Raising Twins From Pregnancy to Preschool by Shelly Vaziri Flais

by Shelly Vaziri Flais

Author Shelly Vaziri Flais Isbn 9781581103441 File size 4MB Year 2009 Pages 208 Language English File format PDF Category Family and Friendship Even with years working as a pediatrician Shelly Vaziri Flais MD FAAP was nervous about what lay ahead when she was told she was pregnant with twins Now several years into parenting her twin boys Dr Flais is sharing her wisdom and experience as a mom and her expertise as a doctor to help other parents prepare for and raise multiples with confide

Publisher :

Author : Shelly Vaziri Flais

ISBN : 9781581103441

Year : 2009

Language: English

File Size : 4MB

Category : Family and Friendship


Also Available From the American Academy of Pediatrics
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (English and Spanish)
Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality
Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents’ Top 101 Questions
About Babies and Toddlers
The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate
the Major ­Developmental Milestones
Your Baby’s First Year (English and Spanish)
New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding (English and Spanish)
Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed
With Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup
A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Obesity: A Road Map to Health
Guide to Your Child’s Nutrition
ADHD: A Complete and Authoritative Guide
Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting
A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens:
Giving Your Child Roots and Wings
Sports Success Rx! Your Child’s Prescription for the Best Experience
Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through
College Admissions and Beyond
Mental Health, Naturally: The Family Guide to Holistic Care for
a Healthy Mind and Body
Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12
Caring for Your Teenager
Guide to Your Child’s Allergies and Asthma
Guide to Toilet Training (English and Spanish)

For more information, visit www.aap.org/bookstore.

RAISING

TWINS
From Pregnancy
to Preschool

Shelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAP

American Academy of Pediatrics Department of Marketing and Publications
Director, Department of Marketing and Publications
Maureen DeRosa, MPA
Director, Division of Product Development
Mark Grimes
Manager, Consumer Publishing
Carolyn Kolbaba
Director, Division of Publishing and Production Services
Sandi King, MS
Editorial Specialist
Jason Crase
Print Production Specialist
Shannan Martin
Manager, Graphic Design and Production
Peg Mulcahy
Director, Division of Marketing
Jill Ferguson
Manager, Consumer Product Marketing
Kathleen Juhl
Director, Division of Sales
Robert Herling
Cover design by Cathi Stevenson, BookCoverExpress.com
Book design by Peg Mulcahy
Illustrations by Tony LeTourneau

Library of Congress Control Number: 2008940544
ISBN: 978-1-58110-344-1
The recommendations in this publication do not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or serve as a
standard of medical care. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances, may be appropriate.
Statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the American
Academy of Pediatrics.
Products are mentioned for informational purposes only. Inclusion in this publication does not imply
endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Every effort is made to keep Raising Twins: From Pregnancy to Preschool consistent with the most
recent advice and information possible.
Copyright © 2010 Shelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAP. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission from the publisher. Printed in the
United States of America.
CB0056
9-127

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ɶɶWhat People Are Saying
Dr Flais, from her own experiences, will teach you how to simplify,
synchronize, and ­customize parenting your twins. Her “Twin Tips!”
will help all families. As she says, “Your best ally during your twins’
early years is their need for sleep.” Amen.
Marc Weissbluth, MD, FAAP
Author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins

❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧
Raising Twins is a must for anyone raising multiples! It’s filled with
huge amounts of advice from both an experienced pediatrician and
a fellow mom of multiples! I especially recommend her “Twin Tips!”
for fast reference. This is a great book for anyone expecting multiples
and those immersed in their early years. I highly recommend it.
Denise M. Anderson
President, Illinois Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc.

❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧
Tandem feeding, duo sleeping, twinproofing, and double discipline
are only a few of the many tips on raising twins covered in this
handy must-have parenting guide. ­Pediatrician and mom of twins,
Dr Flais shares a double dose of practical information that I recommend all parents of multiples read before delivery and keep close at
hand ­during the first few years.
Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, FAAP
Author of Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents’ Top 101
Questions About Babies and Toddlers and editor in chief of The
Wonder Years

❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧

vi

What People Are Saying

Double your pleasure but save time, stress, and money! Raising
Twins helps parents of multiples hit the ground running and
build their skills, efficiency, and confidence. A mom of twins and
2 singletons herself, Dr Flais also shares tips on celebrating your
twins’ “twinness”—as well as their individuality. This practical
resource is a necessity for anyone caring for twins!
Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP
Coauthor of the award-winning books Heading Home With
Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality and Food Fights: Winning
the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight,
Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup; medical expert on CNNhealth.
com; and editor of Baby & Child Health: The Essential Guide
From Birth to 11 Years

❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧
Want to be a stress-free parent of twins or multiples? Read this book!
Gale Gand
Cookbook author, host of the long-running Food Network show
Sweet Dreams, ­executive pastry chef/owner of Tru restaurant, and
mother of twins

❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧
Who better to hold your hand and help prepare you for the multiple
joys (and challenges) of parenting twins than a pediatrician-mother
of twins? By combining a medically sound foundation with a realitybased approach, Raising Twins is sure to provide new and ­expectant
parents of twins a double dose of valuable advice and insight.
Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP
Pediatrician; coauthor of the award-winning books Heading
Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality and Food Fights:
Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With
Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup; and an identical twin!

❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧❧

To all families with multiples, and to my beloved
­husband and children.

ɶɶTable of Contents
Acknowledgments.................................................................................. xiii

Chapter 1: Introduction...................................... 1
Your New Life With Twins........................................................................3
The News Flash of a Lifetime....................................................................5
How the Parenting Experience Changes Over the Early Years............6
Enjoying the Parenting Experience..........................................................7
Families With Twins—One Size Does Not Fit All.................................8

Chapter 2: Preparing for Your Twins’ Arrival..........11
The Emotional Roller Coaster................................................................14
Taking Care of Your Body and the Pregnancy.....................................17
Pregnancy Preparations...........................................................................20
Twins’ Preparation Checklist..................................................................23
Preparing Older Siblings.........................................................................29
Nearing the Delivery................................................................................30

Chapter 3: The Early Days and Weeks...................31
In the Hospital..........................................................................................33
Coming Home..........................................................................................34
Keeping Your Twins on the Same Schedule—Starting Now...............35
Feeding—Breast Milk or Formula..........................................................40
Breastfeeding—How Do We Do It?.......................................................42
Formula-Feeding—Simplifying the Process.........................................45
Burping and Reflux..................................................................................46
Advice for Outings...................................................................................48
Infant Colic Times 2.................................................................................50
Should We Use Pacifiers?.........................................................................52
Seeking Support........................................................................................53
Going to the Pediatrician........................................................................54
Getting Into a Routine.............................................................................55

x

Table of Contents

Chapter 4: Early Infancy and Getting on
a Schedule......................................................57
S leep—Infant Twins (and Parents) Need It!.........................................59
Two Cribs or 2 Bedrooms?......................................................................61
The Science Behind Good Sleep Habits................................................62
Strategies for Good Sleep Habits............................................................63
The Power of the Bedtime Ritual............................................................66
Daytime Naps............................................................................................69
Feeding Your Infant Twins......................................................................69
Twins Getting Stronger............................................................................72
Diaper Rash...............................................................................................74
Twinproofing.............................................................................................75
Returning to Work...................................................................................76
Toys and Books.........................................................................................77
Outings and Fun.......................................................................................78
Continue Seeking Support......................................................................79
Bonding With Each Twin........................................................................79

Chapter 5: Older Infancy and First Birthday..........81
Sleep Patterns............................................................................................83
Mealtime: A Whole New World.............................................................84
Solid and Table Foods..............................................................................86
Sippy Cup Training—Bye-bye, Bottles!.................................................88
Oral Health................................................................................................92
Play and Development.............................................................................92
Language and Communication..............................................................95
Safety Issues...............................................................................................97
Discipline—Working Toward Acceptable Behaviors...........................99
Your Emotions—How to Stay Sane......................................................101
Special Time With Each Twin..............................................................103
The First Birthday...................................................................................104
Year One—An Extraordinary Time That Flies By!............................104

Table of Contents

xi

Chapter 6: The Toddler Years (1- and
2-Year-Olds)................................................... 107
Sleep Issues..............................................................................................109
Transitioning to Big-Kid Beds..............................................................112
Nutrition and Mealtimes.......................................................................117
The Importance of Positive One-on-one Time..................................122
Kind But Effective Discipline................................................................124
Encouraging Language Development..................................................130
Toilet Training—Is It Possible?.............................................................132
Safety Issues.............................................................................................137
Family Relationships—A New Baby?..................................................139
Keeping a Twin-Friendly Budget—Save Time and Money...............139
Having Fun..............................................................................................141

Chapter 7: The Preschool Years (3- and
4-Year-Olds)................................................... 143
Sleep Issues..............................................................................................146
Socialization—The Twins’ Role Within the Family...........................148
Preparing for Preschool.........................................................................151
One-on-one Time—It’s Still Important...............................................155
Two Distinct Individuals, Now More Than Ever...............................156
Consistency and Discipline...................................................................159
Advanced Toilet Training and ­Independence.....................................163
Emotional and Social Support for Parents..........................................164
Budgeting and Practical Matters..........................................................166
Enjoying the Here and Now..................................................................168

