Creating Routine with Newborn Twins
A lot of emotions can rise when you find out you’re having twins. Excitement. You did just create TWO lives! A bit of fear perhaps? Overwhelmed most certainly. One baby seems like a lot. TWO?
How will you manage two? It seems like managing one is a big task.
If you are giving birth to twins, we have some useful information for you.
By creating a similar feeding and sleeping routine for your newborn twins, you will have a much easier time.
This means you CAN have a bit more time to regroup, recharge, and get back at it. Many families who bring home twins find consistent and similar routines the most effective way to manage their new life.
How do you create that routine? Feeding schedules. You want to have your babies eating as close to the same time as possible.
A newborn baby sleeps a lot when they first come home from the hospital. For newborn twins, this is especially true. In most cases they are smaller than a singleton and may have even been born earlier than 36 weeks. When a baby is born smaller or at an earlier gestation you are often encouraged to feed your baby more often. Often times even waking them to ensure they are eating before they are getting hungry.
This is why we focus on feeding schedules!
Your pediatrician, lactation consultant or GP will let you know for sure. However, in most cases your newborn twins should be eating no less than ever 2.5 hours. This is why you will likely have to wake them to feed them. And here in lies the opportunity to create an ideal routine for your family.
By feeding them at or around the same time, you ensure they are full at the same time.
So, they sleep at the same time. Just by ensuring each twin is fed at approximately the same time, everything else will flow more effortlessly. There will still be 2 diapers to change and 2 baths to give. But, you will have more time to learn how to tell them apart! And, the predictability of your day will give you at least a bit of grounding.
Now, let’s talk about making that happen!
Because each family is unique and all circumstances are different, there are many ways to approach this. Those who are feeding at the breast/chest have different options than those bottle feeding. Those who are pumping have another task to incorporate as well.
Bottle fed twins can both be fed at the same time easily if you have an available partner, postpartum doula or other support person. It wont take long before they are taking their meals on their own with little to know support at all. If you are pumping to fill the bottles, this support is key to successful routines.
Tandem nursing is an option for having both babies eat at the same time. It can be overwhelming in the moment and is a real test for those sensitive to touch. It is also more to track at one time if your keeping a feeding journal.
If you choose to feed at different times, or simply do not have a choice, feed one immediately after the other.
This encourages a similar schedule. Regardless of what your families routine looks like, encouraging similar eating schedules will promote a more manageable day. We also encourage taking advantage of the apps available to keep track of what is happening and what is working best.
Sprout is a popular choice among our clients!
Lastly, since you know exactly when they will be waking up, make sure you have everything ready for the entire routine x2 before they do! And, don’t forget some water and snacks for you too!
Thank you Lacey Jackson for the use of photos. We love our local twins!