When do twins get easier? Here are the milestones that mark easier times as well tips on how to manage.
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 twins get easier so we can catch a break.
Not only that, we get no one-on-one time with either twin. We feel like we’re not able to nurture them like babies should. It’s just not any fun, and we wonder if anyone else is going through this. And we think, When does caring for twins get easier?
I’ve been there. My husband went back to work when the twins were 10 weeks old. I wasn’t set to go back until months later (when they were five months). It was already hard enough juggling twins (and our preschooler!) with my husband around. But 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 anymore. And 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.
What’s a mom to do?
Moms of multiples I’ve spoken with will flat out say that the first three months is survival mode. The babies are colicky. They have gas. They 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. 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. 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.
Your babies will sync, especially if you’ve been keeping them on the same schedule. And they’ll nap without fussing.
At four months:
This was the turning point for us 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. And we knew they’ll get a full 11 to 12 hour night of sleep. This seemed impossible during those first few weeks, but yes, it happened.
Are you struggling with getting your twins to sleep through the night? Check out my guide, How to Sleep Train Twins! Download FREE tips, sample chapters and the sleep tracker below:
At four months, your babies will enjoy tummy time and interaction. They’ll play on a blanket and bat at nearby toys.
At six months:
During this stage, your twins can sit up and play even more. Your babies will be sleeping in even longer stretches on their own. 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. They’ll seem less like the little blobs of newborn 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. Your twins get easier because they 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.
Like with anything in parenthood, when one hardship passes by, another makes its entrance. Each stage has its positives and negatives, and older kids aren’t always easier.
Still, for me, the huge turning point happened when the twins slept through the night. Not only did I not have to rock them to sleep, I also got a full night myself. I felt rested enough to face the challenges the next day. I even got a few hours between their bedtime and mine to do whatever I wanted.
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.
You might think that just because all you do is meet their basic needs that you aren’t nurturing your twins. But meeting their needs, protecting them 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 already 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 might have an opportunity to 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, and 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 farmers market with my twins alone. And yes, the first few times I tried were a hit or miss. But by taking it slow and practicing over time, I grew more comfortable.
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. Right away, we feel the 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. 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 exact same thing you are right now. No one else is doing it any better than you. You’re missing out on a magic formula or secret strategy.
Want proof? Find any mom of twins, regardless of her twins’ age, and mention that you have twins too. I guarantee you that you will 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 vs 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
- Common Questions about Sleep-Training 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!