If you are a first-time mom or just found out you are pregnant with twins, here are some key differences between having and raising twins vs a singleton baby.
Unlike a singleton pregnancy, carrying twins is a bit more challenging. Your pregnancy is automatically considered as high risk and must be regularly monitored. Symptoms such as nausea, food aversion, and headache are worse and could last longer. You may tire easily and struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Recommended weight gain is almost double compared to a singleton pregnancy, and you have a higher chance of preterm birth. But the good thing is, you experience all these at once and have two babies!
- Double the baby means double the work
The moment your twins are born, you need double the manpower to handle both babies as you are still recovering. You need help in burping them and putting them to sleep after breastfeeding them. Tandem breastfeeding or nursing is a great way to feed both babies at the same time. It will save you time and effort.
Do not worry if your babies are getting enough milk. Trust that your body knows what it is doing and that you have enough supply for both. Use a nursing pillow to support your babies while breastfeeding. It would also help if you wear maternity tops or dresses for easier access.
Even after you have recovered, caring for both babies can be a handful. You need help from time to time. You have to establish a routine for feeding and sleeping. You have to do double the work of changing diapers and emptying out diaper trash can because surely, it fills up quickly. You have to give both babies a bath, wash their clothes, warm milk, clean and sterilize feeding bottles, and cradle them to sleep.
The key is proper scheduling. Moms of single babies have a more flexible schedule because one baby is easier to handle and not as overwhelming as having twins. Most twin moms agree that establishing routine is a great way to handle both babies at the same time. Once it is established, things will get easier and you’ll get plenty of rest.
- Double the baby means double the expenses
The cost of bringing a single child into this world is no joke. The expenses start from conception and childbirth to toddler years and beyond. What more if you have twins? You need to buy a lot of diapers, formula, two car seats, twin carrier, and other baby stuff. It doesn’t stop there. The reality is that, the older they get, the more expensive it gets.
- Double the baby means double the joy
We may have enumerated some of the challenges that you are likely to encounter, but you can also expect all the good things and benefits of having twins. Double the baby means double the joy. Being able to raise your twins is already an achievement. Seeing them share a special bond, watching them interact with each other, do activities together, and grow is enough to make you feel that everything is worth it.
- Raising your twins means they will develop positive character traits
Sure it is easier to raise a single baby. You can monitor his or her growth as you teach and hone his or her character. But having twins means both babies will go through the same life stages at the same time. They already learned how to share one uterus and one mom starting in the womb. They will become automatic playmates and share toys.
It means you don’t really have to buy two of everything. They develop resiliency. They can take turns and figure out how things work faster than a singleton baby because they have each other. They will learn together and from each other. You have an instant tutor because if one learns how to tie his or her shoes, he or she can teach the other twin.
They will read the same books, watch the same TV programs, and go to school together. They can be each other’s best friend and you can relax knowing that they will grow up having each other’s backs.
- Your family gets to celebrate both of your kids’ milestones and events at the same time
Having able to establish a healthy routine for sleeping and feeding is already a milestone you should celebrate. Feeding and successfully putting them to sleep at the same time can give you more time to do other chores or to sleep. When they grow up, celebrating other milestones such as first walk, first birthday, the first day of preschool, graduation and etc. can be done at the same time.
You may have to order or buy two cakes, but apart from that, you can save time, money, and energy for throwing one big celebration instead of two separate ones.
Raising twins seem like a daunting task. It may mean double the effort, time, and energy but it also means double the joy and love. Don’t be disheartened and afraid that you won’t be able to take the responsibilities of raising twins. Embrace the fact that you were able to create a miracle and keep in mind that things will get easier as they grow older.
Bio: For over 15 years TwinStuff has provided guidance and support to parents through twins information and community. You can follow them and join in the discussion here and here.