Life With Newborn Twins: Everything You Need to Know
So you’re expecting not one but two bundles of joy. Congratulations! The relationship that your little ones are already building is sure to be a special one. As you prepare for the arrival of your newborn twins you’re likely to have a lot of questions and maybe even a few concerns. This is totally normal. Many new parents wonder how they’ll tackle everything on their to-do list as they prepare to bring their little ones home. The good news is that you can do this! Yes, you’ll have double the diapers, but you’ll also have double the cuddles, double the giggles, and double the dreamy newborn smell. The even better news? We’ve compiled our favorite pearls of wisdom to help you along the way as you prepare for the arrival of your newborn twins. From a comprehensive checklist to tips and tricks to help you set up a great routine for both you and your little one, this article has you covered.
Table of Contents
- Preparing for Newborn Twins
- Pregnancy & Birth
- Bringing Your Newborn Twins Home
- Newborn Twin Daytime Routines
- Newborn Twin Nighttime Routine
- Newborn Twins & Siblings
- Gift Ideas for Newborn Twins
Preparing for Newborn Twins
You’re likely already working your way through a lengthy to-do list as you prepare for the arrival of your newborns. From baby-proofing your home to designing your dream nursery things can definitely get busy. That’s why checklists are every parent-to-be’s best friend. Speaking of, we’ve put together a newborn twins checklist of must-have items for you to reference as you count down to your due date!
Newborn Twins Essentials
- Two cribs or bassinets
- Two crib mattresses
- Fitted crib sheets (6 - 8)
- Two baby monitors or a monitor with more than one feed
- Swaddles (6 - 8)
- Two mobiles
- Changing table
- Changing pads
- Changing pad covers
- Portable changing basket
- Diapers & wipes
- Diaper cream
- Two car seats
- Double stroller
- Carrier or sling
- Diaper bag
- Diaper pail
- Breastfeeding essentials
- Breast pump
- Nursing pillow
- Nursing bra
- Nipple cream
- Breast milk storage bags
- Burp cloths
- Bottle feeding essentials
- Dishwasher basket
- Burp Cloths
- Baby-safe bath products
- Hooded towels
- Baby bathtub
Newborn Twins Clothes
- Sleepers (10 each)
- One-Pieces (10 each)
- Pants & shorts (8 each)
- Sweaters or jackets (8 each)
- Socks (4 - 6 pairs each)
- Cold weather accessories & outerwear pieces if you live in a cooler climate
Pregnancy & Birth
You will typically be able to tell if you are having twins by weeks 10 - 12 of your pregnancy. The only way to know for sure is through an ultrasound where your doctor will be able to detect how many fetuses, placentas, and amniotic sacs are present. If you discover that you are having twins you might be wondering what to expect during your pregnancy. Here are some helpful tips and things to consider as you embark on your twin pregnancy journey:
- Supplements. You may want to talk to your doctor about supplement dosage. In many cases, health professionals recommend a higher dose of certain pregnancy supplements for mothers who are expecting twins.
- More monitoring is often necessary. If you’re expecting twins, it is likely that you will have more check-ups with your obstetrician to monitor your pregnancy and ensure that both Mom and baby are healthy.
- Double the morning sickness. This isn’t always the case, but some mothers who are expecting multiples experience more morning sickness than other expectant Moms. The good news is that morning sickness tends to resolve by weeks 12 - 14 of your pregnancy.
- Weight gain. It’ll come as no surprise to you that you will likely experience more weight gain when expecting twins than you would if you were expecting a single child. You’ll also likely need to consume more calories to fuel your body during your pregnancy. Your health care professional will be able to help you determine what a healthy weight is for you during your pregnancy. Be kind to your body and to yourself - you are doing an incredible thing!
- Gestational diabetes. The risk of gestational diabetes is higher in twin pregnancies than singleton pregnancies. Speak to your health care professional about ways to lower your risk for gestational diabetes.
