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StorkNet.com > Pregnancy Channel > Parenting Channel > Multiples Mania Cubby > Twins' & More Articles
 FAQ Section 5 ~ Going Home/Postpartum
We asked our multiples parents a variety of questions related to the parenting newborn multiples . . .

Who should I ask for help and how do I arrange this?

My in-laws took good care of us. My mother-in-law cooked for us for several weeks. She also spent a week with us to help with the babies, laundry, cooking, etc. ~Maria, mother of twins

We didn't have any outside help; we just did it all ourselves. That was my choice - I'm more comfortable doing things on my own. ~Joyce, mother of twins

I was reluctant to commit to getting someone to help until I knew I needed it. My mom came over everyday for the first two months. Then I hired my 20 year old niece to be a mother's helper four hours a day. Friends stopped by during the day once in awhile so I could get a shower etc. ~Robin, mother of twins

My mom came over frequently but for the most part, I was alone. You have to adjust and make a schedule that works for you and the babies. ~Bobbi Jo, mother of twin girls

Anyone who had offered got asked! People don't usually offer to help unless they genuinely want to help! So anyone who had offered, I called up and asked for a ride to the hospital or to stay home with Jacob or dinner or just company after my husband went back to work. You name it, I asked. No one ever said no! ~Liz, mother of twins

My parents helped, plus we hired a nanny. ~Michelle, mother of twins

My husband had his mother cook some meals for us. My husband did a lot of the cooking and cleaning in the first couple months until we got a routine down. ~wish, mother of twins

My mom - she just showed up and never left! ~Libby, mother of identical twin girls

My family pretty much came together and had it all figured out for me. ~Brandi, mother of twins

Friends volunteered to make meals and take my two older children on outings, etc. ~Mary Ann, mother of twins

We didn't ask anyone. However, friends and family were told to expect to do dishes or laundry before being allowed to play with the babies. My husband also works from home. He cut back on his assignments for a month or so when the babies were expected. ~Hunter, mother of twin boys

My mom and grandma came over everyday for about two weeks. One came in the morning and the other in the afternoon. But I was lucky because my husband was able to stay home for two months so we really didn't need much help until then. ~Tracy, mother of twins

My husband had four weeks vacation from the day the babies were born, but when that ran out, he took another week off to help me. ~Tanya, mother of twins

We hired a night baby nurse for three months which helped SO much! ~Sandra, mother of triplets

Should I stockpile meals ahead of time or ask family/neighbors to help?

We had lots of generous family members cook for us. One filled our freezer with frozen packaged dinners. ~Maria, mother of twins

We didn't stockpile, but we did order a lot of pizza and Chinese food in those first few weeks! ~Joyce, mother of twins

Our church sent a week's worth of dinners over. ~Becky, mother of identical twin girls

I stockpiled. I'm very particular about having organic, vegetarian meals, so I really wouldn't trust anyone to bring something I'd want. ~Hunter, mother of twin boys

Family and friends made meals for us every other night for three months! ~Robin, mother of twins

I froze meals prior to coming home, lasagne, meatloaf, etc. This was a big help. ~Bobbi Jo, mother of twin girls

I had stocked up on staples (toilet paper, paper towels, canned foods, flour, etc.) and had planned on freezing several meals but didn't have time before I ended up in the hospital on bedrest. Fortunately, many friends and family stocked our freezer and brought many meals to us after we came home. ~Lutey, mother of twins

We ate out a lot at first. ~TracyE, mother of boy/girl twins

On Saturdays I would make several casseroles and freeze them to eat during the week. ~Kym, mother of twins

We did invest in a lot of frozen dinners after they were born. We also spent a lot of money on take out. ~wish, mother of twins

Members of our church brought meals. One couple brought dinner every Monday for probably three months. ~Melanie, mother of twins

A couple of people brought casseroles, but otherwise, we were on our own. We ended up eating whatever we could find in the fridge that could be eaten with one hand while holding a baby! ~Marina, mother of twins

Should the babies sleep with us, in one crib or in separate cribs?

They slept with us at first. We had our mattress on the floor and when they got to be about three months, they shared a crib. When they got a little bit older, like six months or so, they went into separate cribs because they would wake each other up. ~Becky, mother of identical twin daughters

They slept in one crib for four weeks. Then we had to move them to two cribs because the kept waking each other up. I would have had them in my bed, but we have a waterbed and it just wasn't safe. ~Tracy, mother of twins

They slept with us for four months, then in one crib until they were nine months, and then separate cribs until they were 3 1/2. ~Dionne, mother of twin boys

Our babies slept in one crib in their room for two months, then in bed with me for the next five months. ~Robin, mother of twins

