Help – I’m not enjoying being a parent of twins or triplets

not enjoying twins

On our website, we talk a lot about the rewarding parts and exceptional bits about parenting twins and multiples. The practical side of it can be so hard, it is important to remember to focus on the good bits, so we don’t get overwhelmed with piles of stinky nappies and complete lack of sleep.

But what if you can’t even find any good bits? What if you are just not enjoying anything about being a parent of twins or triplets?

This is completely normal too.

Having multiples is a precious gift and brings with it all sorts of benefits, surprises, and joy. But don’t feel bad if you are finding focusing on the good bits a little difficult.

The last thing you need to do is add to your stress by feeling guilty for not loving every moment (or even any moment…)

Anecdotally, parents of multiples report higher levels of physical stress, tiredness, difficulty bonding and even anxiety and depression than parents of single babies. This article looks at some reasons why you might not be enjoying being a parent of twins or triplets.

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Swimming lessons with twins or more when on your own

Swimming lessons on your own with twins

We all know the importance of our Aussie kids learning to swim as early as possible. 

However, as many pools have a “one adult per child” rule, makes swimming lessons with twins or more AND being on your own a logistical nightmare.  Many of our families do not have the additional support required to do swimming lessons, be it they are single parents or have FIFO partners etc.

Obviously in a perfect situation you would book a lesson when you had ample adults to help.  Needless to say, this is not always feasible.

Twinfo has 10 ways to deal with swimming lessons with twins or more when on your own.  Not all are practical, and all will depend on your personal circumstances plus the availability, facilities and policies at your local swim school.

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5 ways to minimise the spread of germs between twins and multiples.

how to stop twins getting sick from each other

I know we all dream of the day when our multiples share everything, but there are some things you do not want them to share – and that is germs!  Unfortunately this is one of the downsides of twins and multiples.  It is very common for them to share their germs.  Germs are either spread from person to person or from touching unclean surfaces, such as trolley handles and door knobs.  When you have twins or multiples, it is really hard to stop them from sharing their toys.  More often than not they will take toys from each others mouths and put them straight into their own mouth.  This of course significantly increases the chance of spreading the germs.

If one of your multiples has started showing signs of getting sick, then it may already be too late and it will only be a matter of time before the next one gets it.  With a lot of germ based diseases you are contagious before the symptoms show up. Keeping everyone healthy is not easy.  Hopefully by adopting these five tips you will prevent, or at least minimise, the spread of germs between twins and multiples.  

Here are 5 ways of minimising the spread of germs between twins and multiples.

1. Wash those hands

Many viruses are spread from hand-to-mouth contact.  As a time poor twin mother myself I know there were many occasions where I skimped on the hand washing.  But when one of your multiples or twins is sick you need to be extra vigilant on the hand washing.  Wash after nappy changes, before feeding them and so forth.    If they are really sick with a gastro type bug use a new pair of rubber gloves for each nappy change.

If you have older multiples then you need to enforce that their handwashing is paramount, particularly before eating and after coughing, sneezing or going to the toilet.  One tip is to teach them to sing “Happy Birthday” TWICE while washing their hands, as this will take roughly the same amount of time that experts recommend that you should wash your hands for.

stopping twins germs spreading

2. Don’t let them share dummies or feeding or drinking implements

I know you automatically roll your eyes when the Child Health nurse or GP tell you to use a separate spoon or water bottle or whatever for each baby, but when they are sick it is really important to do this.  Sharing things like spoons between babies will increase the likelihood of sharing the germs significantly.  Make sure you each child uses their own things, at least until they are all healthy again. Colour coding cups and plates etc is a good way for sick children to easily identify which cup is theirs. 

If your children are older, don’t let them eat of each others plates or share cups.  While “share plates” are normally fabulous for morning and afternoon tea, this is not the time to use them.  Serve each child in their own dish.

3. Sanitise their toys

It’s worth evaluating what toys you can put away (so you don’t have to clean them later!) if your multiples start getting sick.  Soft toys can be washed in the washing machine.  Add a hygienic laundry rinse to the wash to minimise the risk of cross contamination between the sick and well children.

stop germs between twins

A lot of dishwashers these days have a sterilisation setting on then.  This is useful for plastic toys (make sure you don’t put battery operated toys in there though!).  For those that can’t be washed, make sure you wipe them down with a child friendly germ killer.

If your multiples are older, make sure you sanitise things like I-pads, phones and TV remotes.  These can harbour lots of germs, particularly as they are often used a lot for entertainment when people are sick. Don’t forget to sanitise the door and fridge handles as well. Hopefully by doing this you will prevent, or at least minimise, the spread of germs between twins and multiples.

4. Separate them as much as possible

If they are not yet mobile, separate them to different parts of the lounger room.  If they are mobile it’s a lot harder to keep them separate, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.  You may need to isolate the sick one in a play pen or something similar.

If your multiples share a cot/bed/room, now would be a good time to separate them.  If you can use the spare room or your room for a few nights not only will it help contain the spread of germs but it may also mean you might get a bit more sleep. Hopefully the sick one won’t wake the well ones if they are separated.

