Surviving the First Year With Twins

| February 12, 2013 | 7 Comments
Hands full of twins

Hands full of twins


With twins I often get comments like “double trouble” or “you have your hands full!”. What most people don’t realize is it’s also double the work and double the gear for the first year! Here’s how we survived the first year after having our twins.

Gear Up

Remember the first time you walked into BabiesRUs, registry scanner in hand? I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff for babies. Where to begin?? And do you really need 2 of everything for twins? Well, it certainly helps! By the time the twins were born, our house looked like a BabiesRUs.

Let’s start with the necessities: we had 2 cribs, 2 carseats, sleepers, washcloths and double the amount of diapers. There were also 2 playpens at both grandparents’ houses along with a diaper stash and extra clothes. Back at home, we also had a playpen/bassinet, baby monitor, bottle warmer, double electric breast pump, 2 baby carriers, 2 bouncy chairs, an exersaucer, a jolly jumper, a musical swing, lots of bottles, receiving blankets, and a close & secure co-sleeper. Did I forget anything?

We bought stuff from our local “Twice As Nice” consignment sale where twin parents sell their new and gently used items to other twin parents and the general public. The next one is in March and I’m already making my list! We also bought stuff from Kijiji, took hand-me-downs, and got showered with gifts from excited friends and family!

Helping Hands

We had help during the day and night in the early weeks and even on weekends. Mr. Mama took over a month of parental leave (and couldn’t wait to get back to work!). I couldn’t have done it without him! To keep the peace in our house (and free up our precious time), we hired a housekeeper to come in twice a week to keep things clean. We also enlisted our family to bring over food and groceries. When well-wishers called to ask if we needed anything, we said Yes!


We recorded all their changes, feedings and baths everyday for 3 months. May seem like too much work, but it was helpful since we had people popping in those first few months to help. It was easier for our helpers to check the logs rather than ask one of us if we remembered who’s diaper was changed last or who was fed recently. Also very helpful for me to record the amount of milk I was producing, and how much their intake was of both breastmilk and formula. As an added bonus, those log books serve as a record of their early days, including things like who came to visit and their newborn milestones… like napping at the same time!

For housework, we figured out what chores were important to us, and who could help with them. When our families came over we had a list of tasks they could do like fold laundry, wash and sterilize bottles, etc.

As we became more independent and I was home with the babies by myself during the days, I started doing more meal planning. I would cook a few things to last us a couple of days and freeze part of the batch for later, as I shared with you in an earlier post “Time and Sanity Saving Tips in the Kitchen“.

Schedules & Sleep Training

We started sleep training around 6 months and kept at it. Luckily Little Missy was born with an internal clock that told her to get her beauty sleep by 7pm while Little Mister was our night owl. Still we tried to get them to bed early every night even if it meant we couldn’t go out for dinner or stay out late unless we wanted to be up all night with 2 overtired babies!

The key was, and still is, routine, routine, routine. Even if we didn’t do things at the same time everyday. Our twins became accustomed to the cycle of nap, eat, burp, change, play. One of our neighbours who has daycare experience, suggested using the E.A.S.Y. method. Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time!

What tips and tricks did you use to get your family through the first year with your first born? How was it different for you the second or third time around?

Photo credit: Christine Denis photography

Ambereen Rahim is a senior analyst, part-time blogger and mom of three year old boy/girl twins. In her spare time you can find her travelling, exploring activities with the kids, trying new recipes and blogging about it. You can follow their adventures on twitter @2cuteblog

Tags: , ,

Category: Family

About the Author ()

Guest blogger!

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kamerine Gardam says:

    What a sweet picture! I found life with a newborn easier the second time around even with a toddler. I think the routine that we established (and needed!) for the toddler helped us through the newborn phase. The first time we just winged it and it worked but it wasn’t always easy.

  2. Ambereen says:

    Thanks Kamerine! Having routine and sticking to a schedule is what saved us. Also I noticed a typo, we got housecleaning done twice a month not twice a week!

  3. kathy downey says:

    I love the photo,my hubby is a twin and he has brothers that are a few years younger that are twins also.His mother told me many stories over the years of her struggles with 2 sets

  4. KD says:

    I’ve wondered how parents with twins do it. It was an interesting article–thanks!

  5. kathy downey says:

    Interesting article for sure,must be very rewarding to be blessed with twins

  6. kathy downey says:

    My friend just had twins in April and I send her this to help her on her journey with twins.

    • Ambereen says:

      Belated congrats to your friend with the twins! Hope she has joined her local twins association for socialization and support. In Ottawa-Gatineau, that’s the ‘MBFA’

Thank you for commenting! Your comment is moderated before being published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: