What to expect from life with newborn twins.
I can still remember the utter shock I felt when I found out we were expecting twins. I mean, before getting pregnant twins never even seemed like a possibility. How could that happen?
Looking back now I am so glad it did. I cannot imagine life without my sweet baby twins. And while I thought I would never survive life with newborn twins, somehow I find myself here with 3-year-old twins. We survived.
I have a friend who has newborn twins right now. Between that and Ali and Sammy hitting three I can’t help but think back to those first few months. They can be crazy, but you will get through them.
Having twins makes your life a little more challenging logistically, but it makes it a lot better when it comes to pure joy. Here is what to expect from life with newborn twins.
What's In This Post?
- Life With Newborn Twins
- You Will Find Strength You Never Knew You Had
Life With Newborn Twins
I want to start off by saying you will make it through newborn twin life. For every moment I thought we really could not go on like this a moment longer, that I wasn’t going to make it through the day, there were moments where I couldn’t believe I was blessed with twins.
These things I have found to be true amongst almost all twin parents.
Too Many Twin Questions
From the moment people find out you are expecting twins you will get questions about everything twin. People are fascinated by multiples. And it doesn’t end after pregnancy.
Every time you leave your home you will probably get a lot of questions, tips, and just random family stories about twins. Prepare yourself, these questions just go with being twin parents.
My advice? Practice your smile and nod. People will tell you and ask you crazy things. You don’t owe anyone any explanations, but if you feel like chatting it is nice to take the time to educate people on how twins work.
Learn how I try to keep mindful and polite when the questions just get to be too much: What To Do When People Ask Stupid Twin Questions
Tears, Lots of Tears
A day in the life with newborn twins is not complete with some tears. From the babies, this is just because they are babies. From you? That might happen too. And that’s okay.
The first few weeks and months can be tough, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Don’t feel bad if you have breakdowns. Ask for help, talk to another twin mom, get a break. You will survive life with newborn twins. You can do this.
And you can care for your newborn twins too. Yes, it is tough when both babies are crying. But there are lots of ways you can handle that on your own. Here are 5 tips for handling newborn twins crying all alone.
There are also tears of joy and just pure wonder. You brought two human lives into the world. Staring at my beautiful babies brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, and sometimes still do. I’ll take that kind of crying any day.
(And I am happy to report that the awe of twins doesn’t go away. Even when your twins are no longer little babies you will still catch yourself looking at them in amazement. You made two at once. It is a miracle.)
Your House Will Resemble a Day Care
When I had my singleton I had no idea that one tiny human would need so much stuff. With twins, it looked like we ran child care out of our living room. Newborn twins come with a lot of stuff.
You definitely don’t need two of everything, but you will need two of a lot of things. Two cribs, two high chairs, two bouncers or swings or wherever you want to put your babies down. Every twin family’s setup is different, but talk to real twin moms about what you actually need.
Storage for twins takes up more space too. Double diapers, double wipes, double burp cloths. You will feel like baby stuff is everywhere you turn. Even the twin nursing pillows are (understandably) bigger.
We all know twins aren’t actually two for the price of one, and we were for sure on a budget when Ali and Sammy were born. We managed to get everything we needed and stuck to our means. Here is a guide to everything you need for twins on a budget: Twin Gear- Essentials on a Budget
My big advice? Join a twin group (even a local online one) and look for deals. Twin moms love to help out other twin moms, especially those just starting the twin life. We remember how scary it seemed. And we have stuff we’re looking to get rid of.
You’ll Wonder if You Will Ever Leave Your House Again
Getting out with one baby can be intimidating. You are going to have to do it with two. No, I’m sorry, but you can’t just stay home until your twins are 18.
Obviously, you need to wait until you and your twins are deemed healthy enough to go out in public. But once you are, go. Seriously, don’t wait.
This, along with a lot of things with twins, is one of those things that doesn’t get easier until you do it. So set up an easy trip. Run to Target without a list, take a walk around the block, get yourself a coffee. Do something with just you and your twins.