Ours were in a cradle in our room together initially, then progressed to a single crib in the living room and eventually to the single crib in their own room. When they started rolling around, they each went into their own beds. ~Jennifer, mother of twins

At first, they slept in the same bassinet, then in separate bassinets until they were old enough to go into a crib, and then it was in the same crib. Leslie, mother of twins

We kept them in their bouncy seats and we put them together in one crib next to our bed. ~Jennifer, mother of twins

The babies slept in separate bassinets for the first eight weeks next to our bed. ~Colleen, mother of twins

They slept in one crib for awhile. Then, we started having reflux problems, so we had them sleeping in their Fisher-Price vibrating bouncy seats. (Those things are wonderful!) The seats kept them upright so they wouldn't have as much reflux. I'd highly recommend having two bouncy seats (or four, if you have a two-level house) and two cribs from the very start. That's the most versatile way to go. Once we started putting both babies in a single crib, we found that our son would move around a lot and kick his sister awake in the middle of the night, so we had to switch to separate cribs. ~Marina, mother of twins

If you're interested in co-sleeping/family bed, visit our Attachment Parenting cubby.

Should I put the babies on a schedule? If so, how do I do this?

After about eight weeks, we put them on a schedule. When one would wake to feed, we would wake the other to feed as well. ~Ronna, mother of twins

We tried to put them on a schedule as much as possible, but it was very flexible. We would feed them when they woke up, then play with them for awhile, then let them sleep as long as they wanted. Then we started all over. At night, we skipped the play and put them right back to bed, which seemed to work well. They caught on quickly to the difference between day and night, and learned to sleep through the night at three months. ~Joyce, mother of twins

My babies work out their own schedules. However, they are also part of a larger family structure, so there is an overall routine that they have to adapt to, but within that routine, they can develop their own schedules. ~Hunter, mother of twin boys

We fed on demand then the second twin fed with that one. ~Coleen, mother of twins

I let them make their own schedule and then manipulated it to fit my needs. ~Lori, mother of twins

We actually followed their schedule until they were a little older and eating baby food. Then we started a schedule. I was lucky in the way that my boys had themselves on the same sleep schedule, so I really didn't have to do anything there. In turn that made planning the schedule for the rest of the day somewhat easier. I learned that you have to follow their cues to make it work though. If you're trying to have play time and they want to sleep don't push it. It's much easier on everyone's nerves to just put them to bed and play later. My big advice on this one is be FLEXIBLE. ~Tracy, mother of twins

We didn't put them on a schedule initially, but that was a big mistake. I let them sleep when they wanted to, eat when they wanted to, etc. At their six-month checkup the doc asked me if I was okay because I looked so exhausted. I told her I didn't have a break all day because they didn't nap at the same time and she very forcefully told me to get them to sleep at the same time during the day. After that I started putting them down together and within a week, they were sleeping at the same time. ~Jennifer, mother of boy/girl twins

It is kind of a demand-based schedule, very flexible but also fairly predictable. They were put on a 4-hour schedule in the NICU. When we got home, they more or less kept to that. ~Lutey, mother of twins

I put them on a schedule but I have no idea how! It was especially hard to get the night routine down and it took about two months. At two months they slept from 10 pm to 6 am. My husband and I both think that because we were so sleep-deprived, we would do anything to get them back to sleep quickly without warming a bottle, so they learned to skip that night feeding quick! ~Liz, mother of twins

I tried to chart their natural schedule so I would know what they needed. ~Dionne, mother of twin boys

When one baby woke up to eat, I would wake the other to eat. It helped me get more quality sleep even if it was only for two or three hours. ~ wish, mother of twins

The NICU had them on a very strict schedule so this helped them remain on a schedule when they came home. ~Jennifer, mother of boy/girl twins

My babies put ME on one. ~Brandi, mother of twins

It was chaos for the first three months, then they settled into their own schedule. ~Lynn, mother of boy/girl twins

At first, we had to strongly encourage the twins to eat. Our son was a picky eater, and the nurses in the NICU joked that they'd hand him around among themselves to see who could get him to eat. We had to get them to eat every three hours, whether they wanted to or not. They usually didn't. A tip: we found that Evenflo or Gerber bottles with the small nipples worked best, particularly the bottles with sides that can be squeezed (to encourage a baby to eat). Neither of our twins could handle the bigger Avent nipples at first. ~Marina, mother of twins

Should I breastfeed, bottle feed or a combination of both?

