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Practical advice you'd give to mum-of-one expecting twins soon please?

(25 Posts)
arabella36 Sun 29-May-11 13:25:35

Just that really, having been through it yourself, is there anything you'd recommend doing/not doing in the early months? Any practical tips or advice on looking after twins based on your own experience would be very welcome! I should mention that I have a 19 month old too.

WalterFlipschicks Sun 29-May-11 13:28:06

Ooh, marking place, I am also expecting twins in 6 weeks and have a three year old!
Good luck arabella smile

Madlizzy Sun 29-May-11 13:36:00

Accept all offers of help, and that doesn't mean someone coming round to hold the babies - hand them a teatowel or a basket of ironing.
Routine, routine, routine - important with multiples if you ever want to sleep.
Engage a relative (grandma or suchlike) to make a big fuss of your older child so they don't feel pushed out.
If you choose to FF, make sure you have two sterilisers (microwave ones rock) and a different type of bottle for each baby so you know what's what.
Learn to feed the babies at the same time, giving you more time between feeds.
Sleep whenever you get the chance - housework can wait.
If you don't have a dryer, get one!
As soon as that early morning feed is done, get yourself washed and dressed. Even if you've only slept for a couple of hours, it makes you feel far more human.
One biggie - restrict visitors for the first couple of weeks. You're going to be knackered and the last thing you need is Great Aunt Hilda coming round for hours expecting to be waited on.

There is more, but I can't think atm!

I have 12 year old triplets, btw. grin

arabella36 Sun 29-May-11 13:46:54

Thanks madlizzy, it's great to get specific tips from someone in-the-know! Getting a second steriliser wouldn't have occurred to me so I'll look into that. Do post again if anything else occurs to you, thanks again!

Lots of luck to Walter!smile

Madlizzy Sun 29-May-11 13:54:22

Oh yes, I had a travel cot downstairs where my lot would sleep during the day. I'd hoover round it and they didn't stir, so got well used to noise which is vital. They slept in it till they were 6 months, then napped upstairs.
Swaddle them, especially if they're a little early.
If they spend time in SCBU, ask the staff to keep them on the same feeding schedule so you can have a routine established for when they go home. Also, their electric pump will be much better than any pump you can buy on the high street if you need to express.
Ask if you can have a tour of SCBU soon. That way, if they do need to go in there, you'll know what the machines and tubes are and it'll be far less scary.

arabella36 Sun 29-May-11 14:02:13

Thanks again madlizzy

Flowerpotmummy Sun 29-May-11 19:17:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theotherboleyngirl Sun 29-May-11 19:23:10

Second the second steriliser - and we worked on a rotation of 18 bottles to begin with! We literally had one whole side set up for it.

Also second the drier...

Also whatever you do with one twin do with the other. So if one wakes and feeds, do the other (including in the night for us!). Keep them basically on same routine so they sleep together meaning time with number one. That's my biggest single bit of advice for when there is another involved.

And when it comes to weaning learn ASAP to have one adult one spoon two babies. Then when you go out you'll find if you have another adult with you they can give attention to the older one, thus making everything more harmonious.

And remember it's all just amazing to have twins, and to have 3! Good luck!

therugratref Sun 29-May-11 19:43:42

Battery operated swings.
A playpen- I put my twins in there on their bouncers so they were safe from the "love" dished out by my 20 month old DS1 ( I had to make a cat net to cover it as well, DS1 liked to throw blocks and cars etc at the babies) I could put them in there and know they would be safe while I answered the phone or went to the loo. It also contained them once they were mobile so I could cook etc
Definately loads of bottles/ two sterilisers
Mine were really sickie babes so I used to make up their cot with three layers of bedding waterproof plus normal sheets and when one would inevitably throw up their entire 2am feed over the bed I just had to pull off the top layer and so on.
Accept any help offered, dont feel you need to "prove" you can look after them all by yourself.
Sleep at any given opportunity-my DH used to take his hour lunch break in the relaxation chairs in his gym, he would set his alarm and sleep for 45 mins.
Mine shared a cot for a long time- they helped to settle each other.
Routine, routine, routine-Gina Ford saved my sanity having thrown the book away in disgust with PFB. I also agree with getting them on the same timetable even if it means waking a sleeping baby.
Find out if there is a twins club in your area, sometimes hanging out with people who truely understand is really nice and they are full of practical advice.
Enjoy them. I was psychotic with fatigue for 3 months but actually found them much easier than number 1 and now at nearly 8 its wonderful having twins

