Raising Twin Boys

7 Tips For Raising Twin Boys

  1. Tire Them Out. Prepare yourself for the “wide-world of wrestling hour,” says Jennifer Walker, a co-founder of Moms on Call and mother of twin boys. …
  2. Drop the Guilt. …
  3. Learn to Play. …
  4. Pair Them Up. …
  5. Don’t Sweat Milestones. …
  6. Don’t Expect Them to Share At First. …
  7. Let Them Choose.

Prepare yourself for the “wide-world of wrestling hour,” says Jennifer Walker, a co-founder of Moms on Call and mother of twin boys

In our house we sometimes have the “wide-world of wrestling hour”, with one twin hitting his brother and the other one hitting back. We’re good at playing with two siblings who like to wrestle, but what do you do when your boys just want to fight each other?

Raising twin boys is a unique experience. Like all babies, they go through milestones at different times and often have opposite personalities. But here are some tips that’ll help your little ones feel loved and supported as they grow:

Having twins means there are double the diapers, double the messes and double the fun. But there are also some things you should know before you dive in. And we’re here to help. We asked moms of multiples and experts what they’ve learned raising twins, and they had a lot to share with us.

How To Hold Twins At The Same Time

Double the fun. Double blessing. Double delight. Having twins is definitely a double dose of joy, but parents of twins will admit that it is not always easy.

There are definitely some challenges when you have twins. This list examines some of the hardest things about having twins, from pregnancy all the way through the teenage years. 


Difficult Pregnancy

Reasons why twins are born early
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How lucky, one pregnancy that yields two babies! Right? While there are benefits to a two-for-one pregnancy, there are also some extreme side effects and potential complications that can prove unpleasant.1

Some of the regular symptoms of pregnancy are often magnified with twins, and sometimes a twin pregnancy brings its own risks and complications.

The increased risks can add anxiety and fear to an already uncomfortable physical state. That’s why, from the very beginning, pregnancy is one of the hardest things about having twins.


Lack of Sleep

twin babies sleeping
Annmarie Young Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Yawn! Most bleary-eyed parents would agree that the lack of sleep is perhaps the worst thing about having baby twins. Any newborn is likely to keep odd hours, but balancing the demands of two newborns means that sleep is a scarce commodity for parents of twins.

The physical exhaustion adds strain to an already stressful situation as parents learn to cope with multiple babies. It is hard enough to function when well-rested, but parents of twins must learn to survive on shots of sleep measured in minutes rather than hours.


Finding One-on-One Time

mom and dad on bed with twin babies
Jade Brookbank/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Is there enough of you to go around? When children arrive at staggered intervals, parents can find ways to engage with them individually. But parents of twins often feel very concerned that they are short-changing their multiples, who must share their love and attention from the moment they are born. 

The demands of modern life leave barely enough time for family activities, much less unlimited opportunities to interact one-on-one with each child.

Yet, that exclusive attention is vital to multiples as they develop their individual identities. The guilt often experienced as a result is one of the hardest things about having twins.



mother of twins breastfeeding
Bryan Mullennix/Photodisc/Getty Images

If only parents of twins could be in two places at once! With only two hands, there are times when it is simply impossible to meet the needs of both twins at the same time.

It starts in the earliest days of twinfancy, with two babies who need to be fed, burped, and changed at the same time, which is no easy task! The challenges continue as multiples become mobile and can’t be contained. But it doesn’t end there.

As twins grow up and become involved in activities, the logistics of accommodating two simultaneous schedules can become overwhelming.

Back-to-school can be a particular nightmare when twins are in separate classes! One of the hardest things for parents of teenage twins is the transporting around town to school and different social events.


The Squabbling

twin babies fighting
Evan Kafka/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Everyone assumes that twins are best buddies. While, overall, that might be the case, parents of twins can often share a different side of the story.

Competition between twins starts surprisingly early in life, and the squabbles can become incredibly intense.

