Here’s my list of top tips for surviving a twin pregnancy and life with twins.
I basically approached the twin thing like it was my job — I read every book I could find on twin pregnancy and caring for infant twins, joined the Manhattan Twins Club, and tested a ton of baby products and apps to find the best ones.
1) Keep your babies on a schedule in order to maintain your sanity. “12 hours by 12 weeks” is the single most useful book I’ve read for raising twins. It gives you specific advice to get your kids eating and sleeping on a schedule.
Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success
2) Watch the DVD “Happiest Baby on the Block“. It’s ~30 minutes and gives you 4 foolproof methods (known as the 4 S’s) for soothing a crying baby. 4 S’s = swaddle, side, shhh, and swing. It works like magic!
The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer
3) Use the app “Babyconnect” to keep track of your twins’ feedings, diapers, growth, etc. it is a lifesaver in the first 6 weeks when you’re so sleep deprived and need to keep track of things to make sure your babies are getting enough to eat. Bonus – it allows you to add unlimited caregivers to the same account.
Baby Connect (Activity Logger) by Seacloud Software LLC
4) Download “Sound Sleeper” baby sound machine app for your phone. When your baby is tired but can’t fall asleep, the soothing noises help to guide the babies to sleep. (Works for tired parents too).
Sound Sleeper – relaxing sounds of nature and white noise for calming your baby to sleep by Michael Feigenson
5) Get the twin Z pillow — it’s the most useful invention for twins. Our kids used it up until 11mos old.
THE TWIN Z PILLOW- LIGHT GREEN -The Only 6 in 1 Twin Pillow Breastfeeding, Bottlefeeding, Tummy Time & Support! A Must Have for Twins! – LIGHT GREEN
6) buy two fisher price rock and plays. Best overall baby invention. Our kids slept in these exclusively for the first 5 months. Then we transitioned them into their own cribs. A lot of people use them during the day when they have their kids out in the living room.
Fisher-Price Newborn Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, Aqua Stone Fashion
7) I’d recommend having a high risk Doctor that specializes in multiples rather than an OB/GYN. As I’m sure you know, twin pregnancies often have complications and these doctors are more comfortable and experienced in these situations.
8) Make sure your Doctor is affiliated with a hospital that has at least a level 3 NICU. If your babies come early or have complications, babies will need to be relocated to a level 3 NICU if your hospital doesn’t have one. I read horror stories online of a mom being in one hospital and babies in another.
9) Make sure you know the signs of pre-term labor. It is a very common complication of twin pregnancies. If you catch it early, you can go to the hospital and take medicine to try to halt the labor. (This happened to me at 32 weeks. I spent 5 days in the hospital and then went home until babies were born at 34 weeks 6 days).
10) Formula feeding is a lot easier than breastfeeding. I breastfed for 7 weeks and it was a horrible experience for everyone. My babies weren’t getting enough milk and I wasn’t getting any sleep since I had to feed them every 2.5 hours 24 hours a day. I felt a lot of pressure to breastfeed and I wish I had just formula fed. Once I stopped breastfeeding and started formula feeding life was so much better. My kids were eating more and able to sleep longer periods at a time. I was able to sleep through the night. And other people (not just me) could help feed the babies.