So you’ve read every pregnancy and newborn book, you’ve baby-proofed your entire apartment and you’ve washed all the onesies you received at your baby shower in eco-friendly laundry detergent. But wait! There are some common mistakes new parents of multiples (and singletons, too) often make that you can avoid with just a little bit of forethought:
Running Out Of Supplies. No one wants to make a midnight drug store run for formula, diapers or nipple cream! Making sure that you have at least one week’s supply of staples like these will make your life easier. Twins will go through more than 120 diapers a week in the beginning, so be prepared! Keep spare tubes of diaper cream, bottles of baby wash and lotion—and even Tylenol for you.
Confusing The Babies. (Parents of singletons, don’t skip this!) Keep a log of who ate, how much, and when; who slept, how long, and when; and who had a dirty diaper and when. Sleep deprivation plays some tricky games on you, and keeping a log enables you to keep track of how each child is progressing over the course of each day. Also, if your kids are taking any medications or vitamins, this is the best way to make sure they get their proper doses.
Mixing Up Your Priorities. Making dinner for your boss who is coming over to visit the babies is not a priority. Keeping your bathroom as clean as an operating room is not a priority. Catching up on old episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”…okay, that may have made my priority list. But you get the point. Keep chores and errands in perspective and don’t worry about doing anything for anyone (except the babies, of course) for a while. Not much is expected from parents of newborns, so take advantage of everyone’s low expectations—this is your chance to use your Get Out Of Jail Free card!
Hesitating On Help. When your fifth cousin calls to congratulate you on the birth of your babies and says, “Please let me know if you need anything,” don’t chime back, “I will, thanks so much for offering!” Instead, say, “You want to help, how wonderful! How’s Tuesday at 3?” Take advantage of help from family and friends who offer. And when they come over, they don’t have to hold the babies the whole time—let them empty the dishwasher or fold the laundry. Family and friends will flock to help in the beginning, but after a few months your home may feel like an Old West ghost town. So put ‘em to work while the shine is still on the apple!
Neglecting Your Marriage. Don’t forget that these babies didn’t just make themselves! Check in with your partner every day, and don’t forget to kiss each other goodnight (even if the sun is up because the babies never slept). You chose to have babies with this person for a reason; try to remember it as often as you can.