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What Is an Irish Twin? Here’s Your Complete Guide

What is an Irish twin? We have all the answers for you! 

What is an Irish twin? For many people, having identical twins and fraternal twins are definitions that are understood pretty well. Chances are, you might even know a set of identical or fraternal twins. But have you heard of the term Irish twins? Well if you have ever wondered what is an Irish twin, then chances are you probably already know the answer. You may not realize this, but you might even be an Irish twin yourself! Today, let’s go over the question of what is an Irish twin is and whether or not it is a good idea to have a pair in your family.

What Is An Irish Twin? 

Irish twins are one of those terms you know but don’t know that you know. Simply put, if you have an Irish twin, that means you have a sibling that is in close in proximity to your age. Most time, Irish twins are characterized as being born within the same calendar year of each other. The accepted definition is when siblings are born less than 12 months apart.

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Where Did the Expression “Irish Twins” Come From?

The term Irish twin originated in the US and in England in the 1800s. Because many Irish Catholic families do not believe in contraception, it was not uncommon for siblings to be born immediately after the birth of a child. The excessive numbers of children born immediately after previous birth gave light to this phrase. Because of this, some derogatory undertones have been associated with this term. Thankfully, the derogatory connotation has mostly died down since the term’s inception.

Is Having an Irish Twin a Good Choice for My Family?

Once you have the answer to what is an Irish twin, it is time to figure out if you want a pair. When you reach the point in your life where children become the topic of discussion, chances are you will have the conversation about how far apart you want your children to be. For some parents, having Irish twins in the family is ideal. For other families, having your children farther apart in age is the way to go. Here are some pros and cons of planning for Irish twins.

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The Pros

There are so many awesome reasons to having children close in age. Check out some of these top reasons for why Irish twins can be a great thing in your family. 

1. Having All Your Children All at Once

For many moms who have children that close in age, they are sure to tell you that it was nice to go through the early child raising process all at once. Once a baby is born, it takes a great deal of work. However, once your baby becomes a toddler, the physical and mental amount of work does get a little easier. For example, you are more likely to sleep throughout the night than if you were when your child was an infant. For many parents, having to restart the cycle all over again can be daunting. If you plan on have Irish twins, a great positive is the fact that you will get these difficult stages of parenting out of the way all at once.

2. Your Children Will be Buddies

One of the biggest reasons parents choose to have Irish twins is the fact that your children will grow up and be good friends because they are close in age. Often times, Irish twins are in the same class grade or just one class grade behind the other. This can be a great thing because this means your child will always have a buddy when they go through important life milestones such as school.

3. Say Goodbye to Baby Storage

One practical reason for having Irish twins is the fact that you do not have to worry about storing baby clothes. When one child grows out of their clothes, the next child is pretty much ready to take over them. The same can be said about toys. You don’t have to worry about storing toys away and then unpacking them when a new baby arrives. If you plan on having more than one Irish twin, then you can potentially use all your child clothes and toys until it is time to donate them, give them away, or get rid of them without ever having to worry about storage!.

4. No More Aunt Flo

One unexpected surprise of having Irish twins has to do with your body. It takes some time to get your body to return back to normal once you give birth, especially when it comes to your period. If you are pregnant again soon after giving birth, this means that you’ll have to wait even longer for your period to show up. If you ask any woman, chances are they will tell you that this is not a bad problem to have. Life is nice when you don’t have to worry about Aunt Flo knocking at your door.

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The Downside to Having Irish Twins

Though there are some great pros about having Irish twins, there is an equal amount of cons. Here are some of the top negative that you should consider when thinking about having Irish twins

1. Double the Workload

As if having one infant to take care of is not hard enough, having two babies who are close in age can be extremely difficult. For starters, you will need to work very hard to get their schedules in sync. Even then, it may be difficult. Many moms who are parents to Irish twins can relay the struggle of putting one baby down to sleep only to have the other baby wake up. Essentially, this means the “you nap when they nap” philosophy is out the window.

Not only that but when one child grows out of one developmental stage, it will just be getting started with the other one. This can be difficult for some parents, because it may feel like you are never progressing. Not only that, but many moms feel mom guilt because they will constantly be comparing whether or not they gave each child the proper amount of attention. 

2. It Can Get Pricey

When you have two kids who are close in age, your wallet can really take a hit. For starters, you will be buying diapers practically every single day. While you will still buying diapers whether or not your kids are close in age, you are more likely to feel the strain of it with Irish twins. This is because unlike siblings with significant age gaps, you don’t get the luxury of the grace period of diaper freedom with Irish twins. Essentially, your wallet will not get a break. Not only that but most times you will be doubling up on the products like baby shampoo and butt cream that you will need to buy anyway. Again, this can be very draining on your bank account.

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 3. There Are Two of Them and One of You

Kids learn best by exploring. As they get older the more inquisitive and exploratory they will get. This means that you will have to be super vigilant about being two places at one time. For example, if your eldest child has ballet practice to go to while the other has to go to the sitter, you will need to plan out your schedule carefully. This way, everyone will always need to be in the right place at the right time. Not only that but because there are two of them, you always need to keep an eye out so that they are staying out of trouble. When you have a child who was much older, it is easier to keep them out of trouble because they can comprehend what is right and wrong. When you have two babies on your hands, that comprehension is not yet developed.

4. Your Body May Not be Ready Yet

Once you have decided whether or not you want Irish twins, your next step will be to speak to your doctor. Childbirth is difficult and it takes a great toll on your body. Many doctors encourage that you should wait a year until you try for another child. This way, your body has the opportunity to heal up properly. Not only that, but it allows your following pregnancy to avoid complications with your baby such as preterm birth. Be sure to always speak to your healthcare practitioner when you are deciding whether or not you should have your children closer in age. 

Final Thoughts 

While having an Irish twin in your family might not be the best choice for every household,  it does go without saying that Irish twins are pretty neat. Once you get past the early child rearing stages, you can look forward to having plenty of fun with your children who are close in age. For some parents, the struggle and headache of the early years are worth the reward of having a built-in friend for their sibling for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the basics when it comes to figuring out what is an Irish twin. If you have other friends who are curious to know more about what is an Irish twin, be sure to pass this read on to them!

Related Article: What is a Rainbow Baby?

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