The constant cycle of fighting and refereeing is a burden on parents. Many parents would agree, the squabbling and competition between twins is one of the hardest things about parenting them.

 Strategies for Solving Twin Sibling Rivalry


Being Fair and Equal

Dad with twin babies

With two children the same age, there is a lot of pressure on parents to keep everything equal. What you do for one, you have to do for the other. You want them to have equal access to resources and opportunities.

And mostly you want to deny an appearance of playing favorites or giving one twin an advantage over the other. It can become an exhausting effort, ensuring that everyone gets to take their turn, receives a fair shake and an equal portion.

And no matter how hard parents try, it’s unlikely they’ll succeed in establishing a perfect balance.



twin baby photoshoot

The twin relationship is unique and complicated. Twins are individuals, but they are also part of a twin dynamic. Parents are charged with raising them as individuals, yet the world wants to see their children as a set. Comparisons and contrasts come from every direction, and parents even have to fight their own instincts not to juxtapose one child’s characteristics against the next.

Parents are supposed to encourage their twins’ individuality, but it’s not always clear how to accomplish it.

Decisions are difficult and there is often criticism at every turn. Is it okay to dress them alike? Keep them in the same class? Encourage separate friendships? Call them “the twins”? Raising twins as individuals is definitely one of the hardest things.



messy twin babies eating

You know the old saying, “Two heads are better than one”? That certainly seems to be the case with multiples and their messes.

Where one kid can certainly wreak some havoc, when you get two twins together, their messes can be monumental.

With helping hands to share the work and bravado fueled by encouraging siblings, parents of multiples have to be ready to face their share of disasters.


Simultaneous Situations

twin babies eating birthday cake

There are many difficult aspects of parenting. There are tough moments and trying stages. The difficult thing about having twins is that parents must address the particularly challenging times with two children at once.

Let’s talk about teethingpotty traininghomework, puberty, teen driving, dating. Parents have to split their attention between both children, differentiate their approach (in some cases) to problems, and find individual solutions.

Even in the good times, the milestones are shared and it can be difficult to savor and appreciate individual moments. Birthdays, the first day of school, prom, graduation are all shared events.


Twin Discrimination

twin baby girls sitting in grass with bubbles

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of parenting is seeing your child hurt or disappointed. And while twins often find themselves the beneficiaries of certain entitlements because of their twin status, they sometimes also face discrimination.

They may be excluded from activities or overlooked for opportunities that are available to singletons. Some of the challenges of growing up are more difficult for twins.

At some point, twins will face disappointment when one isn’t invited to a party or event. They may struggle in social situations or have difficulty with friendships. Some twins are even victims of teasing or bullying. These difficult issues are one of the many challenges in parenting twins.

Disadvantages of Having Twins

Having twins? Learn the joys and challenges of having twin babies and find tips to parenting two children at the same time instead of one.

Becoming a parent and welcoming one baby is a life changing event. The news of two heartbeats in the womb typically fills us with excitement, anticipation and worry. Many thoughts may flood our minds when having twins: Will our babies be healthy? How will we nurture and care for twin babies? How to feed two babies at once? What if they’re identical and I cant tell them apart? How can we possibly run after two toddlers? How can we be fair and even-handed when dealing with sibling squabbles?

Parenting twins presents a multitude of joys and challenges. It means welcoming two new family members when you were initially anticipating one. It also means having two babies to feed, burp, put to sleep, diaper, play with, coo at, worry about, and, of course, love. Parenting twins in the early years is wonderful and can also be physically and emotionally exhausting. However preparation, parenting, education and the loving support of family and friends can help you understand how to best care for your twin babies and yourself.


The fact that twins have been together since conception presents many advantages for the siblings. For example, twins often learn to sleep through noise and movement and quickly understand they must wait to have their needs met. Twins may exhibit less separation anxiety because they have a constant companion. The bond that twins form creates comfort as they move through many of life’s transitions together such as being left in the care of babysitters or entering the world of child care. In the early years of infancy, toddlerhood and early childhood, twins can benefit from this ability to learn from each other.

