Should You Keep Twin Birth Order a Secret?

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - August 21, 2013

Okay, here’s a good question: Should you keep birth order a secret?

Identical Twins With Family

Twins Birth Order

When twins are born, they’re born at the same time — well, almost the same time. There is going to be a birth order. They don’t come out at the same exact moment. They could be born on the same day, even a few minutes apart, but one child will come before the other. They will have a natural birth order with your twins. Some people may want to keep that a secret, and some people may not.

Personally, we did not keep it a secret, and it hasn’t really mattered for our family. Sure, one of our girls was born before the other — two minutes, in fact — but we haven’t made a big deal out of it. We still take turns with the girls, they still do things together, they still take turns with our family, including their brothers. Keeping birth order a secret is only going to be as big a deal as you make it. For us, and it doesn’t really influence the day-to-day behaviors of how we treat our children. So the fact is yes, one girl was born two minutes before the other girl, and it doesn’t really matter in how we treat each of those girls in our family.

Birth Order Won’t Stay Secret

Your kids will eventually ask who was born first, or their siblings will ask who was born first, or family or friends coming over to visit will ask that question. So the question is going to come up eventually, and you’re not going to be able to hide it forever. And it’s okay to explain to your kids that they were born in a certain order. There’s nothing wrong with that, and as long as you act with respect to each of your children and not treat them differently based on which child was born first, there shouldn’t be a problem of who was born first or who was born last with that regard. The way of working around that, of course, is making sure you’re always taking turns in your family so that whoever was born first doesn’t always get to go first. They should take turns and share, and things will work out better in the end.

This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 41: VBAC with Twins, Activity Schedules, Birth Order Secret.

Picture by Ruth L

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.

4 thoughts on “Should You Keep Twin Birth Order a Secret?”

  1. We did not keep birth order a secret. This has been fine with our twin girls. They know exactly the date, time to the minute and birth order and even the (child appropriate knowledge) events of the day and how happy Mummy and Daddy were taking two new bablies home!

  2. We have twin boys and I have been planning on keeping birth order a secret. Simply because they will inevitably be competitive and I don’t want one of them to have a trump card to always be like “I was born first (insert childish taunt here).

    I met a twin dad a year ago when my wife was still pregnant who had boy/girl twins that were moving into the same apt for college and he said they were never competitive and he thinks it was due to them being opposite gender, which made some sense to me. So I simply assumed with them being same gender that they will be prone to be more competitive.

    Buuuuuut with your stories of twin girls not having issues, i’m questioning the life-long ruse I’m planning of telling them that the doctor two-armed them out of my wife at the same time (c-section)

    Any twin dad’s with boys out there that have any input on the birth order debate??

    • @Aaron – I’ll reaffirm that if you don’t make it a big deal, I believe your twins won’t make a big deal out of it. Good luck with the reveal (if it comes to that).


Leave a Comment