5. Look after yourself

I know it’s hard when your babies are sick, but it is really important that you need to look after yourself so you don’t get sick as well.   This means you need to eat well, drink lots of water and rest as much as you can.   Looking after multiple sick babies while you are sick as well is really hard.  So do whatever you can do to avoid getting sick yourself.

I know it is hard, but parents need to try to avoid giving their little sick darlings kisses. Saliva and mucus (both of which seem to exponentially increase during colds and so forth) are prime carriers of germs.  So by avoiding kissing them on the lips, cheeks and hands especially, you are well on your way to minimising the spread.

Don’t beat yourself up if they do pass their germs to each other.  In all reality you can take all the precautions as you can, and they will still get sick.

Naomi Dorland

Passionate about all things multiple, Naomi is the founder of Twinfo.

Naomi is a Parenting Blogger and a Brand Ambassador, but most important of all she is a twin mother who understands.

Connect with Naomi and the Twinfo community via the Twinfo WebsiteFaceBook Page,  Facebook Group, Pinterest or via the Twinfo Instagram page.

Interview with a holistic sleep consultant

four month sleep regression twins

Catherine, owner of Dream Winks is a holistic sleep consultant who has a special interest in multiples.

How did you become a sleep consultant?

I have worked as a Sleep Consultant for 10 years now. I am a mum of 3 and my first gave us the hardest time when he was born. He was a terrible sleeper. He was catnapping, night-waking and a nightmare to settle.

Basically everything that could go wrong with sleep did. I joined an online forum to seek help as I had no idea what to do. The information and help I got just made sense. It was as though it all just clicked and I couldn’t understand why this sort of info wasn’t just given to all mums! So I started using this advice to help other parents and I was good at it and really enjoyed it!

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Multiples or Twins that fight over sharing Mummy or Daddy

twins that fight over mummy

While multiples share a womb, once they are out, sharing mummy (or daddy or Grandma or Uncle John etc) can become a precursor for sibling rivalry, aka jealousy.  This is the downside to multiples – there are more of them than there are of you!

However, you do need to try to put yourself in their place.  Imagine how you would feel if you were sitting there having a lovely cuddle or talk with your partner and someone else came along, broke it up and started cuddling and talking to them.  When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see why they can get upset and understand why you may have multiples or twins that fight over sharing mummy and daddy

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Fiji with twins – Our holiday hints and tips

fiji and twins

Author:  Sophie McDonald

My husband, 22-month-old twins and I recently returned from our first overseas family holiday. Our destination of choice was Fiji as we’d heard it was a great location for kids and it was only a 4-hour flight away! Easy right? If the idea of an international holiday with multiples gives you the shivers, I’m here to tell you that it’s not only possible, but also enjoyable! Here’s how we did it!

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Triplets, Twins and dummies. The good, the bad and how to get rid of them!

weaning twins off dummies

Author:  Tanya Greene

Tanya Greene is the founder of Sleep Right Sleep Tight. Tanya is a mum of four and a certified Sleep Consultant who has been working with children for over 15 years. She shares with us her inside knowledge and personal experiences with dummies.

A dummy can either be a complete life saver or a complete pain in the you know what! 

A lot of parents who use a dummy feel a twinge of guilt the first time they stick it in their baby’s mouth. However, dealing with screaming babies in the grocery line or on a long car trip, will make most parents try just about anything they can think of to calm the child down!

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To separate twins and multiples for sleep………..or not?

co-bedding twins

Amanda from Groovy Babies is a twin mum and one of Australia’s top sleep consultants.

She is also recognised and accredited for her work across Advanced Holistic  Pregnancy and as a Baby and Child Sleep Specialist, HypnoBirthing®  International Childbirth Educator and Certified Infant Massage Instructor.

Today she shares with us her experience and expertise in regards to separating twins and multiples for sleep…….or not?

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One of our twins was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

twins and Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Author: Lauren Cotter

(Please note: This is part two of Lauren’s story.  You can read all about her rare condition called uterus didelphys (two uteruses) and her twin pregnancy HERE).

Finding out that one of our twins had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

I will never forget the moment when Ben walked into the room. Tears streaming down his face, unable to compose himself and talk to me.

Evie had been diagnosed with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). Her bowel was up in her chest cavity due to a hole in her diaphragm. I later learnt from the paediatrician this is one of the most dangerous conditions a baby can be born with, I was thankful I didn’t know this at the time. Evie was blessed to have some amazing doctors who quickly intubated her and saved her life.

The PIPER (Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval) team arrived and we managed one family photo before our little girl along with Ben and his mum hurried off to the Royal Children’s Hospital.

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Uterus didelphys and twins. My pregnancy with two uteruses.

Uterus didelphys twins

Author: Lauren Cotter

When my obstetrician did a very early scan at 6 weeks and announced, ‘it may be twins,ʼ all my husband Ben and I could do was laugh. Of course it was twins, you see our pregnancy was very unplanned, we already had two beautiful healthy kids aged 3 and 18 months and decided to leave it there for a while. Or so we thought.

Our emotions quickly shifted from comical disbelief to fear as the reality dawned on us as I was born with a rare condition called uterus didelphys.

Uterus didelphys and twins

Uterus didelphys means I have two uteruses and two cervixes.  I had had two vaginas which I had surgically fixed at 16.

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