Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

Twin grandchildren first birthday - advice please

(56 Posts)
NemoNanna Thu 21-Sep-23 13:38:12

My twin grandsons are coming up for their first birthdays. They were very premature so won’t really be aware, however, are there any grandparents of twins out there who can advise me on birthday and Christmas etiquette? Do you get them joint cards and presents? Or one each? Do you buy them the same gifts? And if I make a cake, is a joint one acceptable?

nipsmum Sun 24-Sep-23 13:54:18

I think all children twins or otherwise deserve individual presents and cards. They are individuals after all

grandtanteJE65 Sun 24-Sep-23 14:07:37

Now and for ever you give them each a present suited later on to each child's preferences, a card each and if you bake a birthday cake, you bake two.

After all, you would not give two children born a year and two weeks apart joint gifts, would you?

If the twins themselves object to having two of all this at any time, you can obviously change what you do.

This year, I suggest you buy one twin a copy of "Winnie-the-Pooh" and the other a copy of "The House at Pooh Corner" in book form, I mean. I still, at the age of 71 have my copies and read them regularly with much the same delight as I did as a child.

Or you could, this year only, buy something big and expensive that their parents want for them as a joint present, if your means allow this kind of generosity.

rowyn Sun 24-Sep-23 14:09:38

I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but it concerns me that you are already thinking of the twins as a single unit, and considering treating them as such.
I understand that they are still very young, but I'm sure that you will see a difference between them already if you take the time to observe. It may be very minor, but there definitely will be some things. They are two *individual little*personalities, who may develop a very strong relationship, and have many similarities as they grow, but they are first and foremost individuals who will wish to be treated so.

Here endeth the sermon - sorry - but as a retired child psychologist I just had to speak my mind!

Enjoy them - what a delight!

Saggi Sun 24-Sep-23 14:10:28

I’m an aunt to triplets and always sent separate cards and gave individual presents as they are all different . The only time I bought them a present between them was when I knew they’d have to play with it together. ….and that was a football game table …and was expensive ! But I did that only once !

JdotJ Sun 24-Sep-23 14:15:26

My MIL b/day was Boxing Day and she said all through childhood people bought her only one present (for Xmas Day and birthday).
She hated it as I'm sure twins hate having to share

4allweknow Sun 24-Sep-23 15:03:17

I have identical twin sons and oh goodness, will be 50 next years. From day 1, never dressed them the same as I wanted to encourage their individual characters. People did give identical baby outfits but I never used them both at the same time. When tgey grey older it became easier as they would chose most of their clothing. Socks were an issue but I sewed a different coloured cross into the soles so they knew which belonged to which. Underwear was easy to mark on labels. For toys, definitely preferred different gifts or at least different colours. Found they would swop and play with whatever they were given. Remember when they wanted bikes. DH took one son to choose in the morning and other in the afternoon. Both chose different bikes. One time was definitely stuck. They both wanted Levi 501 jeans when they came on the scene. Had to explain tgat they didnt come in different versions and uf they were happy to go out with friends who wore 501s surely its okay if both had the same style. Accepted that reasoning. Grateful school uniform was obligatory, no decisions to be made. They may be twins but they are separate people so why treat them as one.

4allweknow Sun 24-Sep-23 15:04:38

Appligies for errors, in a hurry. Having eye surgery tomorrow so hopefully better typing soon.

Nannashirlz Sun 24-Sep-23 15:17:44

My cousin has two sets of twins and each one of them gets own gifts. Just because they twins doesn’t make them one. Her youngest 26yrs are so close and her oldest 31yrs two can’t be in same room with each other infact they live 200 miles apart because they hate being twins they have always been like that since babies. The other two do everything together.

Grannyjacq1 Sun 24-Sep-23 15:36:05

Yes - always separate presents etc. We have 3 sets of twins in the immediate family. A friend had twins born either side of midnight, and so they had different birthdates! I often wonder, if this had been August 31st, whether they would have to have been a school year apart!

Hetty58 Sun 24-Sep-23 15:47:52

My birthday's in December - so I'd get one birthday/Christmas present from well meaning aunties and grandparents. I absolutely hated it, so please don't do it. Of course, one-year-olds don't understand birthdays, but next year they will!

Chardy Sun 24-Sep-23 16:34:55

Saggi

I’m an aunt to triplets and always sent separate cards and gave individual presents as they are all different . The only time I bought them a present between them was when I knew they’d have to play with it together. ….and that was a football game table …and was expensive ! But I did that only once !

I'm in the same situation and have done much the same every year, including just one big joint present that required more than one person to be enjoyed.

Oreo Sun 24-Sep-23 16:43:36

Am late to this thread but can say that twins should always have their own presents and cards.
For one year olds I bought mine clothes and an activity centre each tho they often go for the same toy as twins do like the same things quite often.

