My husband and I took antenatal classes through Thomson Medical Centre. As first time parents, it was comforting to be around other anxious, soon-to-be parents and learn the basics of newborn care. Once our twins arrived, though, our classroom knowledge was forgotten and we mainly relied on our confinement nanny for guidance.
During the first month, our primary duties consisted of feeding, burping, changing diapers, bathing, and soothing. As a breastfeeding mother recovering from a C section, I also had to prioritise milk production and healing.
Establish a routine
Many twin resources recommend synchronising your twins’ schedules as soon as possible. For us, this was only feasible around 4 months, when we sleep trained our babies. The first few months were a blur, as we were learning the basics of infant care and ensuring that our twins were growing properly.
From the beginning, our boy-girl twins had very different needs and habits. We maintained a baby log to track naps, wet / poopy diapers, feeding times, and feeding volumes. You will likely have 2-3 people caring for your babies, so I strongly recommend having all caretakers log these events in order to ensure that your babies are pooping, peeing, and eating regularly. Bring these logs to your pediatrician appointments so you can give your doctor an accurate account of your twins’ activities.
We also bathed our twins daily, as the Singapore climate is unforgiving. We bought a basic plastic bath tub from our neighbourhood provision shop, and our nanny taught us how to safely bathe our babies. Your hospital will likely give you lots of baby wash samples, so try out different brands, as your children may have sensitive skin. iHerb is great for baby friendly products; 1010 Mother & Child, located in several shopping malls, carries a wide variety of baby care products as well.
Understand your babies’ needs
Most of our time during the first few months was spent on deciphering our twins’ needs by understanding their various cries. Our nanny was very experienced in infant care and showed us whether our babies were hungry, gassy, or simply wanted to be soothed. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have an experienced nanny or family member during the first month with twins. YouTube and Google are great resources, too, but with twins, hands on learning is ideal.
During the first 4 to 5 months, your babies’ digestive systems are still developing and are extremely sensitive. They will likely have some gas, so baby massage videos are very useful. We used ruyi oil (available at Guardian and FairPrice), a local remedy, during baby massage. Its main ingredient is peppermint oil, which can provide some digestive comfort.
It took us about 4 to 6 weeks to understand our babies’ cries and cues. The first month with twins will be extremely hectic, but to summarise, it is most essential to:
- Recover from childbirth. If you had a C section, take extra precautions when moving around.
- Maximise milk production if you are breastfeeding. If you are formula feeding, choose the best formula for your babies. Some babies are sensitive to lactose, so ask you paediatrician for recommendations if you notice any intolerance.
- Learn how to comfort your babies and understand their various cries. With twins, you have to learn each baby’s cues; they will be different for each baby!