SouthGoingZax Sun 29-May-11 19:49:36

Don't know if you're planning to breastfeed, but if you are, the FOAm (not inflatable) EZ to nurse pillow was ace for us, both babies in the rugby ball hold worked until they were about 4 months old.
Don't know about the steriliser - but we did have them swaddled and sharing a cot like therugratref

Also, don't let anyone tell you how awful it must be / is going to be / it's their worst nightmare. I had this a lot - it's just not true - twins are really, really ace. I wouldn't have had them one at a time for the world!

SouthGoingZax Sun 29-May-11 19:50:54

also, ours 'fell' into their own routine at about 3-4 months. Only thing we did was a 'bedtime' (bath, milk, story, bed) at about 6 weeks. They then had 4-5 hrs sleep before the 2 hourly wake-ups......

Mummyrev Sun 29-May-11 20:04:12

Second all the advice about routine. Ours had a couple of weeks in SCBU so came out on a routine that we stuck to. Our twins shared a cot til 6 months, sleeping across and I'm sure that helped them settle. Also do everything twice; change both nappies, feed both etc. Also weaning we did one adult, one spoon. Twins share everything so they might as well share a spoon! Bouncy chairs with vibrate function were our life savers. Plus we taught our to hold a bottle as soon as they were able which made feeding easier. Accept all practical help. We also always both got up in the night, it meant we were up for less time and both babes got a cuddle. Some of my happiest memories are those early morning feeds in the summer months.

Also, get the best double buggy you can afford. I personally prefer side by side but whatever suits you. But make sure it isn't too heavy, you can push it with one hand and it reclines easily.

Congratulations and enjoy the ride. Twins are fantastic. Ours are now 4 and just have a great time together.

EvilTwins Sun 29-May-11 20:10:08

I'm another advocate of routine. It seems odd, at first, to wake a sleeping baby to feed/change it because the other twin is awake, but it's far better that way, for your own sanity! Twins group saved my life, so check if you have an active one near you. Ours runs Expecting Twins evenings where you can go and chat to other expectant mums plus a couple of mums who already have twins.

Oh, and check your double buggy fits through your front door. We didn't. Once we realised it would fit in the car, we bought it. But taking two babies out of the buggy and inside, then folding the buggy in order to get it in to put away was massive hassle!

arabella36 Mon 30-May-11 10:41:42

Wow! What a wealth of brilliant advice! Thanks very much. I love rugratref's idea of multilayering sheets for vomiting babies, so funny but very practical! Will have to get a second steriliser, more bottles, bouncy chairs and a Routine! Thanks again for the advice

arabella36 Mon 30-May-11 10:43:31

I admit I'm very apprehensive about twins + a 19 month old so the reassurance is much appreciated smile

missylulee Mon 30-May-11 11:30:08

i don't have twins but sat in on a few antenatal classes for parents expecting multiples!

when someone is coming over to the house- ask them to pop in to the shops and bring some bread, milk or something- even if you don't need anything!!! then every time they call over they will ring you first and check if you need anything- you won't feel bad for asking then! nice in the winter when you don't want to take tiny babies out!

learn how to do shopping online- tesco asda waitrose etc.. a bit time consuming the first time but then they remember what you bought the previous week so it gets quicker!

after the babies are born and friends and family say what do you need/how can i help- maybe ask for a home cooked meal once a week? if 2 or three friends could make up a lasagne or pie or what ever they are good at cooking- ask them to put it in disposable containers for the freezer- so you don't have to wash them and try remember who gave it to you! you will be really thankful after week of hospital food then take-away's!!!!!!!!!

before the above maybe have a big freezer clean out! or invest in another freezer if the one you have is small! remember you might need a drawer for breastmilk if you are expressing!

if family and friends offer to help- book them in for an afternoon of babysitting!
if you know that on saturday afternoons from 2-6 someone is coming to allow you to sleep- it might help you get through the week when you are exausted!

