Life as twin parents. An overview of our first three months as twin parents.

twin life

Author:  Lauren Cartledge

Now that the girls are 3 months old, we have learnt so much about life as twin parents in such a small amount of time. Your entire world changes (for the better) and it isn’t all about you anymore. Here are some of the few things we deal with on a daily basis:

Strangers wanting to touch / look at the girls at the shops (or anywhere out of the house).

As flattered as we are that people love seeing the girls, we get stopped whenever we are out multiple times a trip by random people asking about them.

Their top questions or comments:
“Natural or IVF?”
“You have an instant family you don’t need anymore!”
“You are SO lucky I’ve always wanted twins”
“Are you sad one isn’t a boy?”
Oh girls! You are so lucky you don’t need to try again”
“Do twins run in the family?”
“Did you plan to have 2 at once?” (the best one yet haha)

Don’t get me wrong, we secretly love life as twin parents and the attention they bring (especially from friends and family) but when a total stranger approaches us, lifts up the covered sheet on the pram and sticks their hands in to touch the girls we get really shocked, and usually a polite “Oh please don’t touch them we wouldn’t want to wake them up” follows.

new parent of twins
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Postnatal Depression and Twins. My story

post natal depression and twins

Author: Amber Waugh

My twin story started a little over 4 years ago at my 12 week pregnancy scan. My husband, Chris and I already had a son, Caden, who was about 18 months old at the time. Chris had only ever wanted one child, and with me wanting three we decided to meet in the middle and have one more child to complete our family. Well as fate would have it, I seemed to get my way that day. We were very shocked to hear we had two little beans nestled inside me, each with their own sacs and placentas. We later found out that they were identical, via genetic tested after they were born.

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I became a solo twin mum when my twins were 5 weeks old.

solo twin mum survival tips

Author: Jess Hanrahan 

Nobody tells you what it’s going to be like, having twins. Probably because not many people know. But even other multi mums will only tell you how amazing and special it is. Because it is. But nobody tells you about the depths of struggle that you are about to experience. And yes, the joy really does override it all. But you best be believing that the hard times are real AF too. 

I became a solo twin mum when my twins were 5 weeks old.

I packed up my girls at 5 weeks old and fled with what little belongings I had the strength to gather up at 5 weeks post emergency C section slash nearly dying slash two weeks spent in hospital. They had no idea that Mummy shouldn’t be driving, or that Mummy was about to become a 30 year old solo twin mum, or that Mummy was, for the first time in her life, genuinely afraid. They also had no idea what a happy, harmonious home life looked like or felt like, so I held that in the fore of my mind while all the other “hards” battled it out for top spot in the back. 

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Caesarean twin birth at 36 weeks and 2 days

twins born at 36 weeks

Author: Melissa Lourey

Finding out we were pregnant with twins

We found out we were having twins at our first ultrasound at 12 weeks. It was my second pregnancy and I did the math and realised the twins would most likely be born before my daughters second birthday. Despite the typical pregnancy complaints (and the initial shock of finding out there were two), things were going pretty smoothly, and I waddled my way through the first two trimesters without any drama.

28 weeks pregnant with twins

At 28 weeks I tested positive for gestational diabetes but it was kept under control through diet. My dream birth scenario was to make it to at least 37 weeks and go into labour naturally and deliver them vaginally. The universe had other plans.

34 weeks pregnant with twins
34 weeks pregnant with twins
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Triplets, twins and sleep. Tips from a holistic sleep consultant.

sleep and triplets

Catherine, owner of Dream Winks is a holistic sleep consultant who has a special interest in multiples. Today she shares with us some insights about multiples, twins and sleep.

As a parent of multiples, you wonder a lot about your triplets or twins and sleep and how you should be approaching it. How things are different for you compared to parents of singletons, and maybe what you should be doing differently to other families or even what you did with your first baby if you aren’t a first time parent.

Do triplets and twins sleep differently to singleton babies?

Yes you have double or triple the number of babies, but does that mean they sleep differently? Well the answer is yes and no.

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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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