Advice: Are You Ready for The Challenges of Raising Twins?by Martha Scully • October 07, 2016
When it comes to twins, the concept may excite some parents, but truthfully, experienced mothers and fathers are rarely prepared for the challenges associated with raising twins.
Parenting any newborn is difficult, the responsibilities and challenges of twins complicates any task because everything is done simultaneously. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the difficulties associated with parenting twins and hear from mothers who’ve successfully met the challenge.
The Challenges of Raising Twins
In the video above psychologist and specialist, Dr. Joan Friedman spoke on the difficulties parents but specifically, mothers may experience when parenting twins, she said:
“It is overwhelming to have two babies at one time, even if you’ve managed a company of 45 people, or run your own business with a sense of calm and confidence, having two babies at one time will bring anyone to the end of their rope.
But there are things you can do to try and make it a little better, a lot of people like to put babies on the same feeding and eating schedule so you can carve out some time for yourself.
Also, it’s a great idea to join a mother of twins group, so you can so you can meet other women who have been in the trenches where you are now and see how they managed it and learn some tricks of the trade.
It’s also important to remember and to expect that there are going to be emotional challenges when you raise twins. Expect to have to different feelings for each twin. Remember, temperament shapes biology and biology and temperament elicit different feelings between you and your baby.
Remember to raise emotionally healthy twins, allow yourself to feel the differences so you can use that to get to know each baby and so that you’ll be able to be attached to each one of them as an individual being.”
Twins and Sleep Management
One of the biggest hurdles that parents have with a single child is sleep or maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.
When it comes to twins, parents should keep the following points in mind:
If your babies spent several days in the hospital being cared for, before you leave the hospital, speak with the nursing staff and find out when the babies slept and ate. It may be difficult, but try and maintain the same schedule when you leave.
Wake The Other Baby
During the middle of the night, when one of your babies wakes and needs to eat, parents are encouraged to wake both of them in order to ensure that they both stay on the same schedule.
Mothers who’ve documented their feedings and sleep time were able to keep the children’s routines more consistent.
Feeding Twins: Who Gets The Breast? The Bottle?
Another issue that mothers of twins have had, is feeding. While some mothers have enjoyed breastfeeding both children at once, others have found it extremely uncomfortable and mixed between the bottle and the breast. It has been overwhelming for some mothers, and many have found success mixing between formula and breast milk.
Getting Support: Education, Networking and Books
Joining a support group or getting advice from other mothers is a great way to get useful tips when it comes to twin parenting. If you’re not able to travel, there are plenty of good groups on Facebook offering practical advice. You’ll need advice because there will be times when you’ll feel overwhelmed and you’ll need to keep in mind that difficulty doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent.
No parenting book will prepare you for the trials of parenting, however, you can educate yourself and be better prepared. There are plenty of great books written by mothers and medical professionals. You’re a mother when the twins are growing inside of you! You’ll have a few months to do some research and get a head start. Take advantage!
Practical Ways To Save Money
You’ll need to think of ways to save money because you’re going to need double of everything. In the video above, a mother provided some great tips on saving money, saying:
“There’s tons of ways you can save money with twins…
I would recommend is buying diapers in bulk at Cotsco or Sam’s club, they’re definitely a lot cheaper.
Another way to save money is cloth diapers, we did that for a while. You wash them at home or hire a diaper service… you do save money if you do it at home yourself.
Another way is to make your own baby food, we did that and vacuumed sealed it with a food saver. Whatever you would cook for dinner, once they would start eating solid foods, puree it in some sort of blender or food processor and what I did was make little vacuum sealed bags, service sized, package them and dated them that way and you just make a little extra!”
Bonding with Twins Takes Patience
It may take longer for parents and especially mothers to bond with their twins. Why? During the first few weeks, the parents are juggling between the two children and their new responsibilities, this means that it may take longer to get to know each child — be patient!
Child Care: Find A Nanny Who Knows Twins
Child care can be expensive and are on the rise. A practical option is to hire a part time nanny or newborn care specialist to help out. It would be extremely beneficial if you can find someone who has experience with twins. They’ll provide a helping hand, and more importantly, practical suggestions to assist based on twins they’ve cared for in the past.
Thinking about staying home with the kids long-term? You may want to read: The Real Cost of Staying Home with Your Kids: Is it Really Cheaper Than Paying for Childcare?
Why it’s Great to Have Twins
After the first few months, you’ll get into a routine and although it will never be easy, you’ll eventually find tremendous joy parenting your twins, not only watching them grow up but noticing the special bond they develop between themselves.
Parents of twins who research, prepare, plan and network will see the benefit of their hard work, which ultimately makes their job easier — but definitely, not easy!
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