If you’re having (or you already have) Irish twins then you know the joys and challenges. Here are some tips to enjoy your family.
My 12 month old was in the delivery room when I gave birth to her Irish twin. Her brother.
They are still, to this day, thick as thieves.
We lived far away from family and I honestly didn’t know who I trusted to watch her all night. So…. she was there. Barely 1 years old herself.
She couldn’t even walk yet.
Yes, I had two babies so young and so close together in age that neither could walk or talk.
Irish twins are two babies born within a year of each other.
I learned a thing or two or 23,235 during those early years. In fact, I had 5 in 5 years.
My second age (second and third child) gap 15 months.
Then, my third age gap (third and fourth child)16 months.
My fourth age gap (fourth and fifth child) 18 months.
Read: The pros and cons of having babies close together
Tips For Surviving, Raising, & Loving Having Irish Twins
So let’s dive into it.
If you are now pregnant with what will be Irish twins or you’ve already got some on your hands, or are considering getting pregnant again when you basically still have a newborn or 3 month old…
Maybe this will help you find some sanity, order, and peace.
Read: Why Having Babies Close Together Isn’t As Hard As You Might Think
Routines For Irish Twins
Here are some possible combinations you have going on if you’ve got Irish twins in your household.
I’ve linked to routines in place for these ages. And then below I will suggest some joint routines.
- Newborn baby and a 9 to 12 month old baby
- 3 month old baby and a 1 year old
- 6 month old baby and 1 year old baby
- 1 year old baby and a 2 year old toddler
- 2 year old toddler and 3 year old toddler/preschooler
Use our daily baby logs to help you get it all out onto paper and not in your head.
Sample Daily Schedule With Newborn & 9 to 12 Month Old Irish Twins
6:30 a.m. – Wake up, feed newborn
7:00 a.m. – Older baby wake up, feed older baby milk and solids (here are ways to occupy a 1 year old)
7:30 a.m. – Newborn down for first nap
9:30 a.m. – Older baby goes down for nap, newborn wakes up for feed
10:30 a.m. – Newborn wind down routine and down for nap
11:00 a.m. – Older baby wake up, feed older baby
12:00 p.m. – Lunch, solids for older baby, newborn wakes up and mom feeds newborn
1:00 p.m. – Newborn wind down routine, newborn down for nap
1:30 or 2:00 p.m. – Nap for older baby, alone time for mom
3:00 p.m. – Newborn is up, mom feeds newborn
3:30 or 4:00 p.m. – Older baby wakes, feed older baby, mom puts newborn down for nap at 4 or a little after
5:30 p.m. – Dinner, feed solids, newborn wakes up, mom feeds newborn
6:30 p.m. – Bedtime routine for older baby, bath, wind down routine, calm time with family
7:00 p.m. – newborn to bed, mom does cluster feeding every couple of hours
7:30 p.m. – Older baby to bed
10:00 p.m. – dream feed for newborn
Use this simple printable chart to track your feeds to make sure baby is fed, your supply is up, and everyone is well.
Sample Daily Schedule With 6 Month Old & 18 Month Old Irish Twins
7:00 a.m. – baby and toddler wake up, nurse baby, feed solids to baby and toddler
9:00 a.m. – baby naps
11:00 a.m. – baby wakes up to feed and eat solids
12:00 p.m. – lunch for toddler (avoid picky eating this way), calm down activities and wind down routines
1:00 p.m. – Afternoon nap for 1 year old, baby goes down or nap
3:00 p.m. – Baby wakes to nurse and eat and play, tummy time perhaps
3:30 p.m. – 1 year old wakes up, has afternoon snack
5:00 p.m. – Dinner with family, toddler and baby eating solids with family
5:30 p.m. – Baby goes down for 30 minute catnap
6:00 p.m. – Wake baby up, baby bedtime routines that calm baby down, wind down routine for toddler as well, baths, books, etc.
7:30 p.m. – Toddler in bed, mom nurses baby, does baby bedtime routine and puts baby down for the night
Easy to implement routines, rhythms and schedules from birth through school-aged kids to help you streamline day-to-day life with kids, including a step-by-step guide for getting started.Learn More
Necessary gear for Irish twins
If you’re expecting a baby now (and already have a baby!) you may be wondering what type of gear you need.
My answer is simple: very little indeed.
If baby has somewhere to sleep, a car seat, a carrier, and a stroller (double stroller in this case) then you’re Good To Go.
