Looking after twins takes approximately 19 hours a day

looking after newborn twins

Looking after twins can take up most of the day. With changing nappies, feeding and settling your babies to sleep, plus all of the washing of baby bits and bobs, we estimate it can take up to 19 hours a day.

Looking after twins: How many hours a day does it really take?

The quick answer is – all of them! This sounds like the start of a bad joke, or a very scary story. But seriously, if you are facing the birth of twins or multiples you might really want to know how much time it can take up.

You can probably imagine that it does take many hours of the day and night to look after even one newborn, let alone two (or more). You need to consider fitting in the following tasks:

  • Caring for your babies directly
  • Caring for any other children you may have
  • All of the indirect ways you care for your babies and family such as food preparation, bottle washing, and laundry
  • Caring for any other children you may have
  • Looking after your own basic needs
  • Looking after your pets
  • Spending time with your partner
  • Looking after your house
  • Any time for fun or friends

Your priorities will probably be in that order, and you will only get down to spending time on yourself and with your partner when everything else is done first (which many days it won’t be).

But how much time does this all actually take?

And how can you manage your time better to magically find a little more of it up your sleeve?

caring for newborn triplets

Caring for twins and triplets

For the purposes of this article, we will mostly talk about numbers for twins, but you can get an idea of multiplying it for multiples that are higher than that.

Taking care of two babies is not quite double the amount of work of looking after one – but it is close to that. As a physically and mentally draining activity it can certainly feel like double the amount of work.

Whenever your baby is awake you are on duty, as well as much of the time they are asleep.

Here are a few key things to remember when you are looking after twins as opposed to one baby:

  • With twins, their sleeping patterns will hopefully align a lot, but with some slight overlap at the settling times.
  • Your feeding time may be a lot longer if you are feeding your babies separatley.
  • Play time will stay the same as with one.
  • Bathing time will depend if you handle this separately or together.

The time it takes to look after newborn twins will be something like this:

Looking after twins can take up most of the day. With changing nappies, feeding and settling your babies to sleep, plus all of the washing of baby bits and bobs, we estimate it can take up to 19 hours a day.

caring for twins

Looking after twins: How many hours a day does it really take?

The quick answer is – all of them! This sounds like the start of a bad joke, or a very scary story. But seriously, if you are facing the birth of twins or multiples you might really want to know how much time it can take up.

You can probably imagine that it does take many hours of the day and night to look after even one newborn, let alone two (or more). You need to consider fitting in the following tasks:

  • Caring for your babies directly
  • Caring for any other children you may have
  • All of the indirect ways you care for your babies and family such as food preparation, bottle washing, and laundry
  • Caring for any other children you may have
  • Looking after your own basic needs
  • Looking after your pets
  • Spending time with your partner
  • Looking after your house
  • Any time for fun or friends

Your priorities will probably be in that order, and you will only get down to spending time on yourself and with your partner when everything else is done first (which many days it won’t be).

But how much time does this all actually take?

And how can you manage your time better to magically find a little more of it up your sleeve?

Caring for twins and triplets

For the purposes of this article, we will mostly talk about numbers for twins, but you can get an idea of multiplying it for multiples that are higher than that.

Taking care of two babies is not quite double the amount of work of looking after one – but it is close to that. As a physically and mentally draining activity it can certainly feel like double the amount of work.

Whenever your baby is awake you are on duty, as well as much of the time they are asleep.

Here are a few key things to remember when you are looking after twins as opposed to one baby:

  • With twins, their sleeping patterns will hopefully align a lot, but with some slight overlap at the settling times.
  • Your feeding time may be a lot longer if you are feeding your babies separatley.
  • Play time will stay the same as with one.
  • Bathing time will depend if you handle this separately or together.

The time it takes to look after newborn twins will be something like this:

  • Sleep/Settling                   16-18 hours (4-6 sleeps across the day)
  • Eating                                    4 hours  (6-8 feeds across the day)
  • Playing                                  2 hours (3 playtimes across the day)
  • Bathing                                 1 hour

But much of this you can double up or overlap, so don’t be too scared by these numbers yet!  Plus, as you get into a rhythm you will find shortcuts, ticks and hacks that will make your life easier.

What about all the unscheduled activities?

Your newborns will have some days where they cry a lot – it will even feel like 24 hours of crying sometimes! You might feel like you are spending an entire day just walking around rocking one or both babies rather than getting anything else done.

The idea that they will sleep soundly together for 16 hours a day is wonderful, but will rarely happen. It’s not like you have 16 hours to plan your interior decorating and catch up on Netflix. For most of the 16 hours, you will still be busy settling either of your babies or doing something else relating to their care.

how long does it take to look after twins

Looking after twins takes approximatley 19 hours a day

Directly looking after the babies 10-15 hours

(feeding, bathing, playing, talking for walks, settling, changing nappies and clothes)

Indirectly looking after the babies 3-4 hours

(washing baby clothes, cleaning baby mess, preparing baby food, washing baby bottles etc)

With newborn twins, directly looking after your babies takes more time than with just one. If you can feed them simultaneously (which not everyone can) and get them to sleep relatively concurrently then you are doing well.

Your ‘indirectly looking after babies’ activities won’t double as you can do all of this work for multiple children in pretty much the same time as for one.

Looking after yourself when you have newborn twins

The most important thing you can do for yourself right now is getting enough sleep. This is your number one priority when not looking after your newborn twins.

As you can see from our slightly scary estimates above, you will be caring for your baby upto 19 hours a day. On an average day, this leaves 5 hours in total for you to sleep, shower, eat and do anything else you might feel like doing.

For your own mental and physical health, and the only way you can continue to care for your babies, you must still take some time to care for yourself. It is essential that you look after yourself as well.

Post natal depression rates are higher in parents of multiples.

In our next article, we talk a bit more about looking after yourself and how to manage your time so that you get the most out of it.

Caring for newborn twins or triplets. How to find extra hours in the day.https://www.twinfo.com.au/caring-for-newborn-twins/

newborn twins schedules

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