We get asked a lot about the best books to buy when you’re expecting twins, at home with newborn twins, or generally navigating the throes of getting your multiples to stand next to you—quietly—for 17 seconds while you check out of the grocery store.
Erin and I have interestingly complementary perspectives from which to chime in on this topic. My twins, after all, are 9 years old, and there weren’t nearly as many options on the bookshelf for parents expecting twins 10 years ago as there are today. Back then, if it was on the bookshelf, I bought it, plain and simple. Erin’s twins are only 2, however, so she’s must more aware of more recently published resources. So let us just give you our respective recommendations, shall we?
Many new books have been published since our twins were born. However, I’m happy to report that several of my favorites (from “the olden days”) have stood the test of time. Here are my Top 5 books for parents of twins and higher-order multiples:
When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy, 3rd Edition, by Dr. Barbara Luke
I was so thrilled to have found this terrific book when I was pregnant with Jack and Henry, and given that it’s been updated since then, I can only imagine that it’s even better today. What I loved most about Dr. Luke’s approach was that it was factual without being scary. I read far too many books and articles on all of the things that can go wrong during a pregnancy (any pregnancy), and it was enough to make me worry about even getting out of bed in the morning.
I wanted to be empowered and informed, but in a positive way, and this book did that just perfectly.
The Multiple Pregnancy Sourcebook: Pregnancy and the First Days with Twins, Triplets, and More, by Nancy Bowers
Nancy Bowers is a professional friend of mine, and I greatly respect her approach as a mom of twins as well as a very well-educated nurse and overall health care provider. I wish that this book had been available when I was expecting twins, but alas, it was not. From nutrition to the variety of diagnostic tests available to moms expecting multiples to postnatal care and the first few days at home, this book is a great source of information as well as comfort for expectant and new parents of twins.
The Baby Sleep Solution: A Proven Program to Teach Your Baby to Sleep Twelve Hours a Night, by Suzi Giordano
Is it inappropriate for me to reveal that I might use this book on my 9-year-olds? Somehow, I don’t think their issues going to sleep 3 hours past their bedtime are quite what Suzi is speaking to. What is her area of expertise, however, is getting not only a singleton to sleep through the night but getting multiples to sleep through the night.
Suzi made her mark after she taught her own multiples to sleep through the night by 12 weeks of age, after which point her approach worked on her friend’s multiples, and a friend of that friend, and a career was born. I know someone who hired Suzi after the birth of her newborn twins, and she was more than a little pleased to report that while the task seemed insurmountable at first, her twins were sleeping 12 hours straight by the time they were 11 weeks old, using Suzi’s gentle methods.
Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Children in Language That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility, by Chick Moorman
I’ve long touted the value of this book. Sure, it likely won’t be terribly valuable when your babies are newborns, or even a year old. But the strategies for guiding your kids with simple statements and requests instead of the 37-minute lecture we can dive into with reckless abandon are phenomenal, and the earlier you make them part of your approach the easier they will be to call upon when that 3-year-old is standing on the other 3-year-old attempting to access the hidden stash of Halloween candy.
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
This book isn’t necessarily about getting through a feeding, or what gear to buy (though it may help to convince you that you don’t truly need the $900 stroller — and, further, explain the psychological reasons why you think you do need the $900 stroller). It is, at its core, about the importance of parents taking a step back now and then to identify exactly who they are as parents instead of rushing willy nilly to keep up with everyone else.
After all, how on earth can we make the best decisions as parents if we don’t know who we are, how we feel about things, and what will work best for our unique families?
What are your favorite parenting books as a mom or dad of multiples?