It is hard to believe that 6 months have gone by since giving birth to my adorable, amazing, and completely different twin baby boy, Hayden and girl, Leah. I am not going to sit here and say it has been a walk in the park and time has flown by. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Do not get me wrong, I am in absolute heaven seeing these two amazing miracles grow, interact, love each other and give us huge smiles. It’s just been…HARD! Looking back, I cannot help but reminisce about an experience that occurred just before I was about to deliver the twins. I had just finished up discharging one of my patients at my animal hospital. My clients happened to have had twins almost a year before, and were nicely congratulating me on my own twins impending arrival. They looked at me with sympathy in their face, bags under their eyes, and an expression that was hard to interpret. Naturally, I asked them how their year went. Suddenly, their expressions were easy to interpret, as they responded, “get ready, it’s been a tough year.” I asked them if they had their twins on the exact same feeding, eating, and playing schedule like every twin book I ever read recommends, and as I was preparing for? The quick and simple reply was, “they like to do different things.” I walked away, thinking to myself, well clearly they didn’t prepare like me, or read all the twin books like I did, or really try to make sure they were on the exact same schedule and plan like I was going to have my twins on. I was ready! My twines were going to eat at the same time, nap at the same time, play at the same time, and mommy was going to be stress free and sane. And then Hayden and Leah arrived!
WHAT HAVE I LEARNED FROM HAVING TWINS:
- Sometimes organization and planning just does not work. I LOVE this tip! I am the queen of planning, organization, and schedules. Prior to the twins arrival I read all the “twin” books, had all the drawers color coordinated according to age, and I was ready to go. Yep, over the past 6 months the blues and pinks merged into one, the newborn clothes mixed with the 3 and 6 month clothes, and the pacifiers were no where to be found. I learned quickly to just let it go.
- Babies are mini people. As much as we would love to believe that we can control our babies with the best plans for their education and development, the healthiest of diets, and the most interactive and developmental activities, they are going to do what they want to do. Our job as parents is to support their individual personalities and desires, while guiding them in making sure they make good decisions and do not cause harm to themselves or others.
- Stop and smell the diapers. This has been a tough one and something I keep aiming to do. It is hard with 3 babies in diapers. Especially with having a 3 year old, you just feel like your days are going back and forth from one to the other to the other. Try and take a breath, stop, and look around. These days of no sleep, diapers, trips to the park, and bribing to eat vegetables with candy go by fast. So take a moment to stop and smell the diapers!
- Distinguish between emergencies and non-emergencies and react accordingly. Obviously having 3 babies, we have our fair share of illnesses. This one is constipated, the other one has an ear infection, and our oldest will not eat anything. It’s hard not to get panicked and wrapped up in the situation at hand. With one of my twins dealing with reflux and not eating and gaining much weight, it is easy to become obsessed and consumed with the stress of weight gain, calorie intake, and development. Look at the big picture. I always try and picture a year or even 2 years from now. Will this situation at hand be something we are still dealing with or discussing in the future? If the answer is probably no, then try and not get so stressed out in the moment. You will be chasing your newborn on the playground and off to college soon enough!
THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR SURVIVING THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF TWINS:
Dr. Brown’s Bottles and Nipples: These are hands down the best bottles in my opinion. We used these with our first, Luke and with the twins. These bottles are made to reduce colic, spit-up, burping and gas. We love them.
Dr. Brown’s Formula Dispenser: With our 3 year old we are constantly on the go. These caddies are perfect for packing bottles.
4Moms MamaRoo: This has been our life saver. We have 2 setup in the family room and our twins nap, play, and give us a break in them.
Dr. Brown’s Flexees Teethers: Our little girl started teething:) These teethers have been awesome. You can freeze them and she loves the textures.
Drip Drop Bib: I think these are the best bibs. The extra material catches all the milk.
Nogginstik Developmental LightUp Rattle: Our aunt and uncle gave us the rattle and it is definitely one of the twins favorite toys. It turn colors when you shake it and they are mesmerized by the colors.
Dr. Brown’s Pacifier and Bottle Wipes: With a toddler and a huge dog, these wipes have been the best. They keep the bottles and pacifiers free of germs and dog hair.
Aden and Anais Dove Muslin Wearable Blanket: We just recently switched over to these swaddles because the twins started rolling over. They are light weight and easy.
Swaddle Me Pack: These are the swaddles we used when the twins were first born. They are so simple and easy to use.
Bright Beats Dance & Move Beatbo: My twins cannot get enough of this toy. They will just sit and laugh at the dancing toy and lights.
I have a few friends that just gave birth to twins, and singletons, and others who are expecting a new baby’s arrival. I hope this article helps no matter how many you have or are expecting. Every night when I lay my exhausted head on my pillow, with a feeling of being physically and emotionally drained, I try and remember these times go by so fast and that this stage is only temporary. Soon enough I will be dreaming of the days I was up all night with a baby on my chest, I was hugging and kissing adorable tiny hands and feet, or I was making them laugh with something as simple as a funny face and silly noises. Babies are the best and there is nothing like this stage in this journey of parenthood. So, just remember to stop and smell the diapers!