Join Multiples of America , a non-profit organization with local clubs across the country. Monthly meet-ups offer a place to for newbie moms to ask more experienced parents what tips and tricks they have for tackling twin-specific problems. You’ll also get the scoop on what’s the new and noteworthy in twin gear and — even better — you’ll be able to buy it at a deep discount at the bi-annual group-sponsored consignment sales. Bonus: new parents are treated to a home cooked meal train by members.

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Photo: Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr

3. Be Prepared to Capture Every Moment

If you hired a professional photographer for your wedding, they most likely urged you to make a “shot list” prior to the ceremony so you wouldn’t forget important pictures day of. Your tiny new arrivals will usher in a similar frenzy; be sure to make a list of your must-have images so that friends and family can help you capture those sweet first days and weeks.


Photo: Nate Davis via Flickr

4. Make “Me Time” a Priority

Some people describe the first few weeks as a blur, others a dreamy haze; one thing is clear –  you probably won’t have a clear sense of time until you find your footing with your new, expanded family. Make sure to take a moment for yourself every day. Let Daddy get some one-on-two snuggles while you journal about your day, take a relaxing bath, snooze or do some simple stretches.

twinsmirror

Photo: Peter Dutton via Flickr

5. Try These Keep ‘Em Straight Strategies

Mirror, mirror…. whose who? Before your identicals are old enough to fake out their friends with the ol’ switcheroo, you may worry that you’ll confuse your own offspring. Yes, it happens! For starters, don’t rush to snip off those hospital bracelets easily double as identity bracelets once you go home. When they outgrow them, a simple dab of nail polish on one baby makes an easy telltale.

Photo: Russel Harrison Photography via Flickr

6. Take Tears In Stride

At some point, it’s bound to happen: both babies will cry at the same time. It’s a twin mom’s biggest fear. But it’s not nearly as scary as you would imagine. It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you have an easy-to-soothe baby, tend to him or her first (that way you won’t be stressed by two wailing babies; tend to the more agitated child first and you risk the other escalating to a fever pitch). If all else fails, remember this popular medical mantra: If they’re crying, they are breathing and they will be okay!

Photo: Nate Davis via Flickr

7. Ask. For. Help.

This is an important one. Every veteran multiple parent will tell you to accept any and all offers of service. And recruit! That multiples club you just joined? Enlist them to lend a hand and don’t feel guilty (those moms LOVE holding two babies — it lets them relive the early years. And if you don’t know how to hold two at once yet, they can teach you!). If there are older children in the home, teach them how they can assist. Even young children can help hold and soothe a sibling while another is getting a diaper change or a sponge bath.

sleepingtwinsPhoto: Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr

8. Attempt a Twin Schedule When You’re Ready

You’ll find a wealth of information online if you’re interested in getting your twins on a schedule (this primer from Parents magazine is a good starting place). Renowned baby expert, Dr. William Sears suggests letting twins co-sleep (after all, they did share a very tiny space for near-nine months).  If your duo don’t sync up, don’t sweat it. Enjoy the one-on-one time a staggered schedule offers. When their sleep schedules do overlap, don’t forget to nap yourself – you deserve it!

momandtwindaughtersPhoto: Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr

9. Master the Art of Holding Your Duo

While it feels amazing to have your new bundles of joy handed to you at the hospital, the key word is: handed. There is an art to scooping up two babies and holding them at the same time. The first time you successful do it, you will feel like a legit, straight-up superhero. This video shows one, simple way to pick up two. If you don’t feel comfortable holding two infants unassisted, consider learning how to hold twins wearing a baby wrap – it keeps babies in a safe, secure hold — and frees up your hands to take on other tasks (like folding tiny onesies).

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Photo: Lori Hurley via Flickr

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Leave the House

Getting out the house with — gasp — two babies (two!) is one of the most intimidating tasks for many new parents to try solo. Trying to organize (and mobilize) all the gear that comes with having two small humans can be taxing, to say the least. So don’t do it! And by that, we don’t mean simply stay at home. But you can dash out without a diaper bag (we dare you) and just go for a drive or stroll. You’ll get some sunshine – and some freedom!

Tell us your twin tips for the newborn phase in a comment below.

–Meghan Meyers