The two most important pieces of advice I was given after the birth of my twins were:

• Take each day as it comes;
• Have no expectations.

Establishing a routine can save your sanity, both short term and long term, but remember that nothing ever stays the same. 

Establishing a routine in the early days can be beneficial in the long run for both you and your babies, as your twins will learn to anticipate what event/activity is happening next and become comfortable with their surroundings. Of course this can all fly out the window at 3.45am when Baby Number One fancies a play and Baby Number Two fancies a sleep.

A feed, play, sleep pattern is a positive first step towards establishing a routine for your babies, plus is starts to teach them how to self settle and go to sleep on their own - it's a miracle pattern!

Feed, play, sleep is also recommended by many sleep schools and mothering institutions. The basis of the pattern is very simple and can be carried through until your babies are well into their toddler years; they have a feed then they have a play, which is adjusted according to age - in the early days, play means a song and a cuddle and at around 10 months it may mean a walk or a play outside or some painting, then they have a sleep…for a while…hopefully.

If your twins play rather than eat before they sleep, they will not associate feeding with sleeping. Consequently (keeping your fingers crossed it works) they will not come to rely on feeding in the middle of the night in order to sleep!

A concept to familiarise yourself with is that of dream-feeding. This is when, during the night, you keep the lights low, you stay silent and you make no eye contact when feeding the babies; this will begin to teach them the difference between night and day and, fingers crossed again, will mean they go straight back to sleep after a night feed. If you do not stimulate their senses then they will think "meh, nothing worth waking up for… back to sleep".

So, in the first few months, here's what a day could be like:
(I have left off the times here as they can vary greatly from day to day)

Twins wake
Have a feed
Sing a song
Nappy off time
Sleep
Twins wake
Have a feed
Nappy off time
Watch the dog/cat/bird/crazy old neighbour
Sleep
Twins wake
Have a feed
Nappy off time
Bath
Sleep
Night time dream feeds.
Twins wake and it's the morning…a brand new day!

Babies will generally sleep anywhere from 2-4 hours before waking for a feed. Of course this is a very rough outline but it just shows how the feed, play, sleep pattern can work in the early days of having your twins at home with you.

Establishing a routine can save your sanity, both short term and long term, but remember that nothing ever stays the same and everything changes with a newborn baby, let alone two, so be flexible with your days and do not become too hung up on routine, routine, routine.

Hopefully, some realistic and helpful light has been shed on the first few months of having your twins. I tried to think of all the questions I was asking during my pregnancy with twins and answer them here for you.

You are about to welcome two cherubs into your life, they will change it forever and you will wonder what you ever did without them - congratulations and welcome to the twins club.

Vicki Morris is an author, a teacher and self-taught mother of identical twins Zake and Kaeleb. Her book Double or Nothing! A Guide to Twin Pregnancy is due for release next year. Discuss twins & multiples in the Essential Baby forum.