Why do people carry their twins?
People carry twins for the same reasons anyone carries their children – to help them carry on with their day to day lives!
Twins and multiples present a unique parenting challenge. Two or more babies with similar needs that need feeding and changing and getting out of the house means it can feel like you need more pairs of hands. This is where slings can be key.
Do I have to carry both children at the same time?
Only if you want to!
There are lots of options for carrying twins. Which you choose will depend on personal preference (both your own and your children’s!), size and age of your children, and difference in their size and weight (if any).
You could carry one child and have the other in a pushchair or walking. Whilst they are small, you could carry both children on your front in a stretchy wrap or a specially designed buckle carrier for twins such as the Weego or MiniMonkey Twin. You could carry one child on each hip or one on your front and one on your back. You could share the twin carrying love with your partner, parent, sibling, friend – and carry one child each.
Which sling or carrier can I use to carry twins?
Almost anything! Woven wraps, ring slings, stretchy wraps, meh dais and buckle carriers are all popular choices. Using one carrier per child is usually recommended although many people use one woven or stretchy wrap for both children. There is a slowly growing market of twin-specific carriers such as the Twingo, Minimonkey Twin and Weego.
Which child do I put in first?
You can choose to put the smallest, sleepiest, most compliant or least wiggly child in first. Occupying them by means of a song or toy or food while you put your second child in works well! Some people always put the same child in first or always in the same position, some people alternate who goes where and when.
What do I need to think about when carrying two children at the same time?
Carrying two children at the same time can be hard work! Be aware of your own body and its limitations.
If using woven or stretchy wraps consider carries which you can pre-tie such as the front cross carry so that the majority of the work can be done before putting any child in a carrier.
If using two buckle carriers it is generally advised to try two different brands and/or use carriers with lightly padded shoulder straps. This is because a thick double layer of padding at the same point on your shoulders can feel uncomfortable and overwhelming. Integra and Connecta for example have lightly padded shoulder straps so can be a good choice.
It is not recommended to put both children’s weight on straps that are stitched to the body of a carrier. The stitching would have been designed and tested to carry one child’s weight, not two children’s weight that are pulling in opposing directions. So using a buckle carrier or meh dai with one child on your back and looping a woven wrap through the shoulder straps to carry another child on your front may place undue pressure on the straps and cause them to fail.
Be aware of the direction of pressure and make sure that the weight of one child is not being felt by the other.
If carrying one child on your front and one on your back, consider the amount of space each child has for their legs at the side of your body. You could consider carrying your children at different heights to minimise leg bumping.
If carrying both children on your front, be particularly aware of each child’s breathing space. Ensure that if they gravitate towards each other that neither child’s airway becomes compromised.
Think about how you will take your children out and in what order. Being able to independently remove either child is very useful. ‘Poppable’ carries work well for this reason. Heavier stretchy wraps such as JPMBB Original can be useful for this.
Where can I go to for advice and support?
If you have a local sling library or consultant they will be able to support you with advice and information about carrying one child and many will also be able to support you in carrying more than one should you wish.
We have lots of experience with supporting families with multiples here at It’s A Sling Thing and offer phone and Skype consultations which you can see here
Our friends over at the Facebook group Twin Sling are a friendly bunch and will be happy to help with inspiration. Thank you to everyone in Twin Sling who provided photos of their carrying journeys for us to share!