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The first year of being pregnant and of having a sweet newborn is a joyful time filled with so many rewarding moments. However, as any new parent will tell you, it’s also a time filled with lots of unsolicited advice and seemingly helpful comments and observations that can actually be quite hurtful.


This is especially true when you’re pregnant with twins.

Many adults (most of whom have little or no experience with multiples) will tell you how hard things are going to be, how you’ll never be your old self again, how they’re glad that they never had twins. As someone who has been through this myself and has worked with countless parents of multiples, you need to know that most of these comments are simply untrue.

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Here are the six biggest misconceptions about having twins that we’d like to clear up:

Myth 1: You won’t have any alone time with your partner

Obviously as parents of twins (especially in the newborn phase), you’re not going to have as much couple time as you did when you first started dating. You probably won’t spend Sundays leisurely snuggling on the couch and reading the newspaper.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make time to focus on each other. When the babies are tiny, this could mean taking a long stroller walk together a few times each week. As they get a bit older, it might mean having dinner alone (no cell phones or TV allowed!) while the kids are asleep. As long as you have your twins (and siblings) on a schedule, there will be predictable time slots for the two of you.

Try planning a standing date night every week where you put the kids to sleep, eat take-out and share cocktails or a bottle of wine. To take things up a notch, plan a monthly date night out or overnight trip with just the two of you.

If you have helpful family who is willing to babysit, TAKE ADVANTAGE! If you don’t and can afford it, hire a responsible high school or college student to watch the kids for a few hours each month. Never feel guilty about leaving your kids for a date or a trip. By taking care of your relationship, you’re giving yourself and your partner the strength to be better, more patient parents and also setting a good example of what a healthy relationship looks like.

Myth 2: You’ll never get back to your pre-pregnancy weight after carrying multiple babies

Being a pretty active person for most of my adult life, this is something that I definitely worried about when I was pregnant with my twins. I don’t feel like myself if I’m not exercising. To make things worse, I was put on bed rest at 18 weeks pregnant.

The good news is that 21 months after giving birth, I am actually 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I don’t have a nanny, a personal trainer, or a nutritionist. I didn’t do any popular diet, take pills, or do a complicated workout regime.

I lost the weight by doing only two things: Counting calories and tracking what I ate (using MyFitnessPal) and tracking my steps (with a pedometer, then a Fitbit). Obviously those two things wouldn’t work for everyone but I do think that everyone can find a way to be healthy that fits their lifestyle.

My advice is to find a way to be active that you like and that you can realistically stick to. If you’re a morning person (or can adjust to being one), wake up for a walk or workout DVD early in the morning before the kids get up. If you do better at night, work out in the evening after the kids go to bed or when your partner can watch them. If you’re home during the day, join a gym that has childcare.

Even many inexpensive gyms have childcare facilities where you can leave your little ones for an hour or so. Note: It might take your twins a few weeks to get used to the childcare facility, especially if they’re toddlers. Bring them as many days as possible, even if it’s just for a short time, for two to three weeks and I promise they’ll become comfortable there. (This advice goes for babysitters and preschool too!)

One last point is that, yes, your body may look a little different after giving birth (tummy not as tight, smaller or larger bra size), but it’s still possible to be healthy and to get your body into a shape that you feel proud of.

Myth 3. You will break the bank buying two of everything

There are tons of baby items that you either don’t need two of or that you don’t need at all!

Some examples of things that you’ll only need one of:

  • Travel crib (since you won’t be using it very often, borrow the 2nd from a friend. Better yet, pair up with another twin mom and borrow from each other)
  • Baby monitor (you can buy one monitor with two cameras or buy a second camera used. Just make sure it’s compatible.)
  • Nursing pillow (buy a double nursing pillow, like Twin Z, that can be used for nursing both babies at once or for a resting place for both babies)

For items like swings and rockers, either buy used or let your babies try it at a friend’s house first. Different babies respond well to different soothers so you could spend a ton of money on something that one or both babies hate.

In terms of items that you do need more than one of, there are so many ways to save money:

  • Buy generic brand diapers, wipes and formula
  • Borrow as much as you can from friends, search Craigslist and local Buy/Sell/Trade pages for free and cheap items,
  • Buy items that can be used for more than one purpose
  • Buy from stores that offer a twin discount (see TLC’s list from our Expecting Twins class).

Remember to pay it forward by selling or giving away your baby items when you’re finished with them!

Myth 4: You will never have a full night of sleep again

There are ways to get a respectable amount of sleep even from the beginning. Besides following Harvey Karp’s tips from his book Happiest Baby on the Block (rent the DVD from the library!), if you are breastfeeding I highly recommend pumping as much as you have time for so that you can delegate at least one feeding per day to someone else.

My husband and I created “shifts” where he was in charge of feeding and soothing both babies every night from 7pm to midnight, and I was in charge from midnight until 6am the next morning.

Once your babies are four or five months or so, you can sleep train them, if that’s what you want to do. If you choose to do this, double check with your pediatrician first, or hire a sleep consultant to help you figure out the best plan.

Myth 5: You can say goodbye to your social life

This might be the biggest of the misconceptions. I’m not saying that you’re going to have the SAME social life that you had pre-twins (you probably won’t be staying out all night dancing, then stopping for greasy diner food on the way home). What I will say, though, is that having multiples opens the door for conversations with all kinds of people as well as an instant connection with other parents of multiples.

When you’re out in public with your littles, you will have people stopping you left and right to tell you that you’re a “superhero” or that it “looks like you have your hands full.” Ninety-nine percent of the time, these people are just being friendly and have good intentions. I’ve ended up having conversations with twin-moms and dads who are now in their 80’s as well as teenagers who just want to tell me how cute my babies are. I’ve even made a few friends (without twins) who originally started chatting with me after seeing my twins.

Besides all of this, I highly recommend joining your local Parents of Multiples group. I became close with many of the moms in my group during our weekly stroller walks with our newborn twin babies. It’s so nice to have someone to talk to who’s going through the same thing as you.

Myth 6: You’ll never get out of the house

Getting out of the house with twins can be challenging, but it’s absolutely doable and so important. Being home alone with little ones all day, every day and be isolating. It’s so important to get out even if it’s just for a change of scenery!

For the first few weeks, your pediatrician may tell you that your babies shouldn’t be in public places or around other children because of the risk of getting sick before their vaccinations. During this time, ask if you can still take them for walks outdoors or meet up with friends at a park. You can also run out between feedings (if you’re breastfeeding) or have a partner or relative bottle feed the babies.

Getting out of the house alone, even if it’s just for a trip to the grocery store, will make you feel so much more like your old self. Once the babies are a little older, you can take them to run errands with you (bonus if they’re good stroller/car sleepers!). I used to leave my house with my twins every day from 9 a.m. to noon when they were tiny because it was the easiest way for me to get them to nap. I walked with other twin moms, went shopping, sometimes I even drove aimlessly while eating a treat in the car.

Once the babies become active toddlers, try to keep using the stroller for as long as possible and as frequently as possible so that they’re used to it. The stroller will be the best way to keep them safely contained.

The last, and possibly most important, piece of advice is to always plan to be ready to leave the house about 20 minutes before you actually need to leave. Worst case scenario, you’ll only be a few minutes late and best case scenario, you’re ready early and can relax for a bit before having to leave.

Originally published by Allison Merriman on Twin Love Concierge.

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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This article was sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Life

Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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Life

There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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