A Reddit thread asking parents of identical twins and triplets to share how they were able to differentiate between their twin-infants (or twinfants, if you will) has gone viral because of the, as expected, hilarious, anecdotes of parents not really knowing how to tell their twins apart. If your newborn twins or triplets don’t have any differentiable physical characteristics, i.e., a birthmark, then everything can seem like it could turn into the Parent Trap at any moment. And as it turns out, remembering which twin is named what is not the only time it can get confusing when it comes to raising infant twins, or even triplets.
Reddit user u/Peko1One recounted how it can make feeding a bit more complicated, writing, “Have twins, now 4 years old. When they were newborns, before we were able to set up a system to feed both at the same time during overnight feedings, we would hold them one at a time with a bottle in hand,” adding, “in my sleep deprived stupor, I fed one kid, put him down, grabbed the other bottle and forgot which kid I had fed. Pretty sure one kid got fed twice a couple times while the other did not eat.” This is not a conundrum parents want to face at three in the morning!
Other Reddit users pointed out that tactfully using clothes (like color-coded socks!) and nail polish are the sort of things that can be very useful for correctly identifying each twin. One dad mentioned a hospital mix-up that would probably give many parents nightmares, writing, “Father of identical twin boys here. The day after their birth the boys were sleeping in a hospital cot designed for twins. The cot itself lay on a slight incline, to ensure that the baby’s heads were kept slightly elevated. This, unfortunately, caused both the boys’ hospital tags to slide off their skinny little legs during the night and land at the bottom of the cot. If I hadn’t taken a photo of the boys the night before and written their names on the picture (using my phone’s stylus), then we would have never known exactly who was who. Bullet dodged.” Indeed.
The thread soon got fairly existential, with one user, u/IntermittentSteam commenting, “If you raise them under the ‘wrong’ names, is it still the wrong name?” Just imagine being a twin named Tom, only to realize that your sleep-deprived grandparents forgot which side of the crib they put you on and you find out that your parents originally named you Steve, and your brother was meant to be named Tom… it gets a little “twinception” pretty quickly. Aside from the funny stories, the thread might also offer comfort and advice for parents who may be having a hard time telling their twins apart. If anything, it’s clear that it’s perfectly normal to struggle with it a little bit. When they get older and develop distinct personalities and styles, at least then parents won’t have to worry anymore. But in the meantime, you might want to think about color-coding their outfits.