Twin mum and Parent Approved Panellist, Laura, knows all about life with two little ones. Here, she shares some of her top tips and hacks to help other parents of multiples, and single-child parents. Read her Twin Mum Hacks...
Twins are amazing. And now my girls have turned one I am super proud of my little girl gang. BUT, they are hard work (especially during the new-born stage) because it’s double the work on half the sleep. There will be days when you think you can’t cope and days you'll feel born to be a twin mum. So I wanted to give you some tips, tricks and hacks that I wish I had known when I had the girls.
Twin Mum Hacks | 1: Create Space
When you’re pregnant you acquire so much stuff; even more stuff when it’s multiple little ones and we often pop everything in their nursery and forget about it. When I came home from hospital all their clothes were neatly hung up but I hadn’t set up my Prep Machine. I hadn’t created a space in the cupboard for their bottles. I hadn’t thought about where the nappies and wipes would live. Or the car seats when I brought them in the house. It sounds obvious but lots of us don’t actually create space for all these new items. This can be rather stressful when we first bring a new baby or two home.
Clutter and mess make me stressed. Add in two babies and my mental health plummets so I try to be organised where possible.
I had a couple of key organisation methods when the twins were really young. Firstly I would take a basket upstairs with all the things I would need in the night (bottles, milk, nappy cream, wipes, spare clothes etc.). In the morning that same basket would be filled up with used nappies and anything else that needed to go downstairs. This meant that the following evening I would have a lovely, calm bedroom instead of one filled with dirty clothes and used nappies.
Another great tip is to keep things where you need them. There's no point having to make one hundred trips upstairs when you can simply have changing stations and spare clothes dotted around the house. I absolutely hate clutter so I bought some over the door storage hangers. They lived on the back of my kitchen door, filled with everything I might need. Now the girls are at nursery I use it to store their outfits for the week. Plus other essentials I can grab in a rush such as my car keys and purse.
Twin Mum Hacks | 3: Create Routine
There isn’t a ‘one routine fits all’ with babies. That said, I think finding a routine for yourself is the most important thing. For me, that was getting up in the morning, getting dressed and getting out of the house for a long walk. The girls loved the fresh air and I could listen to a podcast and essentially have some me-time with the babies in tow. Trust me when I say this didn’t happen every single day but when it did, I felt loads better.
As you do find more of a routine with naps and bedtime, try to stick to it. Sometimes if the girls didn’t seem tired, I wouldn’t take them up for a nap. I would always live to regret it later in the day.
When the twins were new-born I would have one hour to myself. Every single night, I'd have a long hot soak, read a magazine or even just to lie down on the bed in peace. This was an arrangement me and my partner made and it really worked for us. It meant that I had some time away from the girls each day which is important (even more so with multiple babies that have different napping schedules!). It also meant my partner felt like he was contributing more; sticking to small habits like this will make sure you’re looking after yourself.
Twin Mum Hacks | 5: Prepare
Once the twins turned six months, I found that we had more of a solid routine. I could rely on them to sleep in and nap for a certain amount of time. The little things such as getting up an hour before them to prepare their bottles, breakfast and outfits just made everything run more smoothly. During their day time naps, I would get their lunch prepared and even their pyjamas just so that once they were up I had everything I needed in place.
‘Another hack for staying prepared is doing, what I like to call, #cleanin15. As soon as the babies are napping you set a 15 minute timer and do as much as you can. You will be really surprised what you get done when you just focus on cleaning for 15 minutes. Seriously, this was a life-changer for me. I then had the rest of their nap to have some me-time without feeling guilty about the housework!’
Twin Mum Hacks | 7: Streamline
Make small changes that will make your life easier. As I mentioned before I prepare the girls nursery clothes for the week but I don’t make it an extra job. I simply refill the over the door storage as I am folding the girls washing. Another tip is to keep your pram in the car if you can. That way it’s always there when you are leaving in a rush. Finally, always make more dinner than you need. You can take leftovers to work for lunch or whizz it up and freeze it for when you haven’t got time to make lunch for the babies.
I hope that by implementing a couple of these ideas it makes your life a little less stressful. It will have a huge impact on your own wellbeing. Let me know how you get on via social; I’d love to hear if any of my tips have helped.
Follow Laura at: @notjustatwinmum
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