advertisement
Updated 19 October 2016

What you should know before your twins or triplets arrive

Having twins or triplets is double or triple the fun – and the work – but having a game plan, say paediatricians, is a great help.

0

The number of US couples expecting twins or even triplets is on the rise, and these parents will have their hands full. Fortunately, there are many ways to prepare ahead of time, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP).

Triple the number of diapers

Keep in mind that "multiples" are often born early and tend to be smaller than the average newborn. The AAP says parents may need to visit with their paediatrician more often than usual and reach out for help with feeding concerns or strategies.

Two or three newborns also use double or triple the number of diapers. But having multiples also means fitting more safety seats into the car, more clothing, more food and possibly even a larger home, the academy pointed out in a news release.

Multiples may share everything, but they are individuals and should be raised as such, the AAP advises. Identical twins, in particular, may seem like a duo, and parents might be tempted to give them the same things and the same amount of attention. But even genetically identical children have different personalities, thoughts and emotions. The AAP urges parents to acknowledge and support their differences to help them become happy and secure individuals.

Read: Sex of twins may affect outcome

Multiple newborns often demand most of their parents' energy and attention. They are also likely to attract a lot of attention from friends, relatives and even strangers on the street. If there are other children at home, this can fuel more than the usual sibling rivalry, according to paediatric experts.

To ease this potential tension, parents can try offering older children "double" or "triple" rewards for helping with the newborns. This also helps involve them in the family routine. It's essential for older kids to have daily "alone time" with Mom and Dad, the academy suggests.

Multiples in separate classes

As multiples grow, they may form exclusive bonds and may even communicate in a way only they can understand. Sometimes, they become unwilling to seek out other friendships. Giving multiples some time apart can help them develop friendships and ensure that other siblings aren't left out, the academy says.

Read: Twins born a week apart

And efforts to encourage multiples to spend time apart should start early to head off resistance. Most elementary schools place multiples in separate classes, the news release noted. Parents who are concerned about preventing separation anxiety can turn to their paediatrician for advice.

To head off mental and physical exhaustion, the AAP urges parents to try to catch up on sleep whenever possible, and suggests couples take turns handling nighttime feedings.

In addition, if there is wiggle room in the budget, hire some extra help for routine tasks like grocery shopping. Don't be afraid to ask family or friends for a hand – even for just a few hours each week, the academy recommends.

Read more: 

Is having twins cheaper?

Taller women have twins

Moms of twins live longer

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Hello? »

SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Earworms: Let it go Is it bad to sleep with earplugs all the time?

SEE: Do women hear better than men?

The reason why men often appear not to be listening could be because they actually can't hear you.

Confident smile? »

Acidic drinks can harm your kids' smiles The facts on bleaching your teeth Am I taking good care of my teeth?

Why are my teeth stained?

We know the rules – brush your teeth twice a day and floss to keep them healthy. But, have you ever wondered what causes those stains that sometimes appear?