Having Irish twins was always far from my mind when I pictured myself as a mother.
All my life I heard terrifying stories of my dad and my uncle growing up. They were number three and four and were less than a year apart.
I always wondered how my incredible grandmother was able to handle all of that responsibility and wildness wrapped up in those two young boys.
Well, I called my saintly grandmother to let her know that I would have a set of my own rogue Irish twin boys as well. She, of course, couldn’t have been happier.
Sadly, she passed before she got to meet the younger babe.
I wish I could’ve asked her things like: How were you able to carry two babies at once? Or: How do you feed two babies at once?
But I knew she did it. And with a lot less resources than we have now.
I mean, there was no online grocery ordering back in 1960.
She was able to do it with a positive attitude and raised really good people. So I know I can do it, too.
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What does a mom to Irish twins need to know?
I want to share with you things I wish I thought to ask my grandmother because these are practical questions that people need to know!
Having Irish twins is really quite amazing.
But there are unique challenges that are good to think about and just kind of figure out.
Women have been having babies with all sorts of strange age gaps for all of time.
And while the world seems crazier every day, it’s actually the best time in the world to be a mom with all the resources available to us!
Challenge #1 When Having Irish Twins: Carrying Them
I knew there would obviously be challenges with having Irish twins.
But there was one that I did not see coming.
The ability to carry two babies at once.
Not to mention that the tiny one has zero neck control.
My older of the two was not yet walking. At least not consistently enough. And our split level has stairs everywhere.
So how did to travel through the house? And out the door?
Well, usually the answer was to move one baby at a time.
Take the one year old from the crib to his high chair. Then go back up to get the newborn and bring him down by himself.
A proud moment was when I learned to baby-wear the newborn, and then could carry the one year old on my hip.
As my newborn slowly gained next control, my one year old simultaneously began walking more regularly.
However, there were many times when I would (and still do!) carry two at once.
Once the little one gets the neck control down, it’s a game changer!
Challenge #2 When Having Irish Twins: Feeding Them
When my younger son was born, I made my husband take a picture of me giving a bottle to my one year old in his highchair, while simultaneously giving a bottle to the newborn whom I was holding. It’s such a wildly ridiculous phase, I just wanted to remember it!
Feeding a baby that’s learning to nurse while also feeding a baby that is learning to eat solids is challenging!
But you can totally make adjustments that work for you.
I’ve found myself doing this more than once.
When my younger son was about four months old and the doctor gave the green light to start trying solids, but older son was going through a real fun phase: throwing EVERYTHING from his highchair.
I wondered how I was supposed to feed BOTH of them actual food?!
So, I didn’t.
I waited about another month or two to start the solids with my younger son. Once my older one was basically over throwing everything, it made it a lot more possible for me to feed real food to my two babies.
I say this to say: give yourself some grace. You might do things a little differently than you did your first time around. As long as your kids are getting the nutrition they need, it’ll be okay!
Challenge #3 When Having Irish Twins: Sleep
Sleep. The sleep is everything.
To be honest, sleep wasn’t even that much of an issue this time around.
I mean, I still didn’t really sleep. But that was to be expected.
The key here is to get the older baby REALLY good at sleeping before you have the younger one.
If you have one newborn awake for nighttime feedings, that’s much different than having a one year old waking up through the night while trying to do nighttime feedings with the newborn. No thanks.
It’s also great to sync up the nap schedule, as you can. This might be tricky with a newborn, but a few months in, this is totally possible.
Syncing up the naps gives you a much-needed breather during the day.
I’ve created these nap schedules just for you! They take the guesswork out of syncing up the naps for siblings. You can snag them for free right here!
Challenge #4 When Having Irish Twins: The Pregnancy
While taking care of two babies can be really difficult, I stand by this statement: Being pregnant while taking care of a baby is harder than having two on the outside.
Of course there’s always exceptions to the rule, but I have found this to be true TWICE.
Being pregnant is so hard! It hurts to do anything. Literally everything is a physical challenge, including breathing and walking.
So of course taking care of a baby while having one growing inside of you is hard!
But not impossible. If you are making it through your pregnancy and are managing, you’ll be just fine come the second one!
Challenge #5 When Having Irish Twins: The Hospital Stay Away
I gotta say, though, being away from your older babe to go have the younger one, with full hormones rocking, is not the best feeling in the world.
Do what you can to prepare:
Spend time with the grandmother or whomever is taking care of the babe.
Go over all the routines.
Write down all the notes.
Your child will be fine. It’ll go quickly. He won’t remember it.
It sucks, but it’ll be fine. Really.
Having Irish twins is such a unique and wonderful experience. There are certain challenges that come with it, but it is all manageable with just a little patience and coffee!