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First Year Survival Tips for Twin Parents

22/07/2015 10:19 BST | Updated 21/07/2016 10:59 BST

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We were so excited to find out we were expecting boy and girl twins. We have been trying for a while and the joy of having a healthy boy and girl at the same time just felt like a divine compensation. Compensation for the time spent trying to conceive.

Being a first time mother to twins has been a bit of a rollercoaster. An endless supply of nappies, wipes, love and patience is needed to care for two babies at the same time. My babies; Naomi and Nathan are now 20 month old toddlers and our lives for the past 20 months have been full of love, cuddles, laughter, tears, bills, challenges and fun times.

The first year with the babies was quite tricky. There was so much to be done in so little time so I had to come up with a survival plan to cope during the early days, when I was left on my own for the first time to care for them. I have learnt a lot about caring for twins and I have 4 tried and tested techniques to share with you, to get you through the first year as a twin parent.

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1. Get Help

We were lucky enough to have my mother come live with us to help out with the twins for the first 3 months. We also had other friends and family members come and go during the first year and we took all the help we could get. Our freezer was permanently stocked up with food made by family, dishes were washed regularly and so was the laundry. I had opportunities to nap during the day and sleep some more at night while my babies were being cared for. This helped me recover quickly from my caesarean section. I will strongly advise all twin parents to take all the help they get in the first year. It is hard work juggling two babies and it is super easy to feel overwhelmed. Don't underestimated the work needed. Get help while you can. If you don't have available help, get a cleaner to clean your house regularly, stock up your freezer with easy to make meals, and consider hiring a baby nurse or sitter to help out for some hours during the day.

2. Stock Up

In the early days, you will be so busy that you will even have to plan trips to the bathroom, so stock up on nappies, wipes and baby milk. For the first year, my babies were using 10 nappies between themselves on most days; that is 70 nappies a week which is quite expensive. At first, we used only Pampers nappies until we discovered Aldi's Mamma Mia was a good alternative, then we stocked up on Mamma Mia nappies which they used during the day and Pampers were used at night. We saved a lot of money this way and got through the expensive first year. My advice to twin parents is to find a supermarket branded nappy you are happy with and use it for daytime changes and save your Pampers nappies for night.

3. Have a Routine

Having a routine was the only way I survived. I put my babies on a strict routine from the age of 3 months. I was pretty much alone with my babies during the day at that time so I had to think of ways for us all to cope. I sleep trained them, there were set times for play, naps and feeds, our days were planned to the very last-minute. That way I felt like I was in control, and babies like routines so they were happy babies on most days. Sometimes, the days don't go as planned and the routine is out of the window as soon as it starts, I remember those days being extremely tough, and I just let it go, and start the next day with a clean slate.

4. Feed Them At The Same Time

I still feed my babies at the same time. It is a lot easier than feeding them at separate times. If you are breast feeding, I recommend you experiment with various positions to find the most comfortable one for you and your babies, a U shaped nursing pillow to fit round your waist and keep both babies at the breast will help. I did a combination of breast feeding and bottle feeding for the first 4 months. At night, when one baby wakes up for a feed, I wake the other up. This will saved me waking up in a couple of hours (minutes sometimes) to feed the other twin.

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