two newborn fraternal babies sleeping

Double The Fun

Posted in

Did you just find out that you’re pregnant with twins? Double congratulations! Along with the awe and excitement, it’s totally normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when preparing for the arrival of your little ones. Thankfully, there are lots of wonderful support systems and products that help make life with two babies easier. Read on to learn our best tried and true tips for getting ready to bring home twin newborns.

Join your local MoM group
First and foremost, get involved with your local Mothers of Multiples club! Multiples of America has local chapters all over the US. Getting to know other local parents of twins and higher order multiples is a gift like no other.

Parents of multiples get it and are a wealth of information, support, and camaraderie. Each local chapter is unique, but most offer several programs such as monthly meetings, playdates, mom’s night outs, and peer mentoring. Many groups help organize meal trains and hands-on support for brand new parents of twins. Plus, their bi-annual rummage sales are a gold mine for gently used baby gear, clothes, and toys for young children!

Joining a MoM group during pregnancy is a fantastic way to connect with other moms and start learning about what it’s like to raise multiples. As you will soon learn, it’s a wild ride — and with a solid support system, raising twins is an absolute blast.

Learn about Childbirth + Feeding Options
Childbirth education has been proven to improve parents’ satisfaction with their labor and delivery experiences. Sign up for a class during your first or second trimester to ensure you’re prepared in case you go into labor early.

In-person classes are wonderful, but there are some great online resources specifically for parents of multiples, too. Check out Twiniversity and Twin Love Concierge for popular childbirth and breastfeeding twins classes.

Knowing what to expect during labor and birth will help you create a birth plan, and doing so early in your pregnancy ensures you have time to check that your healthcare team is on board with your wishes. Whether you’re planning a vaginal or Cesarean birth, there are lots of options to consider to tailor your experience to you and your partner’s individual needs.

There are so many options when it comes to feeding your infant twins. Breastfeeding, pumping, formula, or donor milk are all viable choices. It’s impossible to know what will work best for your family until the time comes, so start reading about different feeding options now so you’ll be prepared.

Stock up on Meals
It’s a lot of work to get the right amount of nutrition during twin pregnancy, isn’t it? Postpartum nutrition is just as important, but you won’t want to have to worry about cooking healthy meals as brand new parents to twins.

There are lots of great solutions available to ensure your newly expanded family is well nourished after birth. First, start doubling recipes during your pregnancy and freeze your leftovers. Easy to reheat meals are a godsend after a busy day of caring for newborn twins.

Secondly, set up a meal train. Local friends, co-workers, and family drop off food on a regular basis to make sure you and your partner are well fed. Lots of us struggle with asking for help, but it’s important to remember that your community wants to help and this is a simple, totally doable way for people to be supportive.

Setting up a meal train is simple, but if you’re having trouble putting yourself out there, try asking a close friend to spearhead the task for you. TakeThemAMeal.com makes this process a breeze. Just create a profile (for free!), select when and where you want meals delivered, and add a list of your friends’ and family’s email addresses. TakeThemAMeal.com will send out invitations as well as reminders as your due date gets closer. They even have options for non-local friends to purchase meals that can be delivered straight to your door!

Speaking of delivery, one last way to meal plan for your postpartum time is to stock up on local take-out favorites. It may sound silly, but when your brain is fuzzy from the demands of new twin parenthood, it can take a lot of energy just to remember your favorite delivery options! Having a list of favorites will be such a relief on days when you’re too tired to cook.

Set up the Nursery
When setting up the nursery for your twins, there are a lot of options to consider. Will they share your room at first, share a nursery, or even each sleep in separate rooms?

We suggest keeping it simple at first, as you won’t know your babies’ particular needs until you get to know them. While some twins demand separate sleeping spaces, most sleep surprisingly well through their sibling’s wake ups. Plus, in the early days you will want to keep them on the same schedule, anyway.

Two bassinets are the simplest solution for most twin parents, since they can be moved around the house as needed. Some of our favorites are the UppaBaby and Halo.

To learn more about setting up a safe sleep space for your babies, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics guide.

