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How will parenting twins be different?

Twin births are on the rise in the United States as more couples delay childbearing or use fertility treatments, two factors that increase the chance for multiples. Between 1980 and 2000, the number of twin births increased by 74 percent. If you’re expecting twins, the following tips will help you prepare:

  • Contact the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs. Talking to other parents who’ve gone down this road can be an invaluable source of information and support (www.nomotc.org).
  • Consider breastfeeding. It may not be as difficult as you think. Find support from a lactation consultant or La Leche League (www.llli.org).
  • Accept help. Never turn down any offer. And don’t be afraid to ask friends, relatives and neighbors for a hand when you need it.
  • Expect down days. Feeling overwhelmed is normal, but you need to take care of yourself, too. Prioritize time for sleep and personal interests.
  • Resist rhyming names. It’s important for all children to learn who they are and how they’re different, which can be especially hard for twins.
  • Avoid dressing them alike. It may be adorable for a picture, but both children need to develop and feel important as individuals. Don’t forget to take pictures of each child solo.
  • Encourage different interests and activities. Consider placing them in different classrooms when they enter school.

While twins require twice the expense and energy, you’ll also enjoy double the fun.