10 Things You’ll Need with Irish Twins

More great info from my friend, JessieLeigh, because… she is a mama who knows her stuff!
Having two babies within one year doesn’t mean you’ll need two of everything that true twin parents need.  Your older baby will have outgrown the bouncy seat, for example, by the time number two arrives.  Still, you’ll be needing some things that parents of more widely spaced siblings do not.  Here are ten of them:
  1. Two cribs– Even figuring the new baby will be in a cradle, bassinet, or your bed for a few months, your older baby will probably still be too little to move into a bed- and there’s no reason to rush it.  Try to borrow a second crib if possible so both your little ones can be safe and comfy!
  2. Two rear-facing car seats– Your older baby will likely have outgrown the infant seat, so your newborn can move into that.  Pick up a convertible car seat that can be rear-facing for as long as the older baby can fit comfortably, then turned forward facing.  This is the safest way to go!
  3. Many, many diapers– There’s not much getting around it- you WILL have two in diapers.  May as well stock up!  If in doubt, I buy a ton of size 3 diapers.  Maybe it’s just my babies, but they seem to be in that 16-28 pound range for a very long time.
  4. Lots of bottles or the energy to manage tandem nursing or a combination thereof– For at least a little while there, you may very well have two babies drinking from bottles or nursing.  If both your little ones are going to be on bottles, be sure to buy some new nipples for the newborn- older ones get “stretched” over time and the flow may be too fast for a new baby.  If you plan on tandem nursing, be especially conscientious about getting enough calories and fluids for YOU!
  5. A decent sized diaper bag– Even though you’re not as likely to haul around everything but the kitchen sink once you get past your first baby, you’ll still need some room even for just the essentials when there are two babies.  I survived with just the plain black hospital issue diaper bag.  It doesn’t have to be fancy- just don’t think you’re going to be carrying some cute little purse in lieu of a diaper bag anytime soon… 😉
  6. A highchair AND a booster seat (or two highchairs)– When the time comes for your new baby to try some solid foods, your older one will still need a lift to be able to reach the table.  Two highchairs are fine if you have them, but a simple booster will do fine for the older child.
  7. A double stroller– You might not “need” this, but I think you’ll find life much better with it!  Your “not-quite-one-year-old” may very well not be walking yet and, even if she happens to be, you’ll likely still want to put her in a stroller in some situations.  I will go on record and say that I despise seeing preschoolers and beyond corralled in strollers- it’s just not how I like to operate.  But two under one?  Strap ’em in!
  8. A sling or wrap– I mentioned it before- this is a good season in which to embrace baby-wearing.  I never felt the need to wear my first baby.  It seemed I could always manage to hold him when needed.  Once I had two babies?  It was such a blessing to be able to wear the newborn snuggled close to me and still have my hands free!
  9. An easy distraction– I don’t want to appear a slacker, but I highly recommend you find something that can hold your older baby’s attention for a few minutes with limited effort on your part.  Whether it’s a Baby Einstein DVD (NOT going to make your baby smarter, but also unlikely to cause real damage) or a noisy, flashy toy… let go of your high standards for a few minutes a day when you need to.  There will be times when your newborn needs you and the older child is not napping, eating, or otherwise engaged.  Having a quick “trick” in your back pocket can help save your day.  Just don’t rely on it too much.
  10. A sense of humor– You’re going to get a lot of unsolicited comments… things like “You DO know how this happens, right?” and “Is that even POSSIBLE?”  You will also sometimes find yourself with two screaming babies on your hands and no way to remedy everything at once.  Your house will likely suffer for awhile.  Take a deep breath.  Soak in all that wonderful baby essence.  Laugh.  These days will go by all too fast… Trust me.  Pretty soon you’ll be chasing toddlers.  Two of them.  Don’t worry- I’ll be praying for you. 🙂

Anything missing from this list?  Those of you with 2 children born in the same year, what would you add?

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  1. What a fantastic list! I had my first four in five years, so would that be Irish quadruplets? 🙂 I wish I’d seen something like this back then. Loved this post!

    • Michelle Drown says:

      I had my first two 12 mos and 11 days apart. Yes, you do have to let go of high standards. Somethimes two hands are not enough and you cannot split in half. My third was born 2 years later. Three in diapers all at once was insane/crazy, my house suffered and I did not get much sleep but looking back on my teenagers now I would not trade one day of it for all the money in the world. They are fantastic young men and I am proud of them all. If I could turn back time and do it again, I would in a heartbeat.
      If you are just starting out, it does go by really fast. Enjoy it. You will miss it!

  2. My dear friend has a just-turned-one year old and just gave birth to twins!! Parts of this list would be great for her…only she’ll need 3 of some things!

  3. Amen to the big diaper bag! I’m currently down to one using the diaper bag, and I hardly know what to do with all the extra room. 🙂

  4. I’m so thankful someone else admits it’s all right to let your older child watch a little television-especially in those early days! My first two are one year apart(not quite irish twins, but close!) and then I had my third baby when my second child was sixteen months(and now my fourth baby is on its way, making the age difference b/t the 3rd and 4th about 15 months.) It’s tough bringing home a new baby, and trying to make sure your other children don’t feel left out. I think the best thing you can do is just let go of the guilt and do what you can to survive! And amen to having a sense of humor!