- Preeclampsia risk. The risk of preeclampsia is also higher in twin pregnancies than singleton pregnancies. Symptoms of preeclampsia include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and sometimes swelling in the feet, legs, and hands and they typically emerge after 20 weeks of pregnancy. You and your doctor will monitor for these symptoms together throughout your pregnancy. There is limited knowledge around how to prevent this condition so monitoring is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your babies. If you experience any of the symptoms of preeclampsia be sure to flag them with your doctor immediately.
- Labor may come early. Mothers who are expecting twins are more likely to go into labor early. It is common for expectant mothers of twins to go into labor at 36 to 37 weeks while expectant mothers of singletons will typically go into labor at 40 weeks. While twins born at 34 -35 weeks may need some additional care they are often born healthy. Talk to your doctor about what to expect if you go into labor before 34 weeks. Having an idea of what to expect and a game plan in place can help with anxiety around a potential pre-term delivery.
- A c-section is more likely. C-sections are very common but, if you are expecting twins, there is a higher possibility that you will need a C-section. There are a variety of reasons for this. Take the time to discuss when and why a C-section might be required and what the procedure will be like for you. The more you know before you go into labor the better prepared you will be for the experience.
Bringing Your Newborn Twins Home
So, you’ve gone through pregnancy and labor and now you’ve welcomed your two little ones into the world, congratulations! This is an exciting and special time in parenthood. You’ll have no shortage of incredible moments with your newborn as you get to know each other. Here are a few newborn twins tips to help you through your first few days as a new parent of two.
Newborn twins in hospital
- Be prepared for a longer stay at the hospital in case follow-up care is required for you or your newborn baby twins. This means you may want to pack a few extra items of clothing in your hospital bag for both you and your partner. Additionally, if you already have a child be sure to arrange care options for them.
- If your babies were delivered pre-term they may need special care which could mean that you may be somewhat limited in how much you can hold and interact with them. But, there are plenty of opportunities to interact and bond with your child in a way that is safe like talking to your baby so they can hear your voice, or gentle touches with your hand or fingers. Ask your healthcare team the best and safest ways to interact with your little one while they get stronger during their hospital stay.
- When you’re ready to leave the hospital, the most important thing you’ll want to have prepared are two infant car seats. It helps to have these installed and ready to go in your vehicle before you go into labor.
- It is possible that one baby may be ready to head home before the other baby. So, have a game plan in place for this scenario. Your medical team will likely have experienced this many times with other families, so ask for their advice on how to handle the transitional period when the twins are separated.
- If you’re expecting twins, it might be a good idea to add a few preemie-sized outfits to your hospital bag for the trip home. Even if you don’t deliver early, you may find that your twins are smaller than many newborn singletons so it’s helpful to have some options on hand.
Newborn twins baby care
- Once you take your newborn baby twins home your hands will, quite literally, be full so organizing your space ahead of time is a smart move. Make sure you’re well-stocked with all of the essentials. Anything you can take off your plate ahead of time is worth tackling.
- Many new parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to do it all on their own. The reality? Any Mom will tell you, it takes a village. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need and don’t be too proud to accept it. Whether it’s friends, family, or hired help, find support where you can. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
- Create a safe play area in your home. Whether that is a playpen or a sectioned-off area of your home outfitted with a soft baby play mat, having this area set up will give you an opportunity to lay one twin down while you tend to the other.
- Breastfeeding can be challenging for a lot of Moms, and feeding two newborn baby twins instead of one can be a whole other ballgame. If you’re opting to breastfeed your newborn baby twins, consider getting yourself set up with a lactation consultant to help you through the process. Lactation specialists are an incredible source of knowledge and amazingly helpful tips about everything from latching, to positioning, to special holds for twins.
Newborn twins with Mom
There is no question that the newborn stage can be challenging and with two little ones to care for, it’s important to make sure that you find opportunities to recharge and refuel. Here are a few tips to help you manage what’s on your plate as a Mom to newborn twins.
- The first few months will certainly have some hurdles but it will also have so many special moments and exciting firsts. Take time to pause and embrace these milestones because time really does fly.
