Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Fashion For (Twin) Tots

I don't know about you but I'm so excited for Jude & Sloane to wear short sleeves, shorts, and dresses again!  Whenever I get them dressed in the morning (...or afternoon, depending on how slow the day is going), I try to coordinate their outfits.  My Type-A personality gets a little stressed if they clash.

I put together outfits from some of my favorite children's stores (with different price points) for six different occasions.  Hope you find something that inspires you this season!

Earth Day Party (Peek Kids and Freshly Picked)
For Her: Top | Jeans | Moccasins
For Him: Top | Shorts | Moccasinsis

Play Date at the Park! (Baby GAP)
For Her: Top | Shorts | Sandals
For Him: Top | Pants | Loafers

Great Look for Less (Target)
For Her: Dress Set | Sandals
For Him:  Top | Shorts | Shoes

A Day At The Beach (Old Navy)
For Her: Hat | Swimsuit | Flip Flops

Easter Sunday (Zara)
For Her: Dress | Cardigan | Shoes
For Him: Top | Jacket | Pants | Shoes

All About Twins! (Mini Boden)
 For Her: Our Little "Pair": Dress | Flats
For Him: Double (Decker) Trouble: Top | Pants | Shoes

What will your kiddos be wearing this spring?

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Erika Lee

If you'd like to contribute, email us at and we'll get you started!

Name: Erika Lee

Where do you currently live (city/state)? McKinney, TX
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 8 weeks

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Scheduling: First Few Months

Disclaimer: The parenting tips on this post are ideas and opinions of the author.  The information provided is intended to offer guidance and encouragement.  It is not professional advice.  Unless being a mom makes you a professional, in which case it is professional advice. :)

When we first brought the twins home from the hospital, a lot of people asked if we put them on a schedule. I would look them square in the eye and say, "We don't have a choice."  And I truly meant what I said.  In order for us to get any sleep, a schedule was absolutely necessary.  Otherwise, we would be up every 30-45 minutes day and night.  Try that for a week and tell me a schedule is silly.

I didn't read many books during my pregnancy but I did seek advice from several friends and almost all recommended Eat/Play/Sleep.  This cycle can help babies be more alert during playtime, differentiate day from night, and not rely on food in order to sleep.  In the beginning, the twins spent 25% of the time eating, 5% of the time playing, and 70% of the time sleeping.  We didn't wake them if they fell asleep while nursing, but when they did stay awake we used those precious moments to play (tummy time, etc.).  Jude and Sloane were large babies so the doctors did not require us to feed them a certain amount each day--we let them tell us when they were ready.  It just so happened they wanted to eat every three hours.

After hearing from others, I think we had two amiable babies.  They loved and took to a schedule quickly.  And while I'm a huge advocate of schedules, there are a few drawbacks.  For instance, my babies have always gone down for naps without a problem.  However, their bodies are so trained to the specific naptimes that if it's 30 minutes later than normal they are completely freaked out.  That is not good when church runs over or you're stuck in traffic.  "Flexible" is not a word any of us understand. 

When new parents want to know about scheduling, I think they're really asking, "How do you get your babies to sleep longer during the night?"  I'm going to offer a few tips that helped us and then I'd love to hear from you.

1.  Find a swaddle you love.  We were given so many swaddling blankets and Jude & Sloane punched their way out of all of them.  Also, swaddling during the day is no big deal.  Try swaddling two babies at 3 am--suddenly you have two left arms and you can't remember if a triangle has three sides or four.  Once we discovered the Summer Infant SwaddleMe we all slept better.  I've also heard great things about the woombie.  Velcro and zippers are your friends.

2.  Moms are going to hate me and dads are going to love me for this one:  If you are breastfeeding, get them out of your room as soon as possible.  My pediatrician explained it perfectly: You know when you walk into a house and the owners have been baking cookies all afternoon?  Suddenly you can't think about anything but cookies.  If you're nursing and are sleeping in the same room with your babies, your scent is all they can think about--sleep is no longer a priority.  Once the twins were out of our room, we ALL slept better.  (FYI: We moved them to their cribs when they were two months old.)

3.  If one baby wakes up to eat, wake the other baby as well. I always considered "Eat" to be the first in the cycle so if we were off at some point (one baby fell asleep quicker than the other, etc.), they always got back in sync when it was time to eat.  This can apply to breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

4.  Jude & Sloane had their days and nights confused the first week home from the hospital.  This came as no surprise to us because they were constantly partying through the night when I was pregnant.  I was advised to cluster feed (nurse several times back to back) the few hours before we put them down for the night and that would help them recognize the difference (full belly = sleepy time).  Once again, same is true for bottle-feeding.

