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Raising Twins

From Pregnancy to Preschool

Shelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAP

$ 14.95
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Table of Contents


Chapter 1:  Introduction

  • Your New Life with Twins
  • Twins--The News Flash of a Lifetime
  • How the Twin-Parenting Experience Changes Over the Early Years
  • Pregnancy
  • Early Infancy
  • Later Infancy
  • The Toddler Years
  • The Preschool Years
  • Enjoying the Twin-Parenting Experience
  • Families with Twins--One Size Does Not Fit All

Chapter 2:  Preparing for Your Twins' Arrival

  • The Emotional Rollercoaster after Learning the News
  • Taking Care of Your Body and the Pregnancy
  • Preparation During Pregnancy
  • Twins Preparation Checklist
  • Preparing Older Siblings for the Arrival of Twins
  • Nearing the Delivery

Chapter 3:  The Early Days and Weeks with Twins

  • In the Hospital
  • Coming Home
  • Keeping Your Twins on the Same Schedule--Starting Now
  • Feeding Your Babies--Should We Use Breast Milk or Formula
  • Breastfeeding Twins--So How Do We Do It
  • Formula Feeding--Simplifying the Process for Your Twins
  • Burping and Reflux
  • Advice for Outings--Is It Possible to Leave Your House With Your Twins?
  • Infant Colic, Times Two
  • Should We Use Pacifiers?
  • Asking for Support
  • Taking Your Twins to the Pediatrician
  • Getting Into a Routine in Your New Life with Twins

Chapter 4:  Early Infancy and Getting Your Twins on a Schedule

  • Sleep--Infant Twins Need It, and Parents Need It Too!
  • Do Twins Need Two Cribs, or Two Bedrooms?
  • The Science Behind Good Sleep Habits
  • The Strategies to Encourage Good Sleep Habits
  • The Power of the Bedtime Ritual
  • During the Day--Daytime Naps
  • Feeding Your Infant Twins
  • The Twins are Getting Stronger
  • Diaper Rash
  • "Twin Proofing"
  • Considerations When Returning to Work after Maternity Leave
  • Toys and Books for Your Twins
  • Outings and Fun with Your Infant Twins
  • Continue to Ask for Help
  • Bonding With Each of Your Individual Twins

Chapter 5:  Your Twins' Older Infancy and First Birthday

  • Older Twin Babies' Sleep Patterns
  • Mealtime:  A Whole New World
  • Advancing Solid Foods and Table Foods
  • Sippy Cup Training Twins--Bye-Bye, Bottles!
  • Twins and Dental Development
  • Play and Development for Older Twin Babies
  • Language and Communication
  • Safety Issues
  • "Discipline"--Re-directing Your Young Twins to Acceptable Behaviors
  • The Emotions Involved in Parenting Twins--How to Stay Sane
  • Spending Time with Each of Your Twins as Individuals
  • The First Birthday
  • Your Twins' First Year--A Special Time That Flies Too Fast!

Chapter 6:  Toddler Twins [One- and Two-Year-Olds]

  • Toddler Twins Sleep Issues
  • Transitioning to "Big-Kid" Beds, and How to Keep Your Twins in Them
  • Strategies to Survive Your Twins' Graduation to Big Kid Beds
  • A Continued Need for Naps, or At Least, Quiet Time
  • Toddler Nutrition and Mealtimes
  • Simplify Mealtime with Your Toddler Twins
  • The Importance of Positive One-On-One Time for Your Twins
  • Kind but Effective Discipline for Toddler Twins
  • Providing Acceptable Choices for, and Listening To, Your Twins
  • Temper Tantrums
  • Consistency in Discipline is Key
  • "Time-Outs" For Twins
  • Encouraging Twins' Language Development
  • Toilet Training:  Is It Possible
  • When and Where Do We Start Toilet Training Twins
  • The Gear to Help Toilet Training
  • Schedule "Potty Time" Into Your Day
  • Toilet Training Motivation Tools
  • Safety Issues for Toddler Twins
  • Family Relationships, a New Baby
  • Keeping a Twin-Friendly Budget--Save Both Time and Money
  • Having Fun with Your Toddler Twins

Chapter 7:  Preschool Aged Twins [Three- and Four-Year-Olds]

  • Sleep Issues for Preschool Twins
  • Socialization within the Family--The Twins' Role in the Family Unit
  • Preparing Your Twins for a Preschool Experience
  • The Continued Importance of One-on-One Time
  • Your Twins are Two Distinct Individuals, Now More Than Ever
  • Consistency and Discipline with Preschool Twins
  • Balancing the Family Dynamic
  • Expectations of Your Twins When On Outings
  • When Twins Collide
  • Advanced Toilet Training and Independence
  • Emotional and Social Support for Parents of Preschool Twins
  • Budgeting and Practical Matters
  • Enjoy the Here and Now with Your Twins

Chapter 8:  Concluding Your Twins' Early Years--As Your Twins Grow

  • The Twin Journey
  • The Built-In Life Lessons
  • A Special Bond between Two Unique Individuals
  • An Eye towards the Future

Appendix A:  Twin Facts Every Parent of Twins Should Know

  • The Distinction between Identical and Fraternal Twins
  • More and More Twins!

Appendix B:  If Your Twins Are Born Early

  • Nutrition for Small Preterm Twins
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Jaundice
  • Other Issues
  • How to Bond with Your Twins in the NICU
  • When Will My Twins be Ready to Come Home?
  • Other Concerns Once We Go Home

Appendix C:  The Triplet Parenting Experience--Advice for All Families with Multiples

  • Preparation for Triplets During Pregnancy
  • Synchronized Schedules
  • Survival in the Early Months


Even with years working as a pediatrician, Shelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAP, was nervous about what lay ahead when she was told she was pregnant with twins.

Now, several years into parenting her twin boys, Dr Flais is sharing her wisdom and experience as a mom and her expertise as a doctor to help other parents prepare for and raise multiples with confidence.

With insightful stories from her own experiences coupled with important information only a pediatrician can offer, Raising Twins will help you

  • Prepare for the arrival of your twins
  • Survive the first few days and weeks with advice on sleep schedules, feeding choices, and finding support
  • Develop strategies to help successfully manage (and enjoy!) the first year of your twins’ lives
  • Negotiate the toddler years, including potty training, language development, big-kid beds, budgets, and discipline
  • Understand the world of your twins as they become preschoolers, including socialization inside and outside the family, encouraging individualism, discipline and sleep issues.


"Dr. Flais uses her own insightful personal stories coupled with important information only a pediatrician can offer. Raising Twins is filled with great tips that any parent of multiples can benefit from learning." Twins magazine, Fall 2009  

"Raising Twins is a must for anyone raising multiples. I highly recommend it." —Denise M. Anderson, President, Illinois Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc.


“Who better to hold your hand and help prepare you for the multiple joys (and challenges) of parenting twins than a pediatrician mom of twins? By combining a medically sound foundation with a reality-based approach, Raising Twins is sure to provide new and expectant parents of twins a double dose of valuable advice and insight.” —Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP, coauthor of Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, and identical twin!

About the author

Shelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAP

Shelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician, wife, and mother of four, including identical twin boys. Dr. Flais trained at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine as well as Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has learned the most from her four kids, all born within the span of four years. In addition to her AAP book, Dr. Flais has written for Twins and Chicago Parent magazines. She has been interviewed for Parents, Parenting, and Healthy Children, as well as various radio and TV outlets. Dr. Flais was honored to be named an Mom of the Month in August 2009.

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