Twins’ First Year: A New Challenge Every Month

My boys are about to turn one, hooray! Like all parents at this stage, we will be celebrating their first year, but also our own survival. We made it… high five, cake and champagne all round (don’t worry, I know I’m European but I won’t be giving the babies champagne).

newborn-twins

Twin or singleton, Baby’s first year is something special. I chose that word carefully because there’s lots of joy but plenty of trouble. With every problem you solve, another emerges and those little ones never fail to catch you by suprize. Here’s my month by month guide to first year challenges.

0 Months Old: Feeding

I really did intend to breastfeed my twins… I bought the giant pillow and everything. But despite hospital boob boot-camp I still struggled to master the ‘double football hold’. Partly because I’m not wonder woman, and partly because how the hell do you pick up a floppy newborn with one hand?

Then there’s the fact the boys were born at 36wks. Little did I know that preemie babies aren’t the best feeders, so despite trying boobs, pumping, formula and general desperation, I couldn’t get my boys to stop losing weight. It took each baby an hour to feed, and I couldn’t get more than a few drops in for the first week… so tough! Of course once they got going they became chunky monkeys, but even by the end of the first month it took me a whole episode of Midsummer Murders to feed them both. What do new Moms do without Netflix?

twins first year

But it’s not all bad:

I have two gorgeous happy healthy babies and I can breathe again… no more sleeping upright!

1 Month Old: Sleep

Sleep deprivation is by far the most challenging and cruel affliction a baby brings to their parents in the first year. Although you get less sleep in the first month, it’s during month two you convince yourself you can function as a normal human being… you are wrong. It’s during month two you will invite family and friends to visit and gaze through sunken eyes past them into space as they ask you irritating questions like “Are they sleeping through the night?”.

So was sleep deprivation worse with two? Honestly, I believe there is a limit to what sleep deprivation you are even aware of… once you’re at bat-shit crazy it really makes no difference.

twins-2-months

It’s not all bad:

They’re gaining weight and look totally cute when they snuggle up to each other.

2 Months Old: Crying

By this point those little tikes are alert, have found their voice and know how to use it. Now you’re beyond basic survival it’s time to start making some actual parenting decisions. Should we let them cry it out? Should we let them sleep in the bed (again)? Maybe try rocking them to sleep? Let them sleep in their swing chair until they’re 18 years old? Pacifier? Comfort blanket? Someone help… Google?

twin-3-months

It’s not all bad:

Between the crying spells, the twins smiled for the first time…such a magic moment!

3 Months Old: Sickness

You know that at some point during the first year big sister is going to bring back the playground plague and infect the rest of the family. With twins you have two choices on how to approach sickness:

  1. When one gets sick make sure they dribble all over the other one as quickly and thoroughly as possible just to get it all over and done with.
  2. Separate them, sterilize everything and hope for the best.

We went with option 2 and failed. Sure enough, just as one got better, the other one got sick and so did I, so it felt like an endless battle.

twins-4-months

It’s not all bad:

They are laughing, playing with toys and have become so much fun!

4 Months Old: Routine

At this point the boys were sleeping well and I started to feel like I could take on the world. However, in order to do that I would need a solid routine. I spent a lot of time and energy freaking out about regimented nap times and trying to keep the boys in sync. Of course most days they would start together at 6am like clockwork, but by the end of the day one’s had three naps, the other’s had four and you can’t remember which one you need to put to bed first.

twins-notice-each-other

It’s not all bad:

They’re starting to interact… gah, I can’t handle the cuteness!

5 Months Old: Sleep Regression

At some point during month five, the boys both decided they preferred sleeping on their tummies. Fine with me… except they would roll over, get stuck and cry for help because they hadn’t quite worked out how to roll back the other way. Once manually flipped, I had about 5minutes before the process started all over again. This was fairly shorted lived, but unfortunately the twins’ new skills weren’t quite coordinated, so once Arthur had stopped being a pain in the butt, George started doing it. Boys – Mama’s glad you’re learning, but I’ve only just remembered what 6hrs sleep feels like.

twins-6-months

It’s not all bad:

Rolling is the first real baby trick isn’t it? They’re full of new skills and so pleased about it too!