5.  In the very beginning we let them sleep on us, on the sofa, on the floor, on the kitchen counter (just kidding), but when we moved them to their cribs, that is where they slept.  Once expectations are set ("naps are always in your crib") the schedule thrives.  With twins, some sleep better right next to each other, while others are better with their own space.  Ours preferred to be close to one another when they were newborns, but it wasn't long before we noticed they slept better in their own pack-n-plays/cribs.  I truly think this is a twin-specific decision.  The only thing I know is they need to be in their own space before they are rolling over.

6.  We didn't rock our babies to sleep.  You better believe we cuddled with them throughout the day and held them when they were awake, but when it was time for bed, we put them in their cribs (or pack-n-plays for the first two months), turned out the light and let them sleep.  This allowed them to keep the same schedule.  If you rock them separately they're no longer going to bed at the same time. 

As with everything, parenting is so personal and what works for one family doesn't work for another.  The above tips are what worked for our family.  Even if you follow all of the tips I mentioned, your babies may still fight a schedule.  That is why there are five million right ways to parent.  And what makes it so special is you know your children better than anyone else in the world so what you think is best... IS BEST.   Good luck and here's to sleeping through the night!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

First Foods: The Basics

Babies grow more rapidly in their first year of life than they will any other stage of development.  How and what you feed your little(s) is among the most important decisions you'll make as a new parent.  Technically there is no "right" age to introduce solids to your babies- truth be told, every baby and that baby's needs are completely different.
At Parker and Jolie's four month check up, our pediatrician suggested that we start the girls on rice cereal.  Not, by any means, to replace a "milk meal," but in addition to, simply supplementing at one of their feeding times with just about a tablespoon of rice cereal mixed with about two ounces of breastmilk. At that point the girls were still not on the growth charts.  Although the lines were trending up, we really wanted to see if we could boost their weight gain.  I was very apprehensive, but our pediatrician reassured me that it is perfectly acceptable to introduce basic solids at that early of an age.  Plus, it is great for the motor development that they would need when it is time to transition into other foods.  With two babies to make that transition at the same time, I was all about making it easier.  Every parent is different--Meredith waited until six months before introducing rice cereal to her twins.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Meredith Haynes

We were blown away by the number of birth stories we've received so far!  If you'd like to contribute, email us at and we'll get you started!

Name: Meredith Haynes

Where do you currently live (city/state)?  Lewisville, TX
How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 6 weeks!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tandem Breastfeeding

I'd like to preface everything I'm about to say with this: I am not a lactation consultant or a doctor.  However, I am passionate about breastfeeding and will do everything I can to offer suggestions and encouragement if it's something you choose to do. 

I'd also like to clear up a big lie: Breastfeeding (if done correctly) doesn't hurt.  That's ridiculous.  It hurts.  I can't even begin to describe how uncomfortable it is in the very beginning.  I'm not sharing this to scare you, but I think it's important to understand that even when it's done correctly it can still hurt.  I know many who have given up because it was painful so they assumed they were doing it the wrong way.  I called my pediatrician one afternoon because I'd pumped an entire bottle before realizing the milk was pink due to blood. (FYI: It was fine to give the bottle to the twins.)  That?  Was painful.  However, I nursed my twins for 15 months.  I'm not sharing this to brag--I'm letting you know I breastfed correctly... and it still hurt.  The moral of the story: The pain subsides and the result is so worth it.

Now that I've hopefully cleared up an urban legend, let's talk about tandem breastfeeding (nursing two babies at the same time).  We will have a Top 10 Favorites post dedicated to nursing must-haves, but I will go ahead and throw out the big one right now:  The My Brest Friend Twins Plus Nursing Pillow is essential.  It is a game changer.  My only complaint is its ridiculous name (I still apologize when I tell someone what it is called--for some reason I feel partially responsible).  It will henceforth be referred to as "The Nursing Pillow" (TNP) because I just can't type its actual name without feeling like a fool.

I think the easiest way to explain tandem breastfeeding is step-by-step instructions.

At the Hospital
1.  Bring TNP to the hospital.  Otherwise, you will be strategically placing six pillows around your poor body every three hours.

