As a child, I found twins very interesting to watch. I thought that all twins looked identical, and did the same things all at the same time. Time and maturity have shown me different things about twins.
How are twins formed?
Identical twins are formed by the splitting of a single fertilized egg in the mother’s womb; the two babies develop from one egg and one sperm and share one placenta.
Non identical twins develop from the fertilization of two eggs by two sperm and have a placenta each.
Twins have a shorter gestation period than single babies and are normally born at 37 weeks, rather than 40 weeks. This is because there’s not enough space in the mother’s womb. Because of the shorter gestation period, they weigh less than single babies. So if new born twins were placed in the same incubator, they were happier and gained weight. Initially, it is better to make them sleep close to each other. Later, at home, they can be placed in the same room, in adjacent cribs.
If looking after one baby is work, then obviously, having twins would mean double work.
Feeding: Mothers of twins have to think of different things before deciding whether to breast feed or bottle feed.
Breast feeding: It is more difficult with twins- when you’re on an outing; but it has the advantage of protecting your twins from infection. You can hold both your babies and feed them together and give them equal nourishment and attention.
Bottle feeding: It is easier to feed your twins. Others can also feed the babies especially when you’re in public. It will be easier to continue bottle feeding when you’re at work and someone else has to care for them. The only problem is that they’ll have to be fed in turns or two people have to feed them together.
Sleeping: At first they can sleep together but slowly, as they grow, you can give each one his/her space. They can share the same room, but sleep in different beds.
Nappy changing can become a bore and a chore. So it will be good if you have someone to help you, at least until your twins are more independent.
Importance of play: They like and need to inter act with each other and with other people. Loving inter action is not a luxury, it is essential for them to grow physically, mentally and socially.
Later on, when twins grow, although they’re very close, they shouldn’t be forced to do things in exactly the same way. For example let them choose to dress differently if they wish. They’re alike in many ways, but they have their own individual personalities and identities- recognize and respect that, you‘ll have happier children.
There is an extra bond that exists between twins. They develop unique ways of communicating with each other. They have intuitions regarding each other’s thoughts and feelings. In many ways they understand each other like no other human can, not even parents.
As parents you need to give equal time, love, affection and attention to each twin.
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