Having twins is such a humbling experience. I knew that every baby was different, but there is a new level of understanding when you raise two at the exact.same.time.
I think often as parents, we put too much stock in making the ‘right’ decisions and judging others if they make one that doesn’t seem ‘right’ to us. But the thing is, any decision that you make that is informed, thought-out, and feels right to you will be the right decision for your family.
I am a different woman, wife, and mother now than I was when Jarvis was 6 months old. So I am raising these babies differently. I don’t think any decision I made with Jarvis was ‘wrong,’ and I wouldn’t change a thing. He’s an amazing, sweet, intelligent, loving child. But the twins each need something different than he did. And I have a better understanding of the ‘big’ picture. I know what is a habit, and when they are good and bad and when to worry about things, and when to let things go.
Having twins has really reinforced to me that the things we do as parents are only part of the equation. Their personalities and needs are so unique. All babies need to be fed, burped, changed, comforted and loved. How they go about getting those things is very different.
From day 1 we noticed so many differences in them. Fraternal twins are basically just siblings, who happened to be born at the same time. Identical twins will be more similar in biological needs, but their personalities will still be different.
Early on, Joelle was the better eater, and Jonah struggled with his suck, swallow reflex. However he was the happier more content baby.
Jonah is a snuggler and prefers to be held. Joelle likes to be down on the ground where she can get into whatever she wants.
Jonah likes to be rocked and patted when he’s having trouble sleeping. Joelle hates being rocked and prefers if you stand and bounce her lightly when she’s having trouble sleeping.
Jonah started cooing and verbalizing well before Joelle did. Joelle started holding her head up and rolling well before Jonah did.
Joelle prefers to be home with familiar faces and often cries at non-family members (especially adult women, lol). Jonah fusses alot at home as he seems to get ‘bored’ without things to watch. He likes being out of the house with lots of kids to watch, but only from a safe distance.
Jonah has always been bigger than Joelle, but it seems to be getting more and more prominent. He consistently eats more than her.
However, Joelle is much more interested in solid foods and chews much better. Jonah has very little interest in solids.
Joelle is able to get toys to her mouth easier than Jonah. Jonah gets frustrated when he can’t get/keep toys in his mouth and he is much more attached to the pacifier while hes awake.
Jonah does not like sleeping on his back (or belly) and napped in the bouncer in his crib quite a bit. Joelle has never had any issue with napping on her back.
If Joelle is hungry, NOTHING will soothe her but a bottle, trying to give her a pacifier while a bottle warms does nothing. Jonah will wait for a bottle with pacifier.
Letting Jonah fuss it out will work and he will settle himself down if he’s not actually hungry or poopy. Attempting to let Joelle fuss it out only results in tons of screaming. She’s persistent.
That is just the tip of their differences. And compared to Jarvis, they are so different and so similar in other ways. I know we aren’t supposed to compare our children, that’s not my goal here. Each of my three children have parts of their personalities that I love and parts that are not my favorite. They each have strengths and areas we need to work on. It’s amazing how two children, being raised at EXACTLY the same time by the exact same people can be so different and react so differently to the sameparenting styles.
I have 5 friends who all had babies within a month of the twins and it is fascinating to me to watch our different parenting styles, needs, and our children’s developments. Some have been first babies, who get a lot of one on one attention, and others are 2nd or 3rd babies who are watching big siblings and trying to keep up. Some of our children are awesome sleepers and some are developmentally ahead of the curve. Some are ready for solids and some are not. None of us do it all right, and none of us are wrong. We are all doing what we need to do to grow our families and thrive. And the best part, we are all getting to learn from/with each other.
We are 6 months into this twin experience and it has been exactly what I needed. The Lord has shown me that trusting in him is essential. That I can’t do this by myself, and that if I pray and trust, then I will make the decisions that are right for our family.
I can’t wait to see how these babies continue to change and grow and how they are different and similar to each other and their big brother!!
And let me know- do you want more posts on essentials for twins? Tips and tricks and what I’ve learned? Or are you over the twin thing 🙂