2.  Ask your lactation consultant to show you how to tandem nurse.  I loved my lactation consultant but she wasn't going to show me until I repeatedly asked her.  Unless you hire a night nurse, you will never have the luxury of having a specialist right there beside you.  Take advantage of her (but always say thank you).

3.  Download an app on your phone that keeps track of nursing sessions.  I used "Total Baby."  During the first few months you are running on fumes so the last thing you want to do is remember when you last nursed and which twin was on each side.  This keeps track of everything for you.  Here's a screenshot of my nursing schedule for Jude when they were three weeks old:

At Home
1.  At first, tandem breastfeeding is a bit like a 7th grade dance.  It's awkward, no one knows where to put their hands, and you're just counting the minutes until it's over.  The best thing you can do is have everything in place before you begin.  That includes the following:
a. TNP
b. A boppy (used to support one baby while you're burping the other)
c. A huge glass of water
d. Your phone with the app pulled up
e. One or two additional pillows (While I rave about TNP, I still needed an additional pillow for balance.  It's hard to explain but you'll see what I mean once you're there.  Without an extra pillow you're bound to have at least one twin roll off.  I'm kidding.  Sort of.)
f. Two burp cloths
g. Your husband (if he's available)
h. Your twins (they're essential for this process to be successful)

2.  Change their diapers.  We always changed them before I nursed in case they fell asleep directly after.  We stuck to the eat/play/sleep schedule but in the very beginning, "play" can last as little as five minutes.

3.  Put two burp cloths on TNP--they will be used while you're burping the babies but are also nice to keep leaks and spills from getting on TNP.  Once you're "locked in,"  put each twin on TNP with their foreheads almost touching and their bodies following the curve of the pillow (it's called the "football hold").  I put them down on their backs and would "roll" them towards me when I latched each baby. Jude had an excellent latch from the very beginning while Sloane did not.  I would latch Jude first because he would get things going (ahem), and that would entice Sloane. 
NOTE: I remember watching a YouTube video on how to tandem nurse and was thoroughly annoyed because the lady put her twins next to her body and it was like a magnetic force--they latched effortlessly and immediately.  I'd just spent 15 minutes trying (unsuccessfully) to get Sloane to latch.  As I mentioned above, it gets easier.  I promise.

4.  When they are about halfway through a nursing session (the time is different for everyone, but in the beginning mine nursed for 25 minutes total), I would stop to burp.  Once they were both unlatched, I moved Jude to the boppy.  Then I picked up Sloane and burped her using the burp cloth that had been under her head.  Once Sloane was burped, I put her on TNP, picked up Jude from the boppy, put him on TNP, and then moved Sloane to the boppy.  Then I would burp Jude.  Once Jude was burped, I put him on TNP, picked up Sloane and put her back on TNP.  The boppy is not entirely necessary but I felt more comfortable burping a baby and not having to worry about balancing the other on TNP.  If your husband is available, by all means, take advantage of his help and let him burp one baby while you burp the other.

5.  Now that both babies are back on TNP, continue breastfeeding for the remainder of the time. 
NOTE:  If Jude started on my right side, he ended on the right.  However, I switched sides each feeding.  If Jude nursed on my right side at noon, he nursed on my left side at 3p.  Once again, this is why having a phone app is so important!  Who has time to remember that?!

6.  When they are finished nursing, repeat step #4.  In the beginning, the entire process lasted around 45 minutes.

A few tips:
1.  Michael woke up during the night and helped with every feeding.  The extra hands were invaluable.  While I was gathering everything listed in step 1, he was already working on step 2 (changing the babies).  We always split burping duties, which made it go by so quickly.

2.  Tandem nursing helps with scheduling.  If one baby wakes up and is ready to nurse, wake the other baby up.  I know they say "never wake a sleeping baby" but they must've never had twins.  Hurumph.  It didn't take long before the twins were both on the same schedule and I no longer had to wake one.  Trust me, they will go back to sleep just fine.  No permanent damage done.

3.  DON'T FORGET TO EAT.   Breastfeeding twins burns a ridiculous amount of calories.  Eat.  And then eat some more.  And then eat a little bit more. 

4. This is not a tip--this is just a sweet picture of my babies at one-week-old.  They'd just finished tandem nursing and were passed out on TNP.  To this day it is one of my favorite pictures of them!

