Preparing For Multiple Babies & Multiple Cuddles
Finding out that you are expecting twins or triplets is hugely exciting, but the prospect of caring for multiple babies can also be a little daunting, particularly when you consider how hard it can be to juggle the needs of just one baby!
Raising multiple babies is tough, particularly in the first few months as you are adjusting to life with your newborns. With thorough preparation and plenty of support, you will get through the toughest stage early on and rest assured, life will gradually become easier as your babies begin to reach their first milestones.
These helpful pointers will help you to prepare for double (or triple) trouble and all of the fun times ahead!
ORGANISING YOUR HOME
Whilst the most obvious (and of course the most fun) area in the home to focus on preparing will be the babies nursery, it is also crucial to focus on the areas of the home where you are likely to spend the majority of your time with your babies.
Create a space where you can put your babies down safely when you need to. A playpen is the perfect solution as it is portable and you can move it to any area of the home quickly and easily. Whilst tending to one baby, it is essential to be able to put another down safely – it is impossible to keep your eye on multiple babies at the same time!
In a larger home, it is worthwhile setting up more than one changing station for your babies. You are going to spend a great deal of time changing multiple babies and you will appreciate the convenience of having everything close to hand when you need it.
HELP AND SUPPORT
Hopefully you will be lucky enough to have wonderfully supportive friends and family around you to assist you with your newborns and receive plenty of offers of help. Looking after multiple newborns is chaotic and exhausting, so be sure to accept all genuine offers of assistance, you are going to need it!
In the absence of this kind of support, it is well worth considering hired help, particularly for the first couple of months when you will need it the most. If a full or part time Nanny is out of the question, perhaps look into the possibility of a temporary nurse or nanny, or some domestic help to take the pressure off you initially.
IDENTIFYING YOUR BABIES
You may find it easy to distinguish your babies straight away, but for many parents, telling their babies apart can take some time to master! There are several options to help you tell one from the other whilst you are in the initial hazy stage of getting to know your new babies!
Wrist Bands – The wristbands placed on your babies in hospital after birth could come in handy when it comes to telling them apart. It may be an idea to leave them on for the first few days until you are confident that you know exactly who is who!
Colour Coding – Dressing each baby in different colours is a simple way to tell them apart. It will help you and everyone else to know immediately which baby you are looking at if you give them each their own colour for easy identification!
CELEBRATING PERSONALITIES AND DIFFERENCES
Try to get into the habit of referring to each child by name early on, rather than having everyone refer to them as ‘the twins’, or ‘the triplets’. Although your children are more or less exactly the same age, they will each develop their own, very individual personality that ought to be recognised and celebrated from the start.
Unless you have ever looked after multiple babies and know the drill, it is impossible to imagine how many hours of each day will be spent on feeding, burping and changing them! It can feel like a never-ending cycle as no sooner you put one baby down, another needs to be fed or changed.
If you are breastfeeding your babies, it will take a bit of time to get the hang of it and learn what works best for you, but hang in there and you will be nursing two at the same time before you know it!
Your midwife should spend time helping you to explore all of the different positions until you are comfortable and your babies are correctly latched on.
Try to feed your babies together whenever possible, even if that means having to wake one of them up as you will need as much rest as possible in between each feed.
SCHEDULED NAP TIMES
After the haze of the first few months has passed and your babies begin to settle into more of a routine, you will find life begins to get a little easier for you. Routines are important with any child but with multiple babies, they are essential. Once you have mastered getting them down together for synchronised naps you will have more time in the days for yourself. This gives you the opportunity to take a nap or catch up with life in general!
CONNECTING WITH YOUR BABIES
Parents of twins and triplets often find that it takes a little longer than usual to form a bond and connect with their babies when they first bring them home. This is common, probably due to the extra work associated with caring for multiples and the slightly longer time that it takes to get to become familiar with the unique differences between each child.
Whilst it may take a little longer than you expect to form that close connection, before long you will have fallen deeply in love with your babies and you will find yourself on the receiving end of multiple cuddles and kisses in return for all of that hard work!