How do Parents Tell Identical Twins Apart?
Being a new parent can be a challenge especially when it’s your first, and it’s even more of a challenge when you have identical twins. If you’re lucky you will give birth to a boy and a girl, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. So, how do parents tell identical twins apart?
Of course, as the babies grow and develop their own personalities it will become easier to tell which one is which, but in the meantime, parents will need to be creative so they can tell their identical twins apart from each other.
You can start off by leaving their tiny hospital bracelets on, but let’s face it, as fast as they will grow, we all know that won’t last for long. So, what can you do when they outgrow those tiny bracelets?
The following methods are some of the way’s parents tell identical twins apart. Hopefully, you will get some great ideas from the list and eventually you will have no problem when it comes to telling twin “A” apart from twin “B.”
1. Identical Clothing with Color Schemes
Although it’s fun to dress your twins alike, it will be easy to mix the babies up, unless of course, you have a boy and a girl. You can still dress the twins in the same clothes but with this method, you will assign a color to each baby right from the start. Perhaps twin “A” can wear all the red schemes while twin “B” wears all the green. They can still wear the same matching dino shirts except one will be done in reds and the other in greens.
2. Identical Accessories with a Slight Difference
Accessories are so much fun, especially when you have girls, but this can be done with identical twins no matter their sex. Put bracelets on the babies, except one can wear it on their wrist while the other always shows off a bracelet on their ankle. You can put a bow in one girl’s hair and never in the other’s hair. Put bow ties on your boys, each with a different color. This little trick can be done with their buttons and socks as well.
3. Mark them with an X
As cruel as this may sound, this method works for many parents. Using a baby safe marker, you can mark the bottom of their feet with individual markings; each can have an X of a different color or mark one with an X and the other without. Although you would think the marking would come off with a bath, parents who have done this say that it will last longer than you would expect.
4. Nail Polish will do the Trick
Use some Piggy Paint on one toenail to distinguish who is who. You can do this by painting one toe on baby “A” and not on baby “B” or you can choose a different color for each. Of course, if you have girls you can paint all the toes. Piggy Paint is the safest for babies, but it doesn’t last long, so you can use regular nail polish until they can put their toes in their mouth.
5. Beaded Letter Bracelets
Some parents choose bracelets for identity. You can get creative with beaded letter bracelets. Spell out their names and put them on their ankles so they don’t choke on the beads. You can choose different colors and change them with the outfits. You can choose to spell out their names or use initials, there are so many different ways they can sport a beaded bracelet.
Warning: Always evaluate risks associated with bracelets and necklaces. Can the necklace or bracelet break and pose a choking hazard?
6. The Hair Can Make the Difference
If you’re lucky enough to have babies with hair, you can style it different for identity. Part one of the baby’s hair on the right and the other on the left, give one bangs and not the other, and as they grow, twin “A” might have longer hair than twin “B.”
7. Solids vs. Prints
Just like with the color schemes, you can use solids and prints to tell your identical twins apart. From day one start twin “A” off with solid colors and show off twin “B” with colorful prints such as stripes, plaids, or even shapes and themes. Of course, twin “A” might feel a bit plain, so you could add some socks to his feet that match the print on his brother and put the solid color socks on the brother with the print.
8. Name Association
This method might not work for all the family members, but Mom and Dad can use it at home during bath time or diaper changes. Pick out a distinguishing feature that separates each twin from the other. Use that feature to come up with something like word association that can connect to the baby’s name so that you will know who is who when they are in their birthday suits.
9. Theme Assignment
Each twin can be recognized through a theme using this method. If you’re a sports family, assign twin “A” with one team and twin “B” can adopt the other team. Maybe you like butterflies and birds, or giraffes and ponies. Any theme will serve the purpose when it comes to telling your identical twins apart.
10. Iron-On and Embroidery
When your babies are born, they will be assigned those little hospital caps. Some parents have found it helpful to iron-on the initial of each baby’s name. That works for a little while, but the baby will grow out of that tiny cap in no time. You can use the same method as they grow by ironing-on their initials to other caps and clothing. You can even embroider their name onto things like onesies and tees.
11. Mark them with a Sticker
Those colorful garage sale stickers can play a part in this method of identification. For a couple of dollars, you can pick up thousands of stickers and put them on the babies every day. Assign each twin a different color and then get busy sticking the color on their clothing, socks, caps, and even their equipment, bottles, and sippy cups.
12. Know their Likes and Dislikes
This method will only work as they start to grow and flourish their own personalities. Twin “A” might like to watch a show that twin “B” isn’t as fond of while twin “B” might like a certain song. You can also allow them to choose their colors for distinguishing them apart once they can recognize their favorites.
13. Physical Differences
Although they are identical, twins can still have physical differences and once developed into their little bodies, parents use this method for telling identical twins apart. Things such as height and weight can play an important role here. You can also use their texture and length of hair. Maybe twin “A” has bigger feet than twin “B” and likewise, one might have a longer ear than the other. Now, while this probably won’t help other family members when it comes to separating the two, Mom will always point out the physical differences of her twins.
Temperament is another way parents tell identical twins apart. As the twins grow and develop into their own little person, they will also adopt a temperament of their own. When this happens twin “A” might cry during a diaper change while twin “B” might tend to be a bit more laid back. Maybe one twin will become shy and the other will be friendly. These are excellent ways to tell them apart.
15. Naked Feet vs. Clothed Feet
Again, as your twins grow, they will like different things, like maybe one twin will keep his shoes on while the other would rather have naked feet. You could also choose what type of shoes the twins should wear. Twin “A” could wear lace shoes while twin “B” could always wear slip-on shoes.
These 15 methods are just suggestions of how other parents tell identical twins apart, you might find some things that work better for you than others. You might also wish to tweak these ideas a bit and even combine more than one method to make it work for you.
Remember, you’re not the only one who will need to keep them straight; other family members, childcare providers, friends, and teachers will need some ideas too. So, no matter which methods you use, keep it easy for others too!