Hearing you are going to become a grandparent to twins or more can be a bit of a surprise.
Hopefully our Factsheet for Grandparents will help. It has been put together using top tips from those who know – grandparents of twins, triplets or more!
Becoming grandparents to two (or even three or four) grandchildren at the same time can lead to significant lifestyle adjustments for you as well as the parents. It’s common to have dozens of questions flying around in your head.
If you are a grandparent of twins, triplets or more we have an online community group you can join to chat with other grandparents of similar aged multiples.
Grandparents of multiples group
It’s so important to embrace and enjoy being a grandparent of multiples. It’s a wonderful, life-affirming experience. However, of course, your children (and grandchildren) will need as much support as possible.
Help comes in many forms and is often welcomed when offered, both during the pregnancy and once the babies arrive. The type of help offered can come in lots of different forms including helping care for older grandchildren, assistance with housework, shopping, cooking meals etc.
It can be extremely hard work and tiring. You may feel you want to help your son or daughter by babysitting their multiples, but at the same time be worried about how you will cope with the work, and maybe how you will cope physically with the demands. Be kind to yourself and just do what you’re able to. Stay calm and try your best to just be in the moment – that’s the best way to be there for your children and grandchildren.
One of the things that we’re often told is that conflicts can arise between parents and grandparents. This is common amongst both multiples and singletons! Sometimes the parents might have to make choices which aren’t the path you would have personally chosen. Attempts at providing support can become emotionally charged, especially when opinions differ significantly. The advice from our grandparent community is that it’s vital to focus on the needs of all the children first and to provide support to the parents by following their lead on the way they want to parent their children. This might mean that you need to learn new ways of doing things – it will hopefully be positive in the long run.
Arguably one of the most important roles a grandparent can have is simply to spend time with your grandchildren. This is especially true as they grow older and begin to display their own individual personalities, strengths, likes and dislikes.
It pays to be organised. Try to create a sort of home from home environment at your home, so that when your grandchildren visit, you don't have to worry about things getting broken, or them getting hurt. Plan ahead and prepare for any possibilities that could cause a stressful situation. For example, keep a few spare nappies or a change of clothes for the babies that you can whip out in an emergency. The same tip is useful if you are visiting them or going to stay.
Our Supporting new parents course will help you to understand the particular challenges of parenting more than one baby at a time and how you can be supportive in this special experience.