6 Months Old: Solids

Just when you thought it was safe to leave the house… your babies need to start ‘solids’. I say the term loosely because there is nothing solid about what goes in… or comes out. We were fairly traditional with our approach, pureed bananas, avocado, sweet potato and pears, all resulting in a lot more washing. Washing of clothes, washing of furniture, washing of yourself. I soon learnt to do the mirror check before I went out. Do I have green slop on my breasts? Will anyone mistake my suspicious hair crust for a ‘Something About Mary’ moment?

twins-6-months-highchair

It’s not all bad:

I love watching them try new foods and they look totally adorable with slop all over their face!

7 Months Old: Early Mornings

Although the tummy sleeping had been mastered some time ago, by this point the twins had decided 4.15am was official morning time. We were in the middle of summer, which didn’t help, but despite black-out blinds, the classy towel-nailed-over-the-window method and a third layer of curtains, those boys would not sleep past 4.15am. Were they too hot? Were they too cold? Did they need more dinner? Did they need to go to bed later? Would they go back to sleep if I just rolled over and turned off the monitor? Nothing made any difference… 4.15am. This went on for 3 months and soon I realised the only solution was just put myself to bed at 8pm.

twins-7-months

It’s not all bad:

They can sit up unassisted at last so Mom can stop freaking out about developmental milestones (for now).

8 Months Old: Screaming

Arthur gained himself a new first year skill – screeching to such a volume and pitch that it made his brother cry. George was not a fan of the screaming and neither was I. His favourite time to do this would begin during dinner and onwards towards bedtime. I often ended up separating them, having one downstairs and one up, just to stop the carnage. But don’t worry, eventually George learnt to give as good as he gets and then they were the best of buds again.

twins-8-months

It’s not all bad:

The babies had their first swim and first trip to the beach!

9 Months Old: Teething

So much drool. Bibs help a little but it was still a month of 6-8 outfits a day between them… how do they even produce that much drool? And the trouble with identical twins is they get their teeth at the exact same time… so two dribbly upset babies is it. Thank goodness for drugs.

twins-9-months

It’s not all bad:

They’re finally starting to crawl! Development freak out no. 395 over.

10 Months Old: Crawling

We call their crawl ‘the-wounded-soldier’ because it’s a commando crawl using only one leg. The other leg drags behind, so the whole movement suggests they are pulling themselves to safety with a bullet in the leg. Crawling is a first year mega milestone, but it brings with it baby-proofing. The dog water bowl and the wine rack are their new favourite toys and they are naturally magnetized to anything sharp and pointy. Yep, they’re mobile – this shit just got real.

twins-10-months-standing

It’s not all bad:

They’re pulling themselves up! Development freak out no. 482 over.

11 Months Old: Climbing

Once I had worked out the danger zones in the house, mainly by trial and error which I wouldn’t recommend, things took as sudden turn. I was busy in the kitchen, listening to them giggle to each other suspiciously. Sure enough when I turned the corner they were both half way up the stairs… out of nowhere, they could climb. My personal favourite is when they try to climb your leg, if both of them do it at the same time it creates an overwhelming sense of love claustrophobia, and extraction can be surprisingly difficult.

twins-11-months
Taken by Sara Waterman Photography, Arizona.
It’s not all bad:

They absolutely love each other’s company which is not only heart melting but also very useful when you want a cup of tea in peace.

12 Months Old: ?

This first year really has been crazy, but everyday it blows my mind how amazing all three of my children are. Who knows what challenges and milestones this next month and year will bring… but I can not wait to find out.

Happy Birthday Boys.

 


This post is linked up here:

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
Hot Pink Wellingtons

13 Comments

  1. Your boys are such cuties!! This brings back memories… The first year of raising my boys went by so fast. Mine are almost two and its so hard to remember what it was like!! the first year was definitely a very hard year but I miss it haha. You are doing such a wonderful job xx
    #sharingthebloglove

  2. Your boys are just adorable! Congratulations on making it through the first year, it feels like such an achievement, it must be even more so with two! Mine did that same commando crawl, I thought it was hilarious and was a bit put out when he finally started crawling properly! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

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