5 Safety Tips Just for Twins
Parents of twins often hear the phrase, “Double trouble!”, and while some of us cringe at that saying, it’s very often true. When you have two children at the exact developmental age and stage, they tend to get into more than twice the amount of mischief. If you’re an expecting or new parent of twins, here’s the heads up on a few important safety matters that are specific to twins and higher order multiples.
- Anchor all your furniture – We cannot stress how important this is. There might come a day when your little twinnies will work together to pull out their dresser drawers to climb up to the top together. Double the kids equals double the weight, and that dresser can easily come down on top of them. Make sure to fasten safety straps to every piece of furniture that can tip over, even if you think, “My twins could never pull that over.” Oh yes, they can! Hire a professional babyproofer if you have to (or, at minimum, a handyman.) The straps should be secured to the studs in your walls.
- Separate their cribs by at least 30 inches – The day may come when one of your twins will want to climb into their sibling’s crib to play. If their cribs are right next to each together this can cause a suffocation hazard, as one twin could fall between the rails and get stuck dangling by the neck (it happened to a Twiniversity family.) Make sure to leave at least 30 inches between their cribs to avoid any danger of entrapment. If your twins’ room is small and you must keep their cribs close, make sure to fasten the ends of their crib rails together with something to avoid anyone slipping between them, but consult a professional first.
- Managing two babies in convertible seats – When your twins outgrow their infant car seats you’ll need to switch to rear-facing convertible car seats. This makes for a unique challenge when it’s just one parent taking two babies out to the car alone. There isn’t a good place to put Baby B while you’re strapping in Baby A. One way around this is to use a lightweight double stroller to bring the babies from the house to the car. Or use a single umbrella stroller for one baby and a baby carrier for the other. Just make sure the stroller has brakes on it!
- Change one diaper at a time – Parents of twins LOVE to multitask whenever we can, but changing diapers is one of those times where you just shouldn’t even try to handle two at once. Always change one baby at a time and keep a hand on that baby at all times. Place the waiting baby in a safe place, such as a bouncer with straps or a crib. You never want to run the risk of one baby falling off the changing table because there isn’t enough room for two. The same thing goes for bath time! Bathe one baby at a time in a baby tub or a sink with a bath sling until they are old enough to sit up confidently on their own, and at that point you can bathe them together in the bathroom tub.
- Don’t bottle prop – If you’re alone with your babies a lot, you’ll start to come up with creative ways to cut corners and get more things done. Tandem bottle feedings are a huge timesaver that we highly recommend to twin parents, but please don’t prop up your baby’s bottle so they can self-feed. Even if you’re monitoring them closely, you run the risk of getting distracted by a phone call, someone at the door, another child needing your attention, etc., and you could run the risk of your baby choking on their milk. Instead, look at every bottle feeding as a time to bond with your twins. Look into their eyes and make those connections. Be engaged with your babies at every feeding. They won’t regret it, and neither will you.
While getting your home “twinnie-proofed” may seem daunting, take it a bit at a time and start before you need to. If you don’t feel confident going it yourself, there are experts that can help. If you are still expecting, it’s a good idea to add safety products to your baby registry. When it comes to safety, the sooner, the better. Good luck and be safe.
Twiniversity is a proud partner of Baby Safety Month. For other great “twinnie” tips, visit Twiniversity.com