All babies cry. It is their only way of communicating. Often you will know why your babies are crying, but sometimes, you won’t. The difference with twins, is that there are two of them getting hungry, tired, bored etc often at the same time. Luckily newborn twins rarely set each other off crying.
However, there are times when twins do cry in stereo and it can feel extremely stressful and upsetting. It can be difficult to comfort 2 crying babies at the same time. Who do you comfort first? Have a think about all the possible reasons for them to be crying.
What are they crying for?
- Dirty nappy
You will learn to distinguish between your babies cries of hunger and boredom etc. Learn to trust your instincts. In the meantime, check for signs of illness:
- Off the feed
- Loose stool
- Dry nappy when it should be wet (sign of dehydration)
- Noisy or laboured breathing
If you are worried about any of these things check with your GP or health visitor/midwife.
Many babies cry at a particular time of day and are difficult to comfort, often early evening. This can be due to colic. This usually starts at around 2 weeks and gradually goes at around 3 months. Unfortunately there is not a lot you can do with a colicky baby, except try to comfort them until it passes. If it persists, speak to your health visitor or GP.
Coping with crying twins
It is not easy to cope with 2 babies who are crying at the same time. Check that your babies are not hungry, poorly, need changing etc first. If you know they are ok, you could try
- Music – especially if you played a lot of music when you were pregnant, eg Mozart
- Vacuum cleaner – some babies like the noise of a vacuum cleaner or washing machine
- Go for a walk – they may calm down and you get some needed fresh air
- Go for a drive – babies often find being in a car soothing.
- Gently stroke your baby/baby massage – this can be very comforting and you can soothe 2 babies at the same time
- Dummy/comforter – some babies like the sucking motion and find it comforting
- Walk away for a few minutes – if you know they are safe, sometimes (though not easy to do) it can be a good thing to just walk away for a few minutes. Take a breather, there are times when babies want to be left alone for a bit rather than rocked, it could be too much stimulation they don’t like
- Help – is there someone who could come and help for an hour? A friend or family? Sometimes you need a break from the crying for just half an hour, then you can go back to your babies feeling a little more refreshed. Your babies will pick up on this, so it will benefit them too.
There are times when it seems that the crying is never going to end, but I promise you, it will. There are organisations that can help support you through this time, for example Twin and multiple birth association www.tamba.org.uk
Remember, it will get easier!