TwiceAsNice Sun 24-Sep-23 17:16:58

Always separate card, gifts and cakes. My twin grandaughters don’t look alike or have same tastes. They liked different flavour cakes when younger and now one doesn’t even eat cake so this year one had a cake and one had a whole cheese. Both really happy. They are individuals not joined at the hip!

AngieP Sun 24-Sep-23 17:21:49

Mum of twins here, definitely separate cards and gifts, though for a first birthday I wouldn't spend too much. A shared cake is fine, but as mine got older, they had their own cakes too.

storynanny Sun 24-Sep-23 17:37:30

I always do a card each and give a sum of money to the parents to choose a present each for them. Not sure about the cake as they live overseas. I think I’ve only ever seen one birthday cake in the photos.
They are only 3 at the moment but I suppose as they start developing individual interests then it becomes easier to choose presents.

Gillycats Sun 24-Sep-23 17:46:51

Never anything joint! Including the cake. When I had my twins in 1983 I went to TAMBA (twins and multiple births association) meetings. One day they had 80 year old twin sisters discussing their experiences. Someone asked what the worst thing about being a twin was. They didn’t hesitate to answer - sharing a birthday cake! I always did a cake each for mine after that.

Newatthis Sun 24-Sep-23 18:20:11

NO NO NO!! Not joint presents OR joint cake. Besides, cake I think should be the mum’s choice so follow her lead. By the individual presents, not the same. This is coming from someone who had to share a birthday with my sister.

NemoNanna Sun 24-Sep-23 19:30:07

Thanks again for all the advice and suggestions for presents. Just to clarify these two are our 5th/6th grandchildren but the first twins, they are not identical and their parents never dress them the same. I DID NOT say I was going to buy them one present/card and of course I know they are two individuals (Rowyn), already showing different personalities and developing at different rates. I’ve already orders two personalised cards. I was just interested to hear what other grandparents do, especially on the first birthday, which confirmed what I was thinking. I don’t think I’ll suggest a cake/cakes until they are older. Thank you 4allweknow for sharing your experiences.

Jackacres Sun 24-Sep-23 20:21:09

My daughter had very prem twins. Now aged 4 yrs and thriving.
We have a granddaughter and grandson.
We have always bought them similar but individual presents at Xmas and birthdays.
So far they've always shared their birthday cake.
Whilst yours are very young and don't understand the concept why not treat them to a nice day out to the zoo as these family days out can be expensive.

NemoNanna Sun 24-Sep-23 20:29:37

Lovely idea Jackacres and good to hear your two are doing well. It’s certainly a rollercoaster with vey prem babies.

TERW Mon 25-Sep-23 12:11:46

My twin Grandsons (also very prem) were 4 yesterday - definitely separate cards, presents, cakes - very different little boys, individuals, never been dressed the same - I echo what others have already said 🙂

Gundy Mon 25-Sep-23 15:06:44

They’re too young to understand what the heck is going on - the adults will enjoy the get-together and have a few drinks.

• Let the kids run wild.
• Give them balloons
• Each gets a separate card & different gift
• Two separate smaller cakes (have to!!)

Same goes for first Christmas. By god, they’re two separate individuals. Why would anyone clump them together as one?
By age 2.5-3 they start catching on to birthdays.

Adults, enjoy! Cheers!
USA Gundy

SueEH Mon 25-Sep-23 16:59:16

Parent of premature twins here.
Never ever one card/present or cake.
Never ever dress them the same.

Franbern Thu 28-Sep-23 09:01:55

Gillycats

Never anything joint! Including the cake. When I had my twins in 1983 I went to TAMBA (twins and multiple births association) meetings. One day they had 80 year old twin sisters discussing their experiences. Someone asked what the worst thing about being a twin was. They didn’t hesitate to answer - sharing a birthday cake! I always did a cake each for mine after that.

Gillycats Thanks for the mention of TAMBA now called THE TWINS TRUST. I was fortunate enough to be one of the founders of this organisation back in 1978 when my identical girls wwere three years old. I am still an honorary member and receive the magazine. So good to know how many twins and triplet (and more) parents have been aided by this organisation. If anyone has twins due to be born in their families (or born in the last few years), best pressie possible is to join them to The Twins Trust.

On the subject, definitely two presents, two cakes, and - as they get older, maybe even two separate celebrations.

My twins are still very close, definitely each others best friend. Once, when living in different countries they each sent the other exactly the same pendant as a pressie. Another time, again from different countries they both sent the identical birthday card to one of their nieces!!!

Greenfinch Thu 28-Sep-23 12:28:54

Franbern,how interesting to hear that you were one of the founders of TAMBA. I spent many happy Monday mornings with my DD and her twins at a twins club in a nearby town (I was the driver). This was 15 years ago and I enjoyed being an extra pair of arms/hands when needed. Out of interest I have just looked it up only to find it has closed .So sad as it was thriving then. I suppose lifestyles change and it became redundant.