Now, if you are a stay at home mom, then you won’t need terribly much since the majority of your time you’ll be at home.
Here are some things to have at home that make life a bit easier:
- A double stroller (here’s my list of the best double strollers)
- A double baby carrier (if you have a strong back)
- A pack and play (8 useful ways to use a pack and play)
Aside from those things, it’s all preference and habit.
Read: Best Double Strollers For Irish Twins
Challenges of having babies a year apart (plus strategies!)
One of the biggest reasons it’s challenging to have babies close together is because is because both babies and toddlers are needy, and they both need you!
It seems like babies feed every hour and toddlers are having tantrums and you hardly get any time to yourself.
- You feel like you never have time alone | Set a good morning wake time, have consistent predictable naps, and an give both kids an appropriately early bedtime.
- You are tired beyond words | Align baby and older baby / toddler nap times so you can snooze too. Take a power nap. After the kids are in bed, fight your second wind and get to sleep early.
- You scroll too often trying to zone out | When moms are stressed they often try to zone out and, if you’re nursing all the time, you are probably scrolling. Avoid becoming overly dependent on digital media to distract you and, if you’re already too dependent, get my Slow Your Scroll workbook.
Read: The pros and cons of having babies close together
Room Sharing Tips
If your little ones are going to share a room, then make sure their sleeping habits are set. Put both kids to bed in their own rooms with positive sleep associations.
Use white noise to cut down on the little noises made by each child so they’re more easily able to drift into sleep, and less disrupted by the other’s nightly noises.
Make sure both are able to get a good night’s rest and, if not, remove one child until the sleep or night behavior issue can be dealt with. A crib in your room or pack and play in a guest room, for example, are preferable to having little ones waking each other up nightly or starting the day at 4:45 a.m.
Read: What Your Little Ones Must Know Before Room Sharing
Are Irish Twins Harder Than Twins?
As someone who has never had actual twins, of course, I can’t say for sure.
But, I’m going to go with NO. It’s not as hard.
Here’s why having Irish twins is easier than fraternal or identical twins.
- Your older baby should be sleeping through the night by the time your youngest is born. This means you’re only feeding one baby for your cluster (groups of feedings) and dream feeds.
- Your oldest will be nursing less often and eating more solids. This means you aren’t trying to feed two babies at a time all day long.
- Your older baby is more independent now. Crawling, feeding herself, and even able to put herself to sleep without much fanfare. This leaves you time to take care of a newborn.
- You can stagger your routine so that you still have 1:1 time with each child and still have time for yourself.
Can Irish Twins be in the same school year?
Yes, they definitely can.
Now, depending on when your little ones are born, and whether you hold one back for another year because of a late birthday, you could have two in the same grade.
If your oldest Irish twin is born in late July, and your second twin born in July of the next year… if your oldest wasn’t ready to get to school yet they’d end up starting at the same time.
The best tip for mothers of Irish Twins is this….
Soon, you’ll have a toddler and a crawler and you’ll want to keep them contained. Independent play time is a great way to get some alone time (for them and you!) but when they’re out and about, keep them contained.
A moment in the life of Irish twins…
My little Irish twins getting into the little tykes car for a fun ride.
Oh, one wants to turn and the other is wondering if this is a good idea. Tensions are getting high.
And there we go. Thick as thieves and fighting like cats and dogs. Typical Irish twins.
You’ve got this, mama
These early years are not for the faint of heart and – at times – you may end up discouraged.
But take heart.
The days are long, but the years are short.
FAQs about Irish Twins
Technically, Irish twins are babies born within a year of each other. However, some documents say babies born within 18 months of each other are Irish twins.
Similar to the term Irish twins, it’s babies born very close together in age.
Three babies born in 3 years. I had 5 babies in 5 years so, I guess I had Irish Quintuplets?
In general that depends on the kids, their home environment, and their personalities, but yes! Siblings close in age have many shared experiences, are developmentally close, and can continue to bond and enjoy each other’s company throughout their whole childhood without one seeming “babyish” to the other.
To be able to have Irish twins you’ll need to conceive your second child within a few months of delivering your first child. Because they are within a year or so of each other (some say within 18 months, but that’s less common) you’ll need to conceive rather quickly.
Alisha Friday says
Really helpful article! Mine are 12 months apart and I feel like I’m drowning over here! Going to try out the daily routine.
You’re misunderstanding the term “Irish twin”. Not only do Irish twins need to be born within 12 months of each other but they need to both be born in the same calendar year.
More than 12 months apart-not Irish twins