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How to take care of them?
How important is encouragement?
Facts about twins:
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital,
New Delhi
  • From sharing the womb to discovering the world together, twins are two individuals bound to each other by nature. When a couple is told that they are expecting twins, it is not surprising if they feel a little ambivalent. Everyone knows that looking after one baby is a full time job, but two at the same time can be truly daunting. Twins may be double the trouble, but they are also double the joy. The security of twin relationship is greater than any other, and that it helps them to live with more assurance in their other relationships too.
  • How to take care of them?

    Having twins can be one of the most exciting times in one’s life. It can also be one of the most demanding too. While twins bring special joys, caring for twins is a big job. When you take the twins home from the hospital, mentally prepare yourself that it is going to be hard. You will need to make a list of priorities.

    The first few months after the babies arrive the task that faces a mother of twin babies may seem immense. From nappy-changes to breast-feeding, soothing the babies to helping them to sleep, each routine may seem twice as challenging. Having someone to help with a baby in the beginning may be a help, but with two babies to take care of, it becomes a necessity. You should try an accept help that is offered. Though this may be hard, it can make a big difference. Talk with your partner about how the duties of caring for the babies can be shared. Having both parents involved in childcare would be good for both the parents and the children.

    It will be a long time before you get a full night’s sleep, so it is best that you do not miss out on any chance to rest during the day. Expect to feel tired and have some negative feelings from time to time. Most parents of twins have moments when they feel they aren’t up to the job of caring for them. These feelings do not last for a long time. It is best to give each twin time alone with you as they need to know that they are important as individuals and not just as twins. Mothers often find that it is easier to breastfeed than bottlefeed twins. Mothers who are worried that they will not produce enough milk should ensure that they drink enough fluids and eat a proper diet. As long as the doctor feels that the babies’ weight gain is adequate, there is no reason to worry.
  • How important is encouragement?

    Just because your babies are born at the same time or look alike, does not mean that they are not individuals in their own right. It may be amusing to dress them up alike and that people cannot tell one from the other. But it is always important to remember that they are two separate beings and to treat them as such from day one. Avoid referring to them as "the twins" and use their given names. Be sure to take photographs of each child separately because at some point he will ask for a photograph.

    It is important to encourage individuality. As the children become older, try choosing different toys and encourage sharing. Build a special one-to-one relationship with each child. Look for special talents and praise them often. Twins usually have a special bond between them. Try to rear them as individuals without destroying their special bond.  Each twin should be encouraged to have his own friend’s circle and to do separate activities with his own friends. Parents of twins will have to take decisions based on the personalities and wishes of their set of twins.
  • Facts about twins:

    Twins often tend to develop at a similar pace, and may be predisposed to having similar choices e.g. in toys, food etc. but they may not be ready for sharing as yet. It may be a difficult situation to handle when both want the same thing, or when both demand something different. Twins, however, are children who get along more or less easily with each other just like other siblings. At times, twins may behave as if they are one person, thinking, speaking and moving alike. It is their separateness that needs to be emphasized. For the development of each twin, it is very important that both of you spend individual time with each baby.

    Twins have the closest degree of kinship possible for two distinctly separated individuals. A study of young twins revealed that they show more affection for each other and are less aggressive than singletons. Twins rely on each other and trust each other completely with their innermost feelings and thoughts. Even as infants and toddlers, they are able to communicate with each other by facial expressions, special signs and even special language.

    With time, the twins are allowed to grow in an atmosphere conducive to individual growth. While acknowledging the benefits of their being together, they will reach a stage when they decide to part ways.

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