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Multiple Milestones

Children reach milestones in playing, learning, moving, speaking and behaving but its important to remember that all children grow at different rates and twins, even if identical, are still just siblings two different people who will develop at different paces and in different ways. They are unique individuals even though they have shared the same womb and may or may not look remarkably similar!

From the moment you bring your babies home, your lives are filled with firsts! First smile, first tooth, first word, first step, and the joy of twins is that you get everything in duplicate! Skills such as taking a first step, waving bye-bye, learning to count or talking in sentences are called developmental milestones, and these markers enable parents and health professionals to monitor each babys learning, behaviour and development.
Meeting Milestones

Many twins and multiples, due to prematurity and/or low birth weight, meet milestones later than average. Doctors often refer to adjusted age which means calculating their age from their due date rather than their delivery date. If your babies are developing within 1 month of their adjusted age then you probably have no need to worry. Keep in mind that slight differences dont mean much. With twins you can expect to see some delays in milestones like holding up their heads, smiling, rolling over, and grasping objects.

Babies grow at an amazing rate in the first months and years of life as they rapidly grow in length and weight. In the first two years, babies grow to almost half their adult height and can quadruple their birth weight. During this period, it's important for parents or carers to take the infants to the Health Visitor for regular checkups to make sure they are growing at the appropriate rate. The daily diary is a useful reference guide for them too.

Compare and Compare Alike!

Of course, comparing twins is only natural and we all do it, consciously or not! You can't help comparing your babies accomplishments to those of other tots, but when the one who's leaping ahead happens to be his/her twin, you're bound to have double the anxiety.

Why is one twin not like the other? Because no two babies are the same and although identical twins may have a similar rate of development, there are many reasons why there could be disparities. Fraternal twins on the other hand are just like any brother or sister pair. Did you and your sibling roll over or walk at exactly the same age? Probably not!

So, don't worry if your twins aren't hitting their early developmental markers at the same time, the important thing is that they reach them at some point. As your twins encounter new milestones on their developmental journey, hang in there, be patient, treat them as individuals, and they will master the new skill, in their own time and in their own way.

Help and Guidance

Have fun tracking each of your babies progress, but don't be rigid when it comes to expecting your little ones to hit certain milestones. If your instinct tells you that one or both of your babies seems to have a delay in a certain area of development, share your worries with your health visitor. All the guidelines given in this book are the approximate point at which a child would or could meet these milestones. There are some who will perform these 'feats' prior to this age and an equal number will take longer

Read More Language and Development Tips for Twins and Triplets

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