Things I wish I knew last year

When I found out I was expecting twins, my mind started racing with a million questions. Questions I didn’t know the answer to. Questions I wish I knew the answer to.

Here are just some of the things I questioned during all those sleepless nights in my third trimester and what I think is the correct answer now.

How do I feed both at the same time?
Answer: You don’t. I bottle fed both my babies to start with, which was a decision made pretty much the second I saw two sacs in my 13 week scan. Kudos to those ladies who tandem feed but there’s no way I was even going to try, I personally didn’t want to feel like a cow and selfishly, I wanted to have lie ins on Saturdays. Even after having my twins, one of the midwives asked me how I was planning to feed them once my husband went back to work, I said at the same time using a feeding pillow. She quickly said, “No. Feed one at a time and they’ll quickly learn they have to wait.” Best. Advice. Ever. This has massively helped as I have been weaning them on to food because if I am feeding one twin, the other sits relatively patiently for hers (depending on what the food is, that is. If they see a yoghurt pot, I get both shouting at me for it).

What if they cry at the same time?
Answer: Then they cry at the same time. Much like feeding, they just have to wait. Sometimes I find myself holding one baby when feeding her and contorting my body into really bizarre shapes (thank goodness I am hypermobile) to pass something to the other baby to try and settle her. Then other times, they just both cry. For no reason. They’re babies. Babies cry.

How do I pick them up at the same time?
Answer: Don’t. Don’t even try. Only now they are 8 months am I sort of able to pick them up at the same time, but they are too wriggly so I tend not to do it. Only for posing for photos. It’s just too risky picking them both up at the same time if you are alone. I even watched some YouTube videos on how to pick up twins but they all looked awful so I just don’t bother.

How many nappies do I need?
Answer: Far more than you can possibly imagine. I didn’t have a typical baby shower (I hate the idea of people feeling like they have to buy me gifts, although I love a gift), but my husband went out for a final blow out before the babies arrived. All he asked was for everyone to bring a pack of nappies. We ended up with hundreds and didn’t buy a pack of nappies until the girls were three months old. The majority of the guys had been to Aldi and saw how cheap they were so bought multiple packs. “Babies are cheap,” one said. Ha. Now they are 8 months old and tend to go through about six nappies a day each. Sometimes more, depending on what they had for dinner the night before.

How much milk do they go through?
Answer: We use Aptamil 1 (I wish I researched this more, it’s the most expensive and I didn’t want to change after starting them on it as it suited them fine) and for the first month or so we were using a tub a week, but then as they were drinking more it ended up as two tubs a week. Now they have three 8oz bottles a day each and I buy a tub every five days rather than seven.

How do you bathe twins?
Answer: With help. Never alone. We have two Angelcare baby bath supports and they are wonderful. They’re quite bulky but they have hooks so you can hang them on the wall — they stack. We wash the girls every other day. Every kid I know with skin problems or eczema is put in the bath every day. My girls don’t have a bit of crust on them. Babies don’t get dirty.

What do babies wear?
Answer: This might sound like the most ridiculous question but at the hospital they drum it into you that babies need loads of layers (they even make them wear hats indoors for God’s sake), and that babies should be in one layer more than you would wear. But sometimes I feel that is WAY too hot. The weather changes so quickly. Some babies are really sweaty. My Twin 1 is super sweaty and doesn’t like too many layers. I just play it by ear, but I get really frustrated when I see people in 20 degree heat with their babies under blankets with jumpers on and hats. Babies can tell you when they are cold but they can’t tell you when they are too warm. It’s a really vile phrase but, “A cold baby cries, a hot baby dies.” I just wish more people would consider this when dressing their babies. Oh, and I wish I knew that 0-3 months does not mean birth to 3 months.

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