First, here’s a little bit about us. My husband and I have actually been together almost 15 years, married for 8, and so we clearly took our sweet time starting our family. Well, the Man Upstairs had other plans and doubled down with identical twin girls. Surprise! We found out we were having twins on April Fools Day 2013 (no, seriously). At 38 weeks, a scheduled C yielded nearly twelve pounds of identical baby girls, Eve & Maya.
We were very lucky for so many reasons: 1) We got pregnant very easily and quickly. 2) I had a healthy pregnancy with virtually no serious problems (aside from minor, super annoying stuff like heartburn, extreme swelling, stretch marks, itching and nosebleeds). 3) We have healthy, silly and downright gorgeous twin girls, of course.
My husband is very Type A and has been militant about keeping the girls on a schedule from Day 1. They sleep and eat at the same times, every day, with very few exceptions. And honestly, I’m so glad we did it like that. The upfront work that it takes to stick to a schedule really pays off when it comes to sleep training and sleeping through the night. Even when you’re in the thick of it and you feel like screaming, “WHAT SCHEDULE?! I CAN’T!” You’re actually doing it. Keep truckin’.
OUR #TWINLIFE, BY THE NUMBERS:
Whole milk (organic because I say so): 2 bottles of 4 oz. twice per day = 16 oz.
Diapers: 4-5 per day, per baby = 8-10 diapers
Wubbanubs: These are the girls’ security blankets and BFFs. We have 8 wubbas. They are required for naps and nighttime sleep.
OUR TYPICAL DAY:
7:00 am // My alarm goes off at the same time my husband’s does. The girls are most likely already awake (since 6:30 most likely), but are chatting and chilling in their cribs. We decide who is on “stink” and who is on “drink” and we divide and conquer. “Stink” changes diapers and waits in the nursery for the one on “drink” (bottles with about 4 oz. of whole milk plus a drop of vitamin D, AND COFFEE.). We each take a baby and give them their bottles in our laps. We do this first thing in the morning and last thing before bed so it’s sort of our routine and I think it’s sweet.
8:00 am // Husband is off to work in his home office while I give the lady babies breakfast. If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll soft scramble some eggs, but most likely breakfast will consist of a whole grain waffle with sunbutter spread, fruit, maybe some oatmeal, or any number of random items in the fridge that the girls will happily eat.
8:30-9:30 am // After breakfast, we play until 9:30, when they go down for their first nap. That nap generally begins around 10:00 and lasts until 11:30 or so. During their nap, I shower and get dressed (HAHAHA!), maybe try to get some freelance work done, or go grocery shopping, and clean up from breakfast. Once I see on our video monitors that they’re both awake, I’ll head in there and change their diapers, get them dressed and play a bit more. I dress them in coordinating clothes, not matching, and we make sure Evie wears something pink pretty much every day so it’s easy to tell who’s who in a hot second.
Noon // Time for lunch, either at home or out. Because my husband works from home, we’re able to take lunch together with the girls and make sure they eat a variety of foods, which is really important to us. If we go out for Tex-Mex, they’ll have beans, rice, chicken and cheese. If we go out for sushi, they’ll have cooked egg, avocado, grilled salmon and rice. It’s a mess and we sure do leave larger tips these days, but when your mom is a food writer and restaurant blogger, you’ve got to become good eaters – or else!
After lunch until 2:30 // We run errands or play either at home or out-and-about. At home we turn on Pandora set to a custom Evie & Maya Mix and rock out to kid-appropriate tunes by artists adults actually enjoy, like Barenaked Ladies, They Might Be Giants and Lisa Loeb. A diaper change usually happens in there somewhere too.
2:30 pm // Time to go down for nap number 2. This one is a little iffy; it can be anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours, or painfully non-existent if we wait a little too long and the girls are overtired. When that happens, we know bedtime will be early that night.
3:30 – 4:00 pm // Both girls are likely up from their second nap, playing, squealing or laughing in their cribs. Either their Dad or I will go in there and change them and bring them into the living room for some playtime. My family lives in town so this is generally a good time for them to turn up and play with some babies for a while before dinner.
5:00 pm // Dinner bell! This is a new meal for us. Recently we noticed their afternoon snack was becoming more like a buffet, so we nudged their bedtime a bit later (it was 5:45-6:00 but now it’s more like 6:45-7:00) and inserted an actual dinner before our nighttime routine. Dinner is usually a protein, either leftovers from the day before or something yummy from Trader Joe’s (their current favorite is turkey meatballs), plus veggies, some sort of legume and fruit. If they’re still going after all that we’ll give them some cheese as well. These girls eat a TON!
5:30 – 6:00 pm // More time to play, or a bath if it’s bath night. These days, baths are a bit traumatic (read: they HATE it), so we make it quick and get them in their PJs ASAP so we can get bottles in their mouths. Our nighttime routine after the bath (every other night) is BOTTLE-BRUSH-BOOK-BED. We do the same thing we do in the morning with our bottles, except with lullabies playing on the Pandora and the lights dimmed. Then we brush the girls teeth with those banana training toothbrushes (which they LOVE since they’re teething like crazy right now), and then we read a book together on the couch before carrying them off to bed.
They’re in bed from around 6:45 pm until 7:15 am on average. Boom.
So I’m pretty bossy and I tend to come up with a lot of advice, but here are my favorite tips for twin parents:
The most important thing you can have as a twin parent is a sense of humor. The second most important thing is to be able to communicate with your spouse and let each other know when you're at your wit's end and that sense of humor has run out.
Expect your babies to go through different phases at different times. Sometimes one does something three days after the other one does. Some days one naps well and the other doesn't. If a phase sucks, remind yourself that it's just a phase. Everything is a phase.
Amazon! Amazon Mom, Amazon Prime and most importantly, Amazon Subscribe and Save. Amazon is our best friend, after the Brest Friend nursing pillow, of course.
Get help with sleep training. Because it sucks. But there are tons of twin moms out there who have gone through it. Find one, email or call her and let her help you. It’s cathartic for the helper mom to be able to use her hard-earned expertise to help another twin mom in need. Once you get those babies trained to sleep, the world is born anew and you can start to become human again!
Lastly, and most importantly, when it comes to raising twins (at least as long as we’ve been doing it anyway), it’s important to do what’s easiest for the parents, because the babies will turn out just fine either way. Do what works for you and makes your life easier and everyone will be happier for it.