When you first find out you are pregnant, you wonder what your baby will sound like……the first cry, the first laugh, the first words. But then you find out you are expecting more than one baby! And the panic may set in. How will you cope with multiples or twins crying at the same time???
This isn’t an article on possible reasons why they crying at the same time – there are lots of general articles on why babies cry. This article is purely to help you cope with multiples or twins crying at the same time.
Multiples or twins crying at the same time – how to decide which baby to go to first?
There are three basic options and it will depend on why they are crying as to which one you will use:
- Prioritise their need. If one is crying for a more important reason than another, then obviously start with that one.
- Calm whichever is going to be easier/quicker to calm first then deal with the next one. They are already upset so there isn’t any point letting the least upset one getting worked up while you deal with the other.
- If you can see at first glance why a baby is crying and it’s a quick fix, then start with that one i.e. a dropped toy that you can scoop up on your way to change a dirty nappy.
How to calm multiples or twins crying at the same time during the day
Of course we all want to believe our babies won’t cry. But the reality is that they will. This is one of the few downsides of multiples…….there are more of them than there are of you. Just do your best and do what works for you and your family, even if it is slightly unconventional sometimes.
1. Cuddles work wonders for multiples or twins crying at the same time
To safely cuddle all your babies on your chest at the same time it is easiest to sit on the floor. Lay the babies on their backs, side by side and put one arm under their necks and one arm under their bottoms. Bend forwards and pull the babies up your chest.
2. Swings/Bouncers/Jumperoos/Activity Centres
Consider purchasing, hiring or borrowing an electric swing or bouncer. You can then individually cuddle the most unsettled baby until they settle and put other babies in a bouncer/rocker and bounce/rock with a foot. For older babies try activity centres. Whilst “matchy matchy” is all very nice, it is more practical to get different swings/rockers/bouncers/activity centres as you can rotate them between babies. They are very cheap to hire or to buy on the baby buy and sell Facebook pages or Gumtree.
Click HERE to access a list of Twinfo approved baby hire equipment providers3. Dummies can help when both babies are crying at the same time
No doubt you were one of those parents who declared your child wouldn’t have a dummy. Then you found out you were having multiples, and you rushed out to buy them in bulk! In my case, I was surprised one day to walk into the Special Care Unit to find both babies happily sucking away on a dummy. I didn’t realise that at the gestation our babies were born at (34 weeks) that their suck reflex wasn’t fully developed yet. They were given dummies to help this develop. I ended up with one baby who happily took a dummy and one that didn’t. So when my babies were both crying at the same time, I used the dummy to settle the one who did while I tended to the one who didn’t.
4. Baby wearing equals free hands to get one with other things
Baby wearing allows you to wear one or two babies at once, while still having your hands free to tend to a third baby or do something else. For more advice on baby wearing multiples click HERE
5. Prams aren’t necessarily just for transporting babies from place to place!!
Bring your pram inside and place them in there and rock them. I’ve known some people to use the little lip/bump where carpet meets tiles, or tiles meet polished floors, to create a little ‘bump’ to rock the pram over. Or better still, pop them into the pram and take them for a walk outside. The fresh air and change of scenery will do YOU the world of good.
6. I doubt that there is not a parent out there, who has a car, who hasn’t done this when their babies are crying at the same time
Desperate times can sometimes call for desperate measures. Many a parent, including parents of singletons, have gone for a drive purely in the hope that the vibrations and white noise will settle crying babies. Obviously it’s not always practical to go for a drive, but it’s a good last resort!
7. Cry with them!
If all else fails…………… join in and cry with them. It probably won’t stop them crying, but you may feel better for it. If however, at any stage you feel like you may hurt one of your babies………….simply pop them in a safe spot, like their cot, and walk away. Go outside in the sunshine and take a few moments for yourself. Don’t feel bad about it. . It is better that they both are crying at the same time for a bit than you do something that may hurt them.
How to calm multiples or twins crying at the same time during the night
At night time, their incessant cries can seem louder than they really are. You have been awoken from a deep sleep, as lets face it, you are exhausted. You have “done everything” (fed, changed, burped, wrapped etc) and they are still crying. Here are five tips to help.
1. White noise
White noise has been proven to help people sleep. (Reference this). White noise can range from specially designed CDs, to radio static to the hum of the vacuum.
2. Patting and shushing babies crying at the same time
If they are in the same cot, or if you can reach both cots at the same time (i.e. stand in the middle and pat both at once) you can try patting and shushing them. As they get older, help them learn to self settle using responsive settling techniques.
3. Bassinets on wheels are great for multiples or twins crying at the same time
If you have bassinets on wheels, then use them. This works the same as a pram technique described above. Push them backwards & forwards until they settle and then for a short while afterwards, slowing the pushes so they don’t notice the movement stopping.
4. Get some help
Your first step, if you have a partner, is to yell loudly though the baby monitor!!!
In all seriousness, there are services out there who can help you at night. Many excellent sleep and settling consultants can even come to your house, or you can do a phone consult with them. There are even dedicated night nannies.
Click HERE to access a list of Twinfo approved sleep and settling consultants.
Click HERE to access a list of Twinfo approved nannies.
Tips for the parents to help cope with multiples or twins crying at the same time
Every multiple birth parent will tell you that it is hard at the start, so don’t be hard on yourself. It does get a little easier each day. It is very hard for a parent to listen to their babies crying at the same time and feel helpless because they are outnumbered! You will find what works for you (mind you, then something will change and you will be back to square one!). Just know it is for a short period of time and they grow up fast. As hard as it is, try and enjoy these precious moments, as time goes so quickly!!
Remember, your babies will pick up on your emotions. If you are starting to get stressed, they will pick up on this. Look into ways to calm your own self, and then this calmness will help you calm the babies.
Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and do your best. Just remember that you are one person and sometimes you will have to listen to your multiples or twins crying at the same time. Regardless of this, just remember……….you are doing a great job!
Twinfo provides a connection to resources, information, products and service providers who specialise in supporting multiple births at every stage of their life.