A question can come up when preparing for twins and again once they are born. Do you dress them alike, or not? You can hear some strong opinions on this one. I heard from people to absolutely never dress twins alike. You will ruin their quest for individuality. I’ve also heard of course you should dress twins alike-they need to feel the connection to their twin. I think the actuality of what should happen falls somewhere in between. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Cons of dressing twins alike:
There are some downsides to dressing twins alike. In the early days when it can be hard to tell who is who. Even with differently gendered twins, you can get confused. It is better to keep clothing different until you feel more confident in telling your babies apart. I even went as far as to write down what each of my girls was wearing every time I changed their clothes. It is worth the extra few seconds and potential ridicule for peace of mind. Anytime I am worried about identity questions I go ahead and dress the girls differently. Generally, if we are just hanging out at home they are dressed differently. I like to be able to tell at a glance from across the room who is who, and different outfits make that easier. (This is true even for boy/girl twins. Babies tend to look like, well babies. It is so easy to make a mistake and doubt yourself. It never hurts to be safe.) My girls almost always sleep in non-matching pajamas too. I don’t want to have extra worries or honestly any extra thinking in the middle of the night. Not matching makes it just that much easier to know who you are tending to.
Two times I always dress my twins differently:
1) Doctor appointments. This one might sound silly seeing as babies spend half their well check appointments sans clothing. But when medical attention is involved you don’t want to question who is who. There might be lots of people looking at your twins- the doctor, nurses, medical assistants- all who probably don’t know the tricks of telling your babies apart. Even well check appointments can be a bit chaotic. There is a lot of information that needs to get relayed quickly, and let’s be real babies often cry at these making it even harder to focus. Keep it easy on yourself, dress the babies differently.
2) When someone else is watching the babies. It is so cute to show off your adorable twins in matching gear, but help your sitter out. They are probably nervous about knowing who is who and babies can’t tell you. It is important that each baby gets all their needs met, and you don’t want one baby getting changed twice or not fed. This is extra important if one baby has a need the other doesn’t, like one twin is on a medication. Maybe even take it a step further and start a note sheet for your sitter. Baby A is wearing blank, Baby B is wearing blank, and then leave lines to note when they are fed and changed.
The other drawback of dressing twins alike is pure practicality. Sometimes it is hard to find the same clothes in the same size. This is especially true if you clothe your kids based off mainly hand me downs and clearance items like me. Despite some drawbacks, dressing twins alike is fun. Quite honestly I think it is a perk of giving your all to not just one baby, but two! The fun I think is the biggest pro of dressing twins alike, but it isn’t the only one.
Pros of dressing twins alike:
1) Saves time. You only have to pick out one outfit. One less decision to make can save some real time on busy mornings. It also saves on shopping time if you can just grab two of an outfit you like.
2) Easy identification in a crowd. You can easily pick out your two in a crowd if they are dressed alike. This comes in handy at parties or outings when you won’t be glued to your children, but want to be able to find them quickly.
3) Crowd favorite. Everyone loves seeing baby twins match. It is just so cute, and it can really make people happy to see it. Sometimes you have to give the people what they want.
But what about fostering individuality in twins? This is important for older children. For babies, I don’t think it matters at all. My singleton didn’t care in the slightest what he was wearing as a baby, and safe to say the same is true of twins. Once the children are old enough to have an opinion I personally think it is best to let them decide if they want to match. I, of course, hold final say, but I like to save my outfit commands for important events like holidays or formal occasions. But hey, if my girls want to dress alike sometimes when they are older they are welcome to do so. I remember getting a kick out of dressing like my friends, so I think it is harmless.
What are your opinions? Do you dress your twins alike? Let me know what you think!