Not All Twins are Alike and What That Means About Advice

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Categories Community, Difference, Friendships with Other Multiples, Multiple Types, Parenting

I’m not talking about the obvious differences between twin types. I mean, what works for one set of twins in your family might not work for another set of twins in a different family. As a blog that is primarily advice (wonderful, really helpful, insightful and often humorous advice) I think it’s important to remember that not all of the insight here will work for you and your twins. Feel free to take the advice that works for you and your precious babies and leave the rest for someone else.

When my boys were 19 months old, I saw a mom with a double stroller walking by on the sidewalk across the street from my house. It just so happened a girlfriend was visiting (meaning I was already wearing clothes at 10am! Miracle!) I ran outside and across the street. I noticed the babies in the stroller were very young, so I immediately told the mom, “I won’t touch your babies. I’ll just look.” as I am sure it freaked her out a bit to see this crazy woman bursting from her house when she spied a double stroller! As soon as she found out I had twins too (they were adorably waving at us through the front window naked, except for diapers, though I swear I had them dressed two minutes prior) she was happy to exchange contact information. It turns out, she lived on the same street as me, just one block down and had six week old fraternal twin boys. Since that initial meeting, she has become one of my closest friends. We’ve spent time at each other’s houses, done weekly bike trips to parks all over the city, attended story time together, babysat each other’s boys, gone out without our children, and exchanged numerous texts and emails whining about or celebrating our kids. It has been wonderful to have a close friend one block away with twin boys. It has also been an eye opening study on how different twins can be.

Our boys at the park, after being set up by us to hold hands.
Our twin boys at the park, after being staged by us to hold hands.

Her boys are excellent independent players and don’t often play with each other, while my boys are constantly playing with each other. Her boys are happy to spend time apart with each parent. That has never worked for our family (the poor boy stuck with Mama cries the whole time, while the other boy gets to be with Daddy). What worked for me potty training my twins, did not work for her. She nursed her infants one at a time, while I had success with tandem feeding. Sometimes another parent in the neighborhood will ask us a question about having twins and our answers will be completely opposite. Throw in another twin mom we met at the park with identical girls and she’ll give a third different answer. Suffice it to say, our experience raising our twin boys has been very different and we don’t often find a solution to a problem that works for both my boys and her boys. In fact, we usually don’t even have the same initial problem.

This has taught me there are many different ways to do things with your children and one specific way isn’t the overall best solution. It depends so much on your individual twins and how they relate as a set. Just like all baby advice for a singleton doesn’t work for every baby. So, again, I’d encourage you to take the advice that works for you and your twins and leave the rest for someone else.

What advice have you been given about raising twins that didn’t pertain to your particular twins?  Maybe it will be the perfect advice for another mom reading the comments.

Janna lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and 5 year-old, identical twin boys who are currently playing in the living room together. The game they have made up is overly loud and doesn’t make sense to anyone else, but it’s keeping them occupied and happy and nothing has been broken yet, so this is considered a win. 

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Janna lives in Portland, Oregon with a lazy border collie named Cru, her husband and 5 year-old, identical twin boys born at 38 weeks, each weighing over 7 pounds. She works from home as a writer and editor and loves outdoor adventures, holidays, simple living and old historic buildings. She counts list making as a favorite hobby and fully believes the Lochness Monster is real.

2 thoughts on “Not All Twins are Alike and What That Means About Advice”

  1. This is a great reminder. I always try to frame my “advice” as “what worked for us”…and I try to offer it up only when it’s asked for! 😉

    Still, my MoM friends are some of my very best, even though many of us do things differently. Enough of the challenges are still the same that there’s such a fantastic bond…there are times they truly keep me sane.

    I laughed at the visual of you running out the front door to peer in the double stroller. That’s ME! I chased down a lady in our neighborhood, too…turns out she also has fraternal twin girls, about 4 months younger than mine…and she’s now a wonderful friend. :) :)

  2. Yes! I still chase double strollers down :) Although, now when I see the adorable sleeping twin babies, I usually start to tear up and the parents always think I’m nuts. But seriously, nothing cuter than twin babies, especially now that my boys are five.

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