Life with a newborn is no joke. Life with newborn twins? Well, it's not infinitesimally harder, but it's harder... a LOT harder! I now have two months under my belt and feel I'm ready to pass along some of my tips and tricks to those about to embark on the adventure!
You can go with any infant compatible carrier for when one baby is fussy and needs to be held. Personally I love the Moby and Mei Tai. But when BOTH infants need to be held and you need to be mobile and/or hands free? You have way less options. If you're very skilled (or have the patience to sit through a bunch of YouTube tutorials and practice practice practice) you can try wearing both babies in a Moby or other kind of wrap. I tried, and failed. It was quite humbling. So I stuck with the WeeGo Twin Carrier, the only one made specifically for two infants. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world, or perhaps I'm not wearing it right? All the weight is on my shoulders, but still I wear it at least an hour a day. Sometimes you have two overtired and screaming babies and the only way to get them to both calm down and go to sleep at the same time is babywearing and the WeeGo has been a life-saver for me!!
Don't let them get overtired!
Babies cry for many reasons, many of which we are hard wired to check for. They're hungry (look for hunger cues such as hands at mouth, sticking out tongues, smacking lips, etc), they have a dirty diaper (pinch / sniff the diaper or take a peek), they're too hot (check for sweaty neck), or they're too cold (hands and feet are not a good indicator since newborns have poor circulation - instead stick your hand in and feel their belly or back to make sure it's warm). You may also have a colicky baby or sporadic gas (be sure to burp them several times at feeding, and try laying them on your lap with head face up by your knees and feet toward your belly and then rotate their legs in a bicycle motion - this can help work out the gas).
But in my household, if they're fed and changed and still crying, they are simply overtired. They may not look it. They may not have "sleepy eyes" or be yawning, but they need to sleep... desperately... even more than I do! It's amazing how much time flies and how little awake time newborns can handle. In the first month, they are pretty much only awake for feeding. After that, awake time gradually grows but even at 2 months my little ones cannot handle much more than 1 hour of awake time. If we pass 90 minutes they start flipping out and will not go down without a fight (which is when I resort to the WeeGo carrier mentioned above!).
Stay organized but don't stress over schedules!
I went to twin prep classes by Twiniversity and Twin Love Concierge and they both had some really great charts for keeping track of feedings, diapers, medicine, sleep, etc. Using those as guides I created one that was more tailored to what I needed to keep track of, and I filled it out religiously for the first week. I quickly realized the sleep portion of it was a pain in the butt - newborns doze in and out, it was doing my head in! For me, keeping track of feedings (which baby took which boob and at what time) and how many poo/pee diapers they had was most important. After a month, I was only keeping track of feedings. And now at 2 months I've stopped the charting altogether. That said, I will keep track of feedings, diapers, and sleep for 2 days prior to each check up since the nurse always asks for those numbers and you don't want to feel like a big dummy (which I always do - "Ummmm 5? 10? I have no idea!!!")
Most twin parents say getting babies on a schedule is key, and you can try straight from birth but it may not be worth the stress. My babies had a terrible latch and were not gaining weight the first two weeks so I had to give up tandem nursing for a "laid back" position and on top of that I had to pump to supplement. By one month they were both on track for weight and we were back to exclusively breastfeeding. The doc OK'd me to not wake them at night, but when one baby was up I made sure to get the other one up so they were on the same schedule at night. I kept the room fairly dark at night with the sound machine on, which was their cue that it was nighttime, and they never did get their days and nights confused. We were VERY lucky there! During the day though, I still haven't bothered with getting them on the same schedule. I actually kind of prefer when they are opposite since I can enjoy feeding and bonding with one baby while the other is peacefully sleeping. But we will probably be attempting a schedule soon, the flexible 3-hour "eat-play-sleep" BabyWise schedule worked well for my son from about 8 weeks so we may try that soon.
Just found out you're having twins? Don't miss my post on "How to Prepare for Having TWINS!" and "My Positive Twin Birth Story" to give you some encouragement! And have you seen my "Twin Pregnancy Progression Time Lapse Video"? You may wanna try creating one, too!! And here's a glimpse into our life with newborn twins and a toddler...
Do you have tips for surviving life with newborn twins? Questions? Leave a comment below!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!