Do you get your twins mixed up?

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - March 6, 2015

One of the things I worried about when we brought our twin daughters home from the hospital was getting them mixed up.

Do you get your twins mixed up?

I wanted to make sure we knew who was who all the time. We took measures to keep our girls from being mixed up:

For parents of identical twins, you have to at least try something to keep every one clearly identified. Swaddled up boy/girl twins can look surprisingly alike too.

Public Inquiries

You will have people ask you when you’re out shopping or at the park: “do you get your twins mixed up?”

My first thought is how would we know if we actually got them mixed up? Wouldn’t we just go on living and think we were dealing with one twin when it was actually her sister?

I suppose a great mix up could happen when Mom thinks she has one twin and you’re pretty sure you have the same one.

We never had a mix up in our home — that we know about.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

How to Respond to This Question

When people ask you if you ever get your twins mixed up, here are some ways you can answer:

“Yes, all the time” – then laugh!

“Yes, in fact, I’m not sure which is which right now.” – this will draw out a quizzical look from the person asking “Really? You don’t know?”

“Maybe. I think I’ve got them straight today.”

“No, we’ve embedded a RFID chip under their skin so we can scan them and tell who is who with an app on our iPhone.”

“No, they are boy/girl twins.” – You’ll then need to hope the questioner actually understands the differences.

“We did in the beginning but after 30 days we just picked one twin and decided who was who.”

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

“No, we tattooed a serial number on each.”

Read more about keeping your twins straight and other identity issues in Chapter 7 of my book, the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.

Have you gotten the “mix up” question about your twins? How did you respond? Let us know in the comments.

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

12 thoughts on “Do you get your twins mixed up?”

  1. We are having tein girls this week. I plan on painting twin A’s big toenail w polish. Wont matter what they wear we will know who is who

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  2. My favorite response is “That’s why we only circumcised one of them”. In reality, we mix them up about once a month. It usually occurs when we do a late night transfer from the car seat to the crib. Thank goodness for small birth marks.

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  3. Baby A wears purple toenail polish and baby b wears pink! We also keep them in different colors. We have yet to mix them up but it’s only been three months!

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  4. I was too worried to use nail polish, because once they start putting their feet in their mouths, they might suck the polish off. (And that can’t be good for them.)

    Something our doctor suggested and that has worked well for us is looking at the lines on their palms to distinguish who is who. (Like fingerprints, these lines are different, even in identical twins.)

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  5. One of our girls had a slight scar on her lip ,from the feeding tube tape in hospital,that helped till we got to know them better 🙂

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  6. I have identical boys and cannot tell the difference in old photos. At the time we could tell the difference by the slightly different shape of their ears. But it’s not evident in photos which are often at a different angle. What to do?

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