Giving birth to twins or multiples can be both a blessing and a challenge. I am amazed at how many people will stop me to tell me how cute they are and even how lucky I am to have two. One little boy in the grocery store even asked how did I get two, to which I replied "they were on sale".
I haven't always felt lucky, especially when my boys didn't let me sleep for the first 9 months and I felt up to my ears in dirty diapers and dirty laundry. It hasn't always been stressful though. I love when my now-three-year-old twins climb up in my lap and give me a group hug and tell me they love me. The will say the funniest things and are always making me smile. So it no longer bothers me (so much) having to clean up after two very active toddlers or the annoying strangers who stop to ask if they are twins (to which I am always tempted to say no).
I have learned a bit over the last few years though and wish someone was there to write this article before I had my twins. So, here are some tips for those lucky parents of multiples:
• ALWAYS keep the same feeding, changing, napping schedule. If you change one you change all that way you never have to try to remember, in the sleepless fog your brain will be in, who did I change last?
• It may sound silly but color code everything. I got this tip from a mother of triplets. Each baby had a different color bottle, pacifier, blanket, clothes, etc. If one baby doesn't finish their bottle, you will know who it was when pulling it out of the fridge later. It also makes it easier for family, friends, daycare providers, etc to tell the babies apart. It will even help when years later you look back on those baby pictures and try to figure out who was who.
• Make a chart and record changing times, feeding amounts, bowel movements, etc. This is especially helpful when having to administer medications or vitamins. When taking care of multiples it is very easy to completely loose your short-term memory for details like these.
• Get older siblings involved. This will keep the older siblings from feeling left out and give you some extra hands when needed. I was lucky enough to have two older daughters before having twin boys. The girls became second mommies to their new baby brothers. Although you may want to set limits on this. I will always remember when my girls decided to change their wiggly toddler brothers and I had two naked boys running around the house giggling.
• Accept help whenever offered and, if not offered, then ask. Even if a friend comes over to visit the babies and you take a nap or a quick walk around the block. Drop the kids off at a relative’s house for a relaxing date night. Spending some time to yourself or with your significant other can help to refresh your mind and body and give you the energy to face another day of diapers and bottles.
• Most important of all, don't forget to smile! If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, it's okay to ask for help. You need to take care of you so you can better take care of the babies. So don't forget to laugh often, live well, and love much, and enjoy those babies while you can!