Planning For Twins: A Real Mom's Story

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: March 02, 2024
I have been seeing info in different online mom groups where expectant moms of twins ask other twin moms for their best advice in getting ready for their new baby. It made me curious. How are moms really preparing for life with TWO babies? Especially if it's their first time as a parent?

I was lucky enough to talk with Megan about her experience becoming a twin mom.

What were the most reliable sources of information and support you found helpful when preparing for twins? Ie, books, websites, FB groups, etc

During my pregnancy, I was on BabyCenter non stop following along with how my babies were growing and developing. I was in twin groups there, as well as in groups for babies due in April. Due to a loss I had previously, I was also seeing a high-risk specialist and my OB regularly so they were a great source of support and information.

Can you share any specific adjustments you had to make to your home to accommodate twins?

We turned one of the bedrooms into a nursery and had the boys together in a room. They stayed together until they transitioned into full sized beds around pre-k. To this day, they prefer sleeping in the same room, though. We also converted our attached garage into a den for the boys to have a dedicated play space.

What essential items did you find most useful for managing twins in the early months?

We didn’t really buy anything out of the ordinary or specifically made for twins, aside from the double stroller. We had the baby swings and bouncers, boppies, etc. The most important thing was to have a safe place to put them. This was essential bc there were endless times where I would be taking care of one of the babies and I needed the other to be comfortable and safe until it was his turn. We used a pack and play with the raised bed part in the living room to help with this, too. 

Were there items you thought you’d need as a twin mom but ended up not using?

We didn’t register for or buy too much because we knew everything times 2 would take up a ton of space and become very expensive. We stuck to the true essentials and really used everything.

(If you did) how did you use extra help and support after your twins were born?

My mom was a lifesaver when my boys were born! I’m very self reliant and don’t like to ask for help but she was able to tell when I was just desperately in need of a break. She would come and take them for a walk in their stroller while I showered and just sat for a bit. She brought me food in the hospital and at home and just talked to me every day.
When my boys were born, one was put in the NICU for about 10 days until he was able to regulate his own temperature. On day 5, we left the hospital with one baby. That very day, he ended up being rushed to the ER bc his temp dropped, too. As I was recovering from a c-section, I started to physically struggle to be at the hospital going back and forth from the NICU to see Isaiah and the pediatrics ward 5 floors up to see Matty. I was also struggling to produce milk and was up pumping every 3 hours around the clock. There was a day while they were both still in the hospital that I physically couldn’t even walk bc of the pain and my mom went and spent the whole day going back and forth to my boys so neither would be alone. She was my rock.


What advice do you have for setting up a support system before the twins arrive?

My biggest advice would be to take people up on their offers to help. I didn’t accept a lot of help and if I had, it would have made those tough days easier. I put on a tough face and pushed through with just my hubby. My mom was the only one I would allow to help me.


In terms of feeding, sleeping, and routines, what strategies worked best for your twins?

I am a teacher and when they were born, I didn’t go back to work until the next school year when they were about 6 months old. My husband was back at work so I managed their care all day. During the night, we each took one baby on our side of bed (not in the bed, next to it) and took responsibility to wake up with our “assigned” baby. During the day, it was really important to me to have them on the same schedule. I wasn’t super strict about a schedule but whatever we were doing, we were all doing it. I bottle fed them whatever I could pump for 9 months and then supplemented with formula. This allowed me to feed them together. They would get changed together and nap at the same time, too. This worked really well for me.


How did you balance time between your twins and any other children or responsibilities?

The boys are our only children so they were able to have our undivided attention. My work schedule allows me to spend a lot of time with them, too.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced with twins, and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges was making sure that they were both getting exactly what they needed at all times. Not just meeting their basic life needs, but they are very different people and I always wanted and want them to be their own individual selves. The challenge has always been meeting the needs of their personalities without them seeing the differences in what I was giving them as being unfair. It’s giving them equal love and attention that may look different for each. Now that they are 8 going on 9, they understand it a lot better bc they see each other as separate people. They recognize their personality differences. For a long time, however, there was a really hard balance in being able to manage that part. 


Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in preparing for or caring for your twins?

I would have slowed down and really taken it all in. It felt like we were just in survival mode for the first year and, although we did love it, it was a whirlwind and I wished I remembered more of the details of those beautiful days. 

How did you maintain your own well-being and relationship with your partner during the transition to twin parenting?

If I’m answering honestly, I didn’t take care of my own well-being. I loved these babies so fiercely that nothing mattered and I didn’t not take any time for myself. My husband and I were both exhausted and that resulted in a lot of arguing. But we also had all of this incredible time together just being with our boys and loving the family we built. We had only been married for less than a year when the boys were born and in our house for about a year and a half so there were a lot of major changes that we didn’t have the time to grow into together. There were adjustments on both sides that we happily made but not without some bumps.


What financial considerations should parents of twins be aware of and prepare for?

Twins are so expensive! I know that isn’t a shock to most as all babies are expensive. The cost of diapers, wipes, formula, clothes is staggering. We are learning that they don’t get cheaper as they get older either! Haha. If possible, start a savings plan right away for the twins so that there is something building for them as they get older. That’s my best financial advice!

Can you recommend any products or services that became indispensable to you as a parent of twins?

It’s such a simple thing but Amazon Subscribe & Save. The diapers and wipes and anything else you need regularly just show up at your door so you never have to worry about running out. They also ended up being a bit cheaper at the time. 

What were some unexpected joys and rewards of raising twins that you've experienced?

Our boys are literally the best of friends. The feeling that I have hearing them chat and laugh and play together is unmatched. It’s literally like a tugging in my heart. Now that they are older, they will be sitting on the couch, and without noticing, they will be leaned into each other, heads together watching tv. They take care of each other, too. When one is sick, the other gets him anything he needs to be comfortable, lets him pick the show to watch, charges his phone for him, etc. The pure love between them is the most amazing thing I could imagine.

Finally, what's your top piece of advice to parents expecting twins, something you wish someone had told you?


I would say to really take the time to appreciate the moments when they are new. It flies by so quickly because you’re just trying to keep them safe, happy, and healthy. Also, as hard as it is, make the time for yourself to do what makes you feel relaxed and happy. Don’t let the mom-guilt stop you from taking care of yourself. And it does get infinitely easier!

Similarly, what is a piece of advice someone offered you that you brushed off but wish you hadn’t?

I don’t know if it’s advice but I do wish that I had accepted more help.


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Category: Stories & Advice For Parents , Postpartum Planning
Tags: postpartum , twins , NICU


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