Yep, it might be a disaster. But what’s the worst that can happen? Your babies could cry, there could be a blowout, or you could have forgotten something. So what? You go home.
There is never a ‘perfect time’ to start getting out with twins on your own, so just go for it. Practice makes it easier. (This will help: How To Get Out Alone with Twins)
You’ll Worry Sleep Is Over
While pregnant I was told I would never sleep. And while newborn sleep habits aren’t helped by having two babies, you will sleep again.
The best way to help you and your kids rest is to get on a schedule. (Yes, you will start to hate hearing that from people, but it is true.) It can be hard to figure out exactly how to get on that elusive schedule though.
I was lucky in that I had learned how to build a schedule with Ben. So I put together a step by step guide to getting your twins on a schedule. Consistent feeding times, following an eat play sleep cycle, and starting each day at the same time will help you and your twins sleep through the night again.
There will be endless nights, I’m not going to lie. But you will sleep again.
You’ll Be Feeding Babies All Day
This one, well, this one is kind of true. Whether you decide to breastfeed or bottle-feed, expect to spend a lot of your time on feeding. Newborns need to eat 8-12 times a day (and night), and you have two newborns.
You can see how that adds up to a lot of time.
To this I say, this time will pass. I know it feels like all your days are spent feeding, but you are doing important work.
I often felt like I did nothing but feed babies all day in those first few weeks. I timed it out, I had actually spent 8 hours just nursing my twins. That’s a job, and that is your job for those first weeks.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always work, I’m not going to pretend it does. But it is possible to breastfeed twins. I exclusively breastfed my twins for 15 months. Here is my guide to everything breastfeeding twins: The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding Twins
And if breastfeeding isn’t for you here is some help on pumping and bottle feeding twins from a mom who bottle-fed her twins: How to be Successful at Exclusively Pumping
All this feeding is good practice for when your twins are older and hit growth spurts. You will feel like all you do is feed your twins many times before they are 18.
You Will Have Moments When You Never Felt More Alone
This is a tough one to write about because I don’t want to scare new moms. But it is very normal to have moments when you feel like you are alone in the world. It’s funny, because these moments often happen while you are surrounded by babies.
It isn’t easy to be a parent, and having twins is something most people don’t get to experience. It can be overwhelming, exhausting, and just plain hard. And it can be so isolating.
Know that if you feel this way it is completely normal. The feeling will pass and your new normal will settle in around you. But don’t be afraid to reach out. Make plans for a friend to come over, meet up with other twin moms, just call your mom. Whatever you need to do to feel less alone, do it.
(Build your support system with these people: The Friends Every Twin Mom Needs)
Is it fair that the burden of taking care of yourself is on you? Nope. In an ideal world, moms would have the support systems we all need and deserve. We don’t live in an ideal world though.
You can plan ahead on this before your twins are born and have your support structure in place to meet up or just call you. Finding a mom group can be the best thing ever in times like this. (Even better if you can find a twin mom group.)
If you feel that you are experiencing postpartum depression talk to your partner, friend, doctor, anyone. You don’t have to go through that. This resource has support in every state in the US.
For most women, the isolation phase passes. But I have found that if I can prepare for these moments ahead of time they are less troubling. You aren’t alone, you aren’t crazy for thinking twin life (and just mom life) is hard, and your mental health is important too.
(And yes, twin moms can fit in self-care even with your twins around. Here is how: Self-Care for Twin Moms)
You Will Find Strength You Never Knew You Had
Look, having twins can be intimidating. But I have found that twin moms are made tough. We dig deep and get things done.
You will be amazed at what you are able to do, the hacks you will find, and the strength that you might not even know you have.
There is a lot of craziness in those first few months with twins, but there is even more joy. Having twins is truly a gift.
Here are some more articles to help you out!
“Put one back!” Finding Out We’re Having Twins
A Complication Free Twin Birth: Our Story
Twin Sleep: Everything You Need to Know in the First Years
Breastfeeding Twin: The Ultimate Resource Guide
Wonder Weeks and Twins: What You Need To Know
How To Tell Identical Twins Apart
How To Cope with Twins and a Toddler
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