Getting Ready for Twins: Tips on How to Prepare and What to Expect
Whether it runs in your family or not, finding out you’re having twins can come as a surprise; but did you know twin pregnancies are more common than you think? 1 in 65 UK births are twins, triplets or more! Learning you’re expecting more than one baby is an AMAZING feeling, but it can also be a little daunting. Don’t worry, we totally understand that you might feel overwhelmed at first - it’s completely normal!
With over 30 years of expertise, our top tip from Metanium HQ is to trust your instincts - even if you’re a first time parent, those motherly or fatherly instincts are definitely real. Just like parents with one newborn, there might be a few sleepless nights ahead, but the saying 'the good outweighs the bad' couldn’t be more true with twins - you’re about to experience double the amount of love!
If you stop reading this article here, you already have the most important information you need - you CAN do this. But if you do fancy some extra nuggets of information, we've collated a few of our top tips on how to prepare for twin newborns.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR TWIN NEWBORNS
Start preparing early
With twin pregnancy, you will most likely need to rest as you get bigger and on average, twins are born sooner than single babies. Full term is considered to be 38 weeks for twins compared to the usual 40 weeks, so the second trimester is a great time to start preparing!
Buy what you need
After you’ve done your research, buy everything you will need for the first few months. Try to buy certain items in bulk, such as nappies and wipes. This will be one less thing to worry about in those first few busy weeks, but will also save you a bit of money in the long run.
The thought of needing two of everything can be financially worrying but remember that you won’t need to double up on everything! For example you will only need:
- 1 Bathtub
- 1 Changing mat
- 1 Baby Monitor
- 1 Double buggy
Visit our newborn checklist to help guide your shopping.
Get your home ready
Getting the nursery ready is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy, but making your babies’ room the perfect space for two can be a little more tricky! Perhaps consider maximising storage space with under-the-bed storage boxes for under the cot, or by installing a second rail in the wardrobe.
The aim of the game when preparing your home for twins is making sure everything you need is close by and you can find it easily!
DAILY ROUTINE TIPS FOR LIFE WITH NEWBORN TWINS
Try not to put pressure on yourself to stick to a schedule; every baby is different and they might not settle into the same routine.
Remember: trust your instinct. You will soon get to know each baby’s cues and signals, so don’t feel pressured by the parenting ‘how to’s’ out there - you’ve got this!
Prepare your at home baby essentials
Our favourite tip is to keep a nappy changing caddy both upstairs and downstairs, to make sure you have everything on hand when you need it.
Keeping a box of essentials and a changing mat in your bedroom at the beginning will also make life much easier, and stop you having to go into your babies’ room to the changing station in the middle of the night - especially if one is up and the other isn’t. You will soon be a pro at putting a nappy on with the most minimal light, we promise!
… And your on-the-go saviours
It’s also a great idea to try to have a bag of essentials packed and ready to go in case you ever need to make a speedy exit out the house. Think clean nappies, wipes, spare clothes, blankets and a bag for dirty nappies.
Bathtime with two
Buying a baby bath will make life easier, as they are easy to transport, and can be put on a higher surface for recovering mums.
Whilst your little ones are small, you should bath each baby separately, as newborns are too fragile to bathe two at once. If you have a partner or family member at hand, maybe set up an assembly line to ensure each baby is getting a little one on time between bathing and getting ready for bed.
Once your little one’s are able to sit up, it’s safe to wash them together in a big tub - just make sure you’re ready for double splashing!
Getting twins into a good sleeping pattern can be challenging; it’s important to be flexible until you find what works for you and your babies. It may soothe your little ones, and help to regulate their sleep cycles if you put them in the same cot for the first few weeks or months.
If you do this, you should follow the safe sleeping advice from the NHS website.
When your twins are older, you may choose to put them in separate cots so that they don’t disturb each other - once they begin to interact, whichever twin wakes first may wake the other for a little secret play time. If you have enough room and your toddlers are waking each other up throughout the night, you can think about putting them in separate rooms.
Bonding with your twins
Rest assured, the bond with your babies will most likely naturally develop through caring for them every day, but we’ve put together some top tips below to help you bond with your newborn twins:
- Make time to cuddle and have some skin on skin contact with each of your babies, one at a time.
- Try to incorporate some dedicated attention for each baby into your routine, such as when they are having a bath or when you are changing their nappy.
- Interact with your babies throughout the day by giving them plenty of eye contact, talking to them and smiling at them.
- Try baby massage, this will help you to read your baby better and learn their cues.
- Don’t worry! Look after yourself and your babies and trust that the bonds will develop in time.
We hope this guide has helped you feel more prepared. There are plenty of online resources for you to find out more. Twins Trust has a community forum and a helpline to help you with any specific questions. Remember that you are not alone and that you are amazing!
Do you have any useful tips to share with our twin parents? Head to our Facebook or Instagram page to share your top tips with us.
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