Keeping Things Straight During the First Few Months with Twins

Keeping Track of Who's Who and What's What


Excerpted from The Everything Twins, Triplets and More Book by Pamela P. Fierro (Adams Media, 2005)

With more than one baby in the house, it can be tough to keep track of all the details. Who ate what and when and how much? Was it Twin A who had a dirty diaper this morning or Twin B? Did you give all three babies their medicines or did someone get a double dose? Staying organized and having a system for record keeping are important skills for new parents of multiples.

With your brain befuddled by lack of sleep, your first task is to remember which baby is which. If your multiples are identical, that can be tricky. Even dizygotic multiples can have remarkably similar appearances as newborns. The first step in keeping things straight is to make each baby easily identifiable at first glance. Some parents find it helpful to dress each multiple in a designated color. If color coordinating their wardrobe seems too complicated, consider other apparel clues: distinguishing hats, booties or pacifier clips.

E-ALERT: There’s one downside to color-coding: eventually your babies will get undressed! If you rely too steadily on clothing cues, you’ll likely become very confused when they’re naked, for example, at bath time. Just in case, you can paint one tiny toe with a small dab of nail polish as a hint.

Many parents of monozygotic – or identical – twins worry that they won't be able to tell their twosome apart.

Veteran parents, however, acknowledge that it’s not as difficult as you would think. Even though identical twins have similar physical appearances, those that know them intimately will have no trouble distinguishing them. There are exceptions, of course. Everyone gets mixed up occasionally when they are bleary-eyed from lack of sleep!

Once you can easily identify each baby, you’ll need an organized system of tracking their vital information. Many parents rely on a chart similar to the one found in Appendix B (of The Everything Twins, Triplets and More Book). During the first weeks at home, it’s vital to track crucial information about the babies’ intake and output. If you are establishing breastfeeding, you’ll want to keep track of how long each baby fed, and a chart is very handy for keeping track of the alternating feedings. As gross as it sounds, monitoring the babies’ diaper debris can help you ensure that they are getting proper nutrition and that their brand-new digestive systems are functioning properly. This is another instance where a chart or written record comes in very handy. Find a process that works for you and your family. You want a system that allows you to record important information without become cumbersome or an inconvenient burden.

Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2005, F+W Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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