Everything You Need to Know About Preparing for Twin Babies

 

Having one baby is beautiful. Having two in one go? That’s beautiful and then some more! It’s a whole different experience. A twin pregnancy is the rarer occurrence, and may be a bit more tricky to navigate. For this reason, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide – covering everything from practical considerations to self-care tips and all things in-between – that will help you successfully navigate the unique journey of preparing for twin babies. Let’s get into it.

 

Get an Early Start

When you're expecting twins, time is of the essence. Twin pregnancies often result in earlier deliveries compared to singleton pregnancies, which means you'll need to start your preparations sooner than you might think. As soon as you enter your second trimester, begin shopping for essentials. Don't wait to set up the nursery – aim to have it ready by the beginning of your third trimester. It's also wise to pack your hospital bag early, just in case your babies decide to make an early appearance. This early start will give you peace of mind and ensure you're not scrambling at the last minute.

 

Double Up (But Not on Everything)

One of the most common questions expectant parents of twins face is what they need to double up on. While it's true that you'll need two of many items, you don't necessarily need to duplicate everything. You'll definitely want two cots or Moses baskets, two car seats, and eventually two high chairs. If you're planning to bottle-feed, you'll need plenty of bottles and teats. However, you can use one changing table, one baby bath, one nappy bin, and one breast pump if you're planning to breastfeed. The idea is to think about how you'll use each item and make a decision on whether sharing is practical.

 

Set Up a Practical Nursery

Designing a nursery for twins requires a focus on functionality. Position the cots so you can easily access both babies, especially for those middle-of-the-night feeds. Create a comfortable feeding area with a supportive chair, because you're likely going to be spending a lot of time there. You should also set up a well-stocked changing station within arm's reach of the cots to make nappy changes as efficient as possible. Use organisers and storage solutions to keep everything tidy and accessible. Remember, with twins, you'll have double the clothes, nappies, and other supplies, so getting storage right is very important.

 

Prepare for Feeding

Whether you're planning to breastfeed, bottle-feed, or use a combination of both, feeding twins requires extra preparation. If you're hoping to breastfeed, learn about tandem feeding positions before the babies arrive. Invest in a good twin breastfeeding pillow and consider meeting with a lactation consultant experienced with twins before the babies arrive. Stock up on nipple cream and breast pads too – you'll need more than you think.

For bottle-feeding, ensure you have plenty of bottles and teats. Look into bottle props to help feed both babies simultaneously, as well as bottle sterilising options that can handle multiple bottles at once to save time and energy. When your babies arrive, consider pumping and storing breast milk to allow others help with feeding. A formula dispenser can be a lifesaver for easy night feeds.

 

Take Care of Practical Matters

There are several things you should consider regarding practicality when preparing for twins. Check if your car can accommodate two car seats – you might need to upgrade to a larger vehicle. Review your health insurance to understand coverage for a twin birth and any potential NICU stay. If you're planning to return to work, start researching childcare options early as finding care for twins can be more challenging than for a single baby. Also consider the layout of your home and whether any modifications might be necessary to accommodate two babies and all their gear.

 

Invest in Twin-Specific Gear

When it comes to pushchairs, investing in a twin-specific model is crucial. Look for one that's suitable from birth, with seats that can be adjusted as your babies grow. Ensure it's narrow enough to fit through standard doorways – you don't want to be stuck outside shops or your own home! Ample storage space underneath is a must, as you'll be carrying double the usual baby stuff. Some parents find that a side-by-side model works best for them, while others prefer a tandem style. If possible, try pushing a few different models before making your decision.

 

Arrange Support and Help

Joining twin parent groups for support is invaluable. Surrounding yourself with people who have similar experiences to yours can be really reassuring ahead of the birth of your twins, and it offers you a chance to ask all of the questions you’ve been wanting answers to. Besides medical personnel, there is nobody better to ask than someone who has been through it all themselves.

Caring for newborn twins is an around-the-clock endeavour. So, don't be afraid to ask for and accept help. If family or friends offer assistance, say yes! If it is something you are comfortable with, consider hiring a postnatal doula or night nanny, even if for a short period, to help you adjust to life with twins. Remember, accepting help isn't a sign of weakness; it is a smart strategy for managing the demands of caring for two babies simultaneously.

 

Prepare for Your Hospital Stay

Your hospital bag should be ready by Week 26. Packing your hospital bag for a twin birth requires some extra considerations, though. Pack more clothes for yourself than you might for a singleton birth, as twin deliveries can be ‘messier’. Pack snacks for yourself and your partner, as well as any comfort items that might make your hospital stay more pleasant. Considering that twin births have a tendency for early delivery, it's also a good idea to have some preemie-sized clothes on hand, just in case.

 

Prioritise Self-Care

In preparing for your twins’ arrival, it's easy to neglect yourself. But self-care is crucial, both during pregnancy and after your babies arrive. Rest as much as possible during pregnancy – growing two babies is exhausting work! Eat a healthy, balanced diet to support your babies' growth and your own health. Engage in pregnancy-safe exercises, or, if you’re open to stuff like it, consider joining a prenatal yoga class to stay active and connect with other expectant parents.

 

Prepare Mentally

Having twins requires mental preparation too. Educate yourself about caring for multiples by reading books and resources on the subject, attending twin-specific antenatal classes, and joining twin parent forums. It's normal to feel overwhelmed at times. Acknowledge these feelings and reach out for support when you need it.

 

Establish a Routine Early On

When you do have your babies, establishing a routine early on can be a game-changer with twins. Try to synchronise feeding and sleeping schedules from the start, as this will help you manage your time more effectively and ensure you get some rest. This doesn't mean being rigid - flexibility is key - but having a basic structure can help manage the ‘chaos’. A consistent routine helps your babies learn to recognise cues. When this happens, caring for them becomes a lot easier.

 

 

Truth is, preparing for twins is quite the journey. While it may be overwhelming at times, with proper planning and preparation, you will have your babies without any issues. Remember that every twin parent has been where you are now. Take it one day at a time, accept help when it's offered, and don't forget to enjoy the experience. You'll be amazed at how quickly you adapt to life as a twin parent.

 

P.S. One of your foremost concerns in preparing for your twin babies should be providing them with the proper environment to grow and develop. Setting up the nursery right is therefore extremely important. If you’re unsure how to best set up your nursery to accommodate your babies, we’re here to help. The Baby Cot Shop’s interior design service is the perfect solution for you if you’re looking to create a dream space for your babies. Our team of seasoned designers work with you to create the perfect nursery setup for your babies, utilising your existing ideas or taking on the entire project to manage and produce exactly what your babies need.

 

P.P.S. Our collection of baby clothing, nursery furniture and nursery room accessories is guaranteed to have your babies and their room looking good always. Check them out. It’s an investment in their wellbeing you’ll be glad you made.

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