How do I give them equal attention? — The Bump
Multiples

How do I give them equal attention?

My twins are 5 weeks old. One seems to be a lot more demanding and higher maintenance than the other - she cries if you put her down awake and so we usually end up holding her or wearing her around the house in a carrier almost all day. Otherwise, she won't nap. The other twin goes down easily in her RNP and usually doesn't mind just sitting in it, awake, sucking a pacifier. She is also quite a bit smaller than her more demanding sister.

 I'm worried that my smaller twin is getting slighted and will end up not having as close a bond with me and not develop as quickly because she spends all her time in the stupid RNP. I'm also worried that this is the reason she isn't gaining weight as fast as her sister (she's gaining about an ounce a day but the fussier twin eats constantly and is gaining about 2 ounces/day). 

Does anyone else have multiples with similar personalities? Am I worrying for nothing? Any tips for being hands on with them at the same time at this young an age? I'm getting teary looking at my daughter, awake in her stupid RNP, sucking away on a pacifier while I'm wearing her sister.

My husband does help a lot but he works, and we take turns napping when we're both home and can get both girls soothed. 

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Re: How do I give them equal attention?

  • Ah yes. Your girls' temperment sounds just like my girls' for like the first 6 months. Right down to the bigger baby being more demanding. They are now 22 months old and I swear my littler one is my best buddy. I worried about not bonding with her as much as an infant because she was so easy going and her sister always had to be held. But now I know I worried for no reason. My high demand infant has turned into a very easy going toddler so don't worry about yours being high demand forever!
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  • I just wanted to add, do what works right now. If your easy going baby is happy just hanging out, it's ok to let her. Having twin babies is tough business and sometimes you just need to survive the day, the hour, the few minutes of hysterical crying. You're doing great!
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  • Thank you so much. That's a relief to hear. Your girls are so cute!
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  • Yup, that sounds just like how my DS (fussier twin) and DD (easygoing twin) were at that age. Don't worry, it evens out over time. DS now has his easygoing moments, and DD has her fussy moments.

    That's not to say that I don't ever feel guilty. I think that comes with the territory of twin parenting, unfortunately! Whenever I have a day where I'm giving more attention to one baby and feeling guilty about it, I try to remind myself that the previous day was spent mostly tending to the other twin.

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  • image Mrs.Greg:
    Ah yes. Your girls' temperment sounds just like my girls' for like the first 6 months. Right down to the bigger baby being more demanding.

    Same here! 

    Twins November 2012!


  • I'm glad you asked this. My boy girl twins are also 5 weeks and are opposite personalities. My ds is super high maintenance and dd is much more laid back. I've had the same concerns about him getting all my attention. No real advice here but you're not alone.
  • At the beginning I thought N would be much higher maintenance since L seemed much more "mellow"....but they have definitely switched it up multiple times, depending on the phase they are going through. I do think it evens out in the end. Don't be too hard on yourself; the fact that you are concerned about giving attention to both means that you won't be neglecting either baby! Also, you are in the trenches right now and just doing what you can to survive! It will get easier, and in a little while the girls will start responding to you with smiles and kicks, which is so rewarding, and a time when I think it's easier to feel the bond you have with them. Hang in there, mama; you're doing great!!
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  • You don't, and it's okay. I have one who will scream bloody murder just because she can -- thankfully, the other is of a much more chill temperament. I snuggle the chill baby as often as I can -- and I actually exclusively feed her overnight (she doesn't fight during feedings, so I can simultaneously pump and feed her -- DD1, not so much. DH can handle her. :) )

    There's no "answer" to all of this -- you do what works. They'll turn out okay, I promise. ;) 

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  • My boys seem to go through phases of who is fussier and needier. I will feel like I am giving more attention to one of the boys, then after a few weeks it will seem like I am giving more attention to the other one. 

    You sound like you are doing a great job! The first few months are tough!  

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  • I read something when my guys were infants that really helped. Think forward ten years. Twin A is struggling with his homework. Twin B is having no problem. Do you stop helping Twin A after 20 minutes because it isn't fair to Twin B for you to spend all of your time on one child. Fast forward 16 years. Twin A gets dumped two days before the prom when she already had her dress and was ready to go. Twin B has a date and is still going. Do you stop comforting Twin A after an hour because Twin B deserves half of your time?

    Basically, your children will have different amounts of need at different stages of their lives. You are doing the right thing by giving the attention where it is needed! Hang in there the early days are hard.
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  • image MuseumMaven:
    I read something when my guys were infants that really helped. Think forward ten years. Twin A is struggling with his homework. Twin B is having no problem. Do you stop helping Twin A after 20 minutes because it isn't fair to Twin B for you to spend all of your time on one child. Fast forward 16 years. Twin A gets dumped two days before the prom when she already had her dress and was ready to go. Twin B has a date and is still going. Do you stop comforting Twin A after an hour because Twin B deserves half of your time?

    Basically, your children will have different amounts of need at different stages of their lives. You are doing the right thing by giving the attention where it is needed! Hang in there the early days are hard.
    This is a really good way to look at things, thank you.

    Thank you all so much for your encouragement, I do feel better. And my "chilled out" twin kept me up until after 2 AM last night, so I guess she has her needy moments too. :]
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  • Generally speaking, my Baby A, who is actually smaller, has always been fussier than my Baby B. Sometimes they switch it up though. There are entire days that they don't get the same amount of attention. It evens out though. On the calmer days, I love on them equally. Don't worry that your smaller baby is gaining slower because of it. Not true. My little guy has just always been a lighter eater, no matter what I do. If your girl needed more, she would let you know. :)
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  • Baby A was crazy high maintenance for the first month. Then they switched. It gets hard to pay equal attention when one demands it and the other couldn't care less. I put them in their bouncy seats and sing read or play with them at the same time. Then when they got big enough to enjoy the playmat I used that as well. Somedays though I just had to ergo it up with the fussy one and let the other hang out on his own. I expect them to flip flop some more in the future too. Oy!!
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  • MrsLntMrsLnt
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    It's impossible. It's natural to want to do everything equally but it's just not possible and you only make yourself crazy trying to even things out, especially at that age where there is no reasoning with them. They both will be needy in their own ways and you'll give them the attention they need. 

    I used to joke I was worried DS would go to preschool and draw pics of mommy holding his sister in one hand and her coffee in the other because she was so needy and he was more chilled out. At 2.5 he's more content to play and she's always talking to me and wanting my attention. But even though he needed me less in the early days, I am no less bonded to him than I am his sister. 

    The early days are so so hard but it does pass. Good luck!

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