If you are one the lucky ones who become a mother or father of twins, you will no doubt find yourself wondering what it will be like to care for TWO newborn babies at the same time. You might feel nervous or feel or that the "task" ahead seems impossible. Don't fear... having twins is in fact NOT double the work... what it is, is a bit more work and planning than you would have with one baby, but DOUBLE THE JOY!
When my husband and I was told that we were expecting twins, we couldn't have been more excited. We had gone through IVF treatment and it had taken its toll physically and mentally, on me especially, and it felt like we had just won the lottery and gotten a fantastic 'Two For One Bonus' for what we'd been through to conceive.
Being pregnant with twins is hard for some and a breeze for others... but that's the case also for women expecting one baby, of course. Twin pregnancy was fine for me for the most part - I went through the nausea stage in my 3rd month and it was awful but it lasted only one month. Then I was absolutely loving pregnancy until the 7th month, at which stage I was as big as a house and things got more and more uncomfortable. The last 2 weeks were horrendous, I couldn't really do much of anything and I was very uncomfortable. But in the grand scheme of things, that time is unimportant and I have never looked back on my pregnancy with anything other than love goggles, because of course now I know exactly what it was all for and what came from it!
After the kids were born, I had quite a hard time after the caesarean and for a good few months I couldn't move around much. The procedure had gone slightly wrong - luckily only for me, the kids were perfectly fine - and for this reason, I did not produce any milk in the first five days, so from day one the children were bottle fed.
In the first couple of months the babies had to eat every three or so hours, 30 or so minutes after the feed they would need a clean diaper and then they would sleep for about an hour and a half until we did it all over again. When the babies were sleeping, I would sleep or work - being self employed, I didn't have the luxury of maternity leave, so straight away I needed to be organized and to utilize the time the children were sleeping in the most constructive way possible. The key was having the children sleep at the same time and to achieve this, planning was needed - the babies had to do everything at the same time... no exceptions!
So when the children were 5 days old, it was time to 'Synchronize Baby Body Clocks'. When one woke up and wanted a bottle, I made two bottles and then I woke the other one up, even if he or she was sleeping like... well, like a baby. Some might think it a bit harsh to wake a sleeping baby, but as it happened, in a matter of only days, their body clocks were completely synchronized and when one woke up, the other one would too within only seconds or minutes.
Had I been breastfeeding, synchronization may have taken slightly longer as breastfeeding generally is a little harder in the beginning, so my advice to breastfeeding mothers who wish to synchronize their twin babies' eating, sleeping and changing cycles, is to wait a few weeks until they have the breastfeeding under control. Breastfeeding twins requires a little extra effort but is absolutely possible, and especially if they are premature, they will need all the nutrients breast milk offers.
Synchronizing my twins made all the difference for me as well as for them... in fact, I still do it even today as the children are four years old and going to school. I find it makes them happy, our lives easier and a lot less stressful. They eat together and they go to bed at the same time and this means they still wake up at the same time and do most things together - it gives them good routines and, like when they were babies, they are happy, well rested and well rounded children.
Raising twins is not double the work, it's just a lot more planning and then DOUBLE THE JOY.