Although each twin finds comfort in the other and may have a lot in common, parents should understand that each child is an individual. Twins are two separate beings and should be viewed as such from day one. Although their emotional bond to each other is to be treasured, each child is a unique being with a natural drive to fulfill individual potentials. Like all siblings, twins each have different temperaments, needs, desires and abilities and they will argue, fight, hug, comfort and love each other. There may even be some sibling rivalry.


  • Ask for parenting help. Be it a single parent or two parent family, reach out to your family, friends and neighbors for support when raising twins. Often people welcome being invited to cuddle, feed or play with a baby. Everyone likes to feel needed. Your friends or family will enjoy being invited over to be with the babies so you can take a nap.
  • Develop routines and schedules. A structured and predictable routine helps every family member function to their optimal ability. The daily routine helps your children feel safe because they know what is going to happen and what to expect next. Getting babies on the same sleep schedule, when possible, allows you a few minutes to not run at full speed. As the twin babies grow, they will also be accustomed to following a routine.
  • Connect with other parents of twins. Parents of twins can provide a wealth of support to each other by sharing their knowledge and experiences on raising twins. Most communities have parents of twin clubs. Local clubs can be accessed through the National Organization of Mothers of Twins.
  • Research possibilities. It is possible to breast and/or bottle feed your twins at the same time. Babies can be simultaneously bottle fed by using pillows to prop them up in your lap or next to you. Breastfeeding twins is also possible with pillows specifically designed to prop a baby. Burping two babies can be challenging as it should take place naturally right after each one has been fed. This might be a good time to ask for help.
  • Treat each twin as a unique individual. Regarding twin babies as unique helps each baby become aware of his/her own individuality and develop his/her own identity. When parenting twins, there may be the tendency to always think of them as a unit. Respect individual differences. Form separate expectations around each child’s abilities and interests. Support each child’s individuality by referring to each child by name – not as “the twins.”
  • Plan individual quality time. Plan for quality time alone with each child. Some quality play time activities, such as sitting and talking, sharing a book, playing a game or going to the market, provide the individual attention that children need. The goal is to give each child life experiences that are fun and appropriate for them. Twins have a tendency, especially in the early years, to be very dependent upon each other. Time apart helps develop separate identities and also gives children important one-on-one time with an adult.
  • Understand fairness vs. respect for children. Because every child has different needs, being respectful is more important than being fair when raising twins. Parents need not always spend the same amount of time with each child, buy the equivalent gift or treat children in the exact same manner. Respecting the similarities and differences of each child fosters a real and healthy sense of self.
  • Consider possessions & twin identity. Possessions help children form a sense of identity. Some separate clothes, toys, books, blankets, etc. reinforce separateness and ownership. Each child needs some possessions that do not have to be shared. This can be achieved by giving each child a special cupboard or space on a shelf. Although young children are not yet able to read, it’s helpful to label the individual possessions with their name.
  • Be cautious about making comparisons. Development is a journey, not a race. Parents often compare their child’s development to other children of the same age, and it will be particularly tempting to do this with twins. Nonetheless, it is best not to compare twins. Young children are quite perceptive and internalize what they hear. Comparisons can easily discourage a child or create a situation where he/she feels less smart, capable, attractive or loved.

Most importantly, enjoy the ride of raising twins! Reading books and articles about parenting twins and joining parents of twins groups will provide many resources and help alleviate concerns by helping parents better understand the joys and challenges of parenting twins. Armed with knowledge and support, fears become displaced with the recognition that twins are truly a double blessing.


On this episode of the Work-Life Equation: twins! Can you be doubly blessed, and still have a career, and your sanity? Our guest says you can. Jessica Alpert Silber, mom of twins and creator of the WBUR children’s podcast Circle Round, shares her best twin survival strategies, and why surviving two crying babies might just be the best thing for a working mom’s career.


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