As your premature twins or other multiples begin to improve; you may be faced with the fact that one sibling is allowed to come home and the other is not. While there is no perfect solution to this, some parents will elect to keep their twins together. Depriving one twin of the other can be discouraging, even at this early a stage.
Discuss the options with the pediatricians and NICU caregivers. When your twins are together, they will have the touch of each other; they will intertwine limbs. They may even suck on each other’s fingers. The constant sensations provided by their loving touches are always good.
You can encourage this similar tactile comfort by using kangaroo care once they are home. You rest the diaper-clad baby against your bare skin, usually your chest and cover them with a blanket. The skin on skin increases the sensation of bonding. They respond to it because they are used to experiencing it with their twin. You can do this at the NICU when you are allowed to hold your babies and you can do it at home.
In the event that you have take one twin home and leave the other there. Be sure to engage in kangaroo love at home. Call the NICU frequently, visit and maintain this level of contact with the baby remaining as well. NICU nurses will also put phones near the baby there so they can hear the sound of your voice.
As always when handling your newborns and infants; wash your hands frequently and limit their exposure to crowds of people. If any of your family is ill, limit their contact to them. Newborns have a difficult enough time when it comes to getting over a cold; your preemies can have an even more difficult time.
Your premature newborns will need close monitoring and preventative care. Keep an eye on their growth, nutrition and development. Schedule regular follow-ups with your pediatrician and any specialists they recommend.
It’s also good to remember that most preemies catch up developmentally and growth wise by the ages of 2 or 3. The road ahead may be difficult; but the rewards are infinitely worth it. Good luck with your multiples and remember to multiply the love.