The first month: caring for your twins

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!

The first month: breastfeeding twins

I had a planned Caesarean section, and luckily, my recovery went smoothly. Breastfeeding twins, on the other hand, was a pain in the arse. Here are some pointers I wish I had known before giving birth.

At the hospital

I gave birth at Gleneagles Hospital, where the nurses weren’t pushy about breastfeeding, but they weren’t particularly helpful, either. There was also a lactation consultant who visited me daily, 5-10 minutes at a time. Not surprisingly, I didn’t leave the hospital feeling too confident about breastfeeding my twins.

Tip 1: Research breastfeeding before giving birth. My childbirth course barely touched on breastfeeding. Watch YouTube videos on latching and practice the motions. Read Kelly Mom and other reliable blogs.

From the first night, the nurses would wheel in my twins (who were sleeping in the hospital nursery) one by one so they could latch and stimulate milk flow. It was amazing to see them suck immediately at the breast, but boy, did it hurt! My nipples were extremely sore, neither of us knew how to latch, and the whole experience was unpleasant. By the third day, I had developed a cracked nipple.

Tip 2: Your milk will probably take a few days to come in. Don’t stress if you can’t lactate right away. Stress will suppress milk production. If latching is painful, try nursing over longer intervals so you don’t develop an aversion to nursing. Pack lanolin cream (I recommend Lanisoh since it is 100% lanolin) in your hospital bag to soothe sore nipples and to prevent them from becoming cracked. If nursing is too painful, try pumping instead.

The hospital offered me an electric pump so I could stimulate milk flow in between nursing sessions. My colostrum (concentrated milk full of antibodies and other nutrients) came in on the fourth day. I was thrilled but felt very uneasy about how to manage at home.

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Preparing for your twins in Singapore

This post was updated on 11 July 2017 with Amazon affiliate links.

In my debut post of this blog, I will summarise how to prepare the basic essentials for twins in Singapore. The subsequent posts will share how to manage your first year with twins.

Most twins are born premature, with 37 weeks considered full term. Therefore it is essential to have your baby gear and support system ready by 30-32 weeks. The earlier, the better.


At least three months before your due date, hire a live-in helper with infant care experience. During your third trimester, it will be very difficult to get any housework done. You will need about a week to train your helper, one to two weeks to assess her skills, and some time to find a replacement if needed.

Book a confinement nanny four to five months before your due date. Ask for a nanny who is experienced in caring for twins. I hired mine through an agency (Supernanny Services, one of two official agencies in Singapore), and she was fantastic. She was an excellent cook, cared for my little ones with lots of love, fed them at night, and was easy to get along with. I kept her for two months, and we still stay in touch.

Changing essentials

You will probably change thousands of diapers during your first year. Make sure that your changing station is well equipped with quality items.

Ubbi diaper pail. Expensive but great at keeping the smell out, and you can use any trash bags (we used liners from Daiso).

IKEA Stuva changing table. There is a limited variety of changing tables available in Singapore; most locals change their babies on the bed or floor. With twins, however, a functional table is essential. The IKEA Stuva coverts into a desk .

Serta changing pad and Summer Infant changing pad covers. I shopped all over Singapore for a changing pad and couldn’t find a thick, sturdy one. The Stuva changing table can fit 2 Serta pads, but don’t be naive like me and think that you’ll be changing both babies at once! Use disposable underpads for easy cleaning. Your babies are going to poop and pee like mad the first two months.

We tested several diaper brands and liked GOO.N (buy them in bulk on Lazada on Fridays for an extra discount) for daytime and Merries (often on sale at Giant or NTUC FairPrice) at night.

Tip: Don’t stock up on newborn sized diapers. Your twins will grow out of them very quickly.

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