So you’re expecting twins and they will be your first children. Congratulations!
Naturally, you’re a little nervous about the whole thing. It is natural to be nervous or a little scared about having twins.
You’ll have two big challenges: the learning curve of being a father and the learning curve of having twins.
The good news is that in your eyes, it is just one big learning curve!
Here’s what you can do to overcome your nerves and stress related to being a first time father of twins.
You need to learn the basics of caring for a baby. This includes holding, swaddling, diaper changing, dressing, feeding, burping, etc.
Before our first child was born, we took a basic baby care class at the local hospital. You can inquire for a similar class in your area. An infant child care class will arm you with the knowledge you need to handle the basic logistics of keeping your babies alive and well.
If you don’t practice what you learn, you won’t really learn and master those skills. Borrow a friend’s or relative’s baby and practice what you learned in your class.
During your twin pregnancy, volunteer to babysit a friend’s baby. It will give you some real-world practice before your twins arrive.
Discuss with your spouse the child care responsibilities that will need to be handled when the twins arrive. Set clear expectations with each other of who will be doing what and when.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Clearly communicate with each other so there are fewer surprises when the time comes for action.
Things to discuss include: Who will change diapers? How will you feed the twins? Who wakes up during the night to feed and change the babies?
Every twin pregnancy is different. Every set of newborn twins is different. Don’t get so caught up in a plan that you can’t change when change is required.
Be flexible and willing to adapt to the situation as required. Be willing to shoulder more responsibility if needed. Be prepared to work and support your wife. She may be recovering from a c-section or postpartum depression. Your job is to keep your twins (and wife) alive and well.
By the time your twins arrive, the nervousness of being a first time father will fade. You’ll be so busy and engaged with the present situation that you won’t have time to think about the hypothetical situations you worried about before.
Picture by Ankur P.