Chapter 8: The Early Years End—As Your
Twins Grow................................................... 169
The Journey.............................................................................................171
Built-in Life Lessons...............................................................................172
Two Unique Individuals—A Special Bond.........................................172
An Eye Toward the Future.....................................................................173

xii

Table of Contents

Appendix A: Facts Every Parent of Twins
Should Know................................................. 175
 e Distinction Between Identical and Fraternal Twins...................177
Th
More and More Twins!..........................................................................178

Appendix B: If Your Twins Are Born Early............ 181
Nutrition..................................................................................................183
Respiratory Issues...................................................................................184
Jaundice...................................................................................................184
Other Concerns......................................................................................185
Bonding in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit....................................185
Going Home—When Is the Right Time?............................................186
Other Homecoming Concerns.............................................................186

Appendix C: The Triplet Parenting
Experience—Advice That All Parents
Can Use ....................................................... 187
Pregnancy Preparation..........................................................................189
Synchronized Schedules........................................................................190
Surviving the Early Months..................................................................191
Organizing the Triplet Way...................................................................192
Toilet Training Triplets..........................................................................193
Interpersonal Relationships and Emotions.........................................193
Benefits of Triplets..................................................................................194
Maintaining Individuality.....................................................................195
The Adventure of a Lifetime!................................................................195

Index............................................................ 197

ɶɶAcknowledgments
I have many people to thank for playing a special role in my life and
in the development of this book. The opportunity to write this book
has been a complete joy and honor, as it combines the passion I have
as a pediatrician to help other parents raise their children happily
and healthfully with the practical knowledge I have gained while
raising twins in addition to single-born siblings close in age.
I thank my amazing husband Mike, Michael J. Flais, MD, for
being a constant source of love and support. I thank you for being
the most wonderful husband, ­partner, and father to our children.
Your humor and steadfast calm help us through any challenge in life.
I thank my 4 children for teaching me most of what I know
about parenting—I am so lucky to be a mom to such awesome kids.
Matthew, with a lightning-quick mind, you can explain Cassini’s
mission to Saturn’s moon Titan, then tell a joke about lawnmowers
running on “grass-oline.” Andrew, you take pride in taking care of
your family members with your sweet smiles and hugs. Ryan, you
are as cool as a cucumber, even-keeled with a hilarious sense of
humor. Nancy, you are vivacious and wise beyond your years.
I thank my mother and father, Nancy and Ira J. Vaziri, MD, for
decades of illustrating good parenting by example. My brothers
and I learned that we can accomplish even our loftiest goals with
dedication and hard work, whether our goals are to become an eye
surgeon, create amazing visual effects for landmark movies, or help
other parents navigate the world of multiples.
I thank our extended Vaziri and Flais families for their love
and support.
I thank Sarah Lacey Pilarowski, MD, FAAP, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics and community pediatrician at Cherry
Creek Pediatrics, for her invaluable peer review of book content,
as well as a rewarding long-term friendship.
I thank Kristina Ferro Keating, MD, FAAP, of Lake Forest
Pediatric Associates in Lake Forest, IL, for her invaluable peer review
of book content and years of friendship.
A big thanks to the wonderful people at the American Academy
of Pediatrics for their guidance and expertise—Mark Grimes,

xiv

Acknowledgments

director, Division of Product Development; Carolyn Kolbaba, manager, consumer publishing; Kathy Juhl, manager, consumer product
marketing; and the entire production team.
A hearty thanks to the numerous wonderful families with multiples who helpfully shared their notes with me during the process
of writing this book—the Orrico family, the deGuzman family, the
Dooyema family, the Winkler family, the LaMonte family, the Peters
family, the DeRome family, the Graf family, the Sayles family, the
Hynek family, and the Long family.
And I thank you, the reader—congratulations on joining the
ranks of families with multiples! Our multiples community is amazingly supportive of each other through all the challenges and triumphs of parenting twins, triplets, and more. In Star Wars: Episode
VI: Return of the Jedi, Yoda asked of Luke Skywalker, a well-known
twin, “Pass on what you have learned.” Spread the love and pass on
the lessons you have learned to other families with multiples.