I started pumping right away since both babies were in the NICU. I started breastfeeding them as soon as they were strong enough. Now that we are home, I breastfeed but I still pump so that they can have a high-calorie formula supplemented into a couple of bottles a day. ~Lutey, mother of twins

I breastfed for one month, then combo fed for another month, then bottles . . . I found it very difficult to breastfeed exclusively and I don't feel guilty for switching. My babies are very healthy and I would do it the same way again! ~Liz, mother of twins

I breastfed. It was pretty difficult at first. My husband always thought the babies weren't getting enough to eat, but the doctor assured me that their weight gain was appropriate. In fact, my family said the same thing to me. They even suggested I switch to formula so that I could measure how much they were really eating. Even though everyone seemed to be against my breastfeeding, I am glad that I stood my ground. ~wish, mother of twins

I breastfed only for five weeks, then used formula at night. Now they get both breastmilk and formula at daycare. ~Kristen, mother of twins

Being preemies and also having been bottle-fed in the NICU, our twins never did learn to breastfeed. I tried for awhile, while pumping and supplementing with formula. It got to be too much. I ended up pumping for several months, and supplementing what I got with formula. ~Marina, mother of twins

I pumped for the first month while they were in the NICU. I tried to keep pumping when they came home. I think I did it for about two weeks. Then one morning, I looked at the pump, looked at the clock, looked at my oldest child who kept saying, "Mommy, I want up," and I said, "The heck with this!" Time with my son was more important and the triplets won't die from formula. ~Elizabeth, mother of triplets

For more breastfeeding information, visit:
    º Breastfeeding Tips in Section 8 of our FAQ
    º Breastfeeding Twins by Anne Smith, IBCLC
    º Do I need to follow a special diet to breastfeed multiples?
    º What is breastfeeding twins like?
    º Breastfeeding Books and other preparing to breastfeed
        questions
    º Breastfeeding a Preemie or Sick Baby
    º Breastfeeding Cubby

For bottle feeding information, visit our bottle feeding cubby )

Should I/how can I feed the babies at the same time?

The first few months I used the football hold and my hubby had made a HUGE U shaped pillow so that I would have an easier time feeding them at the same time. When they were older they just sat in my lap; one on each side. ~Becky, mother of identical twin daughters who breastfed

I heard that it's best to feed them at the same time, but I usually didn't. I nursed my babies and found it much easier to feed one at a time in a sling. I tried nursing them at the same time at night, but didn't get any sleep and went back to one at a time. Zachary is much more patient, so Jack gets fed first usually. ~Hunter, mother of twin boys who breastfed almost exclusively

Baby carriers were a big assistance. I used these most of the time for the one baby I wasn't feeding. ~Bobbi Jo, mother of twin girls, who formula fed

Initially I had help but when it got to be just me and them, we went through a period of trial and error. Eventually, I learned to sit on our couch, prop each one up on a thigh and hold a bottle for each of them. ~Jennifer, mother of boy/girl twins, who formula fed

If breastfeeding, I use regular pillows on each side and put each baby in a football hold. I latch the better breastfeeder on first, then let her go to town while I work with my son. If I am bottle feeding, I lay them both on the bed, side by side, and give them their bottles. ~Lutey, mother of twins, who breastfed and pumped

I put them in their bouncers and sat between them holding their bottles. If one needed to burp, I propped them on my shoulder and held them with my knee while I patted their back with that hand and still held the bottle for the other! Granted you do have to pause feeding for the other for a couple seconds to get situated! Mostly though I was able to feed them one at a time because I set their schedules in order to do so! ~Liz, mother of twins, who both breastfed and formula fed

I sat them in their rockers and sat on the floor in front of them to hold the bottles. ~Heather, mother of twins, who pumped breastmilk and used formula

I put the boppy in my lap and then the babies on the boppy with their backs to me, a bottle in each hand, arms supporting the babies and holding bottles at the same time. ~Michelle, mother of twins, who formula fed

I usually breastfed one and then bottle fed breastmilk to the other or had my husband bottle feed. ~Tami, mother of twins, who both breastfed and formula fed

I held one in a regular hold across my lap and the other in a football hold. ~Michelle, mother of twins, who almost exclusively breastfed

We didn't feed them at the same time. If alone, I would stagger their feedings. When my husband was home and awake, we each fed a baby. (Advice: The absolute best way to handle newborn twins at night is to take shifts with your husband. We didn't figure that out until about a month after the twins were born. I wish someone had told us ahead of time that we should do shifts. My husband would go to bed around 8 pm and sleep until 2 am; I'd take care of the babies downstairs, doing all the feedings and such. Then, my husband would get up to take care of the babies, and I would sleep for about six hours. That way, we each got fairly long blocks of uninterrupted sleep. Before that, we'd each taken a baby around the clock, which meant we never got more than an hour of sleep at a time. It was awful. I highly, highly recommend the shift system!) ~Marina, mother of twins, who pumped breastmilk and supplemented with formula

One would not latch on so I pumped for him and the other twin was on my breast. ~Amy, mother of boy/girl twins, who breastfed

