Do Twins Reach Developmental Milestones At The Same Time?
Given they do so much together, it’s also natural to wonder if twins should reach developmental milestones at the same time. After all, they are twins, and they’re being raised in the same environment—shouldn’t they develop at the same rate?
The short answer is no, even twins develop at different rates. Even though they share so much in common, twins are still two unique people and have many individual differences. Just how one may prefer bananas and the other applesauce, they also develop differently! So, if one twin is walking but the other is still crawling, that’s ok!
Here are some of the best ways to accurately track twin’s development:
Pay attention to age ranges, not exact days or weeks. Ever notice that milestones are marked by an age range (such as 4-6 months), rather than an exact month or week? Milestones are in ranges because every baby is different—even twins. So, a baby who achieves a 4-6 month milestone at 4 months old is on track, and so is a baby who reaches it at 6 months. A milestone like walking may happen as early as 10 months, or as late as 15 months. It is ok if one twin walks at 10 months, the other walks at 15 months!
Document twins’ milestones separately. Because twins are two unique people, it’s important to track their milestones separately. There usually is not one baby that reaches all the milestones first, and they probably won’t reach them all at the same time. Check out our milestone checklist and keep separate ones for each baby!
Remember to adjust for prematurity. Many twins and multiples are born premature. It’s important to adjust when following baby’s milestones. This may create a larger age range for when baby should reach a milestone. Learn more about adjusting for prematurity.
Do twins reach milestones later than singleton babies? A “singleton” baby is a single baby, not one born as part of set of twins or other multiples. Because there is a higher rate of prematurity with multiples, this can lead to baby needing more time to reach their milestones—but this doesn’t mean baby is experiencing a delay! In fact, studies have shown there is no difference in reaching motor milestones between twins and singletons within normal range.
If babies are born premature, massage can be a great way to help their development. Learn about Massage+ 30, 10, 5 for premature infants.
Just like any other child, if you have twins, track their milestones to make sure they are meeting them. If one or both twins begin to fall behind in meeting milestones or show atypical motor patterns, ask your healthcare provider what to do next. They may provide a referral to a therapist, who will be able to address these issues.
So if you have twins, triplets, or any multiples, don’t sweat it if they’re developing differently! Just track their milestones separately and reach out to a healthcare provider with any concerns.