When do twins get easier? Having twins is hard, but here are the milestones that mark easier times as well tips on how to manage in the meantime.
The overwhelming feeling when the babies cry at the same time. The cycle of feeding, changing, and putting them to sleep that never seems to end. Fighting to catch whatever few minutes of sleep at a time you can get.
Never mind that you hardly get any one-on-one time with either twin, unable to nurture and bond with them like you wanted to. Having twins isn’t as fun as you had imagined, leaving you wondering whether anyone else is going through this.
Well, mama… I’ve been there.
My husband went back to work when the twins were 10 weeks old, but I wasn’t set to return to work until a few more weeks. Juggling twins (and our preschooler!) with my husband was hard enough—now I needed to do so alone.
Caring for twins during those early weeks feels like the 25th mile in a marathon. You’ve already gone through so much, unsure if you can take any more. And while everyone says that this stage will soon pass, staying motivated and positive is getting harder by the day.
The ironic part about the 25th mile? After having gone through all that you have, you don’t always see how close you are to that finish line.
Moms of multiples will tell you that the first three months is a stage of pure survival mode. The babies are colicky, gassy, and don’t even offer a smile in return. Tandem breastfeeding is awkward, and you still have to cradle their heads.
Add to that all the other challenges of caring for a newborn… times two.
When do twins get easier?
After a few weeks, the madness of raising twins feels like it’ll never end (that 25th mile feeling, remember?). But I promise you mama, just a few short weeks later, you’ll start noticing some changes. Life will get easier, whether from developmental milestones or your own progress and growth.
And even if you’re in the thick of it, there’s hope. Take a look at one parent’s message after reading this article:
“I’ve read this probably six times. It helps every step of the way. Today is a day that tears silently fall from shear frustration of never feeling like we can keep up or care for ourselves. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So thank you!” -Bonnie
Here are a few ages and milestones that make caring for twins easier:
1. At three months:
The three-month stage marks the end of the “fourth trimester” and your twins can better adapt to life outside the womb.
For one thing, they’ll sleep in longer stretches of about three- to four-hour chunks. As little as that may seem compared to eight hours, those longer stretches make a huge difference in sleep and your routine.
They’re also forming more predictable sleep patterns, taking naps at regular times and lengths. Even if they still rely on you to 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.
Free resource: Are you ready to help your twins sleep through the night? Check out a free chapter of my guide, How to Sleep Train Twins! Join my newsletter and download it below—at no cost to you:
2. At four months:
This was the turning point for our family because this was when we sleep trained the twins. No more rocking them to sleep—now 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, a feat that seemed impossible not too long ago.
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 play on a blanket, allowing you to sneak in some tasks.
You might even start offering baby food, adding another fun milestone as you experiment with foods to introduce.
3. At six months:
During this stage, your twins can sit up and play independently. They’ll sleep in longer stretches on their own, and you’ll also have fewer 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, or watch their curiosity about their surroundings.
4. At nine months:
Your twins have been eating solids, but this is the stage where they can now feed themselves. They can pick food with their hands or use a spoon to scoop, and eat independently in their high chairs. You can even eat your meals with them, cutting down on yet another task to do later.
5. At 10 months:
This is when having twins becomes a true perk: Your twins will begin playing with each other! They may not be throwing a ball back and forth just yet, but they’ll likely make each other laugh. Now 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
As reassuring as it may be to hear these milestones you’ll soon reach, you might still need motivation to get you through. After all, life with twins can move slowly, where one week—even one day—can feel like an eternity.
In the meantime, what can you do to stay motivated during the last few stretches of the marathon?
1. Remember that you are nurturing your twins
From bathing to feeding to changing diapers, you might feel guilty that you’re not bonding with or nurturing your twins. But meeting their basic needs is a loving and nurturing act.
Don’t feel guilty for not doing the baby activities you had planned, or that you don’t have as much one-on-one time with each one. Every interaction you have with your babies is automatically a precious moment between you.
That said, use these moments to engage with your twins. Changing their diaper? Sing a favorite nursery song while you do. Feeding them their bottles? Talk to them about your upcoming day.
Not every chore has to feel like a race to get over with. Practice mindful parenting and be in the moment, using these daily tasks to engage with your babies.
2. Alternate and find one-on-one time
Besides meeting your twins’ basic needs, finding one-on-one time is still important, even in small pockets of time. And with the nature of twins, turn-taking and waiting are inevitable, including spending one-on-one time with you.
How can you alternate spending quality time with each baby? Perhaps while one is sitting in the infant seat, you can snuggle on the couch with the other, 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 just yet, 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.
3. Practice makes perfect
The only way you’ll feel comfortable caring for your twins is through practice.
For instance, I had once thought it impossible to run an errand 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.
The only way to feel comfortable and competent at anything is to actually go out and do it, over and over. Start small—a walk around the block with your twins, or tandem-feeding by yourself.
Celebrate your wins, and reassure yourself that each struggle only makes you more confident.
Every twin mom is going or has gone through the same changes you’re facing right now. No one else is doing it any better than you, and 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 that you’ll form an instant connection. A “Yes, I know what you’re going through!” moment with your fellow twin mom.
I didn’t get this connection with singleton moms because we experienced varying degrees of “easy versus hard.” But twins? Instant bond. We have all been there.
These days, I’ll often find my twins laughing and playing together. They’ll create an imaginary world with their stuffed animals while I cook, or turn cardboard boxes into “computers” while I read a book nearby.
After all, twins are awesome at entertaining themselves. All those years of waiting their turn taught them to play independently as well as with each other. Being together nearly every minute builds a bond that’s pretty difficult to replicate.
It’s like reaping the rewards from the madness we went through in the early stages.
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 only 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 with time—hang in there, mama. It does get better.
Get more tips:
- 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
- Secrets to Surviving Twins in the Newborn Months
Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and download a preview chapter of How to Sleep Train Twins—at no cost to you: