Tips on Transitioning the Twins from Hospital to Home
When you’ve just given birth to two babies, there really is twice as much to think about! Here are some great tips to help make the transition from hospital to home run a little more smoothly.
Prepare Layette And Baby Supplies
Be sure that all clothing, blankets, burp cloths and such have been freshly washed and put away or stored where they will be easy to reach. Because you will have two babies coming home, a stock supply of clean clothes means more time before you have to do the laundry. I also recommend creating one or two diaper changing “baskets” or “buckets”. This is basically any container that can be easily transported around the house. It should include everything you need to change a diaper, like powder, diaper rash ointment, wipes and, of course, diapers. Maybe some alcohol wipes for swabbing the umbilical cord area and a thermometer too. Some moms find it handy to include hand sanitizer, a fresh set of clothing and even a cordless phone! Anything you use regularly throughout the day should be under consideration, as this is a simple way to stay organized while caring for your newborn twins at home.
Have Food/Meals On Hand
This may be the last thing on your mind, but thinking ahead in the food department will save a lot of aggravation when hunger strikes. Frozen foods from the grocery store are particularly handy because they keep so well. Otherwise, think about making easy-to-freeze homemade foods, like lasagna and casseroles that can be stored for heating later. Crock pot recipes that require minimal prep time may also be something to think about. Having fresh bread and cold cuts on hand for sandwiches is a simple idea too. Simply make a list of the things you and your family like and stock up ahead of time.
Taking Care of Other Children
Twins will not necessarily be the first parenting experience for some. Numerous families already have one or more children before the arrival of their new babies. Definitely something to think about when transitioning from hospital to home. School age children will need to have transportation and extra curricular activities worked out. Younger children, curious and needy of your attention, should have activities planned. Setting aside special time for your older children (whether it be with you or another family member) is a must. You should organize transportation, as well as set up family and/or friends as chaperones for any outings. Remember, they will need their own time to adjust to the newest additions. The less impact on their usual schedules the better.
Accept All The Help You Can Get
You hear this a lot when you’re expecting twins, and it really is true. If you have people wanting to help in any way, take advantage of it! Just be diplomatic about designating each chore. It might be easier for one person to pick up things from the grocery store and for another to help with preparing the meals, doing laundry, etc. Keep in mind, you’ll get on your feet before you know it and won’t be needing as much support as you transition to life with twins.
When One Twin Comes Home First
This scenario will often happen for parents of premature twins. One twin will be discharged from the hospital while the other has to remain. Not ideal, to say the least, but a possibility. In some situations you will have a bit of lead time to prepare, as doctors can usually give a ball park estimation on when a baby will be ready to leave the hospital. Either way, you’re going to need an adequate plan in place for taking care of one twin at home while still having time to visit the other in the NICU. Some parents can simply trade off and there’s not much to worry about. For others, it may be much more complicated, like distance from hospital to home, dealing with older siblings, work schedules, breastfeeding and so on. If you know you are going to need help with a situation like this, be sure to have a plan B just in case.
Originally published on TwinPregnancyandBeyond