The first step to being able to treat the babies as individuals is to be able to tell them apart. The differences between them may be obvious; even if they are identical one may be larger or louder than the other, but in the beginning, some parents find they might need labels to tell their babies apart. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t remove the identity tags which are attached to the babies at birth. Experiment with dressing the babies in specific colours as a sort of colour coding, or perhaps painting a toenail on each baby with a different colour nail varnish.
You can help your children to achieve a sense of their own individuality by dressing them differently. In the first few months, you will probably be too busy to worry what they are wearing, but even something as simple as sticking with different colours for each child may help you keep them separate in your mind.
Try to incorporate some individual attention into your everyday routines. You could talk to each baby separately at bath-time or during nappy-changing time - make eye contact, address your baby using their name, and concentrate your attention only on the baby you are talking to.
Here are a few more tips:
- Take photos of the babies separately as well as together. Label your baby photos, especially if the babies are identical. Display the photos in separate frames.
- Encourage friends and family to treat the children as individuals. Help them do this by giving them clues to tell the babies apart.
- If you want to dress the children in the same clothes, try not to do it all the time. You could perhaps dress them in the same style but different colours, or in the same outfit but not at the same time.
- Ensure that each baby has an individual medical record and child health book and ask for individual appointments for their medical and development checks.