In the weeks leading up to your twins’ birth, your mind is in overdrive. From getting your twin nursery ship-shape to taking a tour of the hospital where you’ll be delivering, there’s lots to do. And while these 7 Must-Haves may not be on your to-do list, they sure will help smooth the way for a calmer first month once you’re home with your twins.
1. Patience. Make no mistake—the first few months with newborn twins are a whirlwind of emotions both high (“Look how sweet they are! How did we ever get so lucky?”) and low (“What have we done? My life is over!”). Both extremes will bring tears to your eyes. To help you persevere through the tough days, however, you’ll need a good healthy dose of patience. But how do you embrace a sense of calm when both your babies refuse to go back to bed at 3 a.m and you haven’t showered in two days?
It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you’re in the thick of it all. It’s nearly impossible to believe that very soon the chaos will end. But it does end. It really does. The colic will dissipate. They will eventually sleep through the night. You will lose the baby weight. The trick is to give into it all, to accept that this is what it’s like having twins and only time will change your situation. Just breathe deeply and follow Must-Have tip #2.
2. A Sense of Humor. Poop can be funny. I promise. So is spit-up and even red-faced screams. When both babies are wailing and you’re in the middle of the supermarket and you feel yourself beginning to sweat, take a beat and try to step out of the mayhem mentality and view your situation from afar. Float overhead as if you’re having an outer-body experience. Now take a look. I assure you, it will seem funny. Smile and think, “Wow, this will make a great story someday!” Because it will.
3. Realistic Expectations. No, you may not be able to follow your birth plan to the tee. In fact, your twins’ birth may be nothing like you had envisioned and include an emergency C-section. Don’t let it ruin the experience as a whole for you. Besides, once you hold your babies for the first time, it won’t seem to matter as much.
Or you may not have the energy to host your annual holiday family gathering if your twins arrive shortly before Christmas. But, again, rather than perseverating on what you’re missing, focus on what you have right in front of you and enjoy the quiet moments together. Perhaps this will be your new family tradition.
And, no, your house will not be immaculate and neither will you as you’ll scarcely find the time to shower let alone blow dry your hair. But it’s all OK. Let it go as it’s only temporary. Your life will slowly return. Differently, of course, but it will return!
4. Well-Stocked Closets. Head to the store weeks before your babies arrive and stockpile a three-month supply of the following: diapers of varying sizes (the more the better as they don’t spoil but start with Pampers Swaddlers Size Preemie), formula (if you’ll be bottle-feeding), pantry items such as canned tomatoes, beans, soup, and even shampoo, detergent and soap, and finally, a variety of birthday and holiday cards as well as generic birthday and holiday gifts. Why?
During those first few precious months, the last thing you’ll want to do is head to the store for a midnight diaper run or make a mad dash to Target because your youngest has a birthday party and you forgot to buy a gift.
5. A Freezer Full of Pre-Made Meals. From beef stew to chicken pot pie, the more premade meals you have stocked in the freezer and ready to go the better. When I was a new mom, the last thing I wanted to do was cook, especially in the evening during the “witching hour.” They were a true sanity-saver.
6. A Great Stroller. This is your lifeline to the outside world so buy the best one that your budget will allow. One that’s well rated, lightweight and easy to fold up as you’ll be in and out of your car with it and your duo often. (If your budget permits, check out BOB Sport Utility Duallie Stroller, rated highly by moms of twins.)
7. Several Baby Stations Strategically Placed Around Your House. When one baby needs a diaper change do you really want to traipse upstairs for a fresh diaper and leave his cotwin to fend for himself? Of course not! Instead, create small baby stations in several parts of your home so you won’t have to go far for supplies. Fill a decorative basket, for instance, with a changing pad, diapers, wipes, burp clothes, and pacifiers. (And don’t forget to replenish often.)