You won’t always have your partner with you when you are caring for your twins. So how do you take care of twins by yourself?
First, remember that it is possible! It won’t necessarily be easy, but it is possible.
One parent will very much feel overwhelmed caring for both twins alone so you’ll need to be strategic about how you handle the twins.
If you aren’t able to recruit family or friends to help with your infant twins, keep the following tricks in mind to manage the chaos of twins when you are by yourself.
Let Go of Everything But Your Priorities
Caring for your twins is your number one priority. Other things can (and will have to) wait.
This means you might need to drop some hobbies an expectations of a clean house.
Caring For One Twin at a Time
Remember to take care of the twins one at a time. When push comes to shove and both twins need something right away, odds are that you could probably take care of one twin at a time.
Unless there’s a dire emergency where both twins need help right away, try taking care of one twin first and then turn your attention to the other twin. This is true if you’re changing diapers, feeding them, or soothing two crying babies.
This doesn’t mean you have to neglect the one twin or completely ignore them. You just have to prioritize which twin needs the most help right now and start with that baby and then move on to the next baby.
As you get more comfortable with the twins and taking care of them you’re going to find ways that you can have both twins right in front of you while you’re taking care of the task at hand.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Use Baby Gear to Help
You only have two arms so use baby gear as your extra pair of hands.
When my wife or I would single-handedly take care of the twins, we’d often use bouncy seats, swings, or nursing pillows to help us hold the babies.
For feeding time, we’d put one baby in each of the bouncy seats, and we’d sit between them. And then we can pop the bottle into their mouths and hold the bottles and take care of them side by side. Practice your feeding technique in the daytime, so you can do it by yourself at night without a hitch.
You can also wear one (or both of your twins) to help manage caring for both by yourself. A single baby carrier like the Baby Bjorn is great (that is what we used). Or you can get a dedicated twin carrier like the TwinGo Carrier or the Weego.
Wearing one or both babies helps free up your hands to care for the other twin, siblings, or your household tasks.
Get Preparations Ready Before You Are Alone
If you are prepared, you shall not fear.
You still might have your hands full, but you’ll at least be able to better manage life with twins by yourself.
Prepare what you’ll need for the day (or night) before you are alone. Tag team with your partner to get everything ready before you’re alone.
(NOTE: Still expecting? Get weekly updates on your twin pregnancy here.)
If you’ll be home alone with the twins for an extended period of time, use the twins’ nap and sleeping times as a chance to make preparations for when they wake up.
With our girls, we used preparation to our advantage ahead of nightime feedings. Before we went to bed, we’d set out all of our supplies like clean bottles, nipples, and room-temperature water (which we left in a pitcher on the counter). We’d pre-measure the formula that we were going to use and get everything set up.
When our girls woke up in the middle of the night, it was easy for a parent to stagger out, take care of mixing the formula, and feed the girls. If you can take care of those arrangements before you go to bed, it’ll make nighttime feeding a lot easier.
- Tips on raising twins as a single dad
- Getting twins to bed by yourself
- Bottle feeding twins by yourself
I talk more about caring for your twins by yourself in my book, the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.
Picture by Ankur P.