7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Having Twins


Are they twins?

This is by far the most popular question I get asked about my twin girls. I guess people do a double take and aren’t sure what to think. Despite the latest CDC statistics stating there are more than 114,000 twin births in the U.S. alone, seeing twins in person still has people seeing double.

I’ll be honest. When the ultrasound technician told me I had twins I stayed in shock for at least a week. I still remember how she announced it, “Ok, let’s see the other one.” Wait, the other one? She was so “casually cruel in the name of being honest.” 

But here I am six years later with two twin girls and while there have been plenty of glorious moments, there have also been some trying times. It doesn’t really get easier but you do become wiser and better adjusted.

Just like every season of babyhood and childhood there are ups and downs. Every season has its highs and every season has its struggle. With twins, or multiples in general, there’s double the struggle but also double the joy. Here are seven things I wish I had known before having twins.

1. They have a built-in playmate

Let’s start with a positive that will stay with them. From the beginning, each twin has a built-in playmate. Sure there will be times they fight, but don’t all siblings have their bickering moments? 

It may seem tough when they’re babies and you’re having to take care of two newborns while dealing with lack of sleep, but as they grow into toddlers and beyond they’ll always have a built in buddy to help them. They’ll have someone to play with and it’s pretty cute watching them bond and giggle.

2. It’s two-for-two, not two-for-one

Innocent bystanders and strangers will make all kinds of comments and a popular one is the two-for-one deal. I’m not sure why this irked me but I have two babies to take care of so it’s a two-for-two deal. 

People will say all kinds of things and they will ask the “are they twins?” question more times than you can count. It will be redundant and you may feel snarky but just remember they don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes. To them it’s all brand new and mysterious.

The one bright side is when you run into another twin mom who gets you.They know what it’s like. 

3. Embrace their individuality

Some twin moms will dress their twins alike. Others couldn’t give a flip. It’s okay. They may be twins but they’re still two individual babies. Even if you have identical twins (which is more unique than fraternal), their personalities are still totally unique.

This also means their milestones may be different, although probably not far off. Milestones are meant to be a marker and awareness tactic but don’t let it get you down. Especially when social media makes it easy to compare others. One twin may walk first but trust me, the other isn’t far off. What one twin does first, the other makes up for in other ways. 

This is also key to remember during potty training, which I am so glad is over! Looking back, I would’ve focused on one twin who was obviously ready while the other just wasn’t quite ready and preferred pull-ups and diapers. Change can be hard; even as adults change can be difficult so why are so we so hard on kids who are constantly developing?

4. A sleep schedule can help

Having them on the same nap and night time sleep routine can help the parent and allow you to have a small break so that you’re not tending to one child while the other is sleeping. I didn’t sleep train my babies but they just naturally slept during the night at the same time and had naps together. 

Sometimes one would wake first and one wouldn’t nap as long but generally they just naturally aligned. This isn’t always true but I didn’t feel the need to sleep train because my babies just knew when they were tired. Did I cry a little on the inside when they stopped napping after age two? Yes, yes I did. But I also didn’t force them to sleep.

If you’re looking for sleep guidance, Taking Cara Babies is a wonderful online resource but also make sure you’re talking with the pediatrician who can and should provide you with guidance as well. 

5 Nursing two is possible

First of all, no matter how you choose to feed your babies whether it’s from the breast or the bottle is up to you. Fed is best, not how you feed. 

If you opt to breastfeed or pump, it is possible but it will take a little work. I would strongly, strongly suggest meeting with a lactation consultant because often times twins are born earlier and have problems latching. This could be why many moms of multiples opt for the bottle. Your pediatrician can hook you up with one.

If you’re taking the pumping route, stick to a pumping schedule and stay consistent. Also get a few tops that are nursing friendly or wear looser fitting shirts. Another small but useful tip is while pumping make yourself comfortable and don’t just stare at the pumps. Have pictures of the babies or maybe a book or something to keep your mind off the monotony of pumping. You can try the oat cookies or oatmeal and other tips and tricks but staying consistent is the main thing.

If your babies happen to stay in the NICU you should have access to a pump at no charge while they are staying in the hospital. This will give you time to try it out. 

6. Toys…Everywhere!

You have one kid and you’re bound to have stuff everywhere. Two means double the mess. But it’s okay because if one kid has a toy you can’t leave the other one out. Just accept the mess and embrace the season.

However, this isn’t to say you need two of everything. Do you really need two baths? I’ll be honest and say it’s hard to bathe two babies at once especially before they can sit up. Once they can sit up and hold their head up, you can buy some fancy contraption for the bathtub or go old school and use a laundry basket. It works, trust me!

It also helps to have a bouncer or something of this nature to keep them in but you don’t necessarily need two. You can have one twin in a bouncer or swing and another in a playpen or doing tummy time. This allows you to have some one-on-one time while the other bounces away.

Try not to get overwhelmed with needing the latest baby and toddler accessory and thinking you need double of it all. Babies above all need love and affection and could care less about having the latest gadget. 

While they’re just little babies you don’t need a closet full of the latest boutique baby clothes. Most babies live in and are perfectly content in onesies. As for socks, keep socks on hand or in the diaper bag just to ease the minds of older women and grandmothers who think their bare feet will cause them to catch a cold. It’s easier this way! 

7. Don’t do it alone

Being a new mom in and of itself can be isolating. Being a mom of multiple can be even more so as you’re taking care of more than one baby.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and check to see if there’s any Moms of Multiples groups in your area. In the Columbia/Lexington area, there’s a group who meets monthly. They also have their twice a year consignment sales. Look for help, it’s out there!

Are you a mom of multiples? What would you add to the list?

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Natalie Szrajer
Natalie has lived in South Carolina most of her life after her family moved across the country from California. Growing up in a small, South Carolina town allowed her to appreciate the simple ways of country living. She now resides in Lexington which isn't too far from rural life. She holds a degree in Journalism from USC (Go Gamecocks!) and currently writes for a couple of Lexington publications. After giving birth to twins, she decided staying home was the best option for her family. In addition to identifying with other twin moms, she has also come to know the world of NICU survivors, early intervention and the world of special needs. Aside from being a twin mom, she also enjoys church and growing with God, writing, crafting, walking and a nice cup of tea. She also appreciates and loves learning about different cultures as she is of Asian American descent.


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