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Grandparenting

Preparing an almost three year old for the birth of his twin brothers

(33 Posts)
Thoro Fri 11-Sep-20 18:12:27

Love Gransnet but have never posted before! I’ve got a 2 yr old GS who I look after at least one day a week. DS and DiL are expecting twin boys in January when GS will also be turning 3.
My request is ideas for activities/ideas to prepare GS for the arrival of his two brothers.
And any grandparenting tips for twins! No twins in either side of the family so a total surprise (shock!). I live fairly locally having moved to be a hands on grandmother- so this is a wonderful challenge 😊

Sar53 Fri 11-Sep-20 18:45:57

Our grandson was 3 the month after his brother and sister were born. They were small but perfectly formed and came home after a couple of days.
Lots of family around so we all helped out as when needed. My stepdaughter was breastfeeding both babies so we just needed to try and make sure that grandson had a lot of attention.
It is hard on the parents but does get easier with time. They are now 6 and 3 and full of fun and mischief.
Congratulations to you and obviously the parents to be. A lovely but very hectic time ahead.

Thoro Fri 11-Sep-20 19:25:48

Sounds like fun Sar53 - I think they’re still reeling from the reality of having three children rather than two! Grandson has not yet stayed overnight with me which is the next step in case that’s needed. Thank you

Grandmabatty Fri 11-Sep-20 19:48:16

Congratulations! How lovely but very exhausting. I would definitely get your dgs used to spending time with you and staying over. Can he have a special room or area at your house? My dgs is 18 months and I'm having him tomorrow night for his first overnight sleepover, although I look after him two days a week. There will be picture books that will help. I'm thinking of Shirley Hughes and Lucy and Tom as an example but there are bound to be more up to date ones. Get him to draw pictures for the babies? It sounds very exciting for your family.

Callistemon Fri 11-Sep-20 20:05:57

How lovely!

I would ask the twins to choose a lovely present (or two) to give to their big brother when they arrive.

Getting him used to to a sleepover is a good idea but I don't think that a sleepover is a good idea after the twins arrive, unless he asks for one, as he may think he's being pushed out of the way.

He could be very helpful to Mummy and Daddy by fetching nappies etc, when the twins arrive.

GrannyLaine Fri 11-Sep-20 20:38:32

Many congratulations Thoro !
I always felt it was important not to 'big up' how much fun the new baby/ babies will be - they are most definitely not very interesting to a three year old. I was always enormously grateful to friends and relatives who ignored the baby and made a beeline for the older child, particularly if they had brought with them a gift for that child.
Expect some testing behaviour and regression, its so common as to be normal

Thoro Sat 12-Sep-20 06:01:55

Thank you, some good ideas - certainly going to be full on fun!

vegansrock Sat 12-Sep-20 07:00:19

Perhaps get a pair of twin baby boy dolls and make them a bed in. a shoebox he can perhaps play washing and dressing them etc. I have a little collection of vinyl sasha dolls that were made in the U.K. in the 70s and 80s you can still get them on ebay. They have baby boys in the collection. I think it was fashionable for a short time.

Oopsadaisy4 Sat 12-Sep-20 09:06:12

I would try to get him to spend more time with you (with overnight stays) as soon as possible, don’t leave it until the babies are born, as he might feel that he is being taken out of the way.
Make his time with you so special that he will feel that he is grown up enough to spend time away from the crying babies.

Don’t expect him to love them straight away.

TwiceAsNice Sat 12-Sep-20 09:38:19

Start sleepovers straightaway if family think that will help. Anybody visiting after the twins are born should give him lots of attention first ( and hopefully a present) including a big brother present from the babies themselves. Tell him how clever he is and he can do lots of things the babies can’t do yet and explain they wont be able to play with him for ages.

Regarding looking after twins it’s obviously twice as much work and mum will be exceptionally tired and will need lots of support. Don’t expect the babies to sleep at the same time and not always feed at the same time either.

