Monday, September 1, 2014

Top 10 Tips: Twins Arrive!

1.  Know that it's going to be crazy.

Don't expect the kind of life your imagination might have cobbled together from television commercials, or other families' carefully coordinated professional photography sessions for Christmas cards.

2.  Be prepared.  

There are a lot of things you can do before the babies come to feel sort of set up.  See my post on top five tips for a twin pregnancy (some of which applies to higher order pregnancies, too).

3.  Don't be surprised if NICU time is required.

A lot of multiples arrive early, and thus, need to spend a little time in the NICU.  There are many parents out there a lot more qualified than I to speak to this.  But don't be disheartened by it:  know that this can be a little added recovery time for yourself, and more importantly, a well-monitored catch-up time for preemies who just might not be ready for this world yet.

4.  Get help!

Most people can't afford night nurses, nannies who help while you're home as well, or even a cleaning lady.  If you CAN, more power to you!  For the rest of us, beseech your family and friends to come at regular intervals.  Get over your pride and ask if nobody volunteers.

5.  Have a night-time plan.

See my posts on Sleep...and what we WISH we had done, and Sleep: tips for making the night go smoothly.

(For even MORE sleep advice, this link goes to a list of all posts on Sleep.)

6.  Create a schedule, but don't worry if you can't stick to it.

By now I'm sure you've heard the mantra that if one baby wakes to eat, feed the other baby, too.  Eventually, you will get more rest if you can get your twins to eat and sleep at the same time.  It can also help you mentally if you know what to expect throughout the day, rather than feeling that each day (or night!) is an endless stretch of the unknown.  A few tips:  In Praise of Routine.

7.  Order stuff online.

While I do recommend learning how to get out of the house with your multiples soon, to avoid cabin fever, I also know it's very difficult.  Sometimes it just seems easier to stay home.  In which case, ordering diapers, formula, pajamas, whatever it may be, from Amazon or can be a very easy and convenient option.  And while we never did it, I've heard online grocery delivery services can be amazing.

8.  Don't compare.

Try and accept early on that your life with two or more babies at one time will NOT look the same as your friend or cousin with just one baby at a time.  I once heard a quote, attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, that "comparison is the thief of joy."

9.  Join stuff. 

I've been a member of a multiples club in two different cities now, and I can't stop gushing about the benefits!  Most groups have an online presence, in which you can ask questions related to twins, buy a used triple stroller for a good price, or be inspired by that mother of quadruplets!  Both groups I've joined had monthly meetings with interesting, relevant speakers, and my current group even serves a free dinner before every meeting!  There are usually play dates and events for the kids, or moms' nights out for happy hour or dinner.  I've made lots of friends this way, and can't say enough about the emotional support these groups can provide.  If you don't have a multiples club near you, join another parent group to meet other people who are (almost) going through the same thing.

Find a multiples club:  Multiples of America

10.  To repeat, remember:  it'll be crazy.


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