The key word here is survive. The first year isn’t going to be easy. There’ll be bucketloads of lovely moments with your babies but there will also be a heck of a lot of sleepless nights, tears and enough dirty washing to cover a small country. You don’t have to be super-mum, you just need to make it through!
1. Organise as much extra help as possible for the early days. My mum, sisters, best friends, aunties and cousins were life-savers in those first few months.
2. If someone offers to bring you food, do the washing or clean your bathroom, accept with pleasure.
3. The first day that you have two babies to look after on your own will be terrifying. It will be. But you will get through it and you might even enjoy some of it!
4. Make sure you have adequate supplies of tea, coffee and chocolate. If you manage to get the twins to nap together, you absolutely must take a break. This is mandatory. Especially when you spend half the night pacing the floorboards with a baby on your shoulder.
5. You only have two arms. Sometimes you just can’t keep both babies happy at once. A few tears are inevitable and you absolutely can’t feel guilty about that. Although you probably will.
6. The guilt that comes with being a twin mum sucks. Get over it as soon as you possibly can. I’m still working on this one. And failing miserably. Every time I pick one of them up, the other one looks up at me with gorgeous big puppy dog eyes that say “remember me? I want a cuddle too..” It’s a minefield.
7. The only sort of visitors that are welcome for the first 6 months, are the sort that bring the dinner with them and offer to do a few loads of washing! Don’t feel like you need to be the hostess. You have two babies to look after. That’s enough.
8. Invest in a baby-gym. Preferably one with music and lights. You need something to occupy one baby whilst you feed/change/calm the other one! We have the Fisher Price Jungle play mat and at 13 months, the twins are still loving it.
9. Invest in a good twin pram that you are comfortable pushing. Sometimes the best way to deal with two upset babies on your own is to pop them in the pram and go for a walk. You can read my review of the Uppababy Vista 2015 here.
10. Invest in a changing table for the room you spend most of your time in. I have a changing station in our kitchen/living area with everything I need to hand – nappies, wipes, clothes, bibs, muslins etc. This is a life-saver in vomit/poo crisis times!
11. Organisation is essential. Spend a few minutes every day organising yourself – restock the changing table, put away freshly washed baby clothes and make sure all your feeding equipment is ready to go.
12. Work out a routine that works for you and the babies and stick to it. You can read my post on establishing a routine with twins here. This is a game changer. Having an hour in the morning whilst they nap is bliss!
13. Fill your freezer with home-made tasty food that you just have to heat up. Otherwise you will resort to toast and takeaways for sustenance.
14. If you are bottle-feeding or combi- feeding, buy a Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine. This is one of the best baby purchases we have made. It’s so easy to use and removes all the faff of boiling water and waiting for 30 mins for it to cool. You can read my review here if you are thinking about buying one.
15. Start doing your grocery shopping online! Bulk ordering all the nappies, milk etc and having them delivered to your door saves so much time.
16. Know your limits. I find that it takes pretty much all my energy to simply look after the babies and do all the basic jobs to keep the house ticking over. This probably isn’t the best time to stick into redecorating or landscaping your garden.
17. Once you have built up a bit of confidence looking after the babies on your own, consider joining a mums and tots group. This feels like a serious undertaking with two babies but it’s great to get out of the house and get some adult conversation!
18. If at all possible, get yourself a tumble-drier. Especially, if you have vomity babies, like we do!
19. Get to know some other twin mums. It’s great to chat with someone else who properly understands what it’s like to have two babies at once. Someone who understands double night feeds, weaning in stereo and having to work out how to carry two babies at once. Sometimes you just need a good moan and its better with someone who gets it.
20. Enjoy as much of it as you possibly can! Our boys are almost 13 months now and looking after their every need is blooming hard work. But it’s so much fun.