This is by no means the only nor the most definitive list covering this subject, but I had to throw in my two cents on two babies.
- You need more of everything than with a singleton.
This may seem obvious, but the full implication of this didn’t hit me until our boys were here. Sure, you need two cribs and twice as many clothes, but there are a lot of things I’d never thought of beforehand. You’ll be doing twice as much laundry, so there’ll be twice as much detergent and twice as much utility use; this includes your laundry, because now you’ll have two babies throwing up on you. Of course you’ll need two baby monitor cameras, so you’ll need two spots to mount them where the cords can reach an outlet. You’ll need a diaper bag that’s twice as big. That toy they like? You’ll probably want to get another one. You’ll be going through twice as many paper towels and trash bags. Speaking of trash bags, you might want to call your trash utility company and get the larger size of trash can, because your current one ain’t big enough. Your doctor bills will be twice as big, your storage space will go away, and you’ll need two “baby’s first whatever” baubles each holiday.
More. Of. Everything.
- Multiples are (apparently) medical aberrations.
When you go out in public, people will assault you with questions:
“Are they twins?” “Does it run in the family?” “Are they identical?” and comments: “My neighbor’s sister’s friend had twins.” “You have your hands full!” Kat even had someone ask to take pictures of our boys once to show some relative or other who was having twins. Two babies in Target might as well be the Dionne quintuplets in their display nursery.
- They divide and conquer.
Changing a diaper? The other baby’s going to start crying. One’s hungry? The other one won’t be. Are they mobile? They’re going to go different directions and/or move at different speeds. One will cry and wake up the other; then they’ll swap. One will get his clothes off while you’re dressing the other. They are not homogenous, and they won’t let you forget it.
- You compare their development.
Multiples don’t develop at the same speed as each other. One might start crawling first and the other will be verbalizing first. You will be constantly worrying that one or the other is behind, whereas with one baby you don’t have that constant comparison.
- They have a frenemy right from the start.
They will play with each other and giggle at each other and love each other. They will also hit each other, steal toys from each other, and push each other over.
- Shopping becomes a massive challenge.
It had never occurred to me what an ordeal a casual trip to the store could be. I imagine it’s difficult enough with one baby: managing the diaper bag, a cart, a baby, and possibly a stroller is hard enough. It’s obviously more difficult to have twins with you, but not just twice as hard. Most shopping carts only have one seat for little ones, and the ones that do are often plastic monstrosities that are almost impossible to steer and which are less safe than seats in a regular cart. That big diaper bag becomes more of a burden when it takes up more space in your cart or when you have to cram it underneath. Sure, you could wear one or two babies (I usually do), but that presents its own inconveniences. Getting into the store seems to take forever by the time you get them out of your vehicle, put in seats or carriers, buckled in, and all the other adjustments you need to make. I’ve also found that one kid usually ends up pooping or something early in the trip, and one later, each time forcing us to get to a bathroom, dig out the diaper bag, and pray that no one takes our cart while we’re taking care of business.
Oh, and you can’t just tuck them under your arms and pop in to Target. In fact, you can’t “pop in” anywhere. If you want to stop at 7/11 for a Red Bull and bag of Fritos, you’ll need to either go through the loading/unloading process again or leave your babies in the car.
- You become smug.
Yes, you have your hands full, but you’re rocking it. Parents of singletons who complain are wimps. Sleep is for the weak. You can lug a squirming little human around under each arm. You can change two diapers almost as fast as some parents can change one. You became ambidextrous almost overnight. Your superiority will never fully be appreciated by others.
Oh, but you will bow down to the abilities of parents of triplets, quads, etc.