When you’re caring for twins, a routine becomes an absolute necessity. Some moms with single babies can afford to go with the flow, but moms with twins are outnumbered and need a routine to ensure they’re able to handle everything.Routines are excellent for babies and children — they like to know what’s coming next, whether it’s lunchtime, naptime, or playtime.
mom and dad holding twin babies in their hands
However, this doesn’t mean that caring for twins requires that they need to eat at exactly the same time each day. As long as you do regular tasks in the same order each day, your babies will know what’s coming next and that’s what’s important when you’re caring for twins.
How Do Moms with Twins Start Their Routine?
The first few weeks may be a blur, but an easy way to start a routine is to watch your twins over a period of about six weeks. They may have their own built-in routine.
Write down when your babies wake up and when they want to eat (you’ll probably be quite tired at first, which is why you should write it down! You probably won’t remember, even if you try!). If your twins’ routines don’t match, you can gradually move them toward the middle so you’re not worrying about feeding one baby when the other one wants to take a nap.
How to Set a Routine When You’re Caring with Twins
1. Start by setting a bedtime routine. Your routine could start with a special lullaby, a bath or a story.
2. Moms with single babies can let their babies drift off to sleep in their arms, but moms with twins may want their babies to learn to fall asleep on their own. To help, put them down when they’re sleeping, but not completely asleep.
3. Your twins may wake each other up, but if one is upset, check that the other one is settled before turning to the upset twin.
4. Resist the temptation to turn on the lights and try to keep your voice low if you speak. If you need a light, use a low-light nightlight so that you don’t stimulate your babies.
5. If your babies seem like they’re flailing around at night, swaddle them tightly. This can make them feel safe and secure and may help them stay asleep.
How Moms with Twins Ensure a Safe Night’s Sleep
Many moms with twins like their babies to sleep in the same crib at first. However if you’re using a small cradle or Moses basket, your babies should have their own sleeping space. If they’re sleeping in the same crib, they should sleep feet to feet with their heads at the opposite sides of the crib. When the babies are big enough to roll around, they should be separated into different cribs.
What Do Experts Say About Caring for Twins?
Experts agree that routines are helpful for moms and babies. Realize though, that babies in the first few weeks of life are unlikely to live by your routine. Enlist your partner to help and consider asking a trusted friend or family member for help if your partner has to go back to work. Consider hiring a postpartum doula, even for a few hours a week. Support is key.
If your babies are in the hospital in the early few weeks, try to spend as much time there as possible. Breastmilk is excellent and there’s no reason why moms with twins can’t breastfeed. Also, try to practice kangaroo care — that is, putting your baby skin-to-skin. This can help promote bonding, even if your babies aren’t home with you.