Expecting twins is twice the anticipation, twice the joy and twice the preparation to make sure you have two of everything for your two little bundles. After you get the big news and come down from your initial celebration, it’s time to get busy preparing for the babies.
You’ll have lots to do as you anticipate the arrival of not one, but two, newborns. The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension provides valuable resources for parents of twins to help with the preparation and transition of caring for and raising two babies at one time.
With a home preparation checklist for expected twins, you’ll be ready when they arrive and you can enjoy every precious moment with your new babies.
1.Timeframes to Consider
While parents of singletons often have the full nine months of pregnancy to leisurely prepare for the arrival of the baby, realize that you may not have as much time to prepare when you are expecting twins. Twin pregnancies can be more complicated, often necessitating bed rest for the mother-to-be to ensure that the pregnancy continues for as long as possible. It’s also common for twins to arrive earlier than singleton babies.
Depending on the size of your home, the genders of your babies and logistical desires, you may decide to have your twins share one bedroom or you might prefer to place them in separate bedrooms. Sharing a bedroom can be advantageous, at least at first, because it enables you to take care of the babies together in one room.
Placing twins together in one room also enables you to reduce the amount of furniture and equipment you’ll need, at least initially. You can place twins together in the same crib and use one changing table for both babies. Because twins have been sharing the womb together for so long, they often sleep better if you place them together in the same crib while they are very young. If you decide to place them in separate bedrooms, you’ll need two of everything to furnish each bedroom.
Consider your pets carefully to ensure that you can keep them after the babies arrive. Some breeds of dogs are not safe with small children. In addition, regardless of the breed, some dogs just don’t have a safe temperament that makes them suitable for homes with children. Assess your pets carefully to determine whether you should keep them. If you’re not sure, consult a veterinarian for a professional recommendation. You may be able to resolve some pet issues by hiring a professional trainer or consultant who can help you work with your pet.
Having two babies will take two of some types of equipment and other items you may not need two of to take care of the twins. For example, you will need two car seats – one for each baby. You won’t need two baby bathtubs, though, because you won’t be able to bathe both twins at the same time. You will need one double stroller – the options and styles in double strollers are extensive. Research the various types of double strollers to make sure you purchase the one that will work for you and your needs. You will need to decide whether you want to have two bouncers and two swings. If you think you will want to place both babies in these items at the same time, then you will need two of each. If you think you will rotate the babies in these pieces of equipment, you may not need two of each.
You will likely need two high chairs and two of other types of equipment as your babies grow and become more mobile, however. The days of sharing items will end quickly as the babies grow past infant-hood.
After you bring your babies home from the hospital, your life will be chaotic and stressed – especially in the beginning. Make some streamlining modifications in your home to make your life easier while your babies are newborns. Switch to paper plates and plastic silverware for a while to cut down on dishes that need washing. Contain clutter in large bins or baskets to keep it out of the way so it won’t bother you. Get help – either from friends and family or hire help if you have to. You simply won’t have time to keep up on basic housework such as cooking, cleaning and laundry while you care for two newborns. If you can’t get or hire help, lower your standards substantially and learn to tolerate a slightly lower level of organization and tidiness in your home. Remember, this situation is temporary and you’ll be able to resume your normal housework routines before too long.
Baby-proofing your home for twins is not that much different than for parents expecting one baby, except for the likelihood that your time will be divided between two babies and you may be more distracted and less able to supervise as well as you could with one baby. With this in mind, go through your entire home to remove and eliminate potential dangers to your babies once they become mobile. Furniture that could fall or topple needs to be anchored to the walls – this includes bookcases, entertainment centers and heavy electronic equipment. Hide or cover cords so babies can’t find them. Put away fragile or breakable items so babies can’t reach them and wreak havoc with your priceless objects. You can get them back out again once the babies reach the age when they won’t bother knickknacks – probably the preschool age. Mount gates in doorways and stairways to keep babies contained where you want them.
A twin pregnancy can be a time of huge anticipation and frenzied preparation. Don’t forget to savor the pregnancy and enjoy the process. The time you spend anticipating the births of your babies will become precious memories after they arrive. Make a list, get everything done in a timely fashion and then kick back to await the arrival of your babies.