Like everything else, tandem nursing takes some time to get used to but before long you'll be breastfeeding like the lady on YouTube.  My twins tandem nursed until they were a little over three months old.  I had BIG babies and they outgrew TNP quickly.  I could have done it another month but by that point I enjoyed nursing them one at a time.  Most moms of twins are able to tandem nurse far longer.

Here's a picture of Jude and Sloane after exclusively breastfeeding for six months.  I'd say they enjoyed it as much as I did.  Check out those rolls! :)

Jude and Sloane at 15 months--these pictures were taken the week before I stopped breastfeeding (they're now 16.5 months). 

 Did you tandem breastfeed?  If so, what tips/tricks can you offer the group?

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Pregnancy Bed Rest

Twin pregnancy was the most exciting yet fearful 37 weeks (and one day!) of my life.  The first month I scoured the internet searching for anything and everything about twins (and babies) in general.  Finding out I was pregnant put me into panic mode and every pain in my belly, or cramp, or cough (seriously) made for a second guess and a quick Google search.  Soon after reaching that 14 week mark and graduating to the second trimester, I gained confidence in myself and my pregnancy.  FREEDOM.  Finally.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Amber Massey

Every Friday we will be featuring a Twin Birth Story! We're each going to share our own and then we'd love to share yours! If you'd like to contribute, email us at and we'll get you started!

Name: Amber Massey

Where do you currently live (city/state)?  Argyle, Texas

How far along were you when you found out you were expecting twins? 6 weeks and 2 days! We did a single round of Clomid (50mg) and went in for the follow-up sonogram after I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks. SO excited and pretty shocked when the sonographer nonchalantly said, "Well... how do you feel about twins?"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thank You!

WOW.  We were so overwhelmed by the positive response after introducing Twin Talk yesterday! Thank you so much for sharing our excitement--we are humbled by your kind words and encouragement.  So many of you told us you've been looking for a place like this and we truly hope Twin Talk fills that void.

When we met to discuss March's calendar we looked at each other with wide eyes.  Where do you even begin?  It's not for lack of content--our list of topics is a mile long--but it's a bit like drinking water from a fire hose. 

And so we decided we'd start at the very beginning: Pregnancy.  If you're past that point, fear not.  We have full plans to cover everything twin-related.  Some topics will be lighthearted while others will be quite serious.  There is nothing funny about sleep deprivation, am I right? :)

Simply put, we are so thrilled you've joined us.  As a thank you, we've teamed up with Freshly Picked moccasins and are giving away TWO pairs of moccs ($120 value).  Visit our Instagram page for more details (@twintalkblog).

Tomorrow on Twin Talk we're discussing our maternity favorites! Leave a comment below and let us know what your maternity must-haves are/were (clothing, item, book, etc.)!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Welcome To Twin Talk!

When Amber and I each found out we were pregnant with twins, we began the eternal search for information.  It took about a week to realize it was a lost cause.  Pregnancy books devoted a paragraph to twins and most of the information online was outdated.

We quit the search and put away the books.  It was frustrating and scary to walk into a brand new adventure feeling so unready and alone.  Halfway through our pregnancies, Amber and I met through our personal blogs and began following each other's journeys.  We found reassurance in one another as we were going through the same experiences at the same time.  We understood what it was like to get wide-eyed looks at the grocery store, "Are they natural?" questions from complete strangers, and the financial strain of buying two of everything.

We wanted a place for all twin moms to connect like we did.  And then we each had two newborn babies and didn't sleep for three months (who are we kidding, it was at least six... or twelve).  Throughout our twins' first year, Amber and I regularly texted and emailed.  We shared tips, tricks, and encouragement from one twin mom to another.  Fellow twin moms began reading our blogs, seeking advice and, most of all, support.

Right around the time our twins turned one I told Amber my desire to start a blog where twin moms could go for infor
mation and encouragement.  Amber was on board immediately and together we've spent the last few months putting this plan into action.

While we'll share everything we've learned thus far, we want Twin Talk to be a place where everyone can contribute.  The intent of this blog is simple: Twin moms supporting one another.  Whether that be through blog posts, twin birth stories, or giveaways (we'd love to support small businesses owned and run by other twin moms!), there is finally a place for us.  Written by us. 

And we could not be more excited! 

This afternoon we'll announce our very first giveaway on Instagram!  Please share Twin Talk with anyone you know who has (or is expecting) twins.  You can also find us on Instagram (@twintalkblog), Facebook, and Pinterest.  And don't forget to follow us on Bloglovin!We're TWIN moms. And this is where we TALK about it. 
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