Your first year with twins: Crying

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Twins crying_rex
Having one baby that's crying all the time is enough to drive any mother to distraction but two screaming babies can quickly become too much to cope with. The most important thing is to not be afraid to ask for help. If your partner left most of the feeding and changing to you with previous children, he can't do that this time around. If he's reluctant to help, tell him you need him to. If you're a single parent, draw upon family members or close friends - anyone that offers to lend a hand.

Expert advice

'Don't be proud. Accept all offers of help whatever it might be. Your main priorities are your babies so if somebody wants to clean up or cook for you then let them! You can't be superwoman and if you turn people down early on, they're likely to not bother asking again.'
Founder of and mum of twins, Lindsey Gray

Time with your health visitor will be invaluable. They can show you techniques for feeding and caring for your twins. It can be hard leaving one baby to cry, but when you've only got one pair of hands, sometimes that will have to happen and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. By explaining things like this and just giving you some time to bond with your children individually your health visitor will be a massive help.

Expert advice

'Don't panic. My husband once said to me when I was in a bit of a flap ''You're older than they are, you're in charge!" and it's true. As long as there's not some sort of emergency it's not the end of the world if they're crying. You just need to try and stay calm.'
NCT breastfeeding counsellor and mum of twins, Nena Blake

There will inevitably be some points when you're on your own with your babies and they're both crying for different things, so what do you do? If one's hungry and one needs changing, neither is going to suffer unbearably in the time it takes you to sort the other one out. So take a deep breath and go about your tasks one by one.

That said, multi-tasking is a very useful skill in situations like this and rocking one baby to sleep with your foot while giving the other one a bottle is something that you'll do well to master.

At night

Don't believe it when people say that twins never wake each other up. You may be lucky but some twins definitely do disturb each other in the night.

However, If you do find yourself awake in the night with one twin crying and the other sound asleep you might want to consider waking it up. We know it goes against the 'never wake a sleeping baby' rule but it might be the only way of getting your babies into the same routine.

According to TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association), putting twins in the same cot after they're born helps them to adjust to their new environment by helping them to co-regulate their body temperatures and their sleep cycles to soothe themselves and their twin.

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Twins that are used to being in the same cot are also far less likely to disturb each other at night than those that aren't, plus, one cot takes up less space so you could potentially keep them both in your bedroom for longer - a known factor in preventing cot death and it'll mean you don't have far to go when they want a midnight feed.

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