I recently wrote a piece (OK, more like a rant) about the strange and often unhelpful advice I’ve been getting from random strangers with regard to my twin pregnancy. But then I realized: What better place to reach out for actual twin advice than Kveller? So with that in mind, I’ve compiled some questions that have, until now, sort of just been floating around haphazardly in my head. If you’re a parent of twins, please be so kind as to help this mama out!
1. Is exclusive breastfeeding realistic?
That’s the route I took with my son, but how exactly does it work with twins? Do I force them to eat at the same time? Take turns? And what happens when they’re old enough to squirm away? Do I just one-hand each of ’em and use all my strength to keep them in place while praying that some of my milk magically winds up in their mouths?
2. How does grocery shopping work when you must take two infants along?
When my son was an infant, grocery shopping was fairly simple–I’d either perch his carseat on top of my shopping cart, or stick it inside if I had the room to spare. But cramming two carseats into a standard-sized grocery store cart won’t leave me with room to buy much, and I don’t think it’s really feasible to push a snap-n-go with one hand and a shopping cart with the other. Is there a solution other than late-night shopping runs when my husband can watch the kiddie crew?
3. What’s the least amount of sleep a person can function on?
When my son was a newborn, I certainly didn’t get a lot of sleep, but I got some–maybe 30 minutes here, 45 minutes there for those early weeks. It was rough, but I was able to get just enough sleep to be considered borderline functional. But if twins mean even less sleep, well, I just don’t see how that’s going to work. (And no, I’m not going to have full-time help, or anything resembling that, for more than maybe the first week or two. I know, not ideal, but that’s the situation.)
4. What happens if they both start crying at the same time?
In some scenarios, I may be able to soothe or pick them up simultaneously. But if it’s a dual diaper change situation, it’s going to have to be one at a time–in which case, do I do a sniff test and tackle the most offensive-smelling tushy first? And what if it’s stench versus stench, or wet versus wet? Does your basic eeny-meeny-miny-moe apply?
5. What’s the least amount of showering I can get away with on a weekly basis without crossing the line of social acceptability?
When my son was born, showering was something I had to schedule. Is there some sort of unwritten free pass for new twin moms that might allow me to substitute a thorough cleansing with a generous deodorant application and a splash of body mist?
6. What happens if I forget which baby is which?
No, seriously. This is the thing I’m most afraid of. While they’re not identical, my twins are the same gender (or so the ultrasounds tell me). And when it comes to newborns, I figure all they need are similar parts and features to look virtually identical and confuse the heck out of me. Is there a safe way to put some sort of identifier on each so that I don’t mess up this very important detail? Keep in mind, folks, that I’m due in January–so painting a toenail or even a fingernail won’t work ’cause I intend to have those itty bitty extremities covered at all times in the beginning (the hands more so for the scratch factor).
Finally, if there’s anything you think I should know that I haven’t asked about, hit me–even if it’s the not-so-pretty side of things. I’d rather be prepared than randomly caught off guard on my 27th sleepless night in a row.