Preparations for having twins.. added financial pressures on the family, as much more will be spent on diapers, food, clothing, car seats

Preparations for having twins

We just found out we're having twins! So, what can we do now?

Having twins (or more babies in the same pregnancy, like triplets) means much more than having two babies at the same time, and the challenge is more than having double or triple the work or pleasure.

Twins or more children born at the same time are often born prematurely and therefore tend to be smaller than the average newborn; That's why you'll need to see your pediatrician even more often than when you have a single baby.

Feeding twins, either breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, also requires special strategies, and your doctor can provide advice and support.

There may also be added financial pressures on the family, as much more will be spent on diapers, food, clothing, car seats and much more; maybe even a bigger family car or even a bigger place to live is needed.

Twin birth rate and number of multiple births:

The twin birth rate in the US is just over 3%. But as your obstetrician and pediatrician have probably explained to you, the number of multiple births has increased in recent years. It has increased 42% since 1990 and 70% since 1980.

Some researchers have attributed much of this increase to more frequent use of infertility treatments and procedures such as in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization may require the implantation of more than one fertilized egg into the uterus, while the use of infertility drugs may stimulate the ovaries to release two or more eggs.

Parenting of a multiple pregnancy:

You should care for your healthy multiples as you would any other baby. From the beginning, it is important that you recognize that your babies are independent individuals from each other.

If they are identical twins, it is easy to treat them as a "unit" by giving them the same clothes, the same toys, and the same quality of care.

But as similar physically and emotionally as they are, they are different, and in order for them to grow up happy and secure as individuals, they need you to nurture their differences. As a twin once said, "We're not twins. We're just brothers with birthdays on the same day."

Identical twins:

Identical twins come from the same egg, are always the same sex, and look very similar. Fraternal twins, or fraternal twins, come from two different eggs, fertilized at the same time.

They may or may not be of the same sex. Whether they are identical twins or fraternal twins, each child will have their own personality, style and temperament. Both identical twins and fraternal twins can be competitive or interdependent as they grow older.

Sometimes one of them acts as a leader and the other as a follower. Whatever the specifics of their interaction, most twins develop very intense relationships early in life, simply from spending so much time together.

If you have other children as well, your newborn twins may have a more intense than usual sibling rivalry.

double rewards:

They will require a lot of your time and energy, and will draw much more attention from friends, family, and strangers on the street. You can help your other children accept and sometimes even take advantage of this special situation by offering them "double rewards" for helping with the new babies and by encouraging them to become increasingly involved in the daily care of the babies. In addition, it will become increasingly important that you set aside time to be alone with the other children, doing your favorite activities.

As twins get older, especially if they are identical, they may choose to play with each other, making their other siblings sit on the sidelines. To avoid helping twins form such an exclusive bond, encourage them to play individually (not as a unit) with other children. Plus, you or your babysitter can play with one of them while the other plays with a sibling or friend.

development of the twins:

You may find that your twins do not develop according to the same patterns as other children their age. Some twins seem to "divide the work": while one concentrates on motor skills, the other perfects communication or social skills. Because they spend so much time together, many twins communicate better with each other than with any other family member or friend.

learn about the world:

They learn to "read" each other's gestures and facial expressions and, from time to time, even have their own language that no one else understands (this occurs more between identical twins). Because they are entertaining each other, they may not be very motivated to learn about the world around them.

This unique pattern of development is not a problem,but it makes it that much more important to separate the twins from time to time and expose them, individually, to other playmates and other learning situations.

Separation of the twins:

Twins don't always like being apart, especially if they've established strong play habits and a preference for each other's company.

The ability to separate:

For this reason, it is important to start separating them from time to time, the sooner the better. If they are very resistant, try gradually by inviting other children or familiar adults to play with them individually, but in the same room or on the playground.

Being able to separate for longer is more important as they get closer to school age. In preschool, most twins can stay together in the same class, but many elementary schools prefer twins to be in separate classes.

How to balance the dual identities of the twins:

As much as you value the individual differences between your twins, you will undoubtedly have certain feelings for them as a unit.

There is nothing wrong with this, since they share many similarities and are predestined to develop a dual identity: as individuals and as twins. Helping them understand and accept the balance between these two identities is one of the most difficult tasks you will face as a parent of twins.

dealing with the special challenges of raising twins:

Your pediatrician can give you advice on dealing with the special challenges of raising twins. It can also suggest helpful reading material and organizations that help parents of multiples.

At the same time, take care of yourself and get as much rest as you can. For many parents, raising twins or more children from a multiple pregnancy can be much more physically demanding and emotionally stressful than having a single baby. Make an effort to catch up on the sleep you need. 

midnight meals:

Take turns with your partner taking care of "midnight" meals, bathing, and feeding the babies. If your budget allows, get extra help with routine tasks like bathing babies and grocery shopping, or ask friends and family for help. An extra set of hands, especially when there are more children than twins, even for just a few hours a week, can make a world of difference and give you more time not only to enjoy your babies but for yourself.