A common question parents of infant twins ask is: “How do I have time to do everything with twins?”
The answer comes from prioritizing and trying to optimize your time.
When twins arrive in your family, you will not have time for everything you used to do on a daily basis. The house won’t be as clean, the dirty clothes will pile up, and you’ll feel like you never leave the house.
This means that you need to prioritize what gets done and what waits for later.
Make a list of the most important things you need to do. They might not be what you think they are.
- Your top priority is the health of your twins. This means you must take care of them! Feed them. Help them sleep. Change their diapers. Keep them warm.
- Your second priority is Mom’s health. She will likely be caring for the babies around the clock particularly if breastfeeding them. Mom needs to get rest and good nutrition to keep going.
- Dad’s health is third. Yes, you need to eat properly and get some sleep too or you’ll get sick and be useless.
What comes next? Work. Errands. Chores around the house. For the first year with twins, the top three concerns will occupy most of your time.
The only way to get more stuff done is to prioritize your efforts and then be more efficient in how you do things.
Advance Food Preparations
I’m a big advocate of a freezer meal shower when you’re expecting twins. This will stock your freezer with food you can eat during bed rest and the early months with twins.
The same principle is true with day to day living with twins. Keep a stash of ready-to-eat meals in the freezer that you can heat up when you have no other options.
(RELATED: Expecting twins? Avoid these 4 critical mistakes expectant twin parents make.)
Make twice as much food for dinner and save the leftovers for a freezer meal or dinner tomorrow.
When your twins are infants, make sure you’ve got a supply of milk or formula you can take with you on trips to help when feeding time comes.
Batch prepare all the formula for the day in one setting.
Bathroom Before You Leave
Your Mom told you, and now you’ll tell your kids every time before you leave the house: “Did you go to the bathroom?” A potty break at home will be twice as fast (or more) as one once you leave the house. Once you’re out of the house, finding a bathroom and getting your twins to use it is a huge time waste.
When your twins are still in diapers, make sure they have fresh diapers before you venture out of the house. Unless you get a surprise poopy diaper, you should be fine until you get back home.
Save time by putting your supplies right where you’ll need them. This could be around the house, in the car, or even at Grandma’s house.
We changed a lot of diapers in the family room and not in the girls’ room on their changing table. Because of this, we put a small supply of diapers and wipes out where we used them the most.
Keep diapers and related supplies at strategic locations throughout the house so you can serve a twin’s need without having to sprint through the house.
(RELATED: Check out the Dad's Guide to Twins Youtube channel for additional helpful twin tips and tricks videos.)
Keep extra diapers, supplies, and changes of clothes in the car. This will allow you to respond to any diaper blowouts or other incidents without having to go all the way home.
Always keep your diaper bag stocked so you can just grab it and go when you need to leave the house.
When the kids go to sleep at night, prep the house for the next day so everything is ready when you wake up.
Schedule Your Activities Around Naps
Look at the schedule and see when the twins sleep and eat. Then you can plan outings and errands so those are not interrupted or delayed due to cranky babies.
You’ll need to make tradeoffs to accommodate your twins’ sleeping schedule. However, you can’t always stay home just because it is nap time. If you must be out and about during nap time, be prepared for cranky twins. And plan for a rough night’s sleep later that day.
You’ll get a feel for what happens when naps are skipped with your twins. Adapt and change accordingly.
A theme we found useful with our twins was try to do as much together as possible. When the twins are on the same schedule, life goes a lot smoother.
(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)
When you try to care for twins one at a time, it will seem like you are taking care of the twins all day long. Try and split tasks between parents to make life a little easier.
Help your twins nap and sleep at the same time. This will give you a regular schedule and opportunity to handle non-twin tasks.
Feed your twins at the same time.
Bathe your twins together at the same time.
Let It Go
Don’t worry about folding baby clothes. Have a drawer or basket for each type of clothing (shirts, onesies, pants, pajamas, etc.) that you can just grab from and put on your twins.
Remember: it is OK to leave your twins in their pajamas all day.
What are some of your favorite time saving tips with twins?