Ever since we started our blog we have received numerous requests to post a blog or two on babywearing with twins. So, over the last few months I have been reading almost everything that I can get my hands on that involves multiples and babywearing. I have had a fair bit of experience tandem babywearing, but there is a two year gap between my little ones so I was initally a little perplexed – how could I provide you with advice around babywearing your babies who are the same size? So I did what all good reserachers do and sourced a small group of parents with multiples who could tell me. So…..over the next few weeks we will post a blog or two about twin babywearing.
If you are a babywearing parent of twins, please feel free to provide us with further insight at anytime! We would love your opinions, tips and images.
The world of the multiple birth parent is somewhat daunting to me. The idea of double the nappy changes, double the feeds, double the bathing had originally led me to believe it was all double trouble! Especially, when initially assuming that multiple births also meant no babywearing, or at least limited babywearing (the use of a sling or carrier to support a baby/child for an extended period of time).
It took a friend’s birth of amazing twin girls for me to realise that multiples are DOUBLE THE JOY (two tots hugging you, two tots saying “luuuve you mummy!” ah bliss), and that babywearing is indeed possible with slight accommodations. Not that I believe raising multiples is easy by any means, but as mothers we are so adaptable, and the blessing of twins is certainly one to enjoy.
So how does one enjoy babywearing with twins? Todays post provides some quick tips on twin babywearing positions that I’ve learned from my friends with twins, from research and from my own experience of carrying both an infant and toddler simultaneously.
To begin with, newborn twins can often begin their babywearing experience by sharing a pouch or sling simply by placing them in the tummy to tummy position, they can be carried side by side. Newborn babies often enjoy being this close together since it mimics what multiples experience in the womb (remembering all of the safety recommendations of course! See Safe Babywearing Posts here). Babes in Arms recommend the Peanut Shell sling/pouch or the Breeze Baby ring sling which both offer excellent weight distribution across the shoulder. Alternatively, you can carry in the cradle carry position by placing one twin in a sling or pouch and placing one sling on each shoulder. The advantages of using sling or pouch with the twins in either the tummy to tummy or cradle carry positions is that you can nurse either baby with a little practise whilst carrying them.
Please note that if your twin babies are prem or have any health complications, please ensure that you sign off with your health practitioner as to whether the babies are physically able to be carried in a sling or pouch. The key consideration for pre-term babies is muscle tone. If a baby has not yet developed enough muscle tone and is placed in a cradle carry in a sling or pouch, their chin may press against their chest and they may suffer ‘positional asphyxiation’. In addition to your health professional’s guidance, I recommend offering further support behind a baby’s back simply by folding up a little receiving blanket and placing it behind it lengthwise, behind and parallel with baby’s back. This will offer more firmness and avoid baby’s chin pressing to his/her chest.
As the twins grow, they can still be carried in two slings crossed-over using the hip carry position but since their weight will be steadily increasing, it would be wise to consider investing in two soft-structured carriers like the ERGObaby Carrier that can be worn on the front, back or hip. Using the ERGObaby Carrier for older babies will offer more comfortable and longer carry positions since it distributes the weight of your babies primarily to your hips, your body’s natural load bearing ledge. Once your babies can sit up unassisted they are able to be carried on the back. Since the most important aspect of babywearing for a parent is to try to balance the weight as evenly as possible, this means using the ERGObaby Carrier in two opposite hip carry positions or one on the front and one on the back. Should you be using the front and back simultaneous solution, I would recommend placing the heavier of the two babies (or the least fussy baby at the time) on the back and then placing the second baby on the front. It is possible to breastfeed on the go using the ERGObaby’s front carry position simply by extending the shoulder straps and lowering the baby down to the breast.
For more budget conscious parents, rest assured that you may also like to consider a combo babywearing option whereby using a sling or pouch on the front and invest in only one ERGObaby Carrier for back carry positions.
Alternatively, both parents could carry a bub each! Sling or carrier….
Please visit these inspiring stories below from babywearing mums with twins:
Taking Care of Twins
Twins Plus 1: Blogging with One Hand
Give Them Roots
All the very best for your exciting journey with multiples – please email us and let us know if you have enjoyed any multiple babywearing experiences.
Pssst….stay tuned for our upcoming posts on the ERGObaby carrier and twins! We currently have a twin babywearing mumma testing out the carrier to provide you with honest feedback. Watch this space