  5. I agree with everything! My little boys were 14 months apart, so it was a bit crazy going from 1 to 3 babies so quickly. My little boys are very close even at 9 and 8 years old. I wouldn’t change a thing about it and hope we can actually do it again.

  6. Great list! We opted for the backpack vs. diaper bag. It is much easier to carry when one of us has both babies.

    • amy Hyslop carr says:

      We too went the backpack route! But it never really dawned on us until the the last second that we would need a double stroller !

  7. Sarah (outta my mind) Wall says:

    I am the mother of a just-turned 4 yr old and 2 girls I had on the SAME day exactly a year apart! I work a full time job where my shift starts at 5am, and as soon as I get home at 1 the kids are waiting for me at home. My husband gets home around 6 every night so they dont want to go to be till around 9…..its EXTREMELY hard on me but somehow I’ve seemed to manage thus far. my girls are now 17 months and 5 months old. These are awesome tips, I just wish I would’ve seen this sooner instead of learning it all the hard way… 🙁 lol

  8. I am an Irish twin, the younger one. Me and my sister are 51 weeks apart and my mum was laughing at this list saying that its true but she’s soooo glad that we took the stereotypical one quite twin one loud twin. Lets just say I wasn’t the quite one aha

  9. My sister and I are 2 days shy of a year apart does that mean we are Iris twins

  10. Barbara Honeybone says:

    Well I could probably be all of you, my Son was born 31st Jan 1974 and my Daughter was born 14th Nov 1974, that makes my two children exactly 9.1/2 months apart, and it was really easy, it was like raising Twins, I had no problems everything went smoothly. Are’nt I a clever Mum!!!

  11. It took me 12 years to get pregnant with my daughter Hannah and that was with fertility meds. 3 months after she was born, we got the biggest shock of our lives when we found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. My daughter and son (due May 7th, 2013) will be 11 months apart, almost exactly as Hannah’s birthday is June 6th, 2012. I have to admit, I am scared. I think mostly on the lack of sleep and trying to cope with that. When Hannah was born, even though my husband would help with feedings at night, you still here her and wake up. I was depressed due to the lack of sleep for the first 2 months. I’m worried this time because I wont be able to nap when he naps, like I did with Hannah. How have some of you coped with this?

    • Oh, wow. That WOULD be a (happy) shock! Congratulations to you! I don’t have Irish Twins, so I’m going to sit back and hope other (more helpful) moms can answer.

    • Tianna Williams says:

      I was also depressed do to a lack of sleep. I am a mother of a 2 1/2 , 18 month, and 4 month old. if you ask how i do it i just say prey and keep a smile on your face. I get little to no sleep because when one is sleep the others are woke. I have a double and single stroller, two toddler car seats and an infant car seat. I love my life because they get to grow up together and the 2 1/2 and 18mth old get along great and they love there little brother. I have 2 in diapers, 1 on sippy cups, 1 on bottles, when i need a babysitter i have to seperate them because most people cant handle what i can. so i have to always carry two diaper bags along with my backpack because i am a fulltime student as well as trying to open my own business. In my life there is no such thing as naps. Though it out and just breath.

    • Honestly I became a pepsi addict. I cant drink coffee so Pepsi is my energy boost. When I first had my son it was hard but we learned to cope. In the summer I would take them for walks until they were both asleep and sneek home asap so I could lay down too! I even resorted to leaving them in the stroller for naps. they were buckled in and I would put the stroller next to the couch where I slept for nap. It’s not always how I wanted it but we made it.

      • That’s what my mom did as well. Even though we are now 13 and 14 she still drinks about 1/2 liters a day. We live with our grandparents because of her job and our dad. It is interesting for us because when we go out people ask us if we are twins a LOT. When we tell them to guess who is older they usually pick me. I am younger by a little more than 11 months.

    • My girls are 13 months apart, just shy of Irish twin qualification. I am a sleeper. You will definitely have days where you won’t be able to nap but there will also be days when you can. This period won’t last long. If you’re lucky you’re baby will take long naps. Both of mine were 20 minute nappers as newborns. About 3 to 4 months they started to take longer (45mins-1 hour) naps. Good luck to you and think positive and try to enjoy them both! It will be over sooner than you think! 🙂

    • Same thing happened to me. I had my son July 9th with medical help and now due with another boy due July 23rd. My other son’s due date was actually July 24th. But I know with thos pregnancy they will not let me go full term. So they may end up having same birth date.

      • Hi!

