7 Things You Didn't Know About Raising Newborn Twins
Expecting twins? You can never be too prepared for two.
4. Newborn twins may be more likely to have respiratory problems.
Newborn twins are more likely to be born early and underweight. "Preemies often have more respiratory issues because their lungs may not be as developed as babies born at term," pediatrician Alan Rosenbloom says. This doesn't mean that both premature newborn twins will have respiratory issues. "If you have two premature twins born at 32 weeks and one needs a breathing tube, this twin may be more likely to have respiratory issues down the road than a twin who had slightly more mature lungs and only needed some oxygen via a nasal cannula."
5. Newborn twins share everything -- including germs.
"Twins are like all siblings in that they certainly get each other's illnesses," Rosenbloom says. If one twin has a contagious infection, the sibling has the same risk of getting it as he or she would if someone else in the house had that infection, he says. Parents of newborn twins may consider separating the two if one comes down with a contagious illness right after birth. "Mobility is less of an issue early on, so if one twin has chickenpox, you can separate them and let the healthy twin stay somewhere else to minimize the risk," he says. "You can’t reduce the risk to zero, but you can control it better."
6. Twins may be similar, but they are also different.
Encourage the differences between twins and never compare them to one another, says mom of twins and developmental pediatrician Randye Huron. She’s the chief of developmental pediatrics and the director of the Institute for Child Development at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. "Most children do have their own strengths and weaknesses, and twins are no exception," Huron says. "My daughter loves ballet and art, and my son likes sports. I encourage the differences to minimize competition and comparisons," she says. "Never say, 'Your sister is behaving, so why aren't you?'"
Separating the twins eventually is also helpful. "It is in their best interest to be separated and to get their own group of friends," she says. Separate time with parents and separate play dates encourage independent decision-making.