If you're pregnant with twins, first of all, congratulations! We know this incredible blessing can be a bit of a shock when you first get the news, but you're not alone. This is an entirely normal reaction for soon-to-be parents of multiples.
We've created our step-by-step guide to preparing for twins (below) to help you get ready for your two little ones. With time and careful preparation, you'll be able to rise to the challenge and enjoy all the wonderful moments ahead.
We know, easier said than done. Give yourself a moment (or several) to process the news. This is a huge change, and it's okay to feel overwhelmed at first. Remember, you don't have to figure everything out at once. With time, everything will come into focus. For now, take a slow, deliberate breath in through your nose and slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this exercise as often as you like during the coming months.
Remember that taking care of yourself during pregnancy is a huge part of taking care of your developing babies. Don't hesitate to schedule some "me" time at least a few times a week to do things that make you happy and help you relax.
Knowledge is power, so start by gathering all the information you can about parenting twins. There are many excellent books on the subject (like Mothering Multiples by Karen Kerkhoff), and there's no shortage of helpful websites and blogs (like this one!). We also encourage you to join a local or online group for parents of twins so you can benefit from the support and advice from people who have "been there, done that" and the camaraderie of new twin parents in the same boat as you. After all, it takes a village! As you learn more about what to expect, you'll feel increasingly confident and prepared for the road ahead.
Start researching your options early in your pregnancy and take your time assembling your twin pregnancy and birth "dream team.'' This might include a doula, lactation expert, pediatrician, or neonatologist. Look for providers who have plenty of experience with twin pregnancies and births. Ask lots of questions and don't be afraid to get a second opinion!
Whether this is your first birthing experience or you're a seasoned pro, we highly recommend attending a childbirth class. Childbirth classes educate and empower soon-to-be parents and usually cover topics like the stages of labor and what to expect, relaxation techniques, pain management options, and more. If you're pregnant with twins, it's a good idea to find a class that specifically covers the unique challenges of multiple births and how to prepare for twins.
If you're new to parenting, you'll need to start stocking up on all the essential baby gear. Outfitting for two babies is no small task (especially financially), but the good news is that you don't have to buy every last thing right away. Also, it's a myth that you need to buy two of every last item. When it comes to toys, activities, bouncers, or rockers, you're better off picking up a variety of options and rotating them between your little ones to see what works best. If a particular item is a huge hit with both of your twins, you can always buy another one down the line.
Of course, there are a few things you'll need to buy two of, like cribs and high chairs and car seats, but as for strollers, you only need one. Our easy-folding Cortina Together Double Stroller makes getting out and about with your twins much easier. The option of using the two regular stroller seats (when they're a little older) or clicking in any two Chicco infant car seats is a lifesaver. Especially for seamless car-stroller / stroller-car transfers of your little ones.
You'll want to stock up on must-have day-to-day baby items like diapers, wipes, baby blankets, and clothes. Babies fly through these things (especially in those first few months), so it's a good idea to have plenty on hand. Of course, you can never have too many burp cloths either!
And finally, don't forget to grab a few things for yourself, like maternity clothes, supportive nursing bras, and some comfy postpartum clothes. You deserve to feel comfortable and look great during this incredible time in your life!
If you already have children, it's essential to set aside time to prepare them for the arrival of their new siblings. Talk with them about what's happening and involve them in the preparations as much as possible. Explain that their new role as big brother or sister is important to the whole family. Help them understand that while there will be some big changes when the twins are born, it doesn't change how much you love them. Let them know they can always come to you with their questions or concerns, and be sure to make one on one time to spend with them regularly after the twins are born.
One of the most exciting parts of preparing for twins is getting the nursery ready! You can go all out designing a beautiful space for your little ones or keep it simple with just the essentials. You'll want to ensure your nursery is ready with everything you need to make those middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes as easy and comfortable as possible!
Be sure to line up some help before your babies arrive. Don't be afraid to ask friends or family members if they can pitch in with things like cooking, cleaning, or running errands, especially in the early breastfeeding days. You may also want to consider hiring a postpartum doula to help you with and postpartum recovery. Of course, the level of help you'll require depends on your circumstances, and it's a good idea to start the conversation with your partner early, so you have time to assess all your options.
You're about to embark on a journey that will be both immensely challenging and incredibly rewarding. While it's natural to feel overwhelmed at the thought of caring for two babies at once, there are endless reasons to be excited about this new chapter. For one thing, you'll get to experience all the joys of parenting times two. From those first moments you hold your babies in your arms to their first steps and words, you'll enjoy every milestone twice over. You'll also have the unique opportunity to watch your children grow up together and develop a special bond that will last a lifetime. Of course, preparing for twins does require some extra planning and preparation, but with a bit of help from friends, family, and fellow twin parents, you'll be ready to take on whatever challenges come your way! For more parenting tips and tricks, check out our blog.