Stock up on Diapers
How many diapers will you need for your twins? Babies need about 8-10 diaper changes a day for the first few months. So yes, there will be at least 16-20 diaper changes happening in your household, every day!

When parents realize how much diapers cost, many decide to add them to their baby registry. Twin parents, this is a smart move! As they get older, babies need less frequent diaper changes. Total, you can expect to need about 4,400 diapers before your twins’ first birthday.

If you’re using disposable diapers, babylist.com suggests adding 2 boxes of Newborn Sized diapers, 4-6 boxes of Size 1 diapers, and 2 boxes of Size 2 diapers to your baby registry, per baby. This way, you’ll be set with some diapers of each size. Since most twins are smaller than singletons when they are born, we suggest having 2 boxes of Preemie Sized diapers as well.

There are a ton of diaper brands on the market, but the cheaper brands often lead to more leaks. You’ll have enough laundry already, so invest in a good brand with no harsh chemicals like the Honest Company.

Get a Great Double Stroller
A double stroller is essential, but they’re definitely not all created equal! Your stroller will become your new best friend as you learn to navigate getting out and about with two babies.

It’s important to consider your family’s individual needs when weighing double stroller options. What will work amazingly for your family may be cumbersome for another, and vice versa.

Our two favorites for everyday use are the UppaBaby VISTA and City Mini Double. However, nothing compares to the Bob Revolution Pro Duallie when it comes to tackling Boston cobblestones or unpaved hiking trails!

Gather Support
If there’s one thing that raising twins will teach you, it’s that community support is an essential ingredient. Before your twins arrive, talk to your friends and family to assess how much hands-on support you can expect. In the first few months, feeding and caring for your newborns will be more than a full time job, and without help your physical and mental health will take a hit.

What are some ways that your community can help? Dropping off meals, washing bottles, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and washing laundry will significantly lighten your load. Having a friend stop by to hold the babies while you shower or nap will feel amazing and is so important for your wellbeing. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!

For peace of mind, consider hiring a cleaning service. Once a week during the first few months is ideal, but any amount of help with house cleaning is great. Home upkeep with new twins is a huge adjustment for parents. You will definitely thank yourself for thinking ahead.

Hire a Postpartum Professional
What is the best way to ensure your family is well cared for during your transition to parenthood? Hire a postpartum doula or newborn care specialist.

These professionals are trained to help with recovery from birth and newborn care. Having a doula or NCS in your home will take a huge weight off your chest, knowing that you and your babies have the support you need to thrive.

Community support from friends and family is wonderful, but having a professional on your team allows you to completely relax into life with newborn twins. Your doula or NCS will be a wealth of information and a consistent support person. She’ll be there to answer questions about infant sleep or feeding, and she’ll show you her best tips and tricks for caring for two babies. She’ll help make sure you are eating well and getting good sleep, and getting the time you need to bond with your babies. And if you need any type of additional care from another professional such as a lactation consultant, therapist, or chiropractor, she’ll provide you with the best options local to you.

That’s where we come in! Nightingale Night Nurses has helped dozens of parents of multiples. Whether you’re anticipating you’ll benefit most from overnight newborn care, daytime or 24/hour support, our team of skilled and experienced newborn care specialists, postpartum doulas, and registered nurses will be there to guide you. Contact us to learn more about our packages specifically designed for twin parents.

You’ve Got This
You’re probably feeling both nervous and excited about preparing for your twins’ arrival. Just know that while caring for two babies is a lot of work, it’s also a huge blessing. As your twins grow, their relationship will remind you what true love is, and their unique twin antics will provide the absolute best entertainment.

Raising twins will show you just how strong and capable you are — and while there will inevitably be some tears, get ready for a lot of laughter, too. With a strong support system and thorough knowledge of what to expect, you will absolutely thrive as a twin parent!

Kristin Smith

Kristin is a wife, mom, doula and a kick ass swaddler. She spends her time helping families get top notch support throughout their parenting journey. When she isn't swaddling babies, she can be found sipping latte's and watching her daughter play softball. Read more...