One Born Every Minute
Top Tips for Parenting Multiples
You've found out you're having multiples. What happens after your successful delivery? How will you and your partner survive? These helpful action items and tips will not only help save your hair, but maybe even allow you to get an hour or two of sleep!
- Get into a routine as soon as possible to encourage your babies' body rhythms into similar patterns. It’s a good idea to get both or all your babies down to sleep and for naps at the same time. Follow your usual rules for bedtime if you’re able. Hopefully you’ll have the help and support you need to settle more than one baby.
- This might seem like a no-brainer but many moms won’t seek the help they need. Don’t be afraid to ask for as much help as you can. If friends and relatives offer their services, exploit it. Be specific about what you want them to do. Join a local group, too!
- Keep a written list of when your babies have been fed or changed in the early weeks, to help you keep tabs on where you are. If you’re not able to do that, try and find a magnetic board and some magnets and keep track that way!
- It’s important to stay positive and not fall into a slump. Get dressed and be ready for the day. It’s easy to fall into the pajama abyss. Don’t succumb to the fleecy goodness, resist!
- Activities will take longer. At the minimum, you’ll find things take at least twice as long (three if you have triplets) to get anything done. Plan. Plan. Plan and plan some more. Don’t get upset with yourself if you take life at a “snail’s pace.”
- What about breastfeeding? It’s definitely possible but you will need more support than the singleton mom. Moms of multiples say it's easier to always feed your babies at the same time - including at night (even if that means waking one up). If you have triplets, you're unlikely to manage exclusive feeding, although you may still find a mix of some breast, some formula, is do-able.
- Have your multiples sleep in the same place. Why? Because it’s soothing for them and reminds them of when they were in your womb. It also means that your babies are more likely to wake up at the same time for feeding. Scheduling is everything with multiples.
- The bouncy chair is your friend. Have one for each of your babies. That way if you’re hands are full, there is always somewhere comfy and safe for them in the meantime. This comes in handy as they grow, too.
- Rub-a-dub-dub – Lots of babies in the tub! Bath time can be challenging with multiples, especially before they're old enough to sit up with the help of a bath support. Stick to the essentials and aim for a full bath time when you know you’ll have help. Otherwise you’ll have to bathe one at a time.
- Prepare yourself for lots of stares. People are fascinated by twins or more and although it's nice to be special, it can sometimes be annoying. If you’ve had enough, avoid eye contact when possible.
- Fathers are just as important as moms for raising multiples. Fathers should be considered an active participant who can give the individualized attention your twins demand. Work out a system with your husband so that both of you understand who will do what and when for your multiples.
- Here’s the best tip of all. Even though multiples will be lots of hard work and you’ll have your fair share of challenges, as they grow up, they’ll always have each other for company!
What are some of your tips you can share with other parents of multiples?