I didn't feed them at the same time; they each had to wait their turn. ~Julie, mother of triplets, who formula fed

I could feed two at the same time on their boppy pillows or car seats if I sat between them, but usually, I fed one at a time. ~Sheryl, mother of triplet girls, who formula fed

I would put two on boppy pillows and hold the bottles, and one would have to wait. I tried to alternate if I could so that the one who waited got to be held for the feeding. That way, they all had "hold" time during the day. I did a very long happy dance the day they could hold their own bottles - seven months. ~Elizabeth, mother of triplets

I nurse two and bottle feed two, then switch at the next feeding. The bottle feeders usually get up to 1/2 breastmilk in their bottles, just depending on how much milk I'm able to pump after the previous feeding. I nurse the two on a twin nursing pillow (EZ 2Nurse) and prop the other two with bottle proppers. When I finish nursing, I burp the bottle feeders and help them finish their bottles. It's SO much easier when someone else is with you - they can feed the bottle feeders so I don't have to worry about it. ~Julie, mother of quadruplets, who breastfed and supplemented with formula

How can I comfort the babies at the same time?

I had a front pack carrier where one could be in that and I could hold the other one. Sometimes, one would be in the bouncy seat while I held the other one. I could bounce the seat with my foot. And unfortunately, sometimes you just can't tend to multiple needs at the same time (for example, change two diapers at the same time). You get used to hearing a lot of crying. ~Ronna, mother of twins

I pick them both up. When they were little, I could put them both in a sling together. Now that they are larger, I can put one in the sling and carry one on my hip. Sometimes, especially if they both want to nurse at the same time, I curl up with both of them in a papasan chair. ~Hunter, mother of twin boys

Rocking two babies is awkward at first but by day three, you pretty much feel at ease! I rocked my babies together daily! ~Bobbi Jo, mother of twin girls

They both enjoyed backrubs, so I would hold one baby on my shoulder and the other across my lap, or both on my lap. They were always much easier to comfort when they were near each other, so both on my lap at the same time worked very well. ~Leslie, mother of twins

I think all multiple mothers quickly learn how to pick up more than one baby at the same time! ~Lutey, mother of twins

I comforted my twins by nursing, or using the sling -- both babies in the sling when they were tiny. ~Dionne, mother of twin boys

I lay them on a big pillow side by side and hold the pillow in my lap. It seems to comfort them when they're lying close to each other. ~Debbie, mother of twins

I have learned how to rock a baby with one foot while in a car carrier on the floor to keep him from crying while attending to the other one, then we switch! ~Katina, mother of twins

I usually tended to the one who was crying the most and then went to the other. My babies were pretty happy. ~Jennifer, mother of boy/girl twins

I built muscles in places I never knew I had . . . I carried them both and did the bounce. ~Lisa, mother of twins

Since they were small, I could hold both at the same time. Sometimes I rocked one in the bouncy seat and held one. ~Lynn, mother of boy/girl twins

I hold one baby and rock the other two in their chairs with my feet. ~Julie, mother of triplets

I comforted my babies basically with the help of swings and vibrating bouncy seats; they were a lifesaver to me. I also had a snugli and would strap my fussy baby onto me so I could have two hands free to tend to the other two or do something around the house. ~Sheryl, mother of triplet girls

How can I tell the babies apart at birth if they look identical? Should I do anything special to tell them apart as they grow?

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My babies each have unique stork bites. I like to buy them outfits that are similar instead of identical. ~Maria, mother of twins

We used a fabric bracelet and painted toenails on one child. ~Julie, mother of twins

At first I ALWAYS kept them in different clothes. One day I came home and my husband had changed them and couldn't remember which was which! Luckily I remembered that Justin had a small scratch on his hand from his fingernails. From that point on, I would put a small dot of nail polish on Jared's toenail. Now that he is older, he has a mole on his back that Justin doesn't, so I don't have to do that anymore. ~Tracy, mother of twin boys

We kept their hospital bracelets on for awhile. ~Diane, mother of twins

Their heads were a different shape for the first few weeks. After that, their belly buttons looked different. One innie, one outie. ~Michelle, mother of twins

At six months, I can tell by facial expressions and their demeanor. I also, for at a glance type ID, have different looking pairs of shoes. I keep one boy in blues and the other boy in greens and yellows. ~Katina, mother of twin boys

Julianna was a little bigger, and we put a dab of nail polish on one toe! ~Libby, mother of identical twin girls



Our Multiples' FAQ:
          Section I - Suspecting and Diagnosing Multiples
          Section II - Preparing for Multiples
          Section III - Pregnancy & Childbirth
          Section IV - NICU
          Section V - Going Home/Postpartum
          Section VI - As They Grow
          Section VII - Resources
          Section VIII - Miscellaneous/Special Tips & Inspiration

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