If you are expecting twins, and especially if you’ve got intense “nesting” going on *laugh*, then you are likely desiring to be prepared as much as possible for when you get to bring your precious muffins home finally. *smile!* (If you’d like here is my post on how to prepare for twins before they are born.) I’ve been asked many times about how to begin well with twins after they’re born, so I’d love to share with you some of the things we learned when we got to bring home our identical twin girls home in 2010. I hope it’s a blessing…
- Identical or fraternal?
- Two or one of which baby items?
- Which baby is which?
- Sample schedule with twins
Identical or fraternal?
One of the first decisions to be made for the babies after delivery is whether or not you want to pay to have genetic testing done to determine if they are technically identical or if they are fraternal. This test can cost over $100! And in our opinion is an unnecessary use of money. You will be able to tell immediately or shortly after birth whether or not they are identical or fraternal just by looking at them. *smile* I encourage you to save your money. *wink*
Two or one of which baby items?
Many parents really cringe when they assume that they will need two of everything ‘Baby’. Both for financial reasons and for space. And make no mistake, doubles of everything would take up a lot of space!
When our twins were younger I used to shop with and volunteer with an organization called Snohomish Mothers of Multiples (SNOMOMS) twice a year at their bi-annual sale for baby and twin stuff. (More on this later) I was amazed at the amount of baby items many mothers of multiples had two of and were now selling! Especially large items such as pack-n-plays and exersaucers! Holy cow! *chuckle* All of the floor space in a house would be full! Thankfully it is not necessary. *smile*
Some items should be purchased before babies arrive, such as cribs and a Snap-n-Go stroller, see my post on Preparing for twins for information on those.
Here are post-birth baby items I think were handy to have two of:
- Two infant seats, for newborns to sit near you up on the table, or for one to rest in but see you while you’re feeding the other twin.
- Two front packs. The best ones I ever used were the Baby Bjorne’s. But I never had a wrap, and I have since heard that they’re amazing.
- (at about 4-6 months-old) Two Space-Saver highchair seats, or high chairs. These Space Saver ones go right on to your dining room chairs and don’t take up a ton of extra floor space like a high chair. They have a 5-point harness, they can be used with or without the tray, and they recline for infants. Brilliant.
Ta-da! That’s it! Really! *chuckle* *beam* Everything else (except cribs, a stroller, and bottles discussed in my Preparing For Twins post) the babies can take turns with. You can have one in a pack-n-play for a while, and the other can have time in an exersaucer or a Jumperoo (the ones that hang in the door jam they can jump freely in), and then they can switch places.
Later when they were both walking we did own two Play Yards so that they could have more space each for some play time, but that’s not until later.
Now shopping at the SNOMOMS bi-annual sale (here in Washington state, Snohomish county) was one of my all-time favorite discoveries. To be able to buy nice, matching twin items (clothing, furniture, supplies, toys…) for garage sale prices?! Oh my word… I was in heaven. *smile* And I volunteered to help at the sale because then I got to pre-shop the night before the sale even opened to the members (and then to the public)!
The sale is held in a college gymnasium because it is so large. Very worth the time in my opinion.
SNOMOMS is open to everyone to shop at the bi-annual sale even if they don’t have any multiples, however they do allow the members who have multiples to shop first. And if you choose to shop a sale I encourage you to get in line an hour before it opens. *chuckle* The line will wrap around the building.
There are Mothers of Multiples groups all around the United States I believe; I’m not sure about the rest of the world.
Which baby is which?
The last ideas I would like to share with you are a few strategies to implement in order to tell our identical twins apart. This is a common question from parents expecting twins. *chuckle* *smile* And a very valid one!
For baby girls: When our babies were 3-months-old we chose to pierce their ears with different colored stones. This is not only so pretty in our opinion, but our whole family has always relied upon this sure way of telling them apart. And, the person doing the piercing suggested that we buy regular-sized piercing studs, not the teeny-tiny ones, because sometimes babies can pull them back through the hole and choke on them. We felt this was wise.
Before the babies were old enough to have their ears pierced, I would paint Lacey’s thumb nails pink with fingernail polish. *chuckle* They were not old enough to risk getting it in their mouths and were still swaddled in blankets with their hands cozied-up when sleeping.
Another idea is to dress the two babies each in their own color, all the time. For example baby A always wears pink, and baby B always wears lavender. And you can often find matching outfits in different colors. Easy to quickly identify both in person and in photos. We did not choose this idea because I really like completely identical outfits, even in color, but also because this would require always buying the twins clothes new, but we were choosing to shop consignment. *smile*
Sorry I don’t have more ideas for telling boys apart. But I’m sure you could find some online.
We found that our babies personalities really didn’t begin to emerge recognizably until around age 3. Where we could really begin to identify them by how they were acting, not just by their appearance. And their little faces also did not vary really at all even in the slightest say until this time either. One of my good friends said once about her twins, “They have the same face, but they wear it differently.” *smile* I love this and it’s totally true with identical twins. They hold themselves differently and facial expressions differ. In a photo we couldn’t tel them apart so much, but in person we usually can now at age 6.
I hope this information will help you be able to go forward with peace and confidence that you have everything you need, or at least won’t be lacking anything major. *smile*
Blessings on your new family experience,
P.S. If you are also wondering how things like potty training might go later, you can read my post Potty Training Twins! *cheers!*