top tips ...
Pregnancy and Birth
- Rest as much as you can and try to do the things you enjoy before the big day.
- Pack your hospital bag in plenty of time, you can always add to it.
- Fill the freezer with nutritious meals, you may not have the time or feel like cooking from scratch when your babies arrive.
- Dont assume your babies will come early, some members were induced and delivered close to due date.
- Prepare for long antenatal appointments, bring a snack.
- Ask as many questions as you feel you need and want too.
- Only take enough items to last a few days in hospital, other items can be brought in by your partner and visitors.
- Ensure other children can be looked after at short notice and your partner has all the numbers of who to contact telling the fab news!
- You wont need two of everything, one steriliser is fine!
- Know the way to the hospital, car park and how much it costs.
- Dont be afraid to ask visitors not to stay for too long, you need your rest and when your babies are sleeping you sleep.Ask them to bring or do something for you.
- Ask at an early stage about the "Twins Class" at Ninewells along with other antenatal classes at your local hospital.
- In the hospital do not be afraid to ask or say anything, it is important that you get all the support you may need !!
- Come and meet other families of Twins and Triplets at Twins plus
The Early Days
- The early days can seem very hard especially when day runs into night, establish a routine which works for you and your babies.
- Keep a supply of nutritous snacks handy to boost energy levels.
- Rest as much as you can and accept all offers of help .
- It can be easy to forget who fed last and who had a dirty nappy, jot down in a wee notepad as this will help remember.
- Share the feeds and nappy changes with your partner, especially during the night . Our mums found once they did the early evening feed and then went for a bath/bed and daddy did the last evening feed it enabled mum to get a good clutch of rest/sleep before the next feed.
- Have a second changing mat and essentials in the bedroom, it saves time and effort especially during the night .
- Store expressed breast milk in the fridge in bottles ready for supportive or top-up feeding.
- Have cooled boiled water in bottles and feeds measured in advance in the fridge or cupboard. Ensure to remove from fridge in plenty of time for the next feed.
- Try to spend some time with your partner and other children .
- Sometimes children may feel a little left out when a new baby arrives, imagine how they might feel when two or more come. Let them help at nappy/bath time, when feeding let them sit with you to watch their favourite tv programme, read their favourite story etc.
- Talk to other families of multiples as they are the best source of advice.
- Sometimes you may feel that it is all getting too much, these are all natural feelings and is very important that you talk about how you are feeling and have support .
- Enjoy this very special time and each stage that follows !!
- Routine is still important especially at mealtimes and bedtimes.You will have happier and more settled children when they are familiar with what happens on a daily basis.
- Out and about - your toddlers will love to walk and explore, it tires them out also! Reins are handy and safe especially when they want to go in the opposite direcions at top speed.
- Tantrums/fights are a normal occurence for development which can be frustrating and exhausting for all ! Find distractions-a favourite toy,book,activity, messy play or a bath also helps.Ensure there are no dangers if your toddlers love to throw themselves flat out on the floor.Try not to react when behaviour is unacceptable. It is difficult to know sometimes who had what first or who started the 'fight'. Sometimes it helps to appear 'bored' when behaviour is wrong,no attention will soon stop them playing up. Multiples also tend to quite physical towards each other due to the immaturity they are at at the same time and sometimes it is easier just to hit their sibling(s) to express themselves.Simple and firm 'No hitting' and fuss over the receiver, they will soon learn and you will probably find that they dont hit anyone else except their sibling(s) anyway !
- Toilet training - your toddlers are individuals and one might be ready before the other. Be patient, talk about it and have a couple of pottys and ease of access to the toilet.Plenty of praise and encouragement is also required. I found it much easier when my twins ran around with bare bumbs first and then with pants on. It is a good time to start when they are aware they are wet/soiled and have tried using the potty/toilet a few times. Make sure you start when you are not too busy, needing to go places or their are other changes happening. Summer hols are ideal !
- First Big Beds-to help prevent from falling out,tuck the duvet under the mattress width ways.We put a stairgate at our twin boys door to prevent them escaping and venturing in to big brothers rooms etc, so once they were in their room they new it was bedtime and we made sure they were safe !
- Playgroup/Nursery - playgroups accept children from around the age 2 where you may have to stay until they are toilet trained. At 3 your children are entitled to a funded nursery place.Think about schools, do you want your children in the same or a separate class. Do your research and look at the Councils info on schools and nurseries and catchment areas!
- Health and safety, we would all love to have eyes at the back of our head and it is so important to ensure there are no dangers around the house and garden as it is more difficult when you have more than one curious carefree toddler on a mission !
- Try to spend some time with each child individually, go for a walk, bath separately, sing their favourite songs or read their favourite book with them . Language also improves if you spend at least 10 mins reading frequently to them individually.
- Language between multiples has always had a ?. You learn to speak initially by imitation so encourage reading to and with them individually and talking to them, repeating the correct word/phrase once they have spoken will help develop their language. Ensure eye contact and face your child when talking.
- Try to have a photograph of them on their own as they are still individuals in their own right .
- Being a twin or triplet toddler is so much fun. Someone to chat to,play with ,laugh with and get up to mischief with! They keep each other company too which helps when you have things to do around the house etc!
- Multiple children also learn to share much earlier than singletons and you will find that they look out for one another and bring something for their sibling(s).