Looking after Twins: Top Tips and Parenting Books
Having two lively babies on your hands can pose lots of challenges. So, how can you tackle life with twins? We offer advice and share our favourite twin parenting books
It's easy to think that having twins could simply mean a double-dose of everything. Double the feeding, double the washing, double the nappy changing, double the clucks and coos from smitten passers-by... But it's not just a straightforward numbers game. Being the proud parents of twins can present some unique challenges. Here are some handy hints to help you on your way:
Follow a Routine Organisation becomes all the more important when you are dealing with two. Twins thrive on it and their life is all very much togetherness in those early years. Also, a twin-baby schedule gives your day a reassuring framework because, if you don't try to get your twins synced-up even if it just the same nap and sleep schedule, you could be a on a nonstop, round-the-clock merry-go round of care - as one wakes another need to eat and so on. Read >> Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins: A step-by-step programme for a good nights sleep by Dr Marc Weissbluth
Join a Twins Club Feeling over-awed? Need to get out? Want to meet other families with twins? Try signing up to a Twins Club - search for a local club where you can meet a group of fellow sympathetic parents who know what's like and can offer support, advice or just a reassuring chat over some (hot) coffee.
Watch out for Twin Escalation Syndrome There's nothing like having a grinning companion to egg you on in your misdemeanours. One twin starts chucking their pasta, the other joins in. And the next thing you know it's Little Italy all over the floor. Psychologists have dubbed this conspiratorial mischief-making Twin Escalation Syndrome, or TES.
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- Distract Your Twins: Use distraction as a tool to use to stop twin escalation syndrome to stop the cycle of escalation and calm everyone down.
- Ignore the Situation: Twin escalation syndrome can be a result of your twins competing for attention. When your twins start getting louder and louder? Try ignoring them.
- Separate Your Twins: If the tested tricks of distracting and ignoring don't work, you may have to separate your twins for a short time. Just getting your twins into different rooms or alone can get you a moment to Cath your breath and deal with the situation more calmly.
Give individual attention From their genetic make-up to their environment, twins share lots of similarities and so it's unsurprising that they may have similar thoughts. However, it's important to allow them room to develop their own individual personalities. Spending regular time on their own with either you or your partner will give them space to grow and find their own identity.
Discipline the perpetrator ...and not the by-stander. If one twin is misbehaving and the other is not, it's important that the other child doesn't feel like they're in trouble, too. If one twin is having time-out, the other twin can easily empathise with their sibling and feel upset. Ensure that this twin gets lots of positive attention from you.
Carve out some me-time Whether it's treating yourself to a bath or just curling up with a good book while your partner takes the children out for a walk, it's important you make time to relax. After all, recharging your own batteries means you'll have the energy you need to for tomorrow. It may sound obvious, but creating time to spend alone with your partner is important, too, allowing you the opportunity to communicate and to simply enjoy being in each other's company. Put a date in the diary to order in a takeaway or ask a grandparent or babysitter over for the evening.
Double Trouble: 5 Great Twin Baby Parenting Books
Be Ready to Parent Twins by Dr Ella Rachamim and Louise Brown - A no-holds-barred guide to how to prepare and survive pregnancy and the first year, sharing the experience and expertise of Dr Ella Rachamim and twin buddy Louise Brown alongside first-hand accounts of many other parents they have surveyed, interviewed and met.
OMG It's Twins!: Get Your Twins to Their First Birthday Without Losing Your Mind by Alsion Perry - As a twin mum herself, award-winning parenting blogger and podcaster Alison Perry offers warm and reassuring first-hand experience of the emotional rollercoaster of having two babies at once.
Life with Twins: Supportive ideas for the first three years by Kerri Miller - This comforting and witty little book is ideal for new and expectant mothers of twins that offers mindful and caring support for those formative years.
What to Do When You're Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year by Natalie Diaz - From the creator of Twiniversity this fully updated book (2020) is a must-have manual to having twins, with expanded info on twin pregnancy and tandem breastfeeding, and advice on the best gear to help save your sanity.
Expecting Twins Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Preparing and Caring for Newborn Twins by Nina V. Garcia - A realistic, down-to-earth and straightforward resource book on preparing and caring for newborn twins that help rid the anxiety and fear you may be feeling as you begin your journey as a twin parents.