Learning that you’ve got more babies on the way than you planned can mean everything suddenly doubles – excitement, worries, love, workload… Here are some tips for raising twins, triplets, or higher multiples.
So, you’ve got more babies on board than expected? Discovering you’re pregnant with more than one child can be exciting and confronting. While the nappy changes and tantrums may double, so will the magical milestones and family memories. Here are some tips for raising your little two, three, or more!
A special bond
Your multiples have spent up to nine months as bunk-buddies. The bond between siblings who shared a womb is often incredibly strong. As a parent, you may feel on the outside of their special connection.
You may experience feelings of jealousy or isolation from that connection. Try not to dwell in these feelings, and enjoy watching your babies grow closer to each other. Remember that you made them, and will always be connected to each of them.
Sharing is caring
As a parent of multiples, you’ll likely become very familiar with the old ‘they want what the other one has’ conundrum. You may find that one child desperately wants to play with whatever the other child is playing with (despite their other countless perfectly good toys).
Use this as an opportunity to encourage good sharing habits. Try putting a timer on each child’s playtime with the favorite toy of the day. Provide the other babies with an interim toy, and they’ll soon learn that good thing come to those who wait (and share). Don’t feel like you have to buy two of every toy to keep everybody happy.
Do your best to get your multiples on the same schedule. Feeding them at the same time often means they will be ready to sleep at the same time.
Breastfeeding twins at the same time is possible. You’ll likely want to invest in a double feeding pillow and experiment with different feeding positions if you do choose to try breastfeeding. Consult a lactation professional for further support.
It may seem hard at first, but you’ll become a master multi-tasker in no time. You’ll figure out a rhythm that works for you eventually. If you can feed them at the same time, hopefully, you can change them at the same time. Bath time, playtime, nap time; try to stick to a routine with raising multiples, but remember to practice being flexible and resilient. Each baby will have different needs at times.
Schedule in some one-on-one time with each baby. If you’re raising children with another parent or support people, you can take turns minding each baby on their own.
For single parents, it may be more challenging to find time to turn their attention fully to one child at a time. Remember to foster each multiples’ individuality and recognize them as individuals.
Everybody understands raising multiples is a huge amount of work. Accept offers for help where you can. Be kind to yourself and try to recognize if your expectations aren’t realistic. Connect with the Australian Multiple Birth Association to find your local support group, and access further resources and support.