FAQ After they are born
Double the Fun
You faithfully went to your prenatal appointments, ate all the right things and got the proper rest. And though when you initially got the news that you were expecting twins your world went a little haywire, you eventually got yourself calmed down.
And whether or not you’re still awaiting the arrival of those twins, have the newborn bundles already sleeping in a bassinet in your room or are trying to chase them down the hall as they toddle around, you likely still have a billion questions bouncing around your head. How will you choose their names, dress them, potty train them, or get alone time with the kids individually?
Having two babies at once — two youngins’ with the common sense of a dial tone and twice the number of bad ideas (“I know, let’s dump the contents of the vacuum all over the floor. You unzip while I extract.”) – requires thinking ahead and being ready for anything.
Following are four hot topics among parents of twins and tips on how to handle them:
Naming Your Twins
Will it be Michael and Michelle? Jennifer and Janet? Moe and Joe? Or something along the lines of Adam and Eve, George and Gracie?
There is a temptation with twins to go the cutesy route when it comes to naming them, picking monikers that share the first initial, rhyme or have a natural association in order to highlight the unique nature of a twin relationship. Then there are parents who, citing concerns about instilling individuality in the kids and in how the outside world treats them, go in the exact opposite direction picking names that share nothing in common.
According to a poll of more than 1,200 sets of twins by Twinstuff.com, about a third of the parents surveyed, 193, gave their twins names that had the same first initial, while only 25 chose rhyming twin names.
The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (NOMOTC) urges parents to be mindful of the future impact of the name selection on the twins’ views of themselves. “Choose your babies’ names with care; they are theirs for life,” club organizers write on their web site. “Avoid rhyming names which may seem ‘cute’ at the time of birth, but confusing later.”
When I’ve asked moms of twins about how they went about selecting their children’s names, I got a variety of responses. One woman said she specifically decided to pick names with different initials so her twins’ paperwork at school, at the doctor’s office and elsewhere wouldn’t get confused with one another. Another extensively researched historically famous twins and selected names that emphasized the strength of the twin bond. Most simply chose two names they liked that bore no relation to one another, reasoning that even though they are twins, they’re two distinct people with distinct names.
For our twins, my husband Scott and I agonized over name selection. Because we didn’t know the babies’ genders in advance, we had to pick four names to cover all possible combinations. Though at first we thought about using the letter “z” to start off the names of potential fraternal, boy/girl twins – as in Zoe and Zack – we decided against it. Too cutesy, we agreed. Instead, we picked names that had nothing to do with one another. Had we had two girls, they’re names would have been Abbey and Zoe. Two boys would be Jonah and Zack. A boy and a girl, which we had, would be Abbey and Jonah.
So before you make that final decision, just remember, a kid’s name has a big impact on a child’s life. Choose carefully.
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