The Magic of Twins!
“What’s better than one baby?” I always say, “Two babies!” Postpartum doulas are crazy about babies and we absolutely love the work we do! There is a definitive magic that one is awoken to when being around babies. A baby can bring a family into being. They can create a bond between two people that wasn’t there before. They create substance of being and give not only purpose, but newfound hope to one’s life. And through their magic, they help us to uncover sides of ourselves we never knew. The Chinese believe that babies are a sign of good luck.
If you are graced with having a set of twins come into your family, I promise that double the love, double the magic and yes, double the luck will abound in your life. Of course, life with newborn twins can be daunting, but as the Girl Scout motto of “Be Prepared” was adopted by Girl Scouts all over the world, so too, will this mantra be your savior.
The key ingredient to mastering a life with twin babies’ centers around this motto of “be prepared”. And whether you are entering into parenthood as a single parent or as a couple with twins, if you are prepared, then I promise, “You got this!” Now repeat that to yourself. “I got this”. Now breathe. One more time, “I got this.” Breathe. Every time you start to worry that life is starting to spin out of control, just gently remind yourself to 1) Be prepared and 2) I got this.
Some of the most helpful things we can do when twins enter our lives is to be prepared! Here are some examples to help you set up your home for a life with twins:
Stations stations stations!!! When bringing home new babes, it’s important to set up support areas all around your home. (Especially if you live in a multi-level home). Buy two changing pads - and create a changing station upstairs and downstairs, fully stocked with everything you need - diapers, wipes, butt cream, hand sanitizer, etc. Reduce waste and use either a washable cover for your changing pad (I have found that large yoga towels folded in half are my favorite under-layer), or purchase a silicone based changing pad like the ‘Leander’ that’s easy to wipe down and travel friendly. Have a pack and play downstairs and a crib upstairs. Create play stations in multiple rooms in the house. Have a breastfeeding station set up in multiple places of your home where you’ll be breastfeeding.
Make use of the $1 store for things like organizing baskets/containers. Or save your Michael’s store coupons (or download the app) and get containers at 50% off and organize baby clothes drawers. Grab hand sanitizer, extra sticky note pads or a small wipe board here for leaving notes for your partner. Get an organizing tray for your car that holds extra tissues, wipes, etc. Save money where you can! If you can find a basket with a handle, scoop it up to use to carry your breast pump around the house in.
Master the baby carrier before the babies arrive! Figure out if you prefer the Ergo or K-Tan and get your partner involved! If the carrier price tag is too high, look for used options on “Letgo” or “Postmark” or “Facebook marketplace”. If you and your partner are two different sizes, get a carrier for each of you! Remember that if you have a cesarean you may not be able to use a carrier such as the Ergo for the first 8 weeks. In that case, I would suggest “The Sleep Belt” for upright cuddling with babes or my absolute favorite newborn carrier, “Nesting Days” (www.pumpstation.com to purchase) Skin-to-skin contact is a vital part of bonding for babies - and if you are choosing not to breastfeed your twins, make skin to skin time a priority so your babies can still receive the Oxytocin hormone that is released upon skin-to-skin contact, that help baby and caretakers to bond!
Sign up with your neighborhood “Buy Nothing” Facebook group “Buy Nothing (Santa Monica/OC, etc.) and allow your neighbors and friends to help you get the things you need for your twin journey. Mom’s post everything from strollers to breastmilk to boppy pillows to formula. Need something specific? Post it to your neighborhood group and ask for a loan, or even to have it gifted to you. Moms want to help other moms!!
If you are low-income, make sure you find out where your closest WIC office is, and what you need to have before your initial visit. Find out how much time you will need for initial consultation, etc. Ask friends to supply formula, diapers and wipes until after your baby’s first vaccination, before you head to your WIC office.
Enlist the services of an experienced Postpartum Doula (day or night) to help you in this most miraculous journey—a doula will provide you with non-judgmental support and help you all levels with your infants (emotionally, physically and educationally) so that you can be confident and joyful. They will set you up for success!