They’re So Different!

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Categories Difference, Different Gender, Fraternal

I hear this from almost everyone who meets our twins. I guess when anyone thinks “twins”, the image that comes to mind is that of identical twins. Or at least same-sex fraternal twins who look very similar. My twins looked similar for about 36 hrs, when they were just born… but all babies probably look similar when they’re just born.

When finding out we were having twins, I actually did hope for a b/g set. I was (am?) afraid of raising raucous boys, so I didn’t want two of them at the same time, and since we already have a girl, I also preferred not to have two more (well actually I was ok with that, but Husband was deathly afraid), that left b/g twins. Furthermore, I think it’s much easier not to be compared to your twin when you are of a different gender, and I wanted that individuality for my twins. So I got what I wanted, and then some. They share the same birthday and the same parents, but in almost every other way, they are so so different.

Weight

When you look at them, the first thing you would notice is that the boy is much bigger than the girl. In fact, almost 2.5 lbs bigger. I’m not going to lie, at first they did look the same. At 6 lbs 5 oz and 6 lbs 10 oz, there was not a great size difference at birth. In my post-c-section drugged up state, I did mistake them a time or two. Especially in their individual newborn photos where I didn’t have the other one to compare. But very, very quickly, that changed. Within one week, Baby Boy already broke 7 lbs, whereas Baby Girl was still working on recovering back to birth weight. At one month, baby girl finally made it to the 20th percentile at 8 lbs 3 oz. He has once been at the 83rd percentile. Today, she is 14 lbs 12 oz (49th), and he is 17 lbs (66th). Baby Girl has a petite frame, and while she is by no means skinny, she is mostly muscle. Everything about her is small: her nose, her mouth, her hands and her feet. She has an athletic build. Baby Boy has a large head, big belly, thick thighs, rolls on his arms, chunky fingers and toes. He has a lounge-around build. Holding the two of them are completely different experiences.

Eating

Obviously, Baby Boy is a great eater. He was the one who latched correctly and was content to nurse, for the few minutes that we did it. If I had chosen to continue, I’m sure he would have been the one to get it. He almost never rejects a feed, even when it isn’t time. He eats a lot, and he eats it fast. Baby Girl, on the other hand, is more of a recreational eater. She will sip a little here and there, not taking on a full feed until she is almost famished and then finally pound a bunch. I’ve had to train her out of that, so she’s much better now.

Recently I’ve started them on rice cereal. Neither has really taken to it yet, and both will get impatient for their bottles and cry, but I am certain that Baby Boy will take to this first as well. He already runs the cereal around in his mouth to taste it. Baby Girl? Pushes it out with her tongue (which, incidentally, is why she never latched).

Sleeping

As a newborn, Baby Girl would scream when she was tired (or actually overtired), so we gave her a pacifier. That kind of masked her sleep issues until I took it away (successfully after a week or so of agony). Baby Boy didn’t need to be sleep trained. He was capable of sleeping through the night way before I actually let him do it. He’s pretty much set his schedule exactly how I wanted him to, so I’ve just let him be. His naps are usually at predictable times and durations, and not much can wake him before he’s ready.

The sleep training was for Baby Girl. For the longest time she was doing a 4am feeding after sleeping around 11pm, which was the schedule that I put her on when she was an infant to match my own habits. And she was getting to the point where she couldn’t get herself to sleep without her paci, which meant I had to put it back in her mouth all night long. Her naps were all over the place, every little sound bothered her, and she just didn’t sleep as soundly.

With our newly imposed schedule, she has improved. But it’s not perfect. Her naps are usually still shorter than his, and she is still more easily awakened. It takes her longer to settle down for sleep. She also becomes overtired much more easily. Or should I say, it’s a thin line between tired and overtired for her.

Temperament

All of the above actually boils down to this: They have two very different temperaments.

Baby Girl loves excitement and fun. She is our active child, rolling over before 3 months and putting weight on her legs whenever she gets us to hold her up. From the hospital Husband nicknamed her “Crazy Girl”. Her cries were immediate and piercing from day one. But her smiles and subsequent cackles light up her whole face and the entire room. When happy, she kicks her legs with the force of all of her little body. When unhappy, the tears stream down her face while she finds never-ending energy reserves to scream until she’s hoarse. The highest highs and lowest lows.

Having fun comes before eating or sleeping. (As I’m writing this, I’m watching her kick and laugh to herself on the baby monitor. She’s spent half an hour rolling over and helicoptering around her co-sleeper.) She loves going on outings. The louder the better. She actually eats and sleeps better on days when we go out. Strangers? Not a problem. Love, love, love.

Baby Boy is completely the opposite. He is a very easy-going baby, as long as he is in a relaxed, calm, and familiar environment. He does not have a ready laugh as his sister does, in fact he is often downright suspicious of new things and people. But he does have a very dorky trusting gummy smile reserved for his Mama, which melts my heart in a way the girls’ can’t beat. He’s perfectly happy just to hang out– he likes being held while we’re watching TV, or lying around watching his older sister dance around the living room– and doesn’t squirm like Baby Girl would.

His feeds and sleep are self-regulating at home, but take him out of his rhythm and he could be “off” for days. Outings are particularly difficult, as he doesn’t do well with loud noises or unfamiliar environments.

Our Jumping Bean and Sweet Lug. What a pair!

lunchldyd is mom to a 3yo daughter and 5mo b/g twins. She marvels on a daily basis at how different her twins are and looks forward to seeing these kiddos grow up.

 

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lunchldyd

lunchldyd is mom to 3 year old boy/girl twins and their 5.5 year old sister. She is now teaches part-time to juggle the needs of her young children. When not at work and the kids are asleep, she is addicted to watching TV and sometimes sacrifices sleep to read in bed. She lives in the Los Angeles suburbs with her husband, three kids, and two dogs.

4 thoughts on “They’re So Different!”

  1. I hate when strangers say, “oh, they’re not twins…?” Kind of half-asking half-saying. Since mine are pretty “different” too it kinda irks me. I guess just seeing two at once, even if people *know* they’re not identical, they’re just not expecting the differences!

  2. I got asked, “One boy, one girl?” even though I have two girls! That was when they were still infants/toddlers. My girls are so different people almost never ask me anymore if they are twins. Ones blond the other brunette.

    I love how you have noticed so many differences between them already. They’ll only continue to get more pronounced as they get older. :)

  3. It’s funny to me that people want to think of twins as either exactly the same or totally opposite (example, the serious one and the laid back one). My fraternal twin boys are different, for sure; however they’re not opposites either, like strangers want them to be, and strangers have a hard time understanding that for some reason. One is more into trains, but they both love trains. One loves to sit quietly for hours playing with puzzles, but the other still really likes quiet activities too. One can’t wait to get outside and run around, but they both love playing outside…

  4. I also experience the “totally same or totally different” thing. When we visit relatives that don’t see the boys much, they want polar opposite attributes to help distinguish them from each other. “Oh, he’s the loud one,” they’ll say – just because he happens to be babbling at the time. Sure, they are different – but they have a lot of similarities too. Like any brothers!

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