Everything will take twice as long and leaving the house is a military campaign! My granddaughters are now 11 but I remember the early years well. Two children together are so funny and often gang up together against the adults as pre schoolers.

My daughter had PND for a few months so be aware of that possibility twins can be a bit overwhelming but so gorgeous.

Juicylucy Sat 12-Sep-20 10:09:41

Congratulations... ive no experience of twins but there are children’s books about bringing babies into the family that you could read to him, I think it’s called something like I’m a big brother.

Franbern Sat 12-Sep-20 10:12:19

Do not expect your g.son to be happy about having not one, but two babies in the house taking so many peoples attention and time. And, twins do attract a lot of attention.
Do expect some retro behavior as he may want to become 'a baby' again.
it will pass. For yourself and the parents to be I would suggest that you join TAMBA, and be able to get lots of help and advice from others who have had multiple births.
They produce an excellent magazine and most areas have their own branches which used to meet regularly for self-support. Not sure what happens with those at present.
Multiple births are so exciting - hope you daughter in law can really enjoy them.
When my identical twin girls were born, I had three others, a 5 year old just started school, a four year old and a two year old.
I became an 'earth mother' and when I fed the babies from the breast during the day I would do it mainly on my bed so that the 2-year old could sit in front of me and I could read her books to her (upside down and mainly knew by heart).
Had a lovely friend who would come over each morning to help me bath the babies allowing them both to have a feed from me by themselves.
Breast feeding may be difficult to get establised, but is so worthwhile and saves so very much time.

SusieB50 Sat 12-Sep-20 10:18:10

My DS and DiL had twins 10 years ago ( can’t believe it !) they were in the prem unit for 4 weeks , both fine but small . They were advised for the first weeks once home, if one wakes for a feed to wake the other as well and feed otherwise there is no respite ! It worked well and they soon got into a routine . But it’s very hard work DiL expressed her breast milk so others could help out too . The “big brother “. will need lots of attention and special time with his mum and dad too as well as grandparents. Maybe offer to look after twins for an hour so Mum can take just him to the park . Good luck , I was only 60 when they were born still working but helped all I could !

grandtanteJE65 Sat 12-Sep-20 10:29:08

Don't mention the approaching happy event yet awhile. A month is a lifetime at his age, so Sept.-Jan. is an enternity.

I second the advice to have him staying the night with you frequently.

A present from you to your grandson when he becomes a big brother is indictated. Something he will enjoy playing with.

Giving him and his mum time together away from the twins will be a really good thing.

I would suggest a special time with you too for Grandma's "big boy".

Thoro Sat 12-Sep-20 10:39:48

You folks are great - so many good ideas I’m writing them down (I’m still a paper and pen person most of the time!)
January will be busy as I hit 70 at the start of it, DiL and DH also have birthdays in January and now it looks like all the Gs ‘ will have Jan birthdays too.

JdotJ Sat 12-Sep-20 10:56:30

As the grandmother of gorgeous 4 year old twins (boy&girl) who have just started 'big' school, its absolutely wonderful but so very tiring so any help you can offer I'm sure will be gratefully received

CarlyD7 Sat 12-Sep-20 11:59:08

Yes, definitely get him used to sleepovers at your house (apart from anything-else, twins will be VERY disruptive to sleep at his own house and children deprived of sleep can get very grouchy, as you will know). Maybe put aside a special room for him at your house (if you can) and involve him in how to decorate it? (IKEA have some wonderfully colourful mats and furniture for children's rooms). Make sure that everyone knows to give him lots of attention when they visit to see the twins (and speak to him first, and give him a present when they bring something for the twins). A colleague of mine had a boy who was 4 when his twin brothers were born - he came to LOATHE them and kept asking "can we take them back?" Both his parents worked full time and were permanently exhausted - and they didn't live near extended family either. Their little boy regressed and started needing nappies again. This needs to be handled very sensitively (which they really didn't do). He can start nursery school at 4 so that might help him - to be more out of the house, so that parents can focus on the twins without him getting jealous? (Sorry if this sounds negative but pre-warned is pre-armed !)

missdeke Sat 12-Sep-20 12:35:30

www.stressfreemommies.com/2017/02/8-fun-books-that-teach-toddlers-about-new-baby/
Some good ideas of books to read to him.

