There were a lot of things I was told when I was pregnant with the twins. Some things were helpful, while others were… not… Such as “you’re going to have your hands full”. That one seemed to be a favorite! Unfortunately, I didn’t know many people with twins, either. A lot of the information I learned about having twins came from Google. God love the Internet, right? So, I thought I would share my insider information with eleven things I wish I would have known before having multiples. I truly hope this information helps you if you are pregnant with twins or higher order multiples, because not too long ago, I was in the same boat!
1. You will go through a ton of wipes.
Everyone focuses on diapers. Yes, you will go through a lot of those. But, no one thinks about wipes. I wish we were more prepared for the amount of wipes we would need. Just remember, babies have MAD blowouts, and you will have that times two or more!
2. You can hire a doula, nanny or nurse to help you at night.
And, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. The first two months, you will be up every two hours, changing and feeding. You can hire someone to help you out at night. This may seem like a luxury to singleton parents, but it could be necessity for parents of multiples. Plus, it’s truly a godsend-think about being immobile due to a cesarean. If only I looked into this before the second day home with our little ones…
3. They won’t be on the same schedule [when you take them home from the hospital].
You would think that since they spent nine months rooming together that they would be on the exact same routine? Nope, think again. They’re individuals. Even at one second after birth. That means they eat, sleep and poop on their own times. As I’ve said before, you have to work out a schedule (this can be parent-led, baby-led, or a combination).
4. Write everything down!
When did Baby A last eat or poop?! What time did Baby B get tired? What time did they wake up? When you’re sleep deprived, you won’t remember anything. Trying to get them on a schedule by recognizing their patterns or trying to make sure all their needs are met when you can’t remember a thing is beyond difficult. Writing things down or using apps is the best way to ensure you don’t miss anything!
5. There are so many types of formula, it gets expensive and don’t bulk order until you find the perfect one!
There’s sensitive, soy, Alimentum, ready-to-feed or powder formula. There’s so many to chose from, and it all starts off as experiments. If you are unable to produce enough for both babies or choose to formula feed, you’re going to be looking at high grocery bills! If one or both babies are on one of the speciality formulas, like my son, Grayson is, double your bill. Ask your pediatrician for samples, reach out to brands for samples, or find the small sized formulas in the store, before making a large order.
6. You don’t need two of everything.
Some people say it’s safe to buy two of everything, but even if you have boy/girl twins, you don’t need two of everything. When it comes to buying double, stick to the essentials-cribs, diapers, wipes, car seats. While it’s nice to have two pack n plays, two walkers, two bouncers, it’s not absolutely necessary. They can share and learn to take turns, given you teach them. I know- it may be difficult. But, when you have other expenses that come with multiples, stick to the essentials first!
7. Take pictures, lots of pictures!
Weekly pregnancy bump pictures, weekly growth pictures, pictures of crawling, sitting, standing. Heck, make up a reason to take pictures. You’ll be talking to someone one day, and because of the grueling sleepless nights, and the twin chaos, you won’t remember those moments. With pictures, you can look back, and it can help trigger memories. And, don’t forget to write things down, especially milestones.
8. Join a multiples group while pregnant.
Yes, there are support groups for parents of and expecting parents of twins and multiples. If you’re already connected to something while pregnant, you’re going to have people to turn to when you have the babies, and you’ll have just a little more of a reason to go. There are also multiples groups on Facebook, which can be quite helpful!
9. Learn how to install and use your car seats well before the babies arrive.
We’re about to leave the hospital, and we haven’t installed our car seats. My husband, Tyler is running around, trying to figuring out how to work the things. He had to call his friend to help him. Imagine our panic as we’re supposed to take our two new babies home, and we don’t know what the heck we’re doing! Since you don’t know when the babies will arrive, get them and get familiar with them ASAP. Also, imagine trying to install a car seat when it’s raining or snowing, you’ll really wish you did it earlier!
10. Keep every number on speed dial!
Is speed dial still a thing?
Add every phone number you get to your phone! You get a lot of phone numbers (OB’s office, OB’s cell, MFM office, MFM cell, after hours line, insurance, billing, pediatrician’s office, pediatrician’s cell, on-call doctor’s cell, and so on). If something happens, you’ll want that number without having to dig for it or without calling seven wrong numbers (yes, I’m speaking from experience).
Baby proof the house. Buy organizers for medical bills. Wash some of their clothing. Wash bottles. All before they’re born. Once the twins arrive, it becomes difficult to stay on top of things. You don’t want to be scrambling to pay medical bills last second, because they got tossed aside (you get SO many) and now you’re about to be sent to collections.
Are you expecting twins or higher order multiples? Here are some things that may be helpful:
If you’re an experienced twin parent, what are some things you wish you would have known before your twins arrived?