One of our twin daughters got sick with Roseola about 10 days ago. This was marked by several days of high fever, a fussy baby, and interrupted sleep for both her and her parents.
During this bout with the illness, her sister was just fine. That, of course, changed this past week as the previously healthy twin now took a turn with the high fever.
Keep these things in mind when one of your twins becomes sick:
Sickness is Inevitable
Keeping one of your twins indefinitely healthy while the other is sick is a losing battle. Since both will eventually get sick, you might as well prepare for the inevitable.
Learn from the First
When one of your twins get sick, go to the doctor. You’ll learn what is wrong, get a treatment, and pay your insurance copay or deductible. When the second twin gets sick, you’ll then know what to do and can save the time and money of going to the doctor.
However, only treat the second twin the same as the first if you are sure that she has the same illness. When in doubt, call your pediatrician.
Count your Blessings
Having one sick baby is a miserable experience for everyone. Odds are you can’t really give the baby any medicine other than Tylenol so the baby suffers through the symptoms. You, as a dad, also suffer because of the increased burden of care both day and night that a sick baby requires.
If that is the scenario with one sick baby, imagine the fun when both are sick at the same time (which also happens!). So when only one baby is sick at a time, that is a good thing. The healthy baby can hopefully self-entertain while you provide more care to the sibling.
Wash Your Hands
All right, washing your hands is important anyway but deserves to be restated here. As the caregiver, you can keep yourself healthy and help control the spread of disease by washing your hands regularly.
With sick baby twins, it may feel like the “wash your hands” principle, while sound, isn’t practical. You’ve got a sick baby (or two) that is sneezing, coughing, drooling, and the like all over herself and you. Is washing your hands really going to help? Yes. Will it help all the time? No, but it is worth the effort.
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
Twins Aren’t Always the Same
Watching the progression of illness through your twins is another reminder that while your twins may be identical, they aren’t exact copies of each other in life experiences. The twins’ environment and their actions now dictate a lot of what happens to them.
Picture by Nate Davis