Every year, almost 150,000 sets of twins are born in America. They are adorable, fascinating, and a double blessing. They can also be a lot of hard work, particularly in the first year. There is an African proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child,” and this has never been more true when it comes to looking after twins.
There are plenty of ways as a grandparent that you can help pitch in — it will be more than appreciated by the parents. Whether it’s doing a basket of laundry or offering to babysit for a couple of hours, you are an important part of the family that will be bringing up an amazing pair of new babies.
A few essentials
If you are looking to buy a few essentials for the twins, it is always helpful, as having newborns is expensive. If you’re buying outfits or reusable diapers, go for larger sizes, say 6-9 months, as parents often get given newborn-size clothes as baby-shower gifts.
Look for soft, eco-friendly fabrics that have natural dyes, as babies have sensitive skin. Cloth diapers and bamboo wipes are a good idea too as they are always extremely useful — newborn babies can go through over 2,000 diapers in their first year, or 4,000 for twins!
A bouncing chair is another essential if you have twins, they are good for naps, but also just to put one baby down whilst you attend to the other one.
Helping at home
Practical help is always appreciated when twins arrive, as sometimes the everyday jobs that need doing feel overwhelming on top of feeding and looking after babies. Volunteering to help run the vacuum around once a week or to take home a couple of loads of laundry is extremely helpful.
It will give the twins parents the opportunity to “nap when the babies nap,” instead of running around trying to “get stuff done.” If the twin’s parents have a dog, offering to take him for walks is another great help — logistically getting two babies out for a dog walk can be problematic.
The gift of time
The gift of time is the greatest thing that you can give to parents of twins. Offer to babysit once a month, so that they can go out and simply spend some time with each other. Having babies is a big lifestyle change, and simply feeling like yourself for a couple of hours, rather than just being Mom, can make a big difference to wellbeing.
It also helps to pop over for an hour to take responsibility for cuddle duties. That way you get to experience the best thing about having newborn twins in the family, and the parents get to have a bath, enjoy a coffee while it’s still hot, or eat a meal with a knife and fork without a baby balanced on their lap.
Welcoming twins into the family is a huge blessing. You can really be a part of their childhood and help while they are growing up by being as involved as you’d like and helping out in a major way.
Do you have grandchildren or have you taken care of other people’s kids? How have you helped make the parent’s job easier? Please leave a comment below.