ɶɶChapter 1

Introduction

1

Introduction 3

O

ne beautiful August day, the skies were blue and the sun
was shining. “Can we take our training wheels off our
bikes, please?” Mom and Dad had heard this request countless times
before—and on this clear day, my identical twin boys’ summerlong
pleas were finally answered. My husband and I, managing a busy
family with 4 young kids, had been hesitant to remove our safety net
of the training wheels. Were the boys ready to make this adjustment?
Ryan’s bike was first. Being fascinated by tools and gears, he
watched intently as Dad removed the unwanted support system.
Eager to practice, he hopped on his streamlined bike and quickly
learned that starting and stopping required some new adjustments.
Once he gained momentum, however, there was no stopping him!
With Ryan happily practicing his new skills, it was Andrew’s turn.
Andrew had waited patiently and cheered Ryan’s success—twins
learn, with experience, how to take turns nicely! Within moments,
each boy was off and cycling, starting to get a good feel for a new
way of riding the bikes.
As I watched each of my boys race past me on the sidewalk, I
felt a strange sen­sation. I felt as if it was just a week earlier that we
learned we were pregnant with twins. How is it that we went from
seeing 2 heartbeats on an ultrasound to watching these 2 amazing,
unique kids whiz by on bicycles, all in the blink of an eye?

ɶɶYour New Life With Twins
If you are expecting or are already parenting twins, congratulations!
If you are nervous about the challenges of raising twins, remain calm
and take a deep breath—you can do it! You may be unsure of your
abilities to parent multiples, but you will quickly adapt to your new
family dynamic. You’ll spend your twins’ first year or so synchronizing the babies’ schedules to make life easier. As your twins grow, you
will nurture each of your twins as an individual. And in the blink of
an eye, your twins will be riding their bikes in figure-eight patterns
around you!

4

Raising Twins: From Pregnancy to Preschool

More and More Twins!
More and more multiples (twins, triplets, and more)
are born every year. The National Vital Statistics System
reports that twin deliveries rose 42% between 1990 and
2004. Whether your twins are conceived naturally or via
fertility treatments, the news you are carrying multiples
can be quite a shock!

As a child learns to ride a bike without training wheels, she has
some initial adjustments to make as she figures out a new way of
cycling. Similarly, as parents welcome twins into their family, they
adjust and learn a new way of managing family life. You will soon
get a feel for how to handle your new life, twins included, and be
cruising along, free of your training wheels!
How will you handle more than one baby? You can care for
twins or more by remembering the basics of good parenting. A
good parent provides love, safety, and security. Babies only need a
few things—something to eat (breast milk or formula), something
to pee and poop into (diaper), a safe place to sleep (crib), and a
safe way to ride in the car (car safety seat). If you streamline your
newborns’ needs, you will be able to provide what is important to
your twin babies.
When you have twins, triplets, or more, the most important
mantra to remember is to keep the babies on the same schedule. It is
the best way to happily survive your twins’ first year of life! When
one wakes up to eat, it doesn’t matter how cute the other guy looks
sleeping—you have to wake them both up for the feeding. If the
babies’ feeds are not coordinated, you could easily spend the entire
24 hours of any given day feeding them, one after the other. If you
feed 2 babies on 2 different schedules, you will not be able to sleep a
little bit, spend any time with an older child in the family, or recognize that vaguely familiar-looking person over there who ­reminds
you of your spouse.

Introduction

5

ɶɶThe News Flash of a Lifetime
Your reaction to the news that you have more than one baby on the
way is most likely a mix of strong emotions. I will admit that the first
month after discovering that I was pregnant with twins, I felt like a
deer in the headlights. How could I be having twins? How on earth
could we handle 2 newborns at once?
You and your spouse may have very different reactions. While I
was nervous, my husband was thrilled and breezily optimistic. He
told me, “Relax, it will be great! Everything will work out just fine.” I
appreciated his joy and confidence, but I felt frustrated that he wasn’t
showing fear of the unknown, while I felt unsure of my ability to
handle the situation. I wondered just how steep our learning curve
would be to find our groove.
If I only had a time machine back then, I could have relaxed a
bit. Here we are, a few years later, and not only have we survived,
but we have very much enjoyed our twins’ early years. I had been
so nervous when pregnant that I imagined it would be more difficult than it actually is to raise twins. In reality, the day-to-day
routine of taking care of 2 little babies at the same time is very
doable! Once your family starts using some strategies to streamline
your twins’ care, you’ll be able to breathe more easily and enjoy the
whole process.
The challenges of raising twins are what make the parenting
­successes even sweeter. It is fascinating to watch as each twin’s
unique personality evolves and develops over time. The highs and
lows of the parenting experience are amplified for parents of multiples. You’ll have moments of intense exhaustion, but also moments
of unsurpassed joy.
Have faith in yourself and your parenting abilities. The human
spirit has an amazing ability to rise to a challenge. You can successfully parent twins, one day at a time. Any challenge in life must be
tackled one step at a time, and twins are no exception. One particularly tough day may feel like it lasts an eternity, but soon a time will
come when you look back and wonder how the early weeks and
months flew by so quickly!

© 2018-2019 bookprice.uk. All rights reserved