        I’m glad this thread is still going strong after 2 years!! I too will be a mom of two little Irish twin girls. They will be no more than 11 months because I had a last minute C-section for my first baby and the doctor will not allow me to have a VBAC. I am both happy and scared! At first I could not believe it as I had no symptoms at all, but now that the idea is settling in, I’m staring to worry about what I will do during the first 6 weeks after my 2nd C-section. I realize now that I will not be allowed to hold my 11 month old and this I find terrifying. I am in the process of getting a baby carrier. I decided to invest in an ERGObaby carrier since it helps distributing the weight. I’m also looking for a double stroller (mostly on Craigslist because they are very expensive) I guess my question, if any of you went through this, is how did you handle your other roles as a wife, employee, and, in my case, college student? I must admit neither baby was planned and so far everyone around me has been very supportive I tear up every time I think about it! But now with this economy most employers take advantage of people and demand “full flexibility/ availability” which is one of the reasons I am back to college full-time to complete the requirements for nursing school. However I can’t find a job that would more or less allow me to keep college a priority, so some nights I panic

        • Catherine says:

          I’m reading this blog because my son and his wife will have Irish twins next year. They are both only children and don’t have a clue what is to come. They don’t seem to be concerned about having a baby under a year and a newborn.
          Like you, I was a worrier when I was pregnant about how it would all work out. Maybe they have it right, they have faith it will be fine. Try to enjoy your pregnancy, keep your priorities, remember kids are tougher than they seem, and before you know it, they will be in school and you will be a nurse. Best of luck to you. I have a strong feeling you will succeed.

  12. penny wyngarden says:

    me and my sister were 1yr and 6mos apart are we irish twins

  13. Me and my brother are ten month apart. (I was 6 weeks early) I never realized how hard my parents must have worked. I guess I should thank them 🙂

  14. Robert S. Lancaster says:

    My first two – both girls – were born eleven months apart (May 24, 1982, May 6, 1983). Their poor Mother had given birth TWICE before her first Mothers’ Day!

    People would often approach us when we were out with them (The Double Stroller was a MUST!) and ask “Are they twins?” and we would always answer “No, they were born eleven months apart!”

    Soon enough, when people would come up and ask that, the girls themselves would answer, in unison: “No, we were born eleven months apart!”

    Neither we nor they had heard the term “Irish Twins” until they were in college, and a teacher referred to them that way.

  15. I have just found out I am having Irish twins! My daughter – our first baby was born 5th June 2013, after struggling for 3 years to conceive

    The next little miracle will be due May 2014- based on lmp due date of early May but I won’t know for sure until first scan in late October

    I am bookmarking this page right now !!

    • Sara Miller says:

      I also just had a baby girl in June 2013 and am due July 2014 . Lucky for me I also have a 19 and 13 yr old daughters that are In love with our new girl Bell and help me emensely. Soooo excited. Scared and worried but thrilled to expand our family.

      • Melissa says:

        That’s awesome to know that you have the older kids too. Mine are 17 and 15 years and I have a now 8 week old and am planning to get pregnant right away. My 17 year old has a baby 7 weeks older than my youngest. They love their little brother and welcome another. Kids are awesome. 🙂

  16. Most days in the first year were just survival, lol. Now with my youngest being 2, we’re starting to finally get out of the house. It’s crazy now, but I know they’ll be so close as they grow up. 🙂

  17. My kids are 11 months apart and I loved it. I had a boy first then 11 months later a girl. No clothes could be shared but they also had their own identity.

    • my parents had the same thing. we are 11 months apart, but i have more of his clothes than my own. if he has a shirt i like it just disappears out of his room and then it’s mine. we share plenty of clothes

  18. Today is my oldest son’s birthday…he turned 11. Yesterday was his brother’s, he turned 10. To them they are two individual people with a closeness no one will ever understand. They usually get tired of the “are they twins”? questions, so they jus tell people they are. They wanted to know down to a science how far apart they were and I have figured it to be 11 months 3.5 weeks 2days 9hrs and 16mins. Through that didn’t help them too much, they did at least understand how they were able to be the same age for one day. To watch them grow up has been an amazing thing. Though they aren’t technically twins, they way they interact and even their growth patterns mimic one another’s.

  19. My Irish twins are 11 1/2 months apart. Daughter was born in 1993 & my son in 1994. I so enjoyed having them so close in age and emotionally. They definitely kept me on my toes though. I tell you, if I had a dollar for every time I was and still asked if they are twins, I would be rich by now. They are my only two children. Last year both of them were engaged within a month of each other and married within four months of each other. I would do all over again and again if I could.

  20. Me and my brother are Irish twins. We are the same age for 6 weeks. We are 9 1/2 months apart

  21. I have a 3 month old baby girl and found out today that I am pregnant. Norah was born Nov, 7th 2015 and this one due October 24th 2016… I am thrilled but so scared at the same time. I work full time and had a csection with my 3 month old. Scared about it being painful, and altogether how I will cope. Is it normal to feel guilty and nervous?

    • I realize I am super late to answer this, Maria, but just in case anyone else is reading your comment and feeling the same… YES. Absolutely YES that is perfectly normal. Praying that those feelings will give way to excitement and joy in the months to come!


  1. […] people don’t know it, but I have a twin. It’s true. My sister Audra and I are twins; Irish twins to be exact. What is that might you ask? Well, my sister was born in February of 1986 then after […]

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