Advice from a Chicago dad on preparing for twins

 
 

I'll never forget the most important words ever spoken to me. Some random ultrasound technician uttered with glee, "It looks like you're having twins."

Of course, having a baby changes things. I already knew this. I figured having a second child was going to change things again. But having a second and a third child at the same time?

While I am by no means an expert on the subject of raising twins, I do feel that after two years of being a dad to multiples, I now am qualified to share with you some tips learned in the trenches.

Chris Thomas

 

1 Don't buy two of everything

When you find out you've got two buns in the oven, the first thought that goes through your mind is ... well, let me skip the first thought. The second thought, however, usually is that you are going to need double of everything. Not the case.

Yes, you will need double the diapers, wipes, bottles and other necessities, but do you really need two swings and two play mats? Chances are you can have one baby in a swing and one on the play mat. If you do feel the need to double up on something, look to your friends and neighbors. It can save you money you'll need to spend on double the diapers and wipes.

 

2 Take all the help you can get

You are going to find that people will come out of the woodwork to offer help. Expect to receive offers for pretty much everything, from holding babies, feeding babies, changing babies, cooking dinners and cleaning your house to cutting the lawn. Here is the one thing you need to know about this help: Accept it all.

If you do want to turn down some help, let them down easy. Thank them for their offer and ask if you can call them when you do need a meal or a hand. Once you get settled into a routine, friends and neighbors tend to stop offering as much, so having a few people you can call on later will be a wonderful resource when the twins are 18 months old, both walking and you're exhausted.

 

3 Make time for yourself

Easier said. How you find the time is the hard part. Some ideas include those precious moments after the twins go to bed but before you pass out, or possibly when they are napping. Bonus tip: Get them doing everything at the same time.

Don't forget that time for yourself doesn't have to mean time away from home. While it is nice to get out of the house, there are a few home activities you can do to "escape." Netflix or a DVR will allow you to watch favorite films and shows on your schedule.

 

4 Make time for each other

In case finding time for yourself isn't hard enough, you also have to worry about finding time to spend with your partner.  Get a babysitter or a family member to watch the twins even if just for an hour. Or, if money is tight, put the twins into a stroller and go for a walk with your partner around the neighborhood.

Or, sleep together. As in go to bed at the same time, just like you did when you were first married, before your life was dictated by the feeding, napping and changing schedules of two babies. Cuddling and passing out together can be a beautiful thing.

 

5 Prepare to be peppered with dumb questions

Are those twins? I guarantee that when at the grocery store or mall, you will be asked this question three to five times before you check out. You will get so sick of answering this question you will want to scream. Don't. Simply smile and say yes.

Also, don't be offended if people inquire about your reproductive health. Everyone will assume you had fertility treatments. People will ask intimate questions you may not be comfortable talking about with doctors, let alone a random stranger at the supermarket. Change the subject. Do anything but let it get to you.

 

6 Color coordinate it all

While you won't need two of everything, you will need two sets of things such as bottles, pacifiers, bowls and stuffed animals. Our easy solution: Max was blue, Cole was green.

In the middle of the night when it was time for a bottle and one baby needed formula and medicine and one needed just formula, we just had to look for colors.

 
 

More twins are being born

In the "we're not suprised by this story" story of the day, Michigan State University has released findings showing that there has been a marked increase the the birth of twins in the last 30 years.
 
 
 







 
 
 
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