“You’ve got two babies in there.”
When I found out I was pregnant and made my initial OB appointment, I told my husband there was no need for him to take the afternoon off work. After all, we were old pros; we’d done this before. I drove to my appointment smiling to myself, feeling excited to see my little bean on the sonogram. But my confidence faded as I watched the ultrasound tech’s face change as she looked for the heartbeat. I held my breath waiting for her to speak. When she turned the screen toward me and said, matter-of-factly, “You’ve got two babies in there,” I almost fell off the table. I was pregnant with twins? How was it possible that in a few months, I’d be babywearing twins?
The notion of twins was overwhelming. There is no history of twins on either side of our families so it just wasn’t something I ever thought could happen to us. For the first few weeks after finding out I was pregnant with twins, my mind was swarming with questions. Asher wasn’t even two years old yet and was still in diapers. How could I take care of two babies and still give him the attention he deserved? I wondered how I would I manage to continue attachment parenting, an approach so close to my heart.
As a stay at home mom, I knew that my life was about to change in some major ways. Once I got over the initial shock of two babies, I made it my mission to be as prepared as possible. I joined a local multiples group, bought a double stroller and twin nursing pillow. I read everything I could get my hands on and even took a multiples class at a nearby hospital. I spent hours watching videos about tandem babywearing, braiding and unbraiding my Wrapsody Anna hybrid wrap as I awaited my twins’ arrival.
Nevertheless, with twins, you can read all the books and do everything “right” during your pregnancy and your whole world will still be turned upside down when two perfect, squishy babies are placed on your chest together for the first time. From that moment on, it took a long time before my life returned to some sense of normalcy.
The first weeks with twins
Looking back at the first few weeks of my twins’ lives, it’s a blur of diaper changes and hours upon hours of cluster feeding. My life truly felt like an endless cycle of feed, burp, change, nap, and repeat. I was struggling with my emotions as my hormones regulated and found it difficult to juggle taking care of the babies while still meeting the needs of my toddler. I felt touched out from the constant breastfeeding and more exhausted than I ever knew was possible. When my husband’s short paternity leave came to a close, I cried because I didn’t know how I would possibly manage it all on my own.
Any twin parent will tell you the importance of finding your own rhythm, especially in the early days. Having two tiny babies makes any simple task, like grocery shopping for example, that much more challenging. Throw a toddler in the mix and it seems almost impossible. I truly had no idea how to find my way as a brand new mama of three until I finally wrapped up my babies for the first time. Their little eyes peeked up over the edge of the beautiful blue-green Anna wrap and as I walked around they started to nod off. Suddenly, much like with Kristi’s peanut butter sandwich moment, I felt empowered. I could vacuum the house, make dinner, or fold laundry, all while wearing my babies. I suddenly knew, this is how I was going to survive, and maybe even thrive. Babywearing the twins was going to be my way of meeting my children’s needs while reconnecting with myself.
Being a parent of twins is hard, no doubt about it, but babywearing my twins helped me manage all of the unique challenges that come along with two babies.
Bonding with Each Baby Individually
Initially, tandem wrapping was intimidating to me, despite having been an avid wrapper with Asher. I started off by wrapping my twins, Silas and Ezra, one at a time. I ended up really enjoying this because it provided me the opportunity to really bond with each baby. Since they were born, they had shared everything. They slept together and tandem nursed together around the clock. Babywearing provided the individual bonding time that a new mama craves but is hard to know how to manage with two infants. By wrapping one, my hands were free to tend to the needs of one baby while snuggling and doing skin to skin with the other. Even though I’m now a more experienced tandem wrapper, I still prefer to wear Silas and Ezra one at a time.
Meeting Older Sibling’s Needs
Asher dove into his role as big brother with initial apprehension that quickly turned into enthusiasm. Still, he had his moments where he struggled with all of the attention that the new babies demanded. If the babies were fussy and big brother needed some love, I would wrap up one or both of the twins on my chest, and do something special with Asher. Seeing his brothers worn so often also renewed Asher’s interest in babywearing. Although it’s becoming less frequent as he approaches his third birthday, Asher still asks to be worn from time to time. It makes me smile having my almost 35 pound toddler on my back, who still occasionally needs the extra cuddles to remind him that he is loved.
Setting a Routine
One of the biggest challenges in the early days was figuring out how to have any sort of routine with two babies and a toddler. Breastfeeding two babies on demand pretty much meant feeding all day every day. I struggled a lot to establish a nap time because when one would sleep, the other would refuse, and I was often left feeling defeated. Eventually I was able to create a naptime schedule by babywearing the baby who didn’t want to nap. I’d wrap him up on my chest, and play a little while noise while I went about my naptime tasks and magically, he would fall asleep. I did this regularly and eventually, both babies napped at the same time, which was pretty much life changing.
Babywearing Twins During the “Witching Hour”
For whatever reason, every day when about five o’clock hits, Silas and Ezra start to fuss: known to parents as the dreaded “witching hour.” When they were really tiny, it was more like ear drum shattering screams. Baby swings, bouncers, and jumpers were no help. At first, everyone’s anxiety levels were heightened during this time of day and it was incredibly difficult to get anything done. We quickly fell into a routine of carrying the twins during the evenings thanks to the pacifying effect of babywearing. Even today, when my husband finishes up with work, we each wear a baby so we can prepare dinner and get Asher ready for bed.
Protecting Them in Public
Until you are a twin parent, you don’t quite understand the spectacle you make when bringing infant twins into public. As if it isn’t hard enough to get out of the house with two infants already, now everyone wants to talk to you, ask weirdly invasive personal questions, and even (gasp!) try to touch your babies. To put it simply, babywearing allows you to protect your twins in public, whether it be from overstimulation, germs, or even just nosy strangers.
Reconnecting with Myself
The biggest reason that I advocate for babywearing is that it allows parents, especially new mamas, to reconnect with themselves at a time when they are focused so much on the needs of others around them. With two babies and a toddler, it was easy for me to lose myself in the early days and babywearing allowed me to stay centered. Babywearing gave me the confidence to leave the safe bubble of my living room and venture out into the world, thus enabling me to return to a sense of normalcy that I needed so badly after Silas and Ezra were born.
I now have twin baby carriers, SSCs, ring slings, and endless woven wraps but my Anna hybrid will forever hold a special place in my heart as the wrap that helped me along my postpartum journey. As my babies approach the six month mark, I can confidently say to other twin parents – wear your babies! It will be life changing! Wear them when they cry. Wear them so they will sleep. Wear them so you can get out of the house without your giant stroller. Wear them every day for all different reasons but mostly so you can feel like YOU again.
Some of our favorite resources for learning to wrap your twins
- An overview of wrapping your twins by Diana Rosenfield, Wrapsody Retailer, at WrapYourBaby.com
- A detailed look at the practical concerns of wearing twins by the Australian Multiple Births Association
- The “Tandem Trouble” YouTube Channel. LaKeta is a babywearing educator, writer, Wrapsody Brand Amabassador, and a mother of twins herself.
- Payal VanPatten’s “TwinMommy101” YouTube Channel. Payal is a babywearing educator, former Wrapsody Brand Ambassador, and a mother of twins herself.
Click here to buy your own Wrapsody Hybrid wrap!