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How can I care for twins?

How can I pay attention to both of my new twins?
Submitted by American Baby Team

Raising twins can make you feel like you're at the center of a three-ring circus, but trust that you will become more adjusted to them with each passing day. Just as learning to take care of your babies takes time, getting to know who they are doesn't always happen right away, either. In fact, it may take a few days to master the most basic information: which one is which! After all, even fraternal twins can look alike at first. To avoid confusion, don't remove your babies' hospital ID bands until you're sure who's who.
Tending to the needs of two newborns at once may mean that you don't fall in love as instantly as you were expecting. But this is completely normal. The more you get to know your babies as individuals, the closer and more connected you will feel to each of them. Try to notice what's unique about each one, such as the way your one baby curls her lip before she cries or the way your other startles when she hears noises. Know that within a few months, your babies will reach milestones that make life easier for you, such as sleeping through the night and holding their own bottles.
It's also important to treat your babies like distinct individuals so they begin to see themselves that way too. Giving your babies names that rhyme or sound alike may seem cute, but experts advise against it. They need to have their own special names that are not built on someone else's. It's also a good idea to talk to them individually and refer to them by name, rather than as "the twins." And as your babies get older, make sure they have their own clothes and special toys. --Pamela Kramer

Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, May 2003. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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