The right preparation for twins – financially, mentally and organizationally
A baby changes your whole life and already in the weeks before the birth all kinds of preparations have to be made. Two babies, on the other hand, turn all these plans upside down again – at least when the twins come unexpectedly and the parents had actually only expected to have one child. In this day and age of modern technology, this sounds impossible, yet this scenario happens all the time. For example, it may happen that one fetus is hidden behind the other for a long time and the news about twins arrives only after a few months or even shortly before the birth. But even if twins are detected early, they often come as a shock to the parents at first. Two children instead of one – that changes everything, or at least a lot of things. But what exactly changes with twins and how can affected parents prepare themselves optimally??
Twins can be detected early – but they don’t have to be
With modern technology, it is now quite possible to detect twins in the first ultrasound. A blood test can also indicate a twin pregnancy by means of increased hCG values. Other signs include a raised fundus as the highest part of the uterus and hearing two heartbeats. In most cases, therefore, it is a clear thing. Nevertheless, it happens again and again that twin pregnancies are only recognized towards the end of the birth or, in extreme cases, even during the birth. Whether it is a mistake of the treating doctors, a technical failure or simply an unfavorable position of the two babies as the cause may vary from case to case. The answer to the question of when twin pregnancies are detected is therefore not clear-cut: virtually any time is possible between the first ultrasound and the birth. Apart from the fact that the news of twins is a shock for many parents-to-be anyway, this naturally becomes greater the later the twin pregnancy is detected. After all, there are more and, in a sense, different preparations to be made for twins than for just one child.
Initial equipment for twins: special features for twins
A form of preparation for each child is the purchase of initial equipment. Many parents, especially shopping-loving moms, look forward to this step. However, with twins not everything has to be bought twice, but the initial equipment simply looks different than with a single child. These differences mainly concern
So there are special twin beds made of only one element, which can be very practical, especially in the beginning. Most parents want to let the twins sleep together, especially in the beginning, so that they can feel each other’s closeness. Many mothers therefore opt for a crib, which is also available extra large for twins, so that they do not have to get up and walk to the crib every night. Unfortunately, twins are also awake twice as often as a single child, in line with the motto "one of them is always screaming". The first equipment must therefore be planned with a bit of brains, so that the parents have as little stress as possible later on. In this sense, a twin bed is recommended, which can be divided into two single beds if necessary. Not all twins sleep harmoniously in the same bed and may wake each other up. Flexibility is therefore the key when buying a baby crib to be able to try out the best sleeping model once the twins are born.
Also, when buying the stroller must take into account the twin pregnancy. In contrast to the single stroller there are special twin companions. Particularly popular are those in which the seats can be flexibly mounted so that the twins can sit either side by side or opposite each other. After all, many children love to look at each other while driving. Here it depends above all on the parents, which twin baby carriage fits best to the own habits as well as life circumstances. A sporty mother might prefer a jogger, and if the parents like to travel, a twin buggy is particularly interesting.
Speaking of which: at least the stroller has to fit in the car, of course, along with the two child seats and a large bag for diapers, snacks& Co. Those who do not already own an appropriately sized car may therefore have to buy a larger model. In addition, there is the classic first equipment such as clothes, diapers, bottles, etc. – Which, in the case of twins, must be double. All this sometimes means high costs for the parents. An important question in twin pregnancy is therefore often the question of finances.
Does double parental happiness also mean double parental allowance?
Until 2015, the parents of twins received double the support. Since the 1. January 2015, however, there were serious changes in the parental allowance. Accordingly, all parents, regardless of single or twin pregnancy, can apply for parental allowance for a maximum period of 14 months of the child’s life, provided they meet the following requirements:
Parents have to look after their newborn themselves.
The residence of the parents as well as the child is in Germany.
The children live in the household of the parents.
The parent in question must not work more than 30 hours per week.
If this is the case, parental allowance can in principle be claimed by employees as well as the self-employed, civil servants, students, trainees or the unemployed. The parental allowance can also be applied for separately by each parent and is based on the last net income of the respective person. Moved this
between 1.000 and 1.200 euros, they receive 67 percent parental allowance.
between 1.220 and 1.239 euros, they receive 66 percent parental allowance.
over 1.240 euros, they receive 65 percent parental allowance.
Those who earn less, on the other hand, benefit from a gradual increase in the percentage until eventually most of their income is replaced by the parental allowance. As minimum rate 300 euro are specified. The maximum limit of the parental allowance is 1.800 euros. However, this does not mean (anymore) that these values are simply doubled in the case of twins. In the meantime, parents receive the full parental allowance for the first-born twin and a multiple supplement of 300 euros for the second child. Reason: The legislator is of the opinion, by the twin birth no double earned income is to be replaced, but instead an additional need arises, which is covered by the surcharge. Furthermore, it is also possible to apply for ElterngeldPlus in the case of multiple births.
Financial security for multiple pregnancies
So for parents-to-be of twins, the changes in parental benefits are bad news at first. They have to cope with the extra 300 euros for the second child – which, however, is not enough for all families. A solution can then possibly be a loan to close financial gaps and provide security in the first period after the birth of twins. However, the pregnancy itself can become a problem in the process: If the case worker learns of the couple’s joyful expectation, this changes the factual risk assessment and he could be more negative about the loan request. It is therefore advisable to apply for credit early in pregnancy and conceal it from the bank for the time being. However, not all parents know from the beginning that they are expecting twins instead of a single child. The possibly increased financial needs should therefore be taken into account directly, so that the money is sufficient even in the case of twins. After all, the motto is: better too much money than too little! So with the right planning, even the surprise called twins is not a shock in the end and the parents can instead calmly enjoy their double happiness.