As a parent of twins, telling your twins apart will come naturally. It might not happen right at the beginning, but it will happen.
You’ll be able to tell your twins apart even if you can’t tell other sets of twins apart.
Just like you have trouble identifying which twin is which in other families, others will have the same trouble identifying your twins.
Associating a name with each twin is key for other people to interact with your children. Your twins will interact with others in the neighborhood, at church, in school, in playgroups, at birthday parties, and more. You won’t always be there to help them out either. (Yes, you’ll need to leave them with the babysitter to go on a date.)
Until your twins are old enough to answer the question “What is your name?” you need to put a system in place to answer it for them. You need to help others identify your twins. Give them something easy to remember that will help them remember which twin is which.
If you’ve got a boy/girl set, please pick good names for your twins that make it easy to differentiate which name goes with which gender.
For identical twins, you may want to leverage the same tricks that you use to differentiate the twins. This could include different hairstyles, clothing, or even accessories like bows, shoes, etc. Just make sure to communicate what that difference is before dropping off your twins with others.
One trick that has been effective for us is to style the hair differently on our girls. One has bangs and the other doesn’t. Whenever we’re explaining to people how to tell them apart, they can remember because one has bangs. Since this is a semi-permanent trick, people have been able to remember it over time and can easily tell our girls apart.
If you can combine a physical difference with some alliteration in the child’s name, it will be even easier for someone to remember. For example, “Christie: Curls” both start with the letter “C” and creates a memorable phrase.
Share the secret with those folks that interact with your twins. They will thank you for it by confidently calling your twins the right name without second-guessing themselves.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Picture by Nate Davis