In addition to all of the regular things that parents have to do as they prepare for a new baby, there are some extra things to think about in certain situations. For example, there are a lot of extra baby products to get if you are having twins, triplets, or even more babies. You will also have different things to do if you are adopting a baby or if you will be a single parent caring for the baby on your own.
In general, parents have about a 3 percent chance of having twins or other multiples, like triplets or quadruplets. For older couples or those who used fertility treatments, the chances are higher. Although each bundle of joy is definitely a blessing, if you are expecting more than one, there is a lot more preparation to do.
Does having twins run in a family?
Not always. While your chance of having twins is increased if there are fraternal twins in your family, there is no increased chance if other family members only have identical twins. Identical twins are thought to occur randomly and are not tied to genetics.
Having multiples means buying more of everything as you prepare for your babies. You will need more clothing, more diapers, and more of just about everything else. You will need more than one car seat and eventually, more than one crib. Of course that means having to spend more money than you would if you only had one baby at a time, and it also means that you are likely to need more help caring for them. This is a situation in which a father might try to take more paternity leave or ask another family member to come help with the babies. Fathers of multiples should also expect to help out a lot more than what they might have expected for only one baby.
Adopting a Child
A lot of preparation goes into the whole adoption process, starting with signing up with an adoption agency and going all the way to the day that you actually get to take home your child. There is the paperwork, waiting, and all of the regular preparations to get your home ready for a baby.
If you are adopting a child from another country, there may also be medical issues to prepare for. Does the child have any special health-care needs? Does he need immunizations or screening tests to detect common infectious diseases, like HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis? Your pediatrician or international adoption clinic can help you review your adopted child's health once you adopt your baby.
Although there are many single parents raising children on their own, it is much more common for the primary caretaker to be the child's mother. Still, fathers sometimes have the sole responsibility of caring for the baby. A single father will have a lot of financial pressures and will need some help and support to care for his baby, much like a single mother would.
Maybe you don't live with and aren't married to the baby's mother. Depending on your situation, you may need to consult a lawyer to help you understand your rights and responsibilities. Will you have partial custody, visitation rights, or any contact at all with your baby? Do everything you can to offer support and be a big part of your baby's life.
Infants with special needs can be much harder to understand than the average baby. They may need to feed more frequently or more slowly, require special medical attention, or have other things you need to do to help them develop and grow. Of course, these babies really are special, and you will love and care for yours just as you would any other baby.
Whether you have a premature baby who is a little behind in everything, or a child with Down syndrome or a cleft lip and palate, you will have to learn to understand your baby's own special needs. Your pediatrician, a specialist or other health professional, or a support group can help you learn to best take care of your baby with special needs.