As a new parent of two little ones, and having just celebrated my first Father’s Day yesterday (I’m still so excited to be able to say that!), I wanted to share some of my best tips for raising twins, while also making time for yourself and your relationship. It can be tricky to add two entirely new family members to your world, but my husband Jeff and I have found a few ways to make the transition go smoothly both before and after the babies arrive. And let me start by saying, I owe so much to my hubs—I’m still pinching myself that this is our life and I couldn’t do this without him. Keep reading to see our best advice for new parents of twins… And a belated Happy Father’s Day to any of our fellow dads out there!
Twins are to likely come early, as ours did, so as an expectant parent, you will want to start making inventories and lists at least 30 weeks out of everything you have. Make sure you have enough newborn essentials (outfits, socks, diapers, bottles, swaddle blankets, etc.) to last at least one week, and make sure everything is washed in baby-safe detergent and packed up in a suitcase well in advance of the big day.
Before the babies are born, you will receive many gifts that the babies may not use until they are several months old. Keep a list of everything you have, because trust me, you WILL forget. You can always refer to that list later on when you may be thinking of buying something—and not realizing you already have it!
Make sure to buy two of everything when it comes to twins. You may think they can “share” certain toys or chairs, but trust me, you will want two. Even if it is just to have two in separate parts of your home, you will not want to be without one at the ready. We have two 4-Moms Mamaroo swings and these have been super helpful to have easily accessible in case you need to put one child down. Likewise, we have two activity gyms from Skiphop—one for upstairs and one for downstairs. You can't be lugging two newborns around along with gear when you only have two arms!
From the very first week we were home with our twins, we took them on walks every day in our dual Ergo Baby carriers. Living in Southern California, we were lucky to be able to do this even in the winter. It was important for us to get out of the house with the twins so they could get some fresh air, and we could bond with them while they snuggled and slept—it reminds them of being in the womb.
It's a little cliché but totally true; you need time for yourself. Especially with twins, it is critically important for you to get out of the house—either as a couple or individually—and have some alone time. It can be a date night at the movies, a meal at a great restaurant or even something as simple as a mani/pedi. You need time to recharge your body and mind. If you aren't in a good place mentally or physically, you won't be able to give the right energy and availability to your newborns when you are with them, and they need you to be 100 percent.
What are your best tips for new parents of twins, or parents in general?
I hope you find some of this advice helpful. It can be daunting bringing home one baby, let alone two! But it is the most fulfilling gift and I’m grateful every day to be a daddy. P.S. Be sure to check out my dream baby registry for ideas on how to stock up for your new tiny arrivals!
Photos: Gray Malin, @graymalinpersonal on Instagram