Parents Of Identical Twins Share The Ways They Told Their Kids Apart As Babies

Twins are a tricky thing to manage. Not only are you getting two kids with the expectation of one, but that means twice as much baby supplies, twice as many colleges to pay for, and, oh, also, that thing where the twins form a psychic link in the womb. That's real, right? However, the biggest challenge for first time parents of multiples might be telling them apart. How do you do it?

Reddit user, u/katley1, wanted to know what the best tell apart tricks are when they asked:

Parents of identical twins. How did you tell them apart as babies? How sure are you their names haven't swapped?

Who's The Smaller Chunk?


Often there is a weight difference at birth which persists for some time.

That'll get you through the nugget phase without an accidental swap. I have no idea what you do once they are basically the same size and start actively working together, though.


Rely On The Memory Of Others

My mom couldn't tell my twin (non-identical but very similar looking) brothers apart when they were born for a month or so, luckily the rest of the family could and had to tell her when she needed to know


Color Code Them, Like File Folders

My cousin had twins, one had a name that rhymed with a colour, so she painted that one's nails in that colour, until they grew old enough that she could tell without needing to look.


A Rotating Set Of Jewelry

My twin and I aren't identical but we sure look like it. I've always asked my mom this question and she said she knows 100% we are who we are because when we got home from the hospital she kept our hospital bracelets on for weeks. Everyday she would looks us over trying to find any difference in us, any freckle or dimple. Something to tell us apart.

And when she found something she took the bracelets off and gave us small little beaded bracelets. And once those got too small she pierced our ears, I had diamond earrings and my sister had pearls. She swears to this day, she can tell us apart with her eyes closed. (Which is totally true. We tested it way too many times)


Just Grab A Pen

No joke, my mom sharpie'd a "P" on my brother Pat's foot.

But after a while, it didn't matter. Another person said it here, but the weight difference persists. His twin brother was and remained considerably bigger than he was.


Nothing Like Good Practice

Apparently, my sister's face is more round than mine (mine is more oval-ish), and when we were born my mom just straight up [stared] at us in the hospital until she could tell us apart.


In Womb Sabotage

I had a girlfriend with 9 fingers. She was very petite, around 90lbs. She told me her mom was the same build as her when she got pregnant with twins.

So in the womb, my gfs sisters foot pushed on her left hand, therefore her pinky finger just didn't develop. When I asked if her sister had a deformity, she said, "no, that b-tch"


Study Like A Scientist


When they were first born, my husband intently studied them, looking for any difference. They were .25" and 1 oz apart at birth, so we didn't have the luxury of a weight discordance. Twin B had folded cartilage on his left ear due to his location in-utero. Once that subsided, Twin B's stork bite became inflamed, while Twin A's did not.

That got us through until about 18 months. Now, they have slightly different head shapes, but Twin B has a freckle under his right ankle.

Also, from the beginning, we always kept Twin A on the left and Twin B on the right and assigned them colors. It's the only way I know who is who in pictures.


...And Sometimes, You Never Know For Sure

Identical twin here. And when I say identical, I mean my-sister-and-I-can't-tell-ourselves-apart-in-some-pictures identical. My mom doesn't even know which one of us is older. We were born via c-section within the same minute. The only reason I'm listed as older on my birth certificate is because they legally needed something to differentiate us on our birth certificates beyond just our names and mine comes first in alphabetical order. My sister and I have names that are associated with colors, so my mom colored our big toe nails with sharpies when we were babies.

As we got older, she said I just started responding to one name and my sister to the other, so that's* what names we have. We don't know if we actually respond to the correct names, but we don't ever plan on looking into it. She sometimes still doesn't know who is talking on the phone when we are in the same room. We are now in our 20s.



I knew a set of identical-looking triplets growing up. Their mom dressed them in matching outfits and had a different colored hair tie for each of them. I kid you not, these girls were still wearing matching outfits and their respective hair ties the last time I saw them, at 18. egghead425

Baby X....


Not me but my mother in law... My husband's brothers are twins... And though she always told them she knew who was who... she confessed to me she thinks she got them switched somewhere in their childhood... Baby x had a little birth mark on his cheek... Now not x, but y has a Birthmark... She hid every photo album she has... and this is now a secret between me and my MIL. Yasminerose

Assigned Colors.

I'm not a parent, but I do have an identical twin. My parents always told us whenever the question came up that once they brought us home they assigned us different colors (My sister was blue and I was pink) and they painted our nails until they could tell the difference. Sometimes my sister and I joke about our names getting switched in the hospital but I think they put name tags on us. yoimteesdale

Switching Bracelets....

I worked with a girl who told me the story of her friend that managed to have identical triplets, or as close as those can be. After they were born the doctors gave them each a medical alert bracelet to keep on so that the family could tell the three girls apart. Almost a year later and the parents were still relying on those bracelets to tell their kids apart.

The parents let the triplets stay at a grandma's house, and during a bath, she took the bracelets off and forgot which one belonged to which child. The grandmother only told the parents about this months later and to this day the parents are unsure which child is which. IntrepidRoyal

Who is Who?

Mother of identical twin girls. now 22yrs old.

At birth they literally weighed the same. But Baby B had bruising on her forehead from delivery. We used that for the first week along with their hospital bracelets for two weeks. Then we tied a different colored cloth ribbon around their ankles for a few weeks.

We could find no differing mark, mole, freckle, nothing to distinguish them apart. Afraid the ribbon would fall off and cause a choking hazard as they began to move around, at 6 weeks old we had their ears pierced. One with gold balls, the other with silver. Real jewelry and safety backings that would not fall off.

They wore that until about 3 years old. By then, attitudes and personalities began to appear and it was obvious who was who.

The fear in the beginning of mixing them up was real. never_change27



We put blue fingernail polish on the big toe of one of them just in case. Their head shapes are different because my wife labored the first one for 3+ hours, the second one's heart rate dipped so they expedited his delivery so his is more round. To me they look entirely different, but other people who aren't around them 24/7 can't tell them apart. That doesn't mean I don't get them mixed up fro time to time at certain angles, but straight on I can tell them apart. Juvat


My brothers are identical twins. When they were born, my mom painted the toenails pink for one of them while they were in the hospital with the ID bands still on. One of them had pink toenails for the first two years of his life.

You can tell them apart easily if you know them, my mom just didn't ever want to get them switched up by mistake. One has a slightly chunkier face compared to the other. Looking at baby pictures, you can easily tell which is which. Typhun

The Buttcheek....

Not a parent but my cousins are twins and one of them had a birth mark on his right buttcheeck, no one noticed until a year later lol. Citharae_

After a few weeks....

I kept the hospital bracelets on for maybe 1-2 weeks but after having them home for a bit, I could just tell, I could even tell their cries apart. When you're with them 24/7 it's easier. It took my husband a little while longer but, he was working and I was home with them.

But parents of triplets and more that are identical, I know sometimes they paint a toenail or something like that to help, I know if they're was more than 2, I would need something too. pickmeacoolname



My sisters in law are twins and I asked this question to my mother in law.

She said they probably did get swapped at some point or another 🤷🏼♀️ she also seemed unbothered by it.

Her daughters weren't unbothered though. templenameis_beyonce

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