- Connect with other twin Moms. They are an incredible source of knowledge and wisdom on how to tackle the challenges of twin parenthood.
- Twins need a lot of stuff. You won’t necessarily need two of everything but you will probably need two of a lot things. And, those things will take up space. Try your best to make peace with the messy moments because they are both totally normal and entirely inevitable.
Newborn Twins Daily Routine
What’s the top item on our list of newborn twins tips? Settle into a routine that works for both you and your little ones. Here are a few tips for setting up a newborn twin daytime routine and a newborn twin nighttime routine.
Newborn Twin Daytime Routine
- They say never to wake a sleeping baby but when it comes to newborn twin sleep rules, things are a little different. If one baby is ready for a feeding, it’s usually best to wake up their twin and feed them both together. A routine where you’re feeding one twin after the other day in and day out is really hard to maintain.
- Even if you’re co-bedding your little ones, some parents find it easier to separate their twins for daytime naps. This is because daytime naps can be more challenging if your newborn is easily distracted by their sibling. Give it a try to see if it helps with your naptime routine.
- Be flexible with your routine, it will need to change and adapt as your twins grow.
- Be patient, you won’t get your twins into a set daytime routine in one day. Give them time to settle in.
Newborn Twins Night Routine
- If you are raising your twins with a partner, decide on how you’ll split up the nighttime responsibilities. How you divide up the responsibilities will differ depending on whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding but, the important thing is that you have a game plan in place that allows both parents to be as rested as possible.
- Your twins might be comforted by having each other nearby so try keeping their cribs close together to see if their sleep improves. On the other hand, if you find that one twin is sleeping through the night while the other is still fussy, try separating them for a few nights to see if that makes for a better night for everyone.
- Set up a bedtime routine so that your babies begin to recognize cues that signal it’s time to wind down. A warm bath, lullabies, and infant massages are all great options.
Newborn Twins & Siblings
If you’re juggling newborn twins with a toddler, well, we salute you! That is certainly no easy feat. Here are a few tips to help you ensure that your older children adapt to the arrival of their new siblings.
- Make your older child feel excited about their role as a big brother or sister. Give them additional responsibilities and tasks like replenishing diapers, tidying toys, or entertaining the babies with funny faces or their favorite song. These ‘big kid’ responsibilities can help your older child feel proud and grown-up.
- Take advantage of your twin’s naptime to spend some quality time with your singleton.
- Ask for help from friends and family so you can carve out some special alone-time with your singleton to ensure they don’t feel overshadowed by the arrival of their twin siblings.
- Don’t always prioritize the twins. Sometimes it’s ok to help out your older child first if they need you and let your newborn fuss for a few minutes in exchange. This way, your singleton won’t always feel like they come second.
Gift Ideas for Newborn Twins
Looking for a gift for newborn twins? Here are some of our favorite products!
Frequently Asked Questions
Putting your newborn twins to sleep together on the same cot is called co-bedding and it is perfectly safe as long as you follow the same guidelines you would for a singleton sleeping on their own. Namely, that newborns are placed on their backs to sleep and that there are no blankets, pillows, or toys with them in the crib. When co-bedding your twins, it is recommended that you place them with their feet at opposite ends of the cot. Co-bedding soothes twins and can even help them regulate their body temperatures and sleep cycles.
The average hospital stay time for twins is 9 to 25 days.
Infants that are born at 34 weeks will likely need one to two weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It is important to note that there are a variety of different factors involved here and it is possible that twins born at 34 weeks may stay in the NICU for a shorter or longer period of time.
Many parents of twins find the newborn stage to be the most difficult but every family is different so there is no one right answer to this question. The good news is that, typically, by three months of age, your little ones will be much better adapted to life outside the womb and will have settled into a more predictable sleep pattern which usually makes life much easier for twin parents.
There is no real evidence to suggest that twins sleep better than singletons. The reality is every baby is different and every family is different. It’s all about getting to know your newborn and figuring out what works best for them.