Multiples: Managing more than one baby


Finding out that you are expecting multiples can be both joyful and overwhelming. From double duty on diapers to bottles to night feedings, getting ready for twins (or more) requires some extra preparations and planning. And although it's twice the work, it's also twice the fun when it comes to the rewards of two beautiful babies.

Here are five moms of multiples sharing what they've learned from their real-life experiences of raising twin babies.



Krystin McGahan, Geneva

Kids: Sawyer and Jaxon, 20 months

What are the challenges of having multiples? With twins, no sooner do you figure out a solution to a challenge and then something changes and a new challenge presents itself. I figured out how to get both babies down our four-story walk-up and out to our detached garage and then they outgrew the infant carriers and I was back to square one. Prepare to think outside the box. There are countless things that are harder with twins, but I have yet to come across a situation that I couldn't figure out with a little ingenuity and creativity.

What are your best tips for moms expecting twins? Being a mom of twins can be demanding and downright overwhelming at times. Don't be afraid to go out and do things with the babies. Get used to running errands, going for walks and going about your daily business with the babies in tow. Avoiding these things will only make it more intimidating down the road. Getting out with the babies early on will build your confidence and make you braver.
What's been most surprising? It's true that you are never given more than you can handle and having twins was no exception for my husband and me. Although it can be tricky, somehow you always find a way and you never cease to amaze yourself in the process. With every challenge is the rewarding feeling that comes with finding a solution. It is a journey of a lifetime and a roller coaster ride, but you'll never want to get off.



Brittney Campbell, Evanston

Kids: Olivia and Amelia, 8 months

What are the challenges of having multiples? Time management has been the biggest challenge for me. The days go by so quickly and every day you get less and less done than you wanted to accomplish.

I am also very independent and had to learn that you need and should ask for help. Those long nights will catch up to you and it's OK to ask for help, even just help putting one of the twins into a swing at the park.

What are your best tips for moms expecting twins? When you are expecting multiples, breathe and brace yourself because it's an amazing and sacred experience, but it's also a lot of work. It's important to try and have them on the same schedule so they eat, sleep and get changed at the same time if you can.

What's been most surprising? I've been surprised by their amazing connection to each other already. When they are separated from each other, they know it immediately and want to be back in each other's eyesight. I've had a hard time making sure that each child gets the same amount of attention, affection and time. And one of my girls is more attention-seeking than the other, so it's been important to try to pay equal attention to both.



Elizabeth Shaker Araujo, Willowbrook

Kids: Audrey and Grace, 5, Jack, 4, Ellie and Andy, 20 months

What are the challenges of having multiples? Challenges seem to start even before the twins are born, whether it's bed rest, having them prematurely or having one or both not come home with you from the hospital. We've been extremely lucky to have two sets of healthy twins. One of my biggest challenges was milestones and not comparing them to one another or other kids their age.

What are your best tips for moms expecting twins? Divide and conquer! I have a very hands-on husband, so we've really worked together to tackle all the joys and scares that come with having multiples. My biggest tip is that naptime is going to be insane. With my first set of twins, I napped them in the same room and it was near impossible to get them to nap at the same time. So with the second set of twins, we quickly split them up for naptime and it was a savior. Also, when you have twins you need to just remember to always have a great deal of patience to get through the day!

What's been most surprising? I'd have to say the most surprising thing was having twins and then having a second set of twins. Also, I would say how different and unique they are from each other, yet they are so alike. There is a never a boring moment. Your days might be crazy and chaotic, but they will be full of fun memories that can never be replaced.



Nora Powers, Oak Park

Kids: Riley and Caitlin, 12 weeks

What are the challenges of having multiples? Everything takes forever to accomplish and I am always in a hurry to get something done between their feedings.

I used to always be early and now I'm late all the time because something always slows me down when I am trying to leave the house. It's definitely a challenge to run errands or go to lunch with a friend with two babies in tow because it often seems like the world is built for moms with one baby.

What are your best tips for moms expecting twins? It's been helpful for me to create systems for things and avoid time-wasters, such as having a stocked changing station on each floor and measuring the water and formula ahead of time for night feedings. It's been important to get sleep some nights too, whether it's alternating nights with my partner or hiring night help.

What's been most surprising? Everything can be a challenge, but you have to get used to having a baby that's not always happy because you can't make everyone happy at one time. But it's crazy how much you love them from the second they are born. It's the best nine month investment ever.



Sieglinde Lim-Seiwert, Chicago

Kids: Armand and Tristan, 3, Cassian, 11 months

What are the challenges of having multiples? In the hustle and bustle of managing two little ones, it's easy to put your own relationship with your spouse on the back burner. I found that making a point to regularly schedule a date night was a meaningful way to feel connected and recharged.

What are your best tips for moms expecting twins? Always plan ahead! Try to get things done way before the expected due date because pregnancies with multiples are often shorter in length and sometimes require bed rest. I think it's great to join a mom of multiples group because they are a wealth of practical information and provide a unique opportunity to meet other multiple moms.

What's been most surprising? The pregnancy itself. Specifically, the high risk of delivering prematurely and the potential complications for the children. I felt pretty unprepared for what I experienced with preterm contractions and three months of bed rest. But obviously it was well worth it in the end!



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