Parenting Hacks Raising Twin babies And An Older Child
So, you’re expecting twins and already have an older child. A lot of questions are running through your mind. “How am I going to handle twins and an older child”? “Can I do it”? “How do I feed them both at the same time”? I have to buy 2 of everything! Here are some parenting hacks raising twin babies and an older child.
I know it’s a lot to sink in. I’ve been there and done that. Same questions were in my head too. I didn’t know how I was going to handle it. But hey, I got through it and you will too. It was rough, I’m not going to lie about that. You have to enjoy every minute with your babies because they grow up so fast. They’re only little once.
When we found out that we were expecting twins it was a big shocker and unexpected. We were living in a 1 bedroom apartment with our almost 2 year old daughter. We had to find a bigger place before the twins were born. It was a stressful time for us, but it all worked out in the end.
I hear it a lot from people. “I don’t know how you do it with twins and a toddler” Honestly, thinking back I don’t know how I did it. It was just something I had to do.
I was exhausted most of the time and eventually my body got used to it. I became superwoman. So how did I do it all?
Stick To The Same Routine
My twins were born premature. Due to complications I had in my pregnancy. They spent 1 month in the NICU. While the twins were in the NICU they were on a feeding schedule.
When we brought them home from the hospital we stuck to the same routine. If one wakes up, we have to wake up the other one. If one is fed, the other one needs to be fed too. They were both on a strict feeding schedule and needed to be fed every 3 hrs. If they were asleep when it was feeding time I had to wake them up. It will be like this for the first 6 months. With my older child I kept her occupied by sticking to the same routine. If I needed to change the twins diapers my daughter would get the wipes and diapers and bring them to me. After diaper changes she tossed the diapers in the trash. That was our routine and she knew what to do. It made her feel like she was helping me take care of her sisters.
We also stuck to the same routine putting the twins on a sleep schedule just like my older child.
Master Simultaneous Feedings And Involve Your Toddler
Okay juggling two hungry or crying babies is difficult and can be overwhelming if you’re by yourself to feed them. It will happen. I was home by myself during the day while my husband was at work. When my husband was home it was much easier.
You will be sleep deprived, so what I did is used a notebook and keep track of what time each baby was fed. You may accidentally feed the same baby twice. I have done it before.
It’s okay to let them cry while you’re getting everything set to feed them. They can wait a few minutes. I used pacifiers and it helped a lot to calm them down. A way your toddler can help is putting the pacifiers in the twins mouth while your getting the bottles ready. Or have her show the twins one of her toys and interact with them to keep them occupied.
If your bottle feeding or breast feeding do whatever you can do to master simultaneous feedings. I bottle fed my twins with a hypoallergenic formula because we found out that they were allergic to something in my breast milk. They had an allergy to cows milk protein. If I wanted to continue breast feeding I have to start an elimination diet totally free from cows milk protein. That included cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. I didn’t want to go through all that and read every ingredient in my food choices. It was just easier for me to bottle feed and made things less complicated.
We also bought hands free bottles. These bottles were invented for parents with twins or parents that needed a hands free solution. I thought my twins wouldn’t like the hands free bottles but they actually liked it. It made our life so much easier. Every parent with twins needs one of these. You can tend to your older child while your babies are being fed or just sit and take a breather.
Involve Your Toddler In The Feedings
We had 2 baby seats that vibrate and play music to soothe baby. I had one that I kept from my older daughter. So we only had to buy one more vibrating seat. You are going to need these. They came in handy when it came to bottle feeding or nap time. You can sit both of them in the seats while you’re feeding.
When I wasn’t using the hands free bottles my toddler helped me with the feedings. She loved to help feed her sisters. It was like feeding her dolls (of course they’re not dolls but you know what I mean). While she’s feeding one baby you can feed the other.
Coordinate Bath Time
I didn’t bathe my twins every day. That would be a lot of work to do. Instead I gave them a sponge bath. I bathe the twins 2x a week in a infant bath tub. Yes you will have to take turns giving each twin a bath. We just bought a simple infant bath tub because they will grow out of it. On the other days that’s when I gave my older child a bath. Eventually when the twins were old enough all 3 of them took baths together. That will save you a lot of time.
Have All 3 Nap At The Same Time
This is the best part of my day, NAP TIME! My toddler was still taking naps until she was 3 ½. When the twins took naps after lunch, my oldest took naps with them as well. You have to time everything if you want all 3 of them to nap at the same time. Lunch time for my oldest was 11:30am. The twins bottle feeding was around 11:45-12. My daughter will be eating lunch while I am bottle feeding the twins.
The twins are fed and burped, and diapers changed before nap time. Around 1pm-1:15 is when nap time starts. I put the twins in their cribs and my daughter sleeps on the bed. I lay on the bed with my daughter and wait until they’re all sound asleep. Everyday wasn’t like this, there were days when my toddler didn’t want to nap or 1 twin took a while to fall asleep. It happens. But when they all nap that’s when I sneak out quietly and pray they nap for at least 2 hrs. I rarely took naps with them. There were lots of things to do. This was my time to eat my lunch and clean up and enjoy the silence while it lasted. That’s why I say it’s the best part of my day! You moms know what I’m talking about. 😊
If someone offers help, take it
Our family didn’t live close by. So basically it was just me and my husband. We didn’t like to ask for help but if someone offered to help we took it. I have an older sister that I’m close to. She lived in Los Angeles, she would come fly out here and help me. She offered to come visit and help so of course I said “yes”. While I was tending to the twins she would take my older daughter to the park or for a walk so I can focus on caring for the twins. So if someone offers to help it’s OK to say “yes”. You need it, that’s why they’re offering to help you. My mom also stayed with us for a couple weeks helping with my toddler and cooking meals for us. She was such a big help. I didn’t have to cook. When she left I wanted her to come back.
So take advantage of all the help you can get because you don’t know when it will come around again.
What other parenting hacks raising twins and an older child can you add to this list that I may have not mentioned?