Having twin infants is amazing but it’s also really hard.
In this article, I’m going to share what makes having infant twins so hard so that you know you’re not alone in your twin parenting journey.
I asked a bunch of twin parents on my Facebook about what’s the worst part of having infant twins.
We don’t want to sugarcoat this. We want to be clear and transparent so you know what to expect if you’re expecting twins or that you’re not going crazy if you’re in the middle of raising infant twins right now.
Jenny says, “the absolute sleep deprivation i can’t even put into words i screamed and sobbed at night just from being so tired many days i sat at my desk at work and didn’t remember driving there.”
So jenny’s experience of sleep deprivation is absolutely real. I remember having this as well when we had our infant twins. I was kind of in a zombie state at work at home in the middle of the night taking care of the twins and feeding them.
Fortunately, that zombie phase ended after several months and finally getting those twins into a sleep routine.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel if you’re going through the sleep deprivation and zombie phase right now.
Letting One Cry
Megan Rose says “sometimes having to choose which one has to cry while you take care of the other. You only have two hands.”
This is a very truthful scenario for parents of twins you have to decide which twin is going to get your attention. This is particularly true when you are by yourself at home or in the middle of the night taking care of the twins and one of them’s crying or maybe both of them are crying and you have to decide.
Just because you pick baby a over baby b doesn’t mean baby a is your favorite or you love baby a more than baby b. It’s just the reality of the situation.
Triage who has the bigger need and tackle that problem and then move on to the second infant.
Opposite Sleep Schedules
Kurtis James offers “getting them on the same schedule, the routine is everything, but it takes time for everything to click. It can be overwhelming and scary just remember it’s all in phases and you’ll get through it. Nothing is permanent including the sleep schedules and feeding times. You’re always in control even when it all feels like chaos during the first few months.”
As parents, you always have to be in control of the situation even though your emotions and the situation may feel like it’s out of control.
You can do this. Getting twins in a routine is one of the top priorities that we as twin parents have to have just to survive in those infant months.
Getting them in that routine can be a bit of a challenge (that’s one of the struggles of having infant twins) but once you get in that routine, life gets a little bit easier day by day.
Jordan Johnson says “them being on opposite sleep schedules. That was really hard.”
When your twins are out of sync it throws your entire day into chaos. Do everything you possibly can to get your twins synced up.
One thing that works great is when it’s the night time it’s time for feedings with one when one of the twins wakes up for feeding you wake up the
other twin. That way they get synced up with feeding and with going back to sleep and it starts to build that routine.
Try your best to realign those schedules by syncing up feeding times and when you put them down to sleep, and it should work itself out over time
Both Sick at the Same Time
Tom Scott says “when one gets sick they both get sick which causes serious sleep deprivation”
Having sick infants is is no joke. It’s kind of torturous because when they’re really little there’s not much you can do to help them overcome their cold or whatever it is that they have wrong at the time.
You can’t give them a lot of medicine and they’re just kind of miserable. You can take the nasal syringe to suck out their noses and relieve some congestion but they’re just kind of cranky and miserable all the time. You feel so bad for them because there’s not much you can do when they’re
really little before they can start taking medicines.
Because your twins are always together you know if one gets sick the other is going to get sick in short order. Remember, nobody’s sick
forever. Give it a couple days and they usually work their way through it and they should be fine
Carrying Two Car Seats
Renee Anderson says “carrying two car seats”.
(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….)
A true test of you as a twin parent is can you carry both car seats? How far you can carry both car seats? Can you carry both car seats at the
same time while carrying the diaper bag, groceries, or some other item?
That’s where it gets to be quite challenging.
When our girls were infants and still in infant car seats, for all but the very shortest of distances we would put those things in the Snap and Go Stroller to get them from the car to the store or from the car to somebody’s house.
It was only when we came home and were in the garage and had just a short distance to go that we’d actually skip the stroller all together.
Erik McGyver says “for me, as a dad who did the majority of changes, it was a huge blowouts on the breastfeeding pillow. So much cleaning!”
Diaper blowouts are just the worst. Particularly when your babies are small and the diapers don’t quite fit right. You seem to have lots of those blowouts where the poo sneaks out the side and it’s just quite difficult.
Make sure that you have the right size diaper for your twins and as they continue to grow that the diapers are fitted to them appropriately. That will help reduce some of those blowouts.
If prevention doesn’t work, you’ll just have to deal with cleanups.
In the warmer months, when your twins are probably just in onesies and diaper that’s when more blowouts sneak out because there’s not any
clothes to stop the mess from spreading.
All the Stuff You Need
Jennifer Stowers Niehus says “the amount of stuff you have to bring everywhere and the fact that if you are by yourself you can’t just carry your baby and do what you need to do. You have to lug around two carriers, then you have to figure out which stroller to take. Side by side doesn’t fit through doors half the time but the tandem is so long it’s hard to get through the doors by yourself. I always felt like a sideshow everywhere we went.”
Twin strollers, while helpful, can also be kind of unmanageable or difficult to navigate in public spaces. Getting through doorways and crowds can be a bit of a challenge.
Amber McLeod says “I feel like I missed most of the happy playful cuddly time with my babies. There are four possible scenarios when
everyone is awake number. 1) both twins are crying 2) baby a is happy, baby b is crying 3) baby b is happy and a is crying or 4) they are
both happy. So in the first situation where somebody’s crying or both are crying you have to deal with the crying baby and in the rare fourth case when they’re both happy you have to split your attention between the two happy babies.”
Amber is correct: you’re always splitting your attention between twin a or twin b.
It seems very rare that you can have your full attention on both of them simultaneously.
If you’re able to divide up some of your responsibilities with your partner, you’ll find a solution to this.
For example, my wife and I would split up with feeding time. I would take one baby and she would take the other baby. That gave us a little extra one-on-one time with that twin. It helped to get to know them better and bond with them.
Hang In There!
The truth is when they’re infants and they both are high need children, you’re going to have to split your attention and efforts.
As they get older you’ll have more time where they’re both not in a crying state and you can do things together and pay attention to each
There are tons of reasons why infant twins can be overwhelming. The good news is that phase passes and things start to get easier gradually over time. Soon you’ll be out of that infant phase and on to the toddler phase which has its own set of challenges.
How about you? Are your twins already here? Leave a comment below with what’s been the most challenging part of raising infant twins.
If you are still expecting your twins or in the middle of raising infant twins I recommend you pick up my book Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins, that will help you along your twin parenting.