When do twins get easier? Here are the milestones that mark easier times as well tips on how to manage in the meantime.
All twin moms have been there. We’re caring for twins alone, overwhelmed with the challenges. We meet their basic needs—feed, change, sleep—but it’s difficult when they cry at the same time. We wonder when caring for twins gets easier so we can finally catch a break.
Not only that, we hardly get any one-on-one time with either twin. We feel like we’re not able to nurture them like we should. It’s just not any fun, and we wonder if anyone else is going through this.
I’ve been there. My husband went back to work when the twins were 10 weeks old, but I wasn’t set to go back until a few more weeks. It was already hard enough juggling twins (and our preschooler!) with my husband around. Now I needed to find a way to do so alone.
The two-month-mark, twins or not, feels like mile 25 in a marathon. You’ve already gone through so much, and you’re not sure if you can take any more. While everyone says it’ll get better soon, it’s so hard to stay motivated and positive.
And you’re not able to see just how close you are to that finish line.
Moms of multiples I’ve spoken with will flat out say that the first three months is survival mode. The babies are colicky, have gas and don’t smile those first few weeks. Tandem breastfeeding is awkward. You still have to cradle their heads.
That… times two.
When do twins get easier
At the two-month mark, it seems like it’ll never end (that mile 25 feeling, remember?). But just a few short weeks later, you’ll start noticing some changes…
At three months:
Your twins will get easier when they sleep in longer stretches, like three to four-hour chunks. As little as that may seem compared to eight hours, those longer stretches make a huge difference.
They’re forming more predictable sleep patterns, taking naps at regular times and lengths. Even if they still rely on you to help them fall asleep, they’ve grown used to their routine and rhythms to sleep regularly.
You’ll also feel more comfortable breastfeeding. Before, I didn’t bother tandem-feeding my twins until they were one or two weeks old. And when I did, I couldn’t do so alone. By this time, you’ll likely have mastered feeding them at the same time by yourself.
At four months:
This was the turning point for our family because this was when we sleep trained the twins. Goodbye rocking them to sleep! We could put them down in their crib (awake!), close the door and walk away. They’d get a full 11 to 12 hour night of sleep, something that seemed impossible not too long ago.
Are you struggling with getting your twins to sleep through the night? Check out my guide, How to Sleep Train Twins! Download FREE tips and sample chapters:
Besides being able to put themselves to sleep, your twins will now enjoy tummy time and more interaction with you. They’ll bat at toys and easily play on a blanket.
At six months:
During this stage, your twins can sit up and play even more. They’ll be sleeping in even longer stretches on their own, and you’ll also have less middle of the night feedings.
This is also the time when you’re snuggling and playing with your babies. You’ll feel confident taking them out on outings and errands, all by yourself. You can sit them on your lap and read books together, and they’ll seem less like the little blobs they once were and bona fide babies.
At nine months:
Your twins have been eating solids, but here comes the stage where they can feed themselves. They’ll pick food with their hands or use a spoon to scoop and can now sit in their high chairs and eat independently. You can even eat your meals with them, cutting down yet another task to do later.
At 10 months:
This is when having twins becomes a true perk: Your twins will begin to play with each other! They may not be throwing a ball back and forth to each other, but they’ll likely make each other laugh.
I have a video of my twins both propped on a light up table, making each other laugh. They’re not only amused by their parents, but with each other as well.
This perk will only get better as they grow older. Laughing turns to playing peek-a-boo to racing around the house together. One of my favorite moments is watching my twins play with each other when they think no one is looking. Not every baby gets his own special play mate.
How to stay motivated
In the meantime, what can you do to stay motivated during the last few stretches of the marathon?
You are nurturing your twins.
Just because it seems all you do is meet your twins’ basic needs that you aren’t nurturing them. But meeting their needs, protecting and giving them your love is a nurturing act.
These are the basics that a baby needs, and you doing that for them is already fantastic. Don’t feel guilty for not doing the baby activities you had planned. Every interaction you have with your babies is automatically a precious moment between you.
That said, use these basic needs to engage with your twins. Changing their diaper? Sing a favorite lullaby while you do. Feeding them their bottles? Stroke their hair and hold them tight.
Not every chore has to feel like a race to get it over with. Practice mindful parenting and be in the moment, using it to engage with your babies.
Alternate and find mini one-on-one sessions.
Twins are the best with turn-taking and waiting (they have no choice!). And when you’re low on one-on-one time, alternate between each baby.
While one is sitting in the infant seat, grab the other and snuggle on the couch, even for five minutes. Later, you can cuddle with the other twin while his brother is playing on the mat.
You may not be able to take one twin out for the entire day, but sneaking in a few one-on-one moments adds up. They need to feel loved, but it doesn’t take hours of alone time to get the message across.
Practice makes perfect.
The only way I was ever able to feel comfortable caring for my twins was through practice. I had once thought it impossible to go to the market with my twins alone.
And yes, the first few times I tried were a hit or miss, but by keeping it simple and not letting those failures hold me back, those outings became easier.
After all, the only real way to feel comfortable and competent at anything is to actually go out and do it. Start small—maybe it’s a walk around the block with your twins, or tandem-feeding them by yourself.
Celebrate your wins, and reassure yourself that each struggle only makes you more confident.
Babies will cry—it’s not your fault.
Twins or not, hearing your babies cry is stressful for any mom. We feel an instant need to comfort, and above all else, stop the crying.
But here’s the thing you have to remember: your babies’ cries are not your fault. They cry because they’re babies. A two-year-old will say, “Mama? Hungry,” with not even a sniffle. But a baby? He has only his cry to rely on.
I remember a coworker telling me there were days when she’d hold her baby while they both cried. And sometimes that’s all you can do. Be there for your baby. Sure, you can detect what your baby needs, but other times we can only do our best and hold our babies close.
You’re not alone.
Every twin mom is going through or has gone through the same thing you are right now. No one else is doing it any better than you. You’re not missing out on a magic formula or secret strategy.
Find any mom of twins, regardless of her babies’ age, and mention you have twins too. I guarantee you you’ll have an instant bond. A “Yes, I know what you’re going through!” moment. I didn’t get this with singleton moms because there were varying degrees of “easy versus hard.”
But twins? Instant bond. We have all been there.
My twins are now two-years-old. This morning, they were laughing and snuggling in bed. Other times, I’ll cook in the kitchen while they play peek-a-boo with each other, or I’ll read a book while they play their version of “hand ball” against the wall.
Twins are awesome at self-entertaining. All those years of having to wait taught them to play independently as well as with each other. Being with each other every minute built a bond that’s pretty difficult to replicate.
We earn those rewards from the madness we went through those first few months.
Those weeks and months when you cried yourself to sleep. When you Googled how in the world you’ll ever get through this. The times you felt ashamed to admit you wished you didn’t have twins and how much easier it’d be with just one.
This madness you’re going through will pass. You’ll emerge from this craziness even when you can’t imagine going through another day of it. Twins get easier the older they get. Hang in there, mama. It does get better.
Get more tips about life with twins:
- Sleep Training Twins — How to Get Them to Sleep
- Interesting Facts about Twins You Probably Didn’t Know
- How to Take Care of Twins: From Feeding to Sleeping and Everything in Between
- What to Do when Only One Twin Is Ready to Drop a Nap
- When Does It Get Easier with Twins?
Your turn: When did caring for twins get easier? Let me know in the comments!
Learn how to sleep train twins
Tired of waking up multiple times a night putting your twins to sleep? Do you wish they knew how to put themselves to sleep instead? Get exclusive tips and FREE chapters of my ebook, How to Sleep Train Twins: The Ultimate Guide!