4allweknow Sat 12-Sep-20 14:08:58

Goodness don't know how my DD survived the arrival of her twin brothers. Two and a half years old, no family support, DH job meant he worked different hours each day or away from home for up to 3 weeks. Oh, and in the days of undiagnosed until 6 weeks before due date and that was only by chance. DD loved her baby brothers, never jealous and wanted them to play asap. One thing I did wish for was instead of friends offering to take DD to play with wee friends, that they would take twins to allow me to have time alone with DD. Didn't happen as people felt they couldn't cope. When DH was around that was when I had to grab some special time with DD. Concentrate on your DGS, leave the new babies to the parents.

vickya Sat 12-Sep-20 14:11:09

Vegan'srock's idea of getting two dolls for him to play with like the arriving twins is a nice idea. I had second daughter when first was 22 months and second brought a nice Fisher Price clock as a gift when she arrived smile. I had a playpen and one or other child was often in it. Older learned to walk round the sides and it then protected younger, in case.

When second grandson was 3 I gave him the little dolls' buggy I had had for his cousin and he liked the buggy as likes anything with wheels. He's still car mad and always has been. Is now 4. His cousin who is a year older liked the buggy from the start and put dolls in it. She has always liked to play putting dolls to bed etc too. He is more active.

Granddaughter's older brother was calmer and was 9 when his sister was born and loved to help with her and still does. The gap was bigger though than your one.

lizzypopbottle Sat 12-Sep-20 16:15:17

My two grandsons each have their own baby. The older boy happily sits and breastfeeds his baby (Baby Lester) although nowhere near as often as their real baby sister gets fed! 💖💖

Lioness68 Sat 12-Sep-20 17:37:55

No experience here but I fully expect to be the grandmother of twins at some time in the future. My daughter in law is a twin, as is her own mother and there are twins in every generation of my husband's family. Congratulations to all.

Hithere Sat 12-Sep-20 18:27:45

This is what I did when I was pregnant with my second:
I asked my DD1 how she felt about having a sibling.
Depending on the answer (verbal and non verbal), I would address that.

My dd1 was 2.5 y.o. when dd2 was born.
We basically included dd1 as much as we could so as to minimize jealousy.

My dh and i told my dd1 how lucky she was having a sibling to have playdates whenever she wanted.
It could take a while till dd2 was a little older because babies do not do much in the beginning.

We also told her we loved her so much and she would make a great big sister.
We asked her what she (dd1) wanted to do to help us with her sister, what name to pick for dd2 from a list the three of us made, what clothes to use in the hospital and to bring her home, etc.

We also explained to her that babies require a lot of time and attention and it is only temporary. We would always be there for her if she wanted to talk to us but she may have to wait for a min or two till we finished what we were doing so we could give her full attention (teaching patience).

Thoro Sat 12-Sep-20 20:06:40

Thanks again. DS and DGS here today to give DiL time for a rest. First sleepover arranged for next Friday night. xx

trooper7133 Sat 12-Sep-20 20:43:05

Grandma of twins here. I moved in with DD and SIL (at their request) for the first few weeks. Three years on they say they don’t know what they would have done with out me there. It is so full on with twins. They are usually tiny (mine were 4lbs) and need feeding more frequently than a singleton so it feels like they are always awake. With me there it meant either DD or SIL could go for a sleep always leaving two of us with the twins so they got 1-1. It made the nights a bit easier for them as they had managed some sleep during the day.
Be prepared when you take them out. People stare, make comments and ask ridiculous questions. I was asked which one was my favourite! DD was asked if they were conceived naturally or by IVF! I’ve heard double trouble a million times 😂
It’s wonderful though, albeit exhaustingly.They have bought me so much joy.