Twins of the Month: Vivienne and Philippa

10807848_10152826236992207_1926722482_nThis month we meet Colleen Yates’ twins Vivienne and Philippa.

Twin/Triplets Names: Vivienne (Vivi) and Philippa (Pippa)
Age: 14.5 months
Birthday: 04 September 2013
Identical or fraternal: We don’t know! They were DCDA, but they look very similar and have the same blood type, eye colour, hair colour, etc. Still trying to decide if we should do a zygosity test.
Favourite activity: They love going to the park, reading books, going to play groups, and swimming.
A bit about Mum & Dad: Pete and Colleen live in Teddington, where Pete heads up the digital department of a disaster relief charity. Colleen quit her job after maternity leave and enjoys spending her days looking after the girls. They are a transatlantic couple (Pete English, Colleen American) who met whilst working in Indonesia, so they love to travel with the girls whenever they get a chance.
Older/younger siblings: Not yet!
Buggy: Bugaboo Donkey
Car: None–we find public transport is easier and quicker with the buggy!
Help or not: No, though Colleen’s parents did come to help out for a few weeks after the babies were born.
Quick tip for other twin/triplet mums: Routine saved our lives! We also worked out a shift system for the nights so that we could each count on at least 6 hours of sleep per night.
What advice would you give your pre-twins/triplets (pregnant) self: Take time to savour the calm before the storm and last months of true time to yourself instead of wishing the babies would just hurry up and arrive. A first pregnancy only happens once.
What advice would you give about sleep training: Get them synchronised and into a good routine asap. We liked Gina Ford’s twins book (good if you can wade through the prescriptiveness and adapt it to your needs–we took the meat of what she said whilst leaving out/adjusting what was unhelpful), but there are loads of good ones out there.
What advice would you give about breast/bottle feeding: Don’t stress about it if you find breastfeeding a total nightmare–formula is okay and does, in many ways, make life easier for getting out and about. There all sorts of feeding styles in between exclusive breastfeeding and exclusive formula bottle feeding, so find the arrangement that works best and don’t feel guilty about it. A good double pump (Ameda Lactaline) with a hands-free pumping bra was a lifesaver for increasing supply.
Do you have any advice on weaning: We had great success with baby-led. It was messy, but our girls are now fantastic eaters and we never had the stress of trying to get them to move from purées to solids. We got to sit down and enjoy nice meals together instead of worrying about puréeing foods and spooning them into mouths whilst also trying to eat our own food.
Do you have any advice on potty training: Nope, but would love to hear everyone else’s thoughts!
Best bargain: There are several good twins’ Facebook selling groups with all sorts of bargains to be had. ‘Yummy Twin Mummy’s Selling Page’, ‘Twins (and more) stuff galore’, and ‘Boden Selling Page for Twins’ are my favourites. The local ‘TW11 Mum’s Buying/Selling/Giving’ Facebook group is also a gold mine for nice secondhand things.
Best thing about having twins/triplets: We always have people to talk to on buses/trains/at playgroups because people are so interested in twins, so I have enjoyed taking them to new things and meeting lots of lovely new people. They play together as they get older!
Funniest thing the twins/triplets have done: They have started offering each other milk and dummies when the other one is upset, which is pretty cute.
I love Twickenham Twins’ Club because… The playgroup is great!