Just as learning to take care of your babies takes time, so does getting to know who they are. In fact, it may take a few days to master the most basic information: which one is which! To avoid confusion, don’t remove your babies’ hospital ID bands until you’re sure you can tell who’s who. One mom wrote the names of her twins on their wristbands in indelible ink. After a day or two she could tell them apart by the shape of their head. “Michael’s was round like a softball, and Henry’s was like a flattened circle,” she says. Finding a freckle or birthmark on one baby, dressing them in different colors, or painting one toenail can help with identification too.
Of course, you may not have this problem if one of your multiples is still in an intensive-care nursery. In that case, dividing your time between hospital visits and home can make life more stressful and bonding harder. “One of my twins came home two weeks earlier than the other,” says an Intended mother. “No matter where I was or which twin I was with, I felt torn — and guilty that I wasn’t with the other one. Once they were both home, things got a lot better.”
Tending to the needs of two newborns may mean that you don’t fall in love as instantly as you’d expected, but this is completely normal. “The more you get to know your babies as individuals, the closer and more connected you will feel to each of them,” says family and child therapist Eileen Pearlman, PhD, coauthor of Raising Twins (Simply Collins). Try to notice what’s unique about each one, like the way your daughter curls her lip before she cries or the way your son startles when he hears a loud noise.