Two Babies. Two Hands

Twinfant Tuesday: Two Babies – One Pair of Hands

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In the “how to cope with twins” section of my brain lies quite a bit of information and personal advice that I wish I had known before my little angels made their entrance to the world.

So here are a couple of the things that I remember truly stood out.

Two Babies. Two Hands

Breastfeeding twins:

Forget all those cute little pillows when it comes to twins. They only take more space in an area that’s already cramped and uncomfortable. Try the “football hold”, so that you’ve basically got a head in each hand and their bodies under your armpits. You will definitely need someone on hand to pass you each baby as it’s almost impossible to comfortably get to that position without help. But don’t worry, soon enough you will be more used to handling them. Of course you can choose to feed each baby separately, but always bear in mind that each feed will therefore be twice as long and if you have to express in between it will be pretty much like feeding quadruplets.

Bottle-feeding twins:

The best place to sit is on the floor, back to the couch/wall, with a baby facing you on either side. You can place them in bouncy chairs or car seats, as long as they are propped up a bit. Make sure you have everything you need (bibs, muslins ,etc) before you start feeding them. The last thing you need is to start feeding and realize that you have to spend the next half hour or so watching the credits of a movie that just ended. It’s quite likely that this process will be a bit messy at first and you haven’t got a spare hand to catch the dribbles. Try using a muslin or even a cloth diaper if nothing else is on hand around the baby’s front.

Burping twins:

With either method of feeding you will probably need to get some wind out of each twin after a feed. I would normally sit one as upright as possible while winding the other, and then swap. With me if one baby finished their bottle before the other I used a cloth nappy to keep the drinking baby’s bottle propped up while I winded the other, and then vice versa. It can be done; it just takes some patience and lots of practice.

Night times with twins:

So our biggest fear in the beginning was one baby waking the other up. We used to rush to their room at the smallest “peep”. Little did we know that this was actually making things more difficult, and that our little ones were starting to expect it. After a couple of nights of “tough-love”, we realized how quickly they learned to self-sooth. Thereafter I was always amazed how one baby was moaning away or having the time of his life talking to his mobile while the other was soundly sleeping. If mine both woke up at the same time it was more to do with them being in the same routine than anything. To get them into the same routine, you need to feed them at the same time, night and day. This means when one wakes up for a feed, you have to wake the other one as well. Really this is the biggest night time tip I can give: doing it together.

There are two babies, there are two parents – it has to be a team effort.

Picking up the twins:

There really aren’t that many times when you have to pick up both babies at once. Sometimes a little moaning is not necessarily a bad thing, and actually if you leap up and comfort them straight away they will get used to it and expect it every time. Twins need to get used to self-settling. When I needed to move around the house like for changing nappies, I simply placed one in his bouncy seat, carried him to the changing station and then brought the other. That way he wasn’t screaming away in another room. However, most times I could leave the one baby where he was, whether that be a camp cot, having tummy time on the floor or playing in his feeding chair and quickly change the other.

In the house with twins:

For us, it was very helpful to have specific places in the house where we could put the babies down. A camp cot in the lounge, our bed, bouncy chairs, etc. That way you can go about your business and still keep an eye on your little ones.

Transporting twins:

Carrying two car seats is not ideal, but this is pretty much how we got from the house to the car and from the car to wherever we were going in those early days.  I was able to do this up until about six months; thereafter my arms simply couldn’t carry both at the same time anymore. It’s also perfectly fine to leave one in the house while you take the other to the car. Just make sure you’ve got your house keys!

Twins and a Supermarket:

This can be a bit tricky. Always try finding the biggest parking space you see, otherwise opt for shopping centers that have “mommy with children” parking. We generally tried shopping together, that way one of us could push the kids in their pram and the other could push the trolley. Be aware that if your supermarket has one of those revolving gate entrances or exits, that a side-by-side twin pram will not fit through. I learned to bypass those shops whenever I had the twins.

Dealing with twins requires a sensible plan of attack, as well as the ability to change the plan when it’s no longer working for you. Always take a step back and look for a different way of doing things rather than getting stressed and angry when things go wrong. And remember, no matter how impossible it seems, there is always a way.

Christine is a first time mommy to two beautiful 17-month-old twin boys that have recently started walking and are now running in all directions. She’s wife to her high-school sweetheart – the man of her dreams and also a full-time software/web developer in the financial industry. They have two kitties, a very naughty Jack Russell and a home that is fast becoming too small.

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Christine Kenny

Christine is a first time mommy to two beautiful 17 month old twin boys that have recently started walking and are now running in all directions. She's wife to her high-school sweetheart - the man of her dreams and also a full-time software/web developer in the financial industry. She mostly blogs about their experiences with the twins in their daily lives adding some tips and tricks they learnt along the way.

8 thoughts on “Twinfant Tuesday: Two Babies – One Pair of Hands”

  1. I love this post…and how much I would have LOVED to have had this when my twinkies were born!!! When my girls were a few weeks old, I called a friend of a friend, the only person I knew at the time to have twins, and asked her how she fed two babies at once. She was trying to describe to me over the phone…I still can’t quite picture what she was talking about.

    I made sure to have my hubby take pictures of some of our set-ups. I wanted evidence, both to remind myself one day…and to share in case a friend of mine ever needed help! :)

    1. Hi Mandy

      I wish I had taken photos of our setups, so I could add it into my post to show other mommies.
      Some days were so funny, I spent more time sitting on the floor than on our couches.
      Even now with my twins i’m more comfortable sitting on the floor each evening playing with them (while they sit on my couch – they just learnt how to pull themselves up on things).

  2. That’s a great list of tips. I wish I’d found some of this information before my girls arrived.
    My twins arrived as baby 3 and 4 so we were already used to doing things but the single way. Having 2 at once is a massive change
    #twinklytuesday

    1. I wonder if those of us who have twins first have it easier, in that we’re forced to figure it out all at once, without the benefit of the singleton experience!

      1. I’ve often wondered the same thing.
        Everyone always asks, “is it difficult having twins?”, and all I can say is “I don’t know any different…”.
        I guess having twins first saved me from the dissapointment in expecting things to happen differently.

  3. What a great post!!! I can relate to ALL of these too! I tandem breastfed — then bottle fed — my two! You’re so right to say that you can do it one at a time, but it really is much quicker — and easier — to do them both together! :)

    And this bit of advice — Dealing with twins requires a sensible plan of attack, as well as the ability to change the plan when it’s no longer working for you — is invaluable and still relevant for me now! My boys have just turned two and things are always changing and evolving!

    I have been interviewing twin mamas for my ‘Twinterview’ series! Pop over and have a look and get in touch if you’d like to get involved! I’d love to have you on board! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

    1. Hi Caro

      Thanks for the comment. Glad you found my advice useful/agreeable.
      I can just imagine, my little ones are now 18 months and I sometimes feel like a headless chicken running around trying to keep up with them.

      Will definitely pop over.
      xox
      Christine

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