It’s hard enough caring for one baby, but with twins you’re caring for two. Here’s how to take care of twins and still get stuff done.
I cried when I first learned I was expecting twins. For a whole week. Every day of that week.
You see, I wanted to add to the family and give my eldest a sibling. I was expecting one child. So, when my doctor announced she had good news (“Yes, you’re pregnant!”) and better news (“And you’re expecting twins!”), I thought she was joking.
It already took me a while to feel comfortable having a second child (not until my eldest was 2.5 years old did I even consider it). To go from one to three felt surreal. My husband was ecstatic, and the doctor and nurses were saying congratulations left and right.
Meanwhile, I plastered on a smile on my face when inside, I felt terrified.
Having twins is overwhelming. It’s already a huge change to add one child, now you’re expecting two.
It’s hard to admit feeling sad and scared about expecting twins, especially when so many people struggle to conceive even one. Yet there I was, bawling my eyes out for a whole week. Crying to friends, venting to my husband. Even after that week, it took a while to adjust to the idea of having twins with periods of highs and lows.
The fact that I’m now completely confident and over the moon with being a twin mom knowing how it all started is short of amazing.
How to take care of twins
People ask me if having twins is more difficult than when I became a first-time mom with my eldest son. Emotionally—yes, because I know what to expect and that the challenging months are temporary.
But physically? It’s much more difficult—there are two of them and still only one of me, with no extra hours in a day.
But during those first several months, I learned how to take care of twins and still get stuff done. These were the top tips that helped me survive those early weeks intact, even with two babies and a toddler. I hope you’ll find them just as helpful as you learn to take care of your twins:
1. Use all your baby gear
I have a love/hate relationship with swings and baby carriers. You don’t want your twins to get used to them so much that they can’t sleep in anything. But at the same time… they work.
If your twins have a difficult time sleeping in bassinets or cribs, place them in a swing, baby carriers, or wraps. They’ll outgrow the gear at some point, whether on their own or through sleep training. Use them now when you most need them.
Bouncers and mobiles are other useful items to keep your little ones occupied so you can do quick tasks. They’re also great for entertaining one baby while you tend to the other, like during diaper changes.
Free resource: Are you struggling with getting your twins to sleep through the night? My guide, How to Sleep Train Twins can help! Join my newsletter and grab the preview chapter below—at no cost to you:
2. Put the twins on the same schedule
One of the best ways to streamline your day is to put both twins on the same schedule. If one baby wakes up hungry, feed both of them, even if it means waking a sleeping baby. Put them down to nap at the same time, and bathe them one right after the other.
I’ve tried putting them to sleep based on individual cues instead of on the same schedule. The result? I was beyond exhausted. I felt like I was on a chase, going from task after task. Since then, I put the twins on the same schedule. They learned to adjust not only to one another but to the routine that guides their day.
Learn what to do when only one twin is ready to drop a nap.
3. Tandem nurse or bottle feed the twins at the same time
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Most people assume it’s impossible or have never even heard of tandem feeding. (“Wait—you’re breastfeeding both of them? At the same time?” are common reactions I got).
With long feeding sessions and short wake times, tandem feeding will save you so much time.
You’ll want a nursing pillow catered to twins (I use My Breast Friend Twin Deluxe). You can place both twins on the pillow and keep your hands free, starting with the baby with the more difficult latch. If one finishes before the other, burp him by either holding him up to your shoulder or sitting him on the pillow.
Practice makes perfect. For the longest time, I wasn’t able to burp the twins on my own and would have to hand one to someone else.
But over time, I was able to handle the feeding—from placing them on the nursing pillow to burping—all on my own. Plus, I couldn’t stand feeding one while the other was wailing his head off. With tandem feeding, I knew they were both nursing and taken care of.
Feeding twins with bottles can be done in tandem as well. Once your twins have control over their necks, place them in bouncers so you can hold their bottles.
Get tips on how to breastfeed twins.
4. Run errands with the twins in a stroller
You may not be able to buy cartloads at the grocery, but running errands with a stroller allows you to get stuff done. You can entertain the twins and even squeeze some exercise into your day. Taking the twins out on errands can save time as well as get you out of the house.
This may seem daunting, especially when you double the chances that a baby will start crying. You may want to avoid places like the library and stick to loud ones that won’t mind you soothing a fussy baby (or two).
5. Plan ahead for bath time
With two babies to bathe, you’ll need to get creative with bath time. For us, my husband and I were lucky: we were almost always together to bathe the twins. One parent was the designated bather while the other was the dryer and changer.
Whether caring for the twins alone or with help, you’ll want to get everything ready before starting the bath.
Set up the pajamas, diapers, vitamins, nose suctions, or other gear you’ll need. Prepare the bottles or set your breastfeeding station with the nursing pillow. Planning ahead is key with bathing, especially since it’s one of the tasks you’ll need two hands to do.
6. Accept help during the first few weeks
Asking for help is common even with singleton babies, but much more necessary with twins. If someone can spend a few weeks at your home, even better. You’ll need help soothing and caring for the twins or tending to your older kids.
Others can help prepare meals, wash dishes, or throw out the trash. Even weekend helpers can bring meals, buy groceries, or play with the twins while you catch a break.
Caring for twins means leaning on your village, especially in the first few months. You’ll feel outnumbered during those challenging moments, so ask or even hire help (like a cleaning service or mother’s helper).
As a mom who had newborn twins and a three-year-old, trust me when I say that you can definitely handle it, no matter how daunting it can feel right now.
Use all your baby gear to make life with twins easier. Put them on the same schedule to streamline your day. This includes feeding them at the same time (even if it means waking one who was asleep). Take them with you on errands using the double stroller.
Plan ahead for bath time and get everything ready before you start. And finally, accept any and all help you can get, whether from friends and family or by hiring help.
From taking a shower to going for a walk around the block, you’ll get stuff done mama, even with twins in tow.
Get more tips:
- How Caring for Newborn Twins is Different from Singletons
- Surprising Costs of Raising Twins
- Beat the High Cost of Twins Using These Sneaky Ways
- How to Encourage Individuality in Twins
- You Know You’re a Twin Mom When…
Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and grab the preview chapter of How to Sleep Train Twins below—at no cost to you:
This article was a good read. I wish I had read it months ago, but have figured out most of these tricks with our 7 year old, 5 year old, and 8 month old twins! We are still using swaddlers at the moment to help with sleeping/falling asleep, but they won’t work for much longer. Any suggestions for transitioning to sleep without using swaddling would be appreciated! Thanks!
We sleep-trained our twins when they were four-months-old, and we weaned them from their swaddles at that point. We did the same with our eldest when he was about six-months-old. With him, the swaddles were clearly not working anymore. He was so frustrated being constrained, but at the same time, wasn’t used to falling asleep without it, either. We tried the gradual ‘one arm out’ trick but that didn’t help either.