Having twins is an incredible experience that you may be very grateful to have. However, it’s also difficult to raise twins, and it’s normal to wonder if it will always be hard.
When does raising twins get easier? While there are always challenges when parenting, raising twins gets easier as they age. As your twins hit certain milestones, you get more sleep and learn some tricks about how to parent two. This makes the journey a tad smoother even if you are still trying to manage double the chaos.
It’s important to know what you have to look forward to so that you can stay strong during the more challenging times.
When Twins Get Easier – Milestones To Celebrate
To be honest, raising twins will always present challenges. Things don’t magically get easier one day, but they do change.
As you start dealing with different issues in parenting, it can feel less stressful because you are a more seasoned parent and you are out of the very early days.
1. Improved Sleep Schedule
Getting two babies to nap and sleep at night is not easy. Sleep deprivation is what makes those early days the hardest for most parents.
Fortunately, this is not a problem that will last forever. As your children grow and start to sleep longer, you will feel more ready to face the day when they are awake.
Though every baby is different, most start sleeping longer at night around month four. This doesn’t mean they sleep straight through the night, but it does mean you might get a few consecutive hours of rest.
2. Easier Feedings
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, feeding two kids can be hard. Once you find a groove that works, life will get easier since eating is such a big part of an infant’s day.
The first month when you are trying to get your babies on the same schedule and get your milk in will feel demanding.
After that, you tend to find a groove and maybe even have backup milk pumped so someone else can do the feedings to help you.
3. Start To Notice the World Around Them
Your little ones will start to look around and notice things around them in the first few months of life. That will make interactions with them easier and more fun for you.
4. Can Sit Up by Themselves
When you don’t have to worry about your babies tumbling every time you put them down, your life is much less stressful. It’s easier to turn around for a second without worrying if someone will fall.
Sitting up independently usually happens around the 9-month mark. Remember to use your children’s adjusted ages if they were born prematurely.
5. Start To Crawl
While two mobile babies may not sound like the easiest phase, it does open up possibilities that make things easier.
For one, you can eliminate baby items you will no longer need. This frees up room in your home, which lessens stress for most parents.
Expect crawling around the 9- to 10-month mark.
6. Learn To Play With Each Other
One of the greatest parts of having twins is that each child has a built-in playmate. They won’t get along all the time, but they will have a friend to engage with regularly.
Your babies will likely interact with each other early on, holding hands while breastfeeding or wanting to be able to touch each other.
Around the six-month mark, you will notice that they engage with each other more actively, smiling, gabbing, or sharing toys.
7. Transition to Solid Food
Though only breastmilk or formula are recommended for the first six months, you can introduce baby food at the six-month mark and other options as the first year progresses.
As your children start to eat more, they will likely sleep longer. They also won’t depend on nursing as much, and that will free up time for Mom.
8. Begin Feeding Themselves
You will still need to supervise meals, but it’s much more fun when your babies can sit in high chairs and feed themselves. This can happen around 9-12 months and will make meal times less demanding for you.
9. Learn To Walk
Chasing twins who can walk counts as its own cardio, but it also means you won’t be carrying two babies everywhere you go.
Once your twins can walk, you won’t always need a stroller, baby sling, or other apparatus to move them. Your arms will also get to rest since they can use their own feet to move.
Every baby walks at their own time, but most start around the one-year mark or shortly after that.
10. Start Talking
When your kids can communicate their needs using words, your life will get easier.
Instead of always feeling the need to cry or scream, your twins will be able to express themselves in a more productive way that allows you to understand their needs.
Though most kids don’t say their first words until they are between a year and 18 months old, they tend to make fast progress in adding to their vocabulary after that.
11. Starting School
Sending your twins to school will be an emotional experience, but it will also make your time with them even more special when they are home.
Once your twins start school, you will have portions of the day to focus on things that aren’t just about meeting someone else’s basic needs.
Kindergarten starts at age five for most kids, but preschool can begin as early as age three.
Tips for Surviving the First Year With Twins
Though things do tend to get easier after the first year, you still have to find ways to make it through the first 12 months. Fortunately, there are ways to stay sane while raising twins.
- Get your twins on the same schedule.
- Keep your expectations low, and celebrate the small things.
- Find support and accept help.
Is the First Year With Twins the Hardest?
Though every parent might not agree, most twin parents will tell you that the first year of raising twins is the absolute hardest. First of all, mom has just given birth and is healing while still caring for tiny humans.
Twin pregnancies are usually higher risk than singleton pregnancies, so your twins may have extra hospital time after birth which adds stress.
Sleep deprivation, lots of crying, and general overwhelming tasks make the first year difficult with two infants.
When Does Breastfeeding Twins Get Easier?
If you’ve breastfed singletons before, breastfeeding twins might not be that difficult. Even if it’s your first time, there are some parents who have an easier time than others.
However, it’s good to give yourself time to adjust to feeding two before you decide it’s not for you. The first weeks when you are healing from birth and your milk is coming in can be difficult.
As you get a rhythm and your babies learn to latch, it gets better. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation specialist so you can get both twins breastfeeding properly.
Parenting twins will always be an adventure and a challenge. Just know that time and familiarity often makes it a smoother journey.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.