hope some of this helps! very excited for you and your family smile xxx

londonmum123 Mon 30-May-11 23:14:13

Hi arabella. I have 7 week old twins and a 21 month old dd. The advice above is great for the twins but I've found it's my dd that's the hardest to cope with. She has regressed and wants to be mummy's baby too (i.e. breast feeding, being winded, being carried everywhere etc) - be prepared for this. I try and spend quality time with her every day (while the twins are screaming blue murder in their carrycot). Stock up on sticker books. My house is covered in stickers but it keeps my dd occupied while I feed. You'll be loads more relaxed as you're not a first time mum (I found dd harder as a baby) and it's amazing how well the twins settle each other. Sorry, not the most articulate of responses but still early days and lacking sleep. Oh, try and enjoy even though it's rather relentless!

emjay74 Tue 31-May-11 10:06:33

Wow..thank you from me too..fantastic tips! Expecting DTs in 19wks and with my youngest LOs being 3:8 and 16mths i know that things are going to be slightly chaotic for first few weeks! hmm

yousankmybattleship Tue 31-May-11 10:16:45

Hello. I had twins too and agree that routine is important. We even had an officious clipboard where we wrote down every time we changed or fed each baby - just so we could keep track how much they were both eating and whether they'd both poo'd enough!
Also agree about having two sterilisers and would suggest extra nappy changing things dowstairs so you don't have to go up every time one of the babies need changing. I didn't do any tandem feeding with mine - always fed one first then the other. I liked having the cuddly time with the one I was feeding and it was amazing how little fuss the one who was waiting made (obviously there were days when they both screamed their heads off but I've blocked those out of my memory!!). Get a buggy that you find easy to push as long walks can save your sanity. Accept any and all offers of help. Lots of people portray multiple Mums and Supermums but that doesn't mean we don't need help sometimes!
Oh - and don't be tooo scared - having twins really is the most amazing thing and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

loueytb3 Tue 31-May-11 10:37:17

Congratulations OP, twins are fab, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Some great tips here.

Routine worked for me too, DTS2 was in SCBU for 2.5wks and they got him on a strict feeding routine which we started DTS1 on and we managed to keep to when we got them both home. We also always woke the second baby immediately after feeding the first baby, it meant you got a longer block of sleep.

Two bouncy chairs/swings are essential IMO.

Definitely get visitors to help with washing/sterilising/cooking/bringing food if at all possible. Best of all, get them to play with your older child.

Find your local twins club now and go and visit before your DTs are born. Your older child will be used to it and you can get valuable advice. You might also pick up some second-hand bargains.

Online shopping is your friend, especially with 3 children. If you want to venture to the supermarket, it is worth checking out which ones have suitable trolleys as a lot don't have many twin trolleys, let alone ones which will fit 3 children in.

If you can, get your older child interested in dvds/tv programmes and save them for feeding times so he/she is occupied for a while. If you have sky+, record a few episodes of his/her favourites. 19 months may be a bit young to be using the remotes but it won't be long before he/she can do it herself.

If you can afford it, get a cleaner to come in once a week (at least for a while). Also, it might be worth investigating nurseries/childminders for your 19 month old to give you some respite, even if it is only for a few hours a week.

I also found getting out of the house every day, even if it was just for a short walk saved my sanity.

arabella36 Wed 01-Jun-11 18:39:26

Thanks for those last messages. This is much better than the 2 books about twins I've bought! I'm amazed and reassured that londonmum has had time to post something with her 7-week-oldssmile

londonmum123 Fri 03-Jun-11 20:48:25

ha ha - feel like hitting the gin tonight as dd1 is refusing her afternoon nap!

arabella36 Sat 04-Jun-11 11:25:38

Just saw your post Londonmum and I hope you enjoyed a nice drink last night! Sounds like you deserve it

petitdonkey Sat 04-Jun-11 11:33:46

I don't have twins but my friend had them six months ago so your thread title caught my eye - she said that ready made formula saved her sanity, if breast feeding doesn't work out, I know it's more expensive but she used her pregnancy money (there is a government grant or something???) to pay for it.

She really loves having twins although said it was impossible to go anywhere without people commenting - she and her DH used to play "Twins!!" bingo, she could never believe the number of people that said 'they're twins' like she might not have noticed grin

Very best of luck x

arabella36 Sat 04-Jun-11 12:45:28

Thanks petitdonkey, I bought readymade formula for my eldest and I agree it's well worth the money!

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