Hello - I have one baby already and am currently pregnant with twins! This was a planned pregnancy but obviously not a planned twin pregnancy lol. Looking for some advice on transitions, etc, just in general and from going 1 to 3 kids. [name_f]My[/name_f] daughter turned one in [name_u]March[/name_u] and will be around 17-20 months when they arrive! Also maybe this is just paranoia haha but is it fair to be concerned that the twins will be close and my oldest will be left out? They are boy/girl twins. Thanks in advance!! I’ll take any parenting advice lol, even from non twin parents
Not a twin parent, but my friend has a boy and then b/g twins close in age, and the two boys are much closer than the twins! Congrats!!!
She may feel very protective of them and proud . I think one thing that might help if the situation presents itself is to tell her you will love the twins as much as you love her that shows how much she means to you. Congratulations !
One thing I’ve heard of parents doing to foster one on one time with their multiple children is giving one child an extra 15 minutes of quality time. You pick a date on the calendar for each child and on that evening you keep them up 15 minutes later than the others and do an activity together.
I have heard the advice “never blame the baby.” If you’re busy, blame the task and not the babies. This can create resentment.
Create a “busy basket” of special activities your eldest can do when you’re busy.
Encourage your eldest’s involvement and help in caring for their new siblings in an age appropriate way.
Refer to the babies by name instead of “the babies” or “the twins” as often as possible, as it fosters a deeper connection for your eldest.
I have twin boys who are now almost 2,5 years old. [name_f]My[/name_f] other sons were 5 years old and 14 months old when they were born.
[name_f]My[/name_f] most important advice is: don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends. Twins are challenging enough as it is, and with a toddler it’s even more challenging. I don’t mean to scare or discourage you, but it isn’t easy. Get professional help if needed, there’s no shame in it.
Try to keep the twins on a different time schedule than your toddler. Don’t wake them up at exactly the same time, and try to feed the twins at a different time than you eat with your toddler, etc. That way you only have to deal with two children at a time. Doing all these things with three children at the same time makes it more chaotic and difficult to handle.
There’s no way of telling if the twins will be closer to each other than to your oldest. Our (non-identical) twin boys are very close, even if they’re completely different characters. They’re not as close to their brother who’s 14 months older, but he has autism and has difficulty connecting with his siblings, so it’s different for us.
Your daughter will have to learn to share your time and attention with her siblings. It’s best to teach her that already, before the twins arrive. I don’t know if she’s good at playing by herself, but it can helpful if she knows how to keep herself entertained for a bit. She’ll also have to learn that you’ll be busy with the babies at times, so maybe try and teach her now that sometimes she has to wait before her parents can listen to her and help her with what she needs.
I have 5 children now (one with my ex-husband, 4 with my husband) and they all know how to be patient and play by themselves, mostly out of necessity. When you have 5 children around, including 4 under 4, as a parent you can’t give them attention all of the time, and that’s fine. But the transition is easier if they learned this before their siblings arrive, because they won’t see it as if their sibling suddenly takes away all the attention.
Hello, I’m not a twin parent. [name_f]My[/name_f] experience in wrangling more than one child at once comes from working in childcare settings and nannying. I found that an effective way to deal with a child repeating themselves or acting out for your attention when you are involved in something with another that has to take priority, is to quickly pause, look them in the eye and say, “I hear you, you need a drink.” Often that soothes them. Obviously, follow through with whatever they need if they’re still waiting for it, when you get the chance, but I’ve noticed that it’s more of a test of whether they will still get their needs met by you, and what they are jumping up and down about in the moment can be quite arbitrary.
Something that might help with transitions is setting expectations for your eldest. You could teach her that you’ll do things in age order, for example and when her language skills allow, involve her by saying “ok it’s time for coats, how do we do coats?” Daughter: “own name, twin A, twin B” errr, with their actual names of course
when routines get interrupted
Having a plan for when things “go wrong”/plan A is interrupted can help everyone cope - adults and kids! This used to save my sanity in times of stress. I used a pause basket. So, if we were in the middle of the massive operation that is getting multiple children ready to go outside, and one of them pooped, I’d say “pause!” This was some kids queue to go to their Pause Basket, which had independent play items in it to keep them occupied and calm whilst I changed a nappy, wiped up a bodily fluid, took a phonecall.
When nannying a school aged child, a preschooler and a baby, I needed a [name_f]Special[/name_f] Car Activity for the preschooler, who was always having to get in the car to go somewhere that wasn’t for them, e.g. school drop off/pick up. It was one of those no-mess colouring books with ‘magic pens’ which reveal the colour on the page but don’t mark anything else BTW. It was a total life saver. They were so much happier to go in the car
Also, use humour! [name_m]Even[/name_m] though you may not be finding the chaos funny at first, treating it with humour can really help lighten the situation and reduce stress and remind everyone that we’ll get through this and everyone will be ok! I think it can foster a positive attitude to adversity in little ones - it’s not the end of the world that you dropped the lasagne, we’ll save the bit that didn’t touch the floor It models a problem solving response to something not going well.
Find ways to process the difficult feelings that come up throughout the day: journalling in the evening, having a parent-friend that you have a venting agreement with - a mutual safe space on a messaging app to pour it all out, doodling stressed looking monsters, whatever helps you get it out!
I’ve really rambled on, I’ll stop now!
i went from 2 to 5 kids and that was quite the transition!
my daughter was 5 and my son was 4 so they luckily were both old enough to understand what was happening. ways i helped to make them feel included in the process of preparing was going shopping with them to buy things for the babies, helping with their building and designing their rooms etc. i found that build a connection between them before they were even born, and it helped my kids feel more comfortable around new children by preparing for them with me.
i think another good piece of advice is always ask for help, it doesn’t make you less competent. i am lucky enough to have a very big family, but if you don’t have the same, friends and colleagues should be more than happy to help out (seconding what @rosebeth said!).
i would also try to make extra special for time you your child before the twins come because it won’t be the same afterwards. even just making a little routine like reading a book for 20 minutes a day would be beneficial in creating a bond, and even incorporate the babies into the time, which keeps them reminded that it won’t always just be you and them, but it will be just as fun and exciting!
i’ve tried not to second others too much but i hope any of this is useful!
This is really great advice, thank you! How early did your twins come, if they came early at all? That’s something else i’ve been worried about just to make sure i’m as prepared as possible
They were born at 32 weeks and 2 days, so pretty early. They spent several weeks in the NICU. I’d already had contractions around 30 weeks, so by the time they were actually born I was prepared for them to arrive (although my husband caught covid only days before and missed their birth + wasn’t allowed to vist them in the NICU). I’d say it’s a good idea to have everything ready by the time you’re 30 weeks along, because you never know. I found it gave me peace of mind to know that at least I was ready to go to the hospital.
Make sure to discuss your birth plan with your midwife/obgyn/health care provider as early as possible, especially if you plan on having a vaginal birth (like I did).
Not all twins are born early, of course. I’m a twin myself, and my twin brother and I were born via a planned caesarean section because we refused to come out
[name_m]Feel[/name_m] free to ask any questions you have, you can also PM me if you want.
I have girl boy twins, but no other kids. They are 20 months currently.
[name_f]My[/name_f] biggest advice is try to keep them on a schedule as much as possible. I would wake one twin up to feed them if the other one woke up on their own so they ate at the same time. Some people don’t like doing that but it helped me keeping them sleeping and eating close together.
Also ask for help if you need too. [name_f]My[/name_f] twins were born at 36 weeks as a C-section and I needed help especially the first 10 days doing basic tasks.
Best of luck!