This question is from a parent who already has some kids at home, and they’re expecting twins. The question is, are twins easier if you’ve got kids already? When our twin girls were born, we had two boys already at home. Both of them were under age 3 when our girls were born.
It was a huge advantage for us that we knew the basics of parenting and knew the basics of taking care of babies — how to feed, how to change diapers, what to expect — that was an advantage to us. However, twins are a lot of work, even if you know what you’re doing as a parent. And so, the fact that we knew what to do with babies probably balanced out the fact that there was two babies in the house, which made everything that much more difficult.
Now, the learning curve, if you already have kids, is going to be lower as far as what to do with babies in the house. But the challenges are multiplied, of course, with twins. The fact that you have other kids in the home can either be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on the circumstance and the time of day.
Older Siblings can Help
It was nice to have older siblings that could help occasionally with our girls. Because the older boys weren’t that much older, they were still very young, when I say help, it was their sense of helping. And sometimes they were in the way. However, their intention was always good.
If you have older children who are more than capable of helping a baby drink a bottle or change a diaper or just swing the baby in a swing while you take care of dinner or attend to the other twin, that would be a great help, having other siblings in the house.
One challenge that we did have, having older kids in the home, it was a constant challenge for us to give the older brothers the needed time and attention that they deserved during those first several months with twins. Because your hands are full with taking care of the twins, feeding them every couple of hours, you’re sleep deprived. And so, you still need to schedule and make time to spend time with the other siblings so they’re not lost and forgotten.
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast episode 22: Twins Easier with Older Kids, Swaddling, Identical Twin Differences .
Picture by Ruth L