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How to survive & keep twin toddlers busy
You have survived the endless nighttime feedings, spit-up, and lack of sleep with newborn twins…
But now you’re heading into toddlerhood…
So if you’re asking yourself how in the heck you’re going to survive twin toddlers?
Then you’re in the right place…
I have gathered the best tips and tricks to help you make it out alive and actually survive twin toddlers.
Can you tell I’m a bit dramatic? But you get the point!
Toddlers are entering this new stage in which they are learning about everything around them and figuring out what role they play in this new world.
So they are going to test you and your patients to the next level.
But nothing to worry about because I have been there and even though it might seem like there is no way out…
You will survive.. so let’s get right into the tips to help you get through toddlerhood!
Planning ahead is not about having every detail sorted out…
Is about having an idea of what you need to do when in order to avoid some form of chaos.
Knowing what the next day might bring will help things go a little smoother.
Do you have an outing?
Errands to run?
What would the weather be like?
This is something you can quickly do the night before to help you have an idea of what you should prepare ahead…
So if you need to leave certain meals ready, make sure the diaper bag is packed because you need to run errands…
Or google some fun activities you can do with your twins, and so on!…
Planning ahead will make the next day flow much smoother.
So start planning ahead… Right now! Well after you read this post.
No need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
The point is to start and go from there. Your life will become a lot more organized and less chaotic.
We run on routines at our house and they have come in handy even more so since the pandemic.
Having a schedule will help your twins get structure and will help you stay sane!
Everyone knows the expectations, as well as what sort of things happen at certain times, etc!
Begin a schedule. Start simple and work from there. Your toddlers will begin to get in a rhythm and later thank you for it.
Example of a twin toddler schedule AKA our schedule
715: wake up
7: bedtime routine
This is just the basics but our twins have learned that around these times such things happen.
If you have no structure then start with the same daily wake time and go from there.
Waking up at the same time every day will help you get into a rhythm and eventually you will find your groove.
Kids thrive on routines… So start today. No need to go crazy!
Toddlers still need naps… They might fight them but 1 yr old and even 2 yr old still need a nap.
To this date, my 5 yr old still takes a nap on the weekends when he is home from school.
In order for them to continue to grow, learn, and explore they need sleep.
So make sure you’re still offering that nap.
Remember is your job to set the mood but only they can take the nap.
I know we think because they are getting older than they can tolerate a later bedtime.
But is the opposite. Kids need sleep. At a minimum of 10 hours. Especially once they drop naps.
So try to put your twin toddlers for bed by the latest at 8 pm.
Cranky toddlers arent’ fun toddlers…
And a good day begins with a good night’s sleep.
Just think about how you feel when you don’t get enough sleep?
Begin moving their bedtime by 15 minutes until you get to your desired time…
Shoot from some time between 7-8 pm no later than that.
Offer plenty food
Food can always remedy any issues… I don’t know what it is but snacks always go a long way.
If your twins aren’t tired then consider more food or adding snacks to the day.
Toddlers are growing every day and they are burning a lot of calories so they need fuel…
If all things failed pull out the snacks.
Encourage independent playtime
From the beginning, twins are thought to share and learn to play together…
However, I find it that is important to also focus on their individuality. People are always going to label them as twins…
So why not encourage them to play independently?
You have two toddlers with two different personalities. They don’t always want to play the same game or with the same toy.
For example, my daughter loves to play with cars and pretend she is driving… While my son loves to play inside tunnels and build things.
Well, we have both of those options and during the day I separate them and allow them to explore with their own toys.
Have some designated time that you allow for them to play or do an activity alone.
Think about what each one of them likes as an individual and focus on those activities and/or games.
While individual playtime is important having a rotating system will also keep you sane.
Toddlers are in the discovery period and they can easily get bored.
You need to have options…
Plus doing the whole rotation system makes them feel like there is always some new toy coming around.
You can set different stations or just set out a toy/activity for a certain period of time and then move on to the next thing.
This is a great approach since their attention span is pretty limited.
I know the weather is not always great and you might find yourself stuck inside…
But as much as you can try to take them outside even if it’s just in the backyard.
There is something about getting direct sunlight that changes anyone’s mood and misdemeanor.
You can go for a walk, kick the ball, paint the driveway, or just run around…
The point is to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors!
Mess is ok
You need to learn to embrace the mess…
With twins, the mess can quickly pile up and if you are the only adult cleaning it then you do the math.
Understand that mess is inevitable and at times there is only so much you can do.
If it comes down to you being able to enjoy a nice hot bath vs picking up toys choose to take care of yourself.
As I’m writing this I’m sitting on my couch staring at these mega blocks laying all over my living area…
But is either I clean up or write this post!
And I would much rather encourage and help other twin mamas out there than clean up my hot mess of a living room!
So I’m giving you the freedom to prioritize yourself and be ok that at times things might be messy and that’s ok…
Having a routine, planning ahead is all great but one thing about twins is that you’re dealing with two different people.
So you must be flexible if you’re going to survive the day-to-day.
Not every day will be the same so you need to be able to just go with it.
Things might not always go as planned. So learned to just live in the moment and enjoy things as they come.
In the end, all you can truly control is how you react to things. So learn to just let things go.
I know is easier said than done… Trust me I know but the quicker you get on board with this the easier life will get!
Crying/tantrums are ok and part for the course
Again two different personalities mean not everyone will be happy at the same time.
Plus toddlers are in this “no phase” and learning cause and effect so they’ll test your boundaries.
You’re going to see so many meltdowns, tantrums, and endless crying…
At times it might be both and sometimes they might take turns.
One thing I have told parents when I worked postpartum is that crying will happen and when it does remember if they are crying they’re breathing.
This statement might sound mean but when you’re in the trenches is the little things that will help you stay afloat and not make you feel like a bad mom.
Always be ready for some form of tantrum and/or crying…
Is not about being negative is about realizing that is part of the course and the stage they are in.
Make them feel important
Because they are in the learning, and testing phase toddlers love to feel like they are the center of attention.
So make them feel just that.
They want that sense of importance and whenever is safe give them the freedom to make certain choices like picking ou their clothes…
Or help you around the house.
Don’t forget about safety
Even if you childproof the whole house for some reason kids find a way to get into something.
Especially when they are in the discovering phase.
The best thing you can do especially when you’re taking care of twins alone is to keep them secluded to an area.
For example, throughout the day we keep our twins in the living area. That’s where the main TV is, their toys, and also a diaper caddy station.
I found this to be the easiest way to keep up with them vs just letting them run wild around the whole house.
Even if you have helped is much easier and efficient to keep them in one place vs running after them throughout the house.
So consider which area of your house might be the safest and keep them in that specific area.
Bring items and anything you will need to make taking care of them much easier!
Don’t forget about you
In order for you to be the best version of yourself, you must take care of yourself.
Don’t forget to do something for yourself!
Mom self-care is important and is fundamental to not run yourself to the ground.
Whether you need to wake up first thing in the morning or after you put everyone for the night!
Find something you love to do and try to do it every day. It doesn’t have to be big.
Just something that brings you joy and allows you to decompress from a long day of taking care of twin toddlers.
That could be a:
- Hot bath
- Reading a book or watching a show
- Glass of wine
And if you’re looking for more ideas for self-care… This post is all about self care ideas for busy twin moms!
Cut yourself some slack
I know as moms we are our worst critics. But give yourself some grace.
One toddler is hard to take care of and you have two.
You have made it through a twin pregnancy, the newborn stage, and now working through toddlerhood.
Go easy on yourself. Each stage comes with its challenges and with time you will find your groove.
But go easy on yourself. If you fed everyone, you provided the activities, they are breathing then you survived the day…
And guess what? Tomorrow is a new day which means a whole new day to start over.
Don’t be so harsh on yourself.
Being a mom is freaking hard and is a job that there is no manual nor “book” to teach us how to do it.
We learn every day from our mistakes and from life!
So don’t judge yourself or your actions so hard… Instead, learn from them and try to do better each day!
Ask for help
If you have help don’t be afraid to ask for it.
You don’t need to be a super mom. Taking care of toddler twins is exhausting so reach out.
Especially if people are wanting to help out.
Even if it’s just for an hour. That hour can allow you to run errands, cook, clean, get some peace and quiet, and so much more!
Work together as a team
Have a partner? Then tag team.
Work as a unit to get things done.
Maybe while one cooks dinner the other is giving the twins a bath.
Whatever tasks need to be done you can split them or take turns doing them.
Your partner plays a huge role as much as you do! So work together to get things done.
Last words for surviving twin toddlers
Twin toddlers are in a new stage of discovery and learning about themselves and their world.
They are going to test you and your patients every day!
This stage is temporary even though it does not feel like it.
Take a deep breath, cut yourself some slack, and focus on providing some form of structure and activities to keep them busy and entertained.
If all things failed offer snacks and boxes… Because what toddler doesn’t love playing with anything that doesn’t resemble a toy?
I would love to hear what has helped you to survive taking care of twin toddlers in the comments!
Other twin related articles
- How to survive newborn twins
- How to get twins on a schedule
- How to take care of twins alone
- Self care ideas for twin moms
- Easy indoor activities for twin toddlers