There are so many myths, superstitions and expectations about twins and multiples that it is difficult to judge what they really need. They definitely can’t read each other’s minds and just because they look identical and were born at the same time doesn’t mean they have to like the same things.
Even so, there will always be people who think they know your kids and are quick to pass judgement. Some will ask if the kids were conceived naturally or via fertility treatments as if one method was less worthy than the other. Others would ask insensitive questions like “Who is the smarter one?” or “Who is the mean one?”.
Although the kids are different, they are special in their own ways. No parent is going to say that one kid is better than the other. Now, here are a few mistakes that parents with twins and multiples should avoid.
1. Refusing Help
If you are a parent of twins or multiples, you would have received a call from at least one person who promised to help you with the kids when you need them to. This could have been a friend, relative or even a colleague. Don’t ignore this message. If someone offers help, take it! Especially during the first few months, you would need all the help you can get from your well-wishers. That extra time you get from their help can be utilised to catch up on your sleep or even to eat a meal.
2. Running Out Of Supplies
Avoid running to the store mid-week to refill your supply of baby essentials. You can opt for a subscription or a service that gets essentials like baby wipes, diapers, powder and lotion delivered at a fixed time every week. For example, you would need a minimum of 120 diapers to get through the first week with your newborn twins. So planning ahead with some knowledge on your requirements would help avoid the hassle of going to the market when you could be doing something else.
3. Not Prioritizing
If you don’t prioritize your tasks, you will find it nearly impossible to get anything done. Your focus should be on yourself and your babies. Don’t even bother thinking about anyone else - no one expects you to either. Everyone will lower their expectations and dependence on you automatically considering that you are now a mom of twins/triplets/multiples. You will need all the help you can get to manage the household chores - cooking, cleaning (including cleaning up after a diaper change or a spit up). Get someone to help with a few diaper changes too. You need some free time to keep your own health and sanity in check.
4. Confusing Them
Keep track of what each baby does throughout the day. Which one had the most milk during the feeding session? Which one had their most recent diaper change? It helps to maintain a diary to log in these clues. This way you can learn more about each baby and figure out their differences too.
5. Matching Outfits
Getting matching outfits for your babies for a special occasion is acceptable. Every sibling has one of those photos. But don’t make it a habit to get them to wear matching outfits all the time. When they are infants, it would make sense to buy multiple outfits of the same type if they are available at a discount. But as they grow up, allow them to choose their own clothes and have their own sense of fashion.
6. Keeping Them Together
Most parents make the mistake of keeping their kids together all the time. This does not allow the children to grow and realise what their own individual dreams and strengths are. One may be destined to become a neurosurgeon and the other may have the creative mind to become the next Pablo Picasso. But if you make both of them take up the same classes, you will be restricting their dreams. Allow them to decide what they want to do individually.
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