You’re sitting (yes, actually sitting!) at the kitchen table with the newest edition of Better Homes and Garden freshly opened, sipping your hot cup of coffee (something you couldn’t even dream of doing last year with newborn twins!).
You’re alone and it’s quiet.
Breathe it all in deeply.
Your twins are no longer babies; they are toddlers! They can finally feed themselves and eat normal food. The two of them can play independently (most of the time) and now you can finally grab some date nights with your hubby because finding a babysitter for infant twins last year was near impossible!
Go ahead—kick up your feet because silence is golden.
But wait. When it comes to independent twin toddlers, that silence is starting to sound very, very suspicious…*cringe*
You bolt out of the kitchen, up the stairs and find your twins playing happily, together…in the bathroom. Water is spilling everywhere from the sink and mounds of wet toilet paper are stuck to their arms and smiling faces.
You’ve made it through the twin newborn stage, but you now find yourself standing at the edge of an unknown wild, twin toddler territory! And it feels…terrifying!
The Twin Mom Adventure
It can’t be that different from one toddler, can it?
Before I had twins, (mind you I’d already gone through the toddler years with my two singleton girls), I just assumed that everything I did would be done twice or be done as a group together.
No problem, right?
What I didn’t think about was that my twin toddlers are two different individuals who will grow, learn, and test limits differently by:
- Enjoying separate interests
- Learning obedience
- Developing their own unique personalities and preferences
And while it was an exciting, new chapter of motherhood, I realized that being prepared for life with twin toddlers is a must.
Of course, your trek through the twin toddler wilderness will still come up against its fair share of challenges, but with this handy dandy survival guide tucked in your back pocket your adventure will be just a little bit smoother! (Wait. Do yoga pants have back pockets?)
Twin Toddler Survival Tip #1:
Safety Proof Base Camp
When your twin toddlers are starting to mountain climb the banister or dig for buried treasure inside the tupperware cabinet, it’s time to batten down the hatches and “twin proof” everything and anything!
You cannot be in two places at once to catch and prevent your twins from getting hurt or destroying things. Start by using an easy and simple twin-tested safety bundle.
Because your twins are each unique toddlers, you will need to…
- Identify Safety Needs. Decide what your safety needs are with each twin. They might need different precautions. (For example, maybe one twin loves opening all the doors while the other prefers to climb on the washing machine!)
- Secure or Remove Easily Tipped Furniture. While not all twins climb, a set of toddlers can find mischief quick. This is the perfect solution!
- Keep Temptations Minimal. You can lower your stress and keep them from getting hurt by removing breakables within reach.
And while your home might start to feel barren and like everything is booby trapped, remember: You are only helping your twins by giving them a safe environment to learn and grow in.
Sure, your home may look more safety-proofed than the average toddler household. But that’s ok! Simple and stress-free is best for yourself and for your twins.
Safety Away From Base Camp
Safety-proofing your house is one thing, but how do you keep your wild explorers safe and mom sane while you are away from Base Camp?
Plan ahead! Use these 3 questions to help you decide what you may need anytime you’re going out with your twins:
- Will you be the only one attending to your twins? (Especially if you have other children to look after)
- Does the location have areas that are well-contained? (for example: fences or individual activity rooms)
- Is there double stroller access?
It will be easier on you and less overwhelming knowing how you will handle the outing before you get there. If you are nervous about keeping track of your twins and don’t have stretchy gumby arms to wrangle them in at a moment’s notice, don’t hesitate to try the next best thing so that you and your duo can still have fun without the stress.
What if the outing just won’t work out for us?
Sometimes you might just have to turn down the invite or perhaps wait a few months, or longer, until your twins are older to go on that special outing. And that’s hard.
But don’t be discouraged!
Instead, try these twin-proof outing options, so you can still hang out and have fun…
- Research parks in your area that have fences. (Trust me, they are out there!)
- Host play dates in the comfort of your own home (because your house is twin-proofed already!)
- Call your local park district or nearby church for free open gym time and invite friends to join you! Kids can run and you can chat, win-win! (Don’t forget to bring a few soccer balls or large bouncy balls too!)
Exploring the wide open spaces doesn’t have to be double the stress. Scouting out where you would be most comfortable with your twins will make all the difference!
Twin Toddler Survival Tip #2:
Let Them Run Wild
Toddlers and energy are almost as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly. They go together!
You don’t have to stifle this energy to survive it. You just have to channel it.
You can encourage your twin toddlers to get their wild wiggles out (instead of fighting over the same toy or attempting death defying feats) with these fun indoor/outdoor twin-approved activities:
- Indoor Slide: A perfect way to tire out two toddlers
- Coloring Playhouse: Where coloring on the walls is a good thing.
- Fold up Tunnel: Use this outside or connect it to the indoor tent for extra exploring fun!
- Indoor Play Tent: Camping for two!
- Ball Castle: Has everything you need to create some pre-nap exhaustion.
- Teeter Totter: It won’t work unless both kids play!
- Water Table: Endless wet and wild fun!
- Tandem Swing: Twice the giggles!
These activities are sure to get them playing together and get the multiplied energy out just in time for naps!
Twin Toddler Survival Tip #3:
Navigate Twice The Tantrums
Enough said, right?
And, double the tantrums is enough to make you ask, “Is it bedtime yet?!” all. day. long.
While surviving temper tantrums will never be an enjoyable experience, you can turn them into teachable moments with your twin toddlers by doing the following:
- Identify the lesson that needs to be learned. (For example: Do not draw on the wall.)
- Decide which twin needs to learn this lesson.
- Spend focused attention correcting that toddler by himself.
- Be firm and consistent. (As best you can because, let’s be honest, your other twin just climbed on the kitchen counter and started emptying the Cheerio box all over the floor…ugh!)
Teaching and correcting twin toddlers is a gradual process. They can provoke or encourage each others’ good and bad behaviors, so it will take more time and LOTS of repetition to master new skills.
When I’m having one of those days where it’s back and forth like a never-ending game of ping-pong with tantrums and corrections between both twins, I remind myself to…
- Be patient
- Let the teaching take priority of my time that day
- Not worry about house projects or the chores
- Decide to make dinner super easy or order in
Teaching your twin toddlers is important work. Removing these areas of stress will allow you to focus on necessary correction and let the rest go.
If you could use some more specific tips about how to deal with toddler tantrums in general, make sure you check out this super helpful article!
Twin Toddler Survival Tip #4:
Give Yourself Grace
Parenting twin toddlers is hard.
It often feels like double the stress and responsibility (probably because they are double the stress and responsibility).
It’s a tough road out there to travel as a twin mom and often times it can feel pretty lonely.
Give yourself grace. Take a deep breath and…
- Ask for help. Find a babysitter so you can take a break and recharge. Ask for someone to join you on an outing, so they can help look after your twins. Most often people are willing to help out; they’re just waiting to be asked!
- Find Support. Search for local twin Mom communities or join online twin Mom support groups. These are great places to glean advice and encouragement!
- Stop comparing. As with motherhood in general, do not compare yourself to mothers who have only one toddler. While you might find similarities, both situations have their own challenges. Be kind to yourself.
- Leave the mama guilt. It can be very difficult to be needed by two clingy toddlers. It’s exhausting! Remember, your twins know you love them. And give yourself permission to use screen entertainment, so you can get something done or just have a break.
Remember, you have two arms and a big heart, and just like your twins, love multiplies!
Teaming Up With Your Twin Toddlers
While there might be many hard moments with your twins over the course of the day between twice the tantrums, twin-proofing everything, and raising twice the toddlers at once; there are just as many moments that make your heart wildly burst! You’ve probably already noticed…
- Twins take care of each other.
- There is thoughtfulness as they serve each other during snack time.
- They run to their twin to give them a hug and walk together hand in hand.
- You get twice the hugs, twice the love!
By using this survival guide, your trek through the twin toddler wilderness doesn’t have to feel terrifying.
You are fully prepared, now, to guide them in this new twin toddler adventure. Even better, you get to watch them grow together in the decades to come!
Have You Read These Yet?
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- Want to Know the Best Toddler Toys? Just Follow These Awards…
- 9 Overlooked Toddler Books Your Little Bookworm is Sure to Enjoy
- How to Survive